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Old 21-09-2010, 17:12   #1
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Will New Fridge Work with Old Evaporator ?

I am considering replacing my dead 10-year-old Adler Barbour Cold Machine (cu-100) with a new Cold Machine... does anyone know if the new unit will be able to hook up to the old unit's evaporator (i.e. same line connections and refrigerant used 10 years later)??
Also, if I decide to go with a "Super Cold Machine" instead will it be compatible with the old evaporator?
I have been frustrated trying to get ahold of any customer support for this product - who do you call with Adler Barbour technical questions?
Thanks as always
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Old 21-09-2010, 19:39   #2
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If the old units used R12 refrigerant then the connections will not be compatible. The newer units use R134a refrigerant and are required to use a different connector to R12 systems. If you can establish your unit is an R134a system you will probably be OK.
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Old 21-09-2010, 20:23   #3
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If you have a CU 100 Adler Barbour it will have a BD50 compressor the same as their CU 200 air/water cooled unit. If your unit has a refrigerant conversion to 134a it may be a BD3 compressor in this case the connector fittings on evaporator need to be converted to match the newer self piercing CU condensing units. If you have the older BD2.5 Freon R12 compressor and want to install either of the new CU model condensing units changing refrigerants is possible but line connectors again will need to be changed.
Mobile refrigeration did not follow automobile standards using ACME fittings for 134a refrigerant mentioned above.

It sounds to me like you are about to shoot yourself in the foot by installing a new condensing unit on an old evaporator instead of correcting what is usually a simple electrical problem on present unit.
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Old 21-09-2010, 21:48   #4
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wish i had their support number in front of me - it's somewhere on the boat. i had excellent customer support from them. i'll see if i can find it in the next few days. by the way, adler barbour is owned by waeco so you may be able to find service through them.

i bought and installed mine about five years ago and it's still going strong. when i first installed it it didn't run right; i called waeco, they diagnosed it over the phone and sent me a new control box overnight. i installed it and haven't had a problem
since.

if it's the control box and you have to buy a new one they're about $200.

i bought the supercold machine which is more expensive but includes the ability to add water cooling if you need to. i live in florida and cruise the bahamas but have never found the need to add water cooling - it's probably not worth the extra money.

most people i know who have the adler barbour are pretty happy with it - one guy has had his for fifteen years.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:36   #5
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Each different gas system is required to have different FILL ports, but an R-12 system's compressor/evaporator/etc plumbing parts may be all the same. The only requirement for incompatible fittings, is for the FILL ports where gas is put into the system.

I'd check with A/B by the model numbers. If the gas type is different, the sizes/capacities of the different parts may also have been changed, and even if they'll bolt up they may not be properly matched in capacity.
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Old 22-09-2010, 17:27   #6
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hellosailor, Sorry your information does not apply to most pleasure boat refrigeration applications.
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Old 22-09-2010, 18:07   #7
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Richard, what are you saying doesn't apply? The EPA requirement for different fill fittings, or the lack of EPA requirement for bolting system parts together?

Or are "precharged" boat sub-assemblies considered to be "fill" fittings in their entirety?

Always willing to learn.
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Old 22-09-2010, 20:44   #8
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hellosailor, The best way I can explain the clean air act passed by congress addressing refrigerants is:
  • Your interruptions of the law and EPA regulations follows the original intent of what was singed into law. The problem with new untested regulations is how will EPA apply then in the real world.
  • There are ways to Abate these laws by violating them and requesting a hearing after receiving a citation from the regulating authority, in this case the EPA. With these new regulation it would take years to litigate all the solutions needed. Special interests groups participated in writing these laws but not those involved in small refrigeration industries like boat refrigeration. Mistakes in regulations are not corrected by modifying regulation but by what the regulatory group decides is the laws intent.
  • When you see most all companies selling boat refrigeration ignoring the 134a special service fitting and refrigerant sales outlets are allowing 134a refrigerant to be sold to anyone this must mean EPA has taken a practical approach to these areas of regulation. The EPA mandate is to stop refrigerant venting and insure recycling programs work. Yes, regulation does indicate components can not be shipped pre-charged with refrigerant but most icebox conversion refrigerant units are sold pre- charged. Would you want these companies to go out of business or allow the EPA to use judgment interrupting regulations.
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Old 23-09-2010, 10:40   #9
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Richard-
"
  • Your interruptions of the law and EPA regulations follows the original intent of what was singed into law. The problem with new untested regulations is how will EPA apply then in the real world.
I'm not reading the actual code but only what I was taught about it, for EPA certification. A charged piece of equipment or system, is not a "filling port", I suspect there is no legal question that a "fitting" means a "fitting" and not half of a machine. I can understand a vendor would be afraid to follow common sense since the penalties can be so high. But if you follow that theory, the entire SCUBA industry should immediately shut down since it enables divers to make unlicensed discharges of toxic gasses in the water.
  • There are ways to Abate these laws by violating them and requesting a hearing after receiving a citation from the regulating authority, in this case the EPA. With these new regulation it would take years to litigate all the solutions needed. Special interests groups participated in writing these laws but not those involved in small refrigeration industries like boat refrigeration. Mistakes in regulations are not corrected by modifying regulation but by what the regulatory group decides is the laws intent.
That's doing things the hard way. If the vendors think the law is unclear, they can ask the courts for an "advisory opinion" or they can ask for further legislation to clarify them. It is still cheaper and simpler for them to just use a different fitting and avoid the problem. And what's the downside? Oh, the customer will have to buy ALL NEW EQUIPMENT which they can blame on the EPA while making a higher profit. Which is after all good for business. Hmmmm.
  • When you see most all companies selling boat refrigeration ignoring the 134a special service fitting and refrigerant sales outlets are allowing 134a refrigerant to be sold to anyone this must mean EPA has taken a practical approach to these areas of regulation. The EPA mandate is to stop refrigerant venting and insure recycling programs work. Yes, regulation does indicate components can not be shipped pre-charged with refrigerant but most icebox conversion refrigerant units are sold pre- charged. Would you want these companies to go out of business or allow the EPA to use judgment interrupting regulations. '
Allowing R-134a to be sold to anyone? You mean, like the auto repair shops do, because it legally CAN be sold to anyone? I don't see a problem there.

"Yes, regulation does indicate components can not be shipped pre-charged with refrigerant but most icebox conversion refrigerant units are sold pre- charged. "

I'm not familiar with that section of the regulations, I'll take your word on it. Can't see why the vendors would do that, if it is expressly illegal and they are so scared to do things that aren't expressly illegal.
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Old 23-09-2010, 14:38   #10
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hellosailor, I am sorry I was unable to explain why in the real world the EPA seams to overlook some of the concerns you have in applying regulations resulting from the 1990 Clean Air Act. As long As the intent of the law is achieved why are you question EPA’s management of the regulations.
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Old 23-09-2010, 15:03   #11
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I'm didn't question their management of the regulations, Richard. You said they are going beyond the simple reading of the law and the industry is reacting by creating a problem for users by building incompatible systems now, preventing repairs. I said AFAIK, if that's indeed who and what is happening, that sounds WRONG.

If that's all so, it is a shame the industry has chosen to make profits that way instead of chastising the EPA. When one allows "facism" no matter how benevolent, it harms all of us.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that an industry has blamed another party ("Our insurance won't let us" being the most famous lie) when they do something unreasonable and want to deflect customer anger about it. If that sounds cynical--welcome to America and the 21st Century, it is simply the sad reality of what we have become.

I know a fellow who sells home beer brewing supplies, has a nice store. The EPA fined him five figures and tried to shut him down for selling an unlicensed pesticide. What was he selling? Something commonly sold for many purposes, sodium hypochlorite IIRC. Brewers use it to sanitize equipment instead of bleach, have used it openly and commonly for many years. But the EPA said "sanitize" means it kill something, and that makes it a pesticide, and neither he nor it was licensed to be sold that way. Someone, for some reason, decided to make him a poster boy.

He did the right thing and took them to court--he had to, to recover the fines--and got demerits inserted in some enterprising bureaucrat's permanent file. One less petty dictator ruining lives now.

And that's what it comes down to. If the industry is lying--the customers deserve to know. If the EPA is exceeding their bounds, the voters deserve to know. There's too much FUD in this world.
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Old 23-09-2010, 16:08   #12
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"Yes, regulation does indicate components can not be shipped pre-charged with refrigerant but most icebox conversion refrigerant units are sold pre- charged. "
What this is done all the time packaged heat pumps come pre charged, split dx systems etc... and on. Sometimes you have to add some if the runs are long on the connections but I haven't seen anything come in without a charge in years.
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Old 23-09-2010, 16:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmsmith View Post
I am considering replacing my dead 10-year-old Adler Barbour Cold Machine (cu-100) with a new Cold Machine... does anyone know if the new unit will be able to hook up to the old unit's evaporator (i.e. same line connections and refrigerant used 10 years later)??
Also, if I decide to go with a "Super Cold Machine" instead will it be compatible with the old evaporator?
I have been frustrated trying to get ahold of any customer support for this product - who do you call with Adler Barbour technical questions?
Thanks as always
While there are any number of ways that one might use an old evaporator plate with a new compressor/condenser, given the cost of changing connectors, purging the system of old refrigerant et al, and the fact that once all that's done, no one is going to guaranty the performance of the system, trying to reuse old equipment is false economy, particularly given that a new evaporator plate may not even cost as much as the time and materials charges for modifying the old. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish old son.

FWIW...
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Old 24-09-2010, 06:07   #14
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Hellosailor, Fortunately the EPA does understand the Clean Air Act Law and is looking out for consumers by permitting slight deviations to EPA’s own federal regulations. You are misunderstanding the laws intent which is to protect the earth’s air and atmosphere not the type hardware used in a boat’s refrigerator. It is obvious why EPA allows 134a refrigerant to be sold to unlicensed persons at this time. There are also good reasons why pre-charged components containing refrigerants are sold and ACME type hardware not used on fractional HP boat refrigeration.

The answer to original question on this thread was " Can a new Adler Barbour condensing unit be installed on an older AB evaporator. The answer is yes, but difficult to do and may compromise new components warrantee.
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Old 24-09-2010, 06:50   #15
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I just changed out my old R-12 adler barbour system with a new one, and the couplings were definitely different. I bit the bullet and got a new evaporator--it looked identical to the old one, but the mounting holes had changed location by 1/4 of an inch (@#$$%^%$). I hope the new one lasts 25 years too.
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