I am new to the forum. To start with, I am not a HVAC professional nor am I super experienced with it. ( so be easy on me!) My background is in restoring antique 1930's-50's radios, old equipment, and cars. I have a few old fridges I use daily from the 50's.
I recently picked up a 1942 era GE fridge for $20. It works fine but I will need to re-wire it. My concern however is that this- like many units of this era- uses Sulfur dioxide as the refrigerant. From what I've researched its a toxic substance that causes severe respiratory irritation and in higher concentrations- potentially worse. I've read accounts where people decided to take ice picks to the ice boxes and punctured the coolant line with nasty results. I of course have no intention of doing that. But I am still a tad leery of it.
So I'm seeking some opinions of what I might consider:
A: Let it be. Its not leaking, so leave well enough alone? The 50's fridge and freezer I have are all original and use R12. They work as good as new so I didn't do a thing to them other than re-wire them. But R12 is inert, so not as much a concern as sulfur dioxide. If the thing springs a leak... that's not the best thing in the world.
B: See if there is any other refrigerant that is compatible, which I
doubt since other coolants will have totally different characteristics and I'd probably ruin the original compressor.
C: Have a professional Evac and flush the system of the old refrigerant and then find a suitable modern compressor unit and refill with modern refrigerant. I can weld and fabricate a new frame or cross member if needed for this.
Just seeking some opinions.
Thanks in advance.