has a 22 year old Frigoboat refrigeration
setup. Separate fridge and freezer
boxes with separate raw water
cooled compressors and evaporator plates for each. I confirmed this unfortunately is an R-12 system manufactured right before the changeover to R134a in the early 90s. Physically the system components don’t look their age – there’s not a spec of rust or corrosion
– but they’re certainly beyond their life expectancy. Until I de-winterized the boat
, everything had been working OK upon decommissioning last fall, although it did struggle to keep a 4 cu ft box below 40 degrees on hot days when its twin will freeze water
solid in a few hours.
When I turned the fridge unit back on for the first time after a cold winter, the compressor
and water pump
both ran and raw water
was flowing but the unit wasn’t cooling
. Luckily the freezer
unit was working fine. In reading some of Richard Kollmann’s and other previous posts it sounds like I have either a refrigerant leak or a blockage of refrigerant flow. I turned the system on and off several times and also tried tapping the accessible portions of the refrigerant lines in the hope it would knock any blockage loose. Didn't work
. It looks like the next troubleshooting tactic is taking a heat gun to the lines – but my optimism that this issue can be resolved without professional help is fading. Should I make a service
call, a technician will probably either tell me the system is obsolete and not worth repairing or will want 3-400 dollars for a repair.
If it comes to replacement, as much as there are disadvantages to the dual box/dual compressor
setup, I’d want to keep it and perhaps even keep the existing freezer unit as long as it continues to work
. For replacement of the fridge, I’d like to go to air-cooled, with something like an Isotherm
2501. We plan to move aboard in a few months, so dependable refrigeration
is a must!
Thoughts? What would you do if you were in my situation?