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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > 80's minifrezer; can this be fixed??? Help!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
davidgsmit
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Default 80's minifrezer; can this be fixed??? Help!

Let me start off by expressing my feelings right now; -"insert every curse word known to man here"-!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Was getting close to finishing my Lagerator. Was really excited because I happened to score a mini freezer on Craigslist rather than a mini fridge and knew this thing was going to be great. Heat exchange is on the back of it as you can see from the pics below, so of course I wasn't worried about hitting any lines. WRONG. Apparently they put one of the lines around the edge of the door to keep it from freezing shut... Something I believe they do these days with some form of heat strip. Needless to say, this was the LAST screw I was putting into it.

So my question is this: by looking at the compressor on the back, does it look like this may be fixable by patching the hole and recharging the system? I know today's mini fridges cannot be recharged, but something tells me it may be a different story on this one because it's a freezer and it's old. I need to have an A/C tech come out to my house to move an A/C line anyway, and was hoping that maybe just maybe they could fix this too. Although HVAC and fridges/freezers aren't exactly the same thing. Any thoughts? Obviously I have a lot of work into this and can't just buy another mini fridge/freezer

-- Excuse the dirty picture of the line I hit; as soon as I hit it I ripped open the top corner as best I could and attempted to solder it shut to no avail... it's now a bit burnt and covered in flux. Where it's silver is where I hit it with the drill right next to the metal--

back.jpg   screw-holes.jpg   line.jpg   inside.jpg   side.jpg  

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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Access ports will need to be brazed in or there are piercing valves that can be installed. Depending on the vintage of the unit. It may have been charged with R-12. Hopefully, there is a data plate that mentions the refrigerant and charge weight. The A/C tech won't have the gas on his truck. R-12 isn't produced any more. Maybe, he will have a drop in gas. In your endeavors to patch the hole. If you got flux inside of the line. The flux will contaminate the oil, reducing the dielectric strength of the oil. Over time, the integrity of the insulation on the motor windings will be breached. However, the tech can install a couple of Sporlan HH driers. The driers will clean the oil. They cost about 50-75 bucks each. The time it takes the tech to chop in access ports, braze the leak, run the unit in a vacuum and recharge the system. You can buy a brand new cooler. Unless, the tech will make a deal. You're over your head with this.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:14 PM   #3
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If you need to find r-12 look on craigslist. I was able to pick up a few cans. You will need a Piercing valve or have one soldered in. I'm sure it could be fixed but you might want to weigh your options.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:29 AM   #4
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Thanks guys... I figured the second i heard the hiss of that line that my lagerator was trash. No luck so far in finding an identiacal unit... Think i will post a number of WTB adds for 100 bucks if somebody knows of the same freezer i can buy somewhere. I have about 15 hrs into the damn thing now. Will just have to be patient i guess... Sure i'll find one within the next 6 months. Amazing how such a tiny hole can have such a massive irreversible impact.

If anybody knows of any other solutions I'm all ears! Luckily i have a backup fridge for now!

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:59 AM   #5
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For well under $100 you can find a used 7cu ft or so chest freezer, which will take up less space, be more efficient, and not require as much work as you put into the first one. Not sure how much much capacity you were looking at with your freezer, but I can easily fit two 6 gallon better bottles in mine, three if I added a collar. Best of luck!

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:37 PM   #6
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Since the condensing coil is on the back and if you won't be needing a heated door frame any longer, the HVAC tech may be able to just cut the door frame loop out and and connect it through on the back of the unit. It will still need service ports and a new filter drier as mentioned previously. A local vocational school might like the challenge and work with you on it for cheap..... Good luck!

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