Author Topic: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?  (Read 14385 times)

Offline Ronyeager

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How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« on: June 16, 2011, 12:54:52 PM »
Hello, I have come across a few refrigerators that do not get cool enough.  What are the main causes for a fridge not getting cold enough and how do I know if it needs freon?  Thanks for your help

Offline JWWebster

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 03:46:01 PM »
Get the access panel off the evaporator and see if frost is covering all the coils.
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Offline Ronyeager

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 05:21:09 PM »
Okay if there is frost is that mean I am good to go?  One of them will frost really quickly at the top and the person I got it from said he thinks it needs a recharge.  But, doing a recharge isn't that common is it.

Offline PARTech

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 06:20:01 PM »
Let it run for a while and make sure there is frost on all the coils, partial frosting indicates a low refrigerant level.  While you have the panel off make sure the fan runs as well, doesn't matter if it gets cold and you don't circulate the air. :)
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Offline jumptrout51

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 06:53:09 PM »
And tight door seals.
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Offline rickgburton

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 10:33:41 AM »
You connect your refrigeration gages to the system low side and high side. That takes the guess work out of the equation. I haven't seen any refrigeration police around here but if you "charge" a system knowing it has a leak (size matters) the EPA can fine you up to $2500
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Offline Ronyeager

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 05:27:52 PM »
My guess is that if it is low on refrigerant than the fridge does in fact have a leak?  So if the fridge is low on refrigerant then I have two problems, one I have no refrigerant and two there is a leak somewhere in the system, correct?

Offline AJ

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 05:33:13 PM »
Correct, a refrigeration system does not use refrigerant (Freon) like a car uses gas. If a refrigeration system is low on refrigerant it leaked out.

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Offline Ronyeager

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2011, 05:35:34 PM »
So short answer.  If there is a refrigerant leak, scrap the repair??

Offline AJ

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2011, 05:44:11 PM »
I would say it depends on what you want to spend on it.
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Offline JWWebster

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2011, 06:47:37 PM »
The ice box only holds around 4 ounces of freon. So any leak and you would know it immediately. You can bubble test suspect areas for leaks. A tiny pinhole leak is hard to detect so it may take years for you to have to add any more. A severe leak would be easy to spot. Leaks occur where brain dead manufacturers place the tubing in a water pan or too close to the defrost heater.
May the hinges of our friendship
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About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
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Offline Ronyeager

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 07:06:57 PM »
So that should give me an idea of where to look for the leak then.  So, in order to fix that problem completely I would have to replace the tubing then recharge the fridge?

Offline JWWebster

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 07:38:41 PM »
No tubing replacement. We are talking tiny leak here at the most. You either solder the hole closed or use epoxy putty to seal the leak. Then you evacuate the air out of the system to prevent ice from blocking freon flow. Then you very slowly add small amounts of gas till all the coils in the evaporator are frosted over or 4 ounces whichever comes first. You want 5 PSI on the suction side, any more than that and she ices up on the tap or chokes down.
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline Ronyeager

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 08:27:29 PM »
Extremely helpful information JW.  Thank you for your knowledge I have a hard time getting people who have trades like this to give me any real knowledge about their trade.  They act like they are the only people in the world who can possibly understand what is going on with it, or just do it themselves; which I kind of understand.  But, anyhow I really appreciate it.
Hey JW, can I get your thoughts on something?  I am 25 yrs old and have some knowledge on repairing appliances, but, have a huge willingness to learn.  How would an entry level guy like myself get job doing repairs?  Any good tips? This is something I really want to do and have been working at it for almost a year now.  First appliances installs and now working independently trying to learn repairs. 

Offline JWWebster

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Re: How do I know if a fridge needs a freon Charge?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 08:49:16 PM »
If I was you I would go to trade school. You will probably get a job faster while in school than just jumping from job to job. Today's appliances are way more technical than old school appliances of the past. Or you might want to hang around here and ask questions. What we do here is trade off ideas. If you see something useful to tell you pass it along and we all gain from it. Instead of withholding info it freely flows from this site and all of us benefit from it. Their are guys in here that have been around forever and guys in here that are still in school and all in between.
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

 

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