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Old 23-01-2019, 16:30   #1
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Refrigeration help/advice

Hi all,

Ok, not sure this was the correct forum but here goes.

I have an old, probably 24 year old salt water cooled Grunert Refer system with 2 holding plates in 2 separate compartments. This unit is 120 vac.

Last year I had to replace the salt water pump. Ok, easy to fix.

Recently it stopped cooling. I checked it over and the sight glass is full of bubbles leading me to believe it was low on charge. Connecting the manifold gauges confirmed this. Ok, put in 2 cans of R-12. Each can is supposed to 1 lb. Pressure still low so not enough Freon. Worked for a while and now it's not working as well as even when I put gas in, like 3 days ago. Ok, need more gas and undoubtedly need to track down the leak that must be there. R-12 isn't easy or super affordable to come by in the U.S.

I have a 4k geneset on board so the 120 vac isn't an issue but given the age, one thermostat stopped working, now the leak(s) I am considering a new system.

My boxes are 6cf and 9.2 cf. Both can be made smaller, they are too deep anyway.

Questions. 1. Am I crazy for thinking of a new system when this one in theory should be easily repaired? 2. If I replaced the system, what system might I consider.

Thanks
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Old 23-01-2019, 17:08   #2
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

Iíd try having what I have fixed first, and maybe converting to 134a.
A decent fridge tech should be able to do it.
Replacing may be more expensive than you realize.
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Old 04-03-2019, 20:06   #3
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

Consider one of the compressor type self contained units boondockers use. Some of the higher end units are quite impressive, and they are designed to operate on solar power directly. They often have digital thermostats, which are far superior to ordinary fridge thermostats as far as maintaining accurate temps...... few things enrage me more than my fridge going on an "excursion" and freezing my produce due to the crappy thermostats they use.



There are a number of Utube discussions / reviews on these, and once you check one out, others pop up. Here are 3 links.... as a place to start. I personally think these could be a good option, but they may not be what you need......... the good stuff is never cheap.





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Old 05-03-2019, 00:10   #4
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

My system was pronounced dead. I might have been able to repair it but in the end, $1300 for a Snomaster dual compartment ice chest that runs on 12 or 120 volt made sense ,long term. Comes with a 5 year guarantee and a standard Dan Foss compressor. Thanks for the reply. I spent a lot of time on this one. The refer guy who told me I was DOA and why, sells Adler Barbour etc. He told me to buy a cheap dorm fridge or the more expensive chest thing I bought. Was onboard for an hour plus drive time and since he didn't fix anything, would not take any money. If you need an honest guy in Portland OR, he's the guy.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:47   #5
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

I've worked on many MVAC systems (tractor & combine AC). I had to convert everything to R134A, and while it works, it's not nearly as efficient or effective as R12. It also doesn't like to stay in systems due to smaller molecular size. Unfortunately for the owners of these older converted systems, this means more ongoing cost. It is always best to have a system designed from the factory for the refrigerant used. Those will always be more reliable and less expensive to maintain and keep operating.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:21   #6
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Mark View Post
My system was pronounced dead. I might have been able to repair it but in the end, $1300 for a Snomaster dual compartment ice chest that runs on 12 or 120 volt made sense ,long term. Comes with a 5 year guarantee and a standard Dan Foss compressor. Thanks for the reply. I spent a lot of time on this one. The refer guy who told me I was DOA and why, sells Adler Barbour etc. He told me to buy a cheap dorm fridge or the more expensive chest thing I bought. Was onboard for an hour plus drive time and since he didn't fix anything, would not take any money. If you need an honest guy in Portland OR, he's the guy.

Why not keep your Holding Plates and recycle them to run from a new 12v compressor?

We do about 5-6 of these Holding Plate Recycle projects a month, where the engine driven or AC compressor is dead but the holding plates are still good. The plates can be converted from R12 to R134a.

If interested in talking tech details about such a holding plate recycle project, just shoot me an email at Info@TechnauticsInc.com
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:52   #7
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

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Why not keep your Holding Plates and recycle them to run from a new 12v compressor?

We do about 5-6 of these Holding Plate Recycle projects a month, where the engine driven or AC compressor is dead but the holding plates are still good. The plates can be converted from R12 to R134a.

If interested in talking tech details about such a holding plate recycle project, just shoot me an email at Info@TechnauticsInc.com



Recycling is all well and good, but self contained systems such as these coolers do not have long runs of tubing or hoses. They are integrated sealed systems with virtually no place to eventually develop leaks. I would advocate recycling the plates to someone else who wants to build a system, rather than having a new system built around them. Recycling as you describe is not always the most cost effective, or even environmentally friendly course to take when you weight all the factors...



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Old 05-03-2019, 08:58   #8
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

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I would advocate recycling the plates to someone else who wants to build a system, rather than having a new system built around them. .
Since the only difference between a New System and a Recycled Holding Plate system is the Holding Plate, there isn't an increased leak risk factor or compromise. As part of the recycle project the original holding plates are leaked checked, pressure tested and tested in our test box. The recycled holding plates are then sent out with all the fittings and charge as if it was a brand new system. The Holding Plate doesn't care what type/brand of compressor is injecting refrigerant through the TXV.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:14   #9
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

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Ok, need more gas and undoubtedly need to track down the leak that must be there. R-12 isn't easy or super affordable to come by in the U.S.
I too have a 120V R-12 system although at 1/8hp it is much smaller than yours. I needed some more Freon for it (The leak was at a service port.) and was told it was expensive, difficult to locate, and the stuff on ebay was mostly counterfeit. I told my tale of woe to several fellow sailors at home and in the next few days had five cans total from three people. All had stashed some away in their garages years ago when the ban began to service cars that they no longer own.

Sometimes life just brings you what you need and places it in your hands.

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Old 05-03-2019, 13:02   #10
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Re: Refrigeration help/advice

I too still have about 4 lbs of virgin R12 in storage.
One day Iíll find a use for it.
Itís not illegal if your licensed.
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