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Old 06-08-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
abarnett
 
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I'm one of those guys that can never do a project without some catastrophe or other. I decided to retire my 20 year old keezer because it cost a fortune to run, and would collect an inch of water in the bottom no matter what I tried.

So I got myself a brand new full sized fridge to convert. I decided to put the taps through the side, instead of the door. The pilot holes went fine. I put a probe in there and didn't feel anything. The first full size hole went through fine, and there was nothing but foam in the hole.

The second hole nicked a copper tube right at the edge (just out of reach from where I probed). It hissed and gas came out at pretty good pressure for a while, but no fluid came out.

Questions:
1) Am I going to die from breathing whatever came out? It didn't smell like anything.

2) Is there anything I can do to recover from this? Is the fridge toast, is this fixable, or is this not a problem?

3) If fixable, how do I fix it, or is this something I should pay a professional for? (Any pros on here in the Philly area willing to help in exchange for a case of liquid consideration?)

And my apologies - I'm on my phone, and the search function isn't great. I'd be happy for a pointer over to another thread if this is already covered somewhere else.

 
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
day_trippr
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1. Probably no.
2. It's seriously wounded.
3. You'll need a pro, and it'll cost at least a couple hundred bucks to fix.

Sorry...

 
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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Day tripper is right. You made a big boo boo.

That gas coming out was refrigerant gas, most likely R134

The line will have to be replaced, costing hundreds.

Sorry boss!
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
abarnett
 
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Thanks :-(

I foresee some snickering at my expense at the appliance store.

 
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
Junkster
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The same thing happened to a guy in my adult refrigeration class years ago. We retrofitted a condenser coil on the back of the cabinet from another old fridge, recharged it and got it working again. That may be an inexpensive option if you have a trade school in the area that will do the work as an educational opportunity.

 
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
jdeere_man
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Why couldn't you enlarge the hole you cut (carefully), solder the line, and recharge the freon?

 
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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I know it's too late now but if you are going to drill the side of a fridge always drill from the inside!! Even if you drill a 1/8" hole on the outside there is a good chance you will hit a line.

Your fridge will cost more to fix then replace.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdeere_man View Post
Why couldn't you enlarge the hole you cut (carefully), solder the line, and recharge the freon?
That is what I would do. Have the person recharging the freon leak check the repair. They should have a tool made just for that.

Edit: The small freezer I used had a schematic that showed the location of the lines. I used that to avoid drilling through one. Might not hurt to see if you can find one for your fridge.

I see a lot of questions about if breathing around a freon leak is going to kill you. Unless you are huffing it out of a bag or evaporating large amounts in an unventilated space breathing a little it is not going to be a problem. It can be a freezing hazard though if you get the liquid on your hands.

 
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
Bookworm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster Mash View Post
I know it's too late now but if you are going to drill the side of a fridge always drill from the inside!! Even if you drill a 1/8" hole on the outside there is a good chance you will hit a line.
I do not understand how this would make a difference. If the line is in the path of the drill bit you would hit it anyway. Right?

 
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
day_trippr
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Coils in the sides of a fridge are going to be condenser (hot side) tubing, which would be located on the outside of the insulation between liner and exterior skin. So, if you cautiously drilled a small hole just through the liner, then probed through the insulation, you can find the tubing before you stick a drill bit through it...

Cheers!

 
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