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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Bakersfield, CA
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    3

    1950's refrigerator problem

    ok so I have a 1950's refrigerator/freezer im working on. I have it narrowed down to a loss of charge. I have since then repaired the leaks. now apparently there is a primary and a secondary circuit, but only 1 compressor. I have installed a service port on the suction line maybe about 12" from the compressor. I evacuated and charged with the primary charge of refrigerant it calls for, let it run over night and the freezer section kicks ass, but the refer side doesn't seem to cool down at all. now this is where the secondary charge comes into play, and where my question is...where is the secondary circuit? there is a maze of copper and aluminum tubing, and then some other part im not sure about, and if u ask me it looks like a manifold of some sort. also, attached to the back of this device is a linkage that connects to a dial inside the fridge that says turn clockwise for cooler and ccw for not so cool. iv attached pictures and if anybody could please help it would be greatly appreciated. Name:  1950s refer 1.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  7.8 KBName:  1950s refer 2.jpg
Views: 234
Size:  9.9 KB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
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    38
    Quote Originally Posted by imoveheat View Post
    ok so I have a 1950's refrigerator/freezer im working on. I have it narrowed down to a loss of charge. I have since then repaired the leaks. now apparently there is a primary and a secondary circuit, but only 1 compressor. I have installed a service port on the suction line maybe about 12" from the compressor. I evacuated and charged with the primary charge of refrigerant it calls for, let it run over night and the freezer section kicks ass, but the refer side doesn't seem to cool down at all. now this is where the secondary charge comes into play, and where my question is...where is the secondary circuit? there is a maze of copper and aluminum tubing, and then some other part im not sure about, and if u ask me it looks like a manifold of some sort. also, attached to the back of this device is a linkage that connects to a dial inside the fridge that says turn clockwise for cooler and ccw for not so cool. iv attached pictures and if anybody could please help it would be greatly appreciated. Name:  1950s refer 1.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  7.8 KBName:  1950s refer 2.jpg
Views: 234
Size:  9.9 KB

    What are the specifics to your refer, such as brand name, and model # ? I have worked on pleanty of the older ones, but am not familiar with this dual charge circuit manifold you speak of. Most old refers have the evaporator in the freezer compartment, and vent thru to the cold box, via a louver, or fan. From your explanation, you have some sort of liquid line manifold that feeds 2 seperate metering devices. Post the info, and i will see what i can do, or maybe another member is familiar with it. PS: Did you try and turn the knob to the full cold postion?

    Wayne
    Last edited by lzenglish; 04-18-2013 at 02:10 AM. Reason: added question

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
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    3
    Quote Originally Posted by lzenglish View Post
    What are the specifics to your refer, such as brand name, and model # ? I have worked on pleanty of the older ones, but am not familiar with this dual charge circuit manifold you speak of. Most old refers have the evaporator in the freezer compartment, and vent thru to the cold box, via a louver, or fan. From your explanation, you have some sort of liquid line manifold that feeds 2 seperate metering devices. Post the info, and i will see what i can do, or maybe another member is familiar with it. PS: Did you try and turn the knob to the full cold postion?

    Wayne
    Its a GE, the model # is an ah-83-aa16, ser # is h3133-549. its an r12 system and there are 2 different circuits,but with only 1 compressor. so the discharge line runs through the whole back panel that acts as the condenser, then it cap tubes up into the freezer section, its metered there and flashes off through all that aluminum tubing which wraps around the whole freezer section,then the suction line comes off the freezer box,goes into this manifold,comes out(so really all it does is pass through),then goes back to the compressor. now when I pressure tested,evacuated and charged through my new port on the suction line just a few inches from the compressor, in no way was the refer section effected as far as pressures go. the 2 other lines that go in and out of that manifold are separate circuits. so heres what iv done since I posted...the 2 lines that run through that manifold and down through the refer section is where i added another one of my own ports, pressure tested and evacuated,then charged with the secondary refrigerant weight and turned the thing on. now the refer section works and is at 36*. I completely understand how refrigeration works as im a journeyman mechanic, but I just cant seem to figure out what that part is, and why and how it works. and how does the refer section get cold if it doesn't have a compressor, or tied in with the refer circuit? I thought maybe its a heat exchanger of some sort? im at a loss...but good news is...IS THE DAMN THING IS RUNNING! I guess you can say I fixed it, just doing what I thought would work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    38
    That is Great, Glad you got it going! But, as a fellow A/C guy, you know i need to look into this, and find out just what the deal is here! The lines wrapped around have to be your evaporator. Did you charge it until you had frost back to your compressor, then bleed back a bit, to prevent slugging?

    Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Stongsville Oh
    Posts
    895
    "off through all that aluminum tubing which wraps around the whole freezer section"
    As a " journeyman" I think if you called it an evaporator we would understand. Your description of the system has me baffled but I think you have an epr for the refer evap possiblbly wrapped on the liner of the box. This would maintain an evaporator pressure/temperature above freezing. You call it two separate circuits with one compressor, I believe you have two evaporators with an epr.
    ckartson
    I didn't write the book I just read it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    38
    Quote Originally Posted by imoveheat View Post
    Its a GE, the model # is an ah-83-aa16, ser # is h3133-549. its an r12 system and there are 2 different circuits,but with only 1 compressor. so the discharge line runs through the whole back panel that acts as the condenser, then it cap tubes up into the freezer section, its metered there and flashes off through all that aluminum tubing which wraps around the whole freezer section,then the suction line comes off the freezer box,goes into this manifold,comes out(so really all it does is pass through),then goes back to the compressor. now when I pressure tested,evacuated and charged through my new port on the suction line just a few inches from the compressor, in no way was the refer section effected as far as pressures go. the 2 other lines that go in and out of that manifold are separate circuits. so heres what iv done since I posted...the 2 lines that run through that manifold and down through the refer section is where i added another one of my own ports, pressure tested and evacuated,then charged with the secondary refrigerant weight and turned the thing on. now the refer section works and is at 36*. I completely understand how refrigeration works as im a journeyman mechanic, but I just cant seem to figure out what that part is, and why and how it works. and how does the refer section get cold if it doesn't have a compressor, or tied in with the refer circuit? I thought maybe its a heat exchanger of some sort? im at a loss...but good news is...IS THE DAMN THING IS RUNNING! I guess you can say I fixed it, just doing what I thought would work.
    Ok, after dusting off some of my old refer book collection, I found your GE circuit. What you have is common for other domestic units of the time period. Basically, what looks like a manifold, is called a "Header". The circuit works as follows: Compressor pumps high psi vapor into the condenser, then the liquid passes thru a cap tube, which is tied to the suction line return, for heat exchange. Then, onto the first of your 2 evaporators, which is the freezer first, and then thru the header, and onto the fresh food evaporator, and then home to the compressor. It is all tied in together in series, so you must of been undercharged, had a restriction, or did not allow enough time for the fresh food compartment to get cool last night.

    Wayne

  7. #7
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    Apr 2013
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
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    3
    oh wow, interesting...what book was that out of? id like to research it more.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by imoveheat View Post
    oh wow, interesting...what book was that out of? id like to research it more.

    "AUDELS REFRIGERATION and AIR CONDITIONING GUIDE" Copyright 1944 thru 1959, page 235.

    Wayne

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