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Old 05-06-2016, 06:47   #1
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Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

We had our Cruiseaire AC units recharged recently and because our Vitrifrigo drawer units (D160 model) were not cooling quite enough, we had the man look at recharging that unit as well. He pulled it out and said that the unit is not rechargeable. Does that sound like it makes sense? What kind of $3200 fridge can't be recharged ? I've searched the web but can't find anything. Any ideas out there? Thanks!


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Old 05-06-2016, 06:54   #2
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

I am no A/C guy but I am betting if there is are no fittings to add Freon then a good A/C tech could add them, evacuate the system and charge the system right..... just a thought.

Ken
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:57   #3
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Yes, they can be added. However, you have a leak somewhere, the refrigerant does not need topped of unless it has leaked.

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Old 05-06-2016, 08:36   #4
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Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

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Originally Posted by Our Tyme View Post
I am no A/C guy but I am betting if there is are no fittings to add Freon then a good A/C tech could add them, evacuate the system and charge the system right..... just a thought.

Ken

Thanks for the responses. I will look into adding fittings and searching for a leak...


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Old 05-06-2016, 09:07   #5
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

There is a dye you can put in it after the fittings are installed that will make the leak easy to find. Not sure of your skills, and no negative intended, but maybe an A/C guy looking for side work would be an option.

Just a thought

Ken
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Old 05-06-2016, 14:57   #6
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Oh for sure I won't be doing this myself. No offense taken. 😃


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Old 05-06-2016, 20:27   #7
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

To bad you are so far away. My son and son -in-law both work on AC&R.

Good luck. Hope it works out for you

Ken
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:56   #8
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Be very careful who you pick to repair your system. These small boat capillary systems are very charge sensitive . The person trouble shooting and repairing yours should be fimiliar with these systems . May be cheeper to replace it .

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Old 06-06-2016, 07:31   #9
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Typhoon is right, your A/C guy may not know a thing about capillary tube style 12/24v marine refrigeration which is quite different from air conditioning systems. He may have said what he did because he didn't want to work on it.

Note also that I don't see that Vitrifrigo has a drawer unit called D160, so it may not even be something that is normally installed in the marine/rv environment. They do have a DW180. If this is what you have, then I believe it uses a Danfoss/Secop BD35 compressor which has service valves. Here is the link to the Vitrifrigo America site:

Best to have a marine refrigeration tech look at your system. There are a variety of reasons a system doesn't cool and lack of refrigerant is simply one. If it's not the reason for your system's under-performance, and you add refrigerant anyway, well, you've just created another problem that could damage the compressor. Vitrifrigo can direct you to a service tech in your area.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:36   #10
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Just for knowledge, propane makes a good refrigerant, it is slightly colder than R12, the propane number is R502 to get info about it. It is much cheaper than R12, R134A, and all the rest. All the refineries use it for their AC. People have lobbied to make it illegal, because it can explode, and you have it inside the passenger compartment. Well that 20 gal gas tank in the back of your car can do quite a lot of damage also. They don't lobby to eliminate it. I think the main reason for the lobby is to keep selling the real expensive stuff. I used it in place of R12, it worked OK, every 20 minutes or so it would freeze the coils you turn off the system and it keeps blowing cold while you defrost the coils, then you start the compressor back up and continue on. Normally if you have a leak, it is so small and slow, you aren't going to have any problem.

Life is dangerous, none of use will make it out alive, even if we do lobby and outlaw stupid stuff. I'm much more in favor of educating the public and let them make the decision about risk vs reward.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:59   #11
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Be careful about using a die, it can plug up the system, your system has a port for charging, etc.. get a marine fridge guy.
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:17   #12
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

You are probably lucky that the servicing connection could not be located. All refrigeration units sold after 1995 are required to have these servicing connections. Confirmation that any refrigerant was lost before tampering with this fragile refrigerant quantity or quality is important. There are other reasons why your unit is not cooling enough other than refrigerant volume. Is amperage draw below normal for that size and speed compressor? Is the evaporator surface covered at least 80% with frost after running for some time? Has the dust and dirt been removed from condenser recently? Did this unit ever perform better with similar ambient air and water temperature conditions? Is this a water cooled unit?
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:23   #13
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

The propane refrigerant is hydro carbon refrigerant . Totally o zone safe and non toxic. Up here it is called R12a . Many advantages over R134 . Lower head pressures , it's colder and the molecules are very large so it doesn't tend to leak out as much . But it is flammable , just like that can of hairspray in you head or that can of spray paint under you settee . R134 will burn too when mixed with your systems oil . All things have trade offs , just always label what's in your system so there are no surprises for the next chap that has to service the system ,

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Old 06-06-2016, 15:58   #14
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jheldatksuedu View Post
Just for knowledge, propane makes a good refrigerant, it is slightly colder than R12, the propane number is R502 to get info about it. It is much cheaper than R12, R134A, and all the rest. All the refineries use it for their AC. People have lobbied to make it illegal, because it can explode, and you have it inside the passenger compartment. Well that 20 gal gas tank in the back of your car can do quite a lot of damage also. They don't lobby to eliminate it. I think the main reason for the lobby is to keep selling the real expensive stuff. I used it in place of R12, it worked OK, every 20 minutes or so it would freeze the coils you turn off the system and it keeps blowing cold while you defrost the coils, then you start the compressor back up and continue on. Normally if you have a leak, it is so small and slow, you aren't going to have any problem.

Life is dangerous, none of use will make it out alive, even if we do lobby and outlaw stupid stuff. I'm much more in favor of educating the public and let them make the decision about risk vs reward.
Please be informed before considering changing refrigerants. Yes, propane is a good refrigerant in selected circles, but no, refineries do not all use it for their a/c. Many types of processing plants do use it, some for start-up of the process and some may even use it in the industrial refrigeration process. Generally, the a/c is kept separate for good reasons, performance being the key one.
We choose the refrigerant for the temperature we want. I would not use R407C in an industrial process where I need sub-zero temps, but for my domestic a/c it is beaut. Also would not use it to cool the beer in Broken Hill, partially because it hates >46 deg.C condensing and partially because it is not the best at sub-zero evaporating, but for a/c where I can use the glide - great.
Horses for Courses, propane on a boat is dubious because of leaks - it is an LPG and thus sinks to the bilges. Save $50 now but......?
Other key issue is the oil, some use synthetic, some will mix. Flushing a system is not always 100% effective and failure to remove all traces of a non-compatible oil will cause headaches (and wallet ache) later.
Roger
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Old 06-06-2016, 16:18   #15
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Re: Vitrifrigo freezer/fridge freon recharge?

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Originally Posted by Anna Sail View Post
Typhoon is right, your A/C guy may not know a thing about capillary tube style 12/24v marine refrigeration which is quite different from air conditioning systems. He may have said what he did because he didn't want to work on it.



Note also that I don't see that Vitrifrigo has a drawer unit called D160, so it may not even be something that is normally installed in the marine/rv environment. They do have a DW180. If this is what you have, then I believe it uses a Danfoss/Secop BD35 compressor which has service valves. Here is the link to the Vitrifrigo America site:



Best to have a marine refrigeration tech look at your system. There are a variety of reasons a system doesn't cool and lack of refrigerant is simply one. If it's not the reason for your system's under-performance, and you add refrigerant anyway, well, you've just created another problem that could damage the compressor. Vitrifrigo can direct you to a service tech in your area.

Thanks, and it is indeed the DW180 (bad memory on my part)


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