I have a little black GE fridge that I bought in college. I am a home brewer and decided to make the fridge my wort chiller. I have a temp controller to keep the temp at a nice cool 65, and I hooked it all up, works great. I then (very stupidly) decided to mount the thing on the side of the fridge. I drilled a hole in one of the R 134a lines. Like I said, really stupid mistake. I was able to seal the hole using a small piece of metal and some epoxy, but now (obviously) the fridge has no r-134a. It also has no fittings, just three lines coming out of the compressor, the send and return, and what I'm assuming to be the fill tube from the factory, which has been crimped and brazened shut.
I'm really stubborn, and have an MS in engineering (though I have occasional lapses in common sense). I don't want to buy a new fridge, and I don't want to take it to a pro. I really just want to get a little can of r-134a and get it into the fridge somehow. I'm thinking I can cut off the brazened/crimped part of the fill tube, install a valve and compression fitting. What could I do after that? Could I jimmy some kind of adapter to go from 1/4" line to the can? Or do they sell something at home depot or somewhere online that could go between the can and the 1/4" line? What kind of pressures are involved?
I'm also guessing I'll need to have a vacuum to pull the r-134a into the system and replace the air that is currently there. Could I turn on the compressor while I do it and create the vacuum that way?
I know, I could just buy a fridge on craigslist and call it good, but I really want to repair this thing, I think it would be fun and I like learning how things work. Also, I want to redeem my stupid actions with some decent fix it skills. Bear in mind that my requirements for this fridge are pretty minimal, I only need it to get the stuff inside down to about 65, so a partial solution is also welcome!