Friday, August 3, 2012

Charging 134a Freon On Residential Refrigerators.

Charging 134a freon  on residential  refrigerators.

If you own a refrigerator built after 1995 chances are it uses 134a coolant. Here at On-Time Appliance we use the large 30# cans but this is not piratical for the average person who owns a refrigerator.  I have found though 134a is 134a the only difference is the "Stop Leak" additive they add to the can. I have never tried this so I do not know if it works in refrigerators. It might end up restricting your sealed system. For the bold ones who have tried, leave a comment and I will update this article.
134a is suppose to be the Environmentally friendly coolant. It is more than the older R12 but it is still freon so be careful. Those of us with the E.P. A. License have to recover and be accountable for the freon we recover and use. This is an expense  added to the bill which unfortunately in many cases the owner disposes of the refrigerator (adding to the land fills). With this article I hope to show it is fairly easy to add coolant with out all the extra equipment and still have a reliable refrigerator.

After you  checked all other possibilities  and determined that your refrigerator has a coolant leak ( I say coolant because freon is a brand name like Kleenex is to tissue)



Supco Piercing Valve




You must first Tap the process tube on your compressor. The best way is to solder a valve onto the process tube of the compressor. But they have a non soldier piercing valve that works very well. Simply follow the enclosed instructions. The only tip I would give would be to tighten the screws until they are very firm to prevent leaks.









Enviro-Safe R12/R22 Can Tap with Gauge - R-134a Can to R-12/R-22 Port






Now that you have your compressor taped your ready to check and to recharge your system. Screw the hose onto the piercing valve and and open it. (Follow the enclosed instructions that came with the valve.) Make sure your gauge is turned off. If your not sure which way that is it will become obvious to you when you open the piercing valve. If you here gas escaping just turn the gauge's valve the other way.






Notice the " 0 " Scale on the gauge, to the right is green ( negative or in a vacuum ) to the left is black. Disregard the Blue graphs they are not needed here. We want to see 3-5 lbs. If you are low on freon it will be negative. If the gauge is 10 or above your compressor is defective or you have a restriction in your sealed system. If that is the case you must call a Appliance Repair Company to repair your refrigerator.

OK your gauge shows negative so lets put some coolant in. 

  1. Attach your hose to your can of coolant and pierce the can. Now you need to blow the air from your gauges. If you bought the gauges shown here the small amount air that will enter your system should not pose a problem. If your using longer hoses do not skip this next step.
  2. Close off the piercing valve installed on the compressor and loosen the hose connected to it. Open the can of coolant. Now slightly open the valve on your gauge until you hear gas escaping the loosen hose by the piercing valve, quickly tighten the hose and turn the valve off at your gauge.
  3. Open the piercing valve. Now your ready to recharge your system with 134a. Hold the can upright (most blended coolants need to charge with the can upside down, in its liquid state. This requires a different charging method.) and open the valve on your gauge. Let the coolant flow for about 10 seconds then turn off the valve at the gauge, check you pressure. Remember we are looking for 3-5 lbs. You will have to do this multiple times. Increase or decrease the amount of time you have your gauge valve open to tweak the pressure into place.
 After 10 -15 min check and adjust the pressure if needed. Tighten the piercing valve on the compressor and remove the charging hose.
Lat time I checked the prices to do this job was $34.00 if you buy everything you need from Amazon. You still have a leak in your system so every so often you might need to put a little more coolant in depending on the size of your leak. I have seen refrigerators last several years before another recharge is needed.
If you find the coolant leaks out quickly, check to be sure your piercing valve is good and tight. You might have to use some "Stop Leak". But that's for another Article.
 Leave your questions and comment below. We answer them all. Thanks from On-Time appliance.

 



































31 comments:

  1. Is the compressor supposed to be running during all these procedures?

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I enjoyed reading your blog and learned lots of tips

    Heating and Air Conditioning Courses

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  3. Thanks for very easy to follow procedure. I am planning to try this soon. Can I use automotive R134a can with lubricant+stop leak+moisture capture? Thanks.

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  4. What would be cost of freon per KG and how much required to refeel one house hold fridge?

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  5. I did this redneck style & my fridge ran at 35 degrees for 3.5 years (better than new)
    now I'm doing it again ! Hoping 4 anothr 3 years !

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  6. Will stopleak work for refrigerators, or do the smaller orifices and tubes mean it'll just gum things up? I ask because I've got a leak in my evaporator and it's basically impossible to get to (it's integrated into the skin of the refrigerator).

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  7. http://www.leakfreeze.com/
    This stuff works great on small leaks and doesn't clog up the system. If you get the leak freeze with magic frost it will also lubricate your compressor for you. We use it at our shop all the time

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  8. If my system is totally empty and PSI is "0", should I pull a vacuum first to get the pressure to negative 30 psi before beginning the recharge? I assume you'd want to use a vacuum pump to pull out any air to allow the coolant to flow in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely if it has been opened! If it is still at 1 psi to .10 psi,that means there is still a little coolant in the system.You DO NOT want air mixed in with the coolant.Also when you vacuum the system, it removes any moisture trapped in the system from "opening" it up

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  9. If you have a vacuum pump. But most home owners do not have one

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    Replies
    1. If I don't pull a vacuum will it still work? I'm pretty sure the freon is empty.

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  10. With the stop leak, when do you put it in? Right after I pull a vacuum on the system, or should I charge it some first?
    Also, how much should I use for a mini-fridge / wine chiller that only takes about 60g of refrigerant?

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  11. So I broke down and ripped the foam insulation out of my fridge to get to the stamped aluminum evaporator because I was a bit worried that the stop-leak would screw up my compressor. So now I've identified a pinhole leak in the evaporator (looks like one of those stamped aluminum things you see in mini-fridges, but it's totally flat), and I'd like to know the best way to fix it. Any ideas? JB Weld? Can I use my propane torch and plumbers solder?

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  12. I just did a recharge on a small refridg I added what the tag said and now the compressor is noisy and shuts down after 3-4 min of running and no cooling. This is a new unit that was not charged from new. It had a pierce valve already on it. As I look at your compressor diagram there are three tubes one is at top of compressor and two at bottom. My charge valve is at the top tube. Would using that tube cause my problem.
    I also charged as a liquid. I do mostly auto air. Thanks

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  13. All I can find in 134A with dye or with leak sealer have heard these will clog the system.where can I get straight 134a.

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  14. I have a commercial fridge with a leak in the evaporative coil. The company sent me a new external coil which I need to solder on. Will this method work for recharging the system or will I need to vacuum the system first?

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  15. I'm new to the housing market and learning things as I go along. These are all great tips for my older appliances that I inherited within the home. I'll have to study some more so I'm doing everything properly. http://kitchenandhomebylynn.com

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  16. Got a Maytag side by side from a friend. Been sitting a couple years. Plugged it in and let run for 3 days. Air over the evap at 40. Put a tap valve on and it was running at 20 hg. Charged it up and line freees back. Must be slugging liquid? Anyway when I charged it up I vacuumed the gauge set, lines, ect before charging. This is 134a by the way.I cannot get it over 5hg without it frosting back. at 0 lbs it frees half way back to the compressor. Cannot get the exit air temp lower than 20. I haven't put a tap on the high side yet. Do you think I should suck it all out? Does it sound like a slight restriction? air in the system perhaps? Should I check the head first and see if it is high? what do you think is the likely cause and what would you recommend? ps. Coil is clean and the evap fan is working fine.

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  17. R-134a refrigerant is NOT a Freon. Freon is a trademark of DuPont Chemicals. DuPont calls 134a Suva.

    Also refrigerant and coolant are not the same either, coolants are just heated and cooled to do their job, refrigerants change phase, IE from liquid to vapor and back to liquid.

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  18. Some of the words that are technical terms sound made up at times. I actually had a coworker who had a debacle with her fridge dying and trying to get it fixed. It was a nightmare because everyone kept pointing fingers at a different company. I still don't know what the final resolution was.
    http://www.robinsonsappliancecare.net/Services/

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  19. Always wonder why this kind of information is not more redely available everytime I ask the local appliance place they say whooooo... hands off this is for professionals only not worth it chuck the fridge well shoot my fridge is in brand new condition and I am having a hard time with chucking it what happened to recycle we are a thruway society yet they say recycle.If they sell this kit for leaky car air cond then why not a home refridgerator.I don't get it.Den

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  20. This is really neat. I never knew how a refrigerator really worked. I just knew what its function was. This is really insightful. http://www.shoretvmorganwhite.com

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  21. Added a can of 134a to the whirlpool fridge with a piercing valve to the low (cold) side and heard a slight hissing sound in the bottom freezer. It seemed to cool for a bit although not really cold enough to freeze (all fans seem to be working). Later.. nothing. The slight cooling went away....Compressor seems to be working.... the hot tube got real hot in spurts at first.....but the hot coils never got warm....The fridge spent a cold Utah winter in the garage with a few days way below zero. I suspect a leak in the cold coils (freezer). heard a lot about the cap filter? I'm not a fridge tech but willing. Any input would be great...TIA

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  22. Should the compressor be running or unplugged while testing the system pressure?

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  23. I have an old fridge that I have had for the longest time. I know that I should get it cleaned soon. The grates on the bottom are very dirty. What would be a good way to clean them? http://www.shoretvmorganwhite.com

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  24. when charging the freon, did you turn the compressor on or keep it off? thanks,

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  25. Banyo is a specialized retailer selling Gazco Gas Fire Products and accessories with manufacturer guarantee. Great deal for Gazco Studio 2 Gas Fires. We deliver across UK.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My refrigerator isn't blowing out cool air like it should. The top is still keeping food frozen but the bottom isn't doing anything. & the bottom inside the fridge keeps leaking on my shelves. I can't even hear my fridge when it comes on. I only her where it tries to blow out cold air every 10 to 15 minutes. But it not fulley blowing it out. What does this mean? Do I need freon or a new refrigerator?

    ReplyDelete