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Lets see your IH Refridgerator

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Greg R

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Not sure by what you mean by “sponge”.

I posted the definition. You're getting the air or whatever out faster buy pumping out the gas you put in with it.

Get the vacuum as low as you can then break vacuum with the refrigerant up to 0 psi. Then re-evacuate. Repeat once more and then do a deep vac.
12Psi suction. Have no idea if that is good. I was used to about 30Psi on mobile AC

Don't even connect the two! They have totally different operating parameters. Do you have a pocket P/T chart? That'll tell ya whether you're close. Off of memory for 12 you're somewhere around 0-5* But wait and see where it settles out and note the compressor shell temp over time. You'll want to shoot for a +20* evap so press. is around 18-20 psi with a frost line on the suction about 6" from the compressor. Cap tube systems take time to settle with each charge adjustment.
 
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TravelerMan79

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Checked again this morning, and suction pressure was between 2-5 psi. I’m not getting any frost on suction line. Suction line temp was about 58F, with evap plate temp between -2F-0F on bottom left side of evap plate and 5F-7F on right bottom side of evap plate. I’m calling it good enough for now. So many useless vids on YT on how to charge a fridge. Actually very difficult to find any good info on what correct suction pressure should be with R12 on a fridge. Seems that anywhere between 2-5 psi suction is correct using R12.
Saturated temp for pressures of 2-5 psi are between -10 to -15F. This means like 70F of superheat. Seems really high compared to what we used in automotive AC systems which was usually 5-10F but these systems used TXVs.

CF7877FD-FE84-422F-8724-1804C7D7966D.jpeg
 

Dana Strong

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Actually very difficult to find any good info on what correct suction pressure should be with R12 on a fridge.
Just because you're using something that replaces R12 doesn't mean it will have the same operating pressures. As Greg said, you need to adjust according to performance & behavior.
Seems to me, many of the old ID plates attached to equipment I've run across had both High and Low pressures listed. There weren't any videos the last time I worked on refrigeration systems.

Greg; I have an electronic leak detector that's incredibly sensitive for detecting halogenated compounds and I've seen HF sound equipment used to find micro leaks in huge cryogenic tanks. What works with replacements like these plain hydrocarbons?
 

Greg R

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This means like 70F of superheat.

The compressor may eventually fry, the suction superheat temp needs to come down to help keep the motor cool. I'll bet the shell is getting warm to hot by now. Now is the time to start adding refrigerant. Since this is slightly out of your wheelhouse, you can be guided by a contact thermometer if you can measure suction temp. Most of the time we used to add refrigerant until there was frost on the shell, Then released it from the high side until the frost line went back to the box about 6" from the shell. Pre-96 days, but refrigerant was cheap then. The main problem with YT is I haven't seen any yet with the P/T chart or an understanding of pressure. Just getting the evap cold ain't enough. There has to be enough refrig. to absorb heat or the evap just ices up. This is where balancing pressure with temperature gives you heat removal to chill the box to the setpoint and keep it there. To much and it won't chill enough and risk liquid to the compressor. To little, and the compressor runs hot. Cap tubes are great and self regulating, but the charge has to match the system.

good info on what correct suction pressure should be with R12

Back then we found our own, didn't need damn YT. Even service manuals only gave ballpark. Get your hands on a Sporlan P/T chart and they have quick superheat math you can figure the pressure yourself. If I can find mine, maybe I can post a picture of one for R12
 

TravelerMan79

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Added what was left in the one can (some leaked out while I was fiddling with it yesterday). Attached the new can (supposed to be equivalent to about 500 g of R12). Suction pressure is only slightly higher 7-8 psi, with suction temp about the same or slightly higher - 58-60F. Compressor shell seems a lot warmer than yesterday (IIRC it was around 85F), with it around 105F now, and discharge line temp at around 100F. Evap plate temps are more uniform now at around 2.5F.
 

TravelerMan79

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Air temp inside is about 31F. That’s with it set to max cool. Will let it settle with the increased charge until after supper. Also added some food to the freezer and fridge to give it a bit of a load. Here are the P-T charts for the Red Tek 12A. Their literature says you only need about 35% of the R12 charge, and that evap temps are slightly higher and discharge temps are slightly lower than with R12.

D3D608D2-DC1F-4E8D-8C2D-87CE3C758973.jpeg

7FA747A6-3507-4A1C-A822-0D1D851C3530.jpeg
 

Greg R

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What works with replacements like these plain hydrocarbons?

Flammable gas leak detector. Don't know about sensitivity , but "freon" ones can go as low as 1/2 oz./year.
 

Greg R

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Their literature says you only need about 35% of the R12 charge,

This is new territory retrofitting old hermetic cap tube systems to HCs. I've used ethane and propane as refrigerants and the compressors were built for them. I made a mistake replacing one with a standard off the shelf one from a supplier to save on cost. It failed in a couple of months. The vendor had a fit when in our conversation describing the failure for warranty replacement I had to admit it was in an ethane system. We got credit, but I went the OEM route for the replacement. It ran flawless for many years until it was damaged by a forklift.

As Red Tek marketing seems to be mostly the MVHAC users, those compressors are usually open drive/ belt drive. Hermetics are a different animal because their motor cooling is dependent mostly on refrigerant superheat. Keep an eye on shell temperature.
 

TravelerMan79

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What should the typical comp shell temp range be? I’m surprised the suction temp isn’t really dropping with an increase in charge if it is low on charge. It evap plate temp is around 2F, that would correspond to a sat pressure of about 12Psi according to the above chart (bubble). If that is roughly correct, which seems to make sense with the 7-8 psi pressure I’m measuring with the gage at the comp inlet, how then can the suction temp be so high? I’m going to have to confirm the inlet and outlet temps to the evap to see if it is short on charge. I have no idea where the suction line goes after leaving the evap plate, but it is a long way (roughly height of fridge) and it for sure it would pick up some heat, but the temp in my workshop is only in the mid 60s. Part of the cap tube is soldered to the suction line. Could that be the reason?
 

Dana Strong

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Part of the cap tube is soldered to the suction line.
That connection should be well after the condenser, and is because cooling the liquid as much as possible greatly increases the efficiency of the system by allowing the the cooled liquid to adsorb more heat when it exits the tube and expands. The amount of heat adsorbed by the suction line (while significant to the liquid) shouldn't raise its temperature significantly.
 

Greg R

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In shorthand the cap tube wrap is for sub-cooling.
Get the evap temp into the 20* range. With a 15* delta between the evap and box you'll be cold enough to make ice cubes and keep the box at +35. There may be enough refrigerant volume then to get the superheat down.
 

TravelerMan79

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Thanks guys for the great support. It is really appreciated. Getting there slowly. Suction temps have dropped to about 40F with suction pressure around 22-23 psi with frost forming on suction line for the first 6” or so from the comp shell. Comp shell temp has also dropped to a “cool” 85F. Evap plate temp is approximately 18-20F. Will leave as is for a few hrs to see where she settles, but have to be real close now.

9BDB3137-A751-4049-A636-20F5C0D544B7.jpeg

32CACB1A-D7DA-4307-A2DE-18A215ED671D.jpeg
 

TravelerMan79

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Just checked and something is wrong. Comp shell temp is back up to 115F and suction temp was around 56F with no more frost and suction pressure around 28 psi. Worst was evap plate temp had risen to about 37F and all the ice had melted. Compressor was also louder and not sounding as quiet as before. Must be overcharged, so I started to release some of the refrigerant after unplugging the comp. Going to let the comp cool down a bit.
 

TravelerMan79

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It was at least 5 hrs between the time I took the pics in post 152 and posted 153. I had left home to go into town to do some errands. I was adding more and more refrigerant though from the time I first noticed frost from about 1” away from the shell as I was trying to get frost further away as yoh had mentioned in one of your posts.
Didn’t have time yet to tackle it more. Just unplugged it and removed the food I had put in it as evap plate temps were about 37F and all the ice had melted. Will try today to remove some of the refrigerant. I think it probably takes a good 1/2 to hr for the system to equalize after each change in refrigerant charge with the comp running during that time.
 

TravelerMan79

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Just let a little more refrigerant out and started it up. After 5 minutes , evap plate feels much cooler and compressor is much quieter. Will check back in an hr.
 

TravelerMan79

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Suction line is really frosted up now. All the way back inside the steel protective cover. Comp shell is cool to touch and comp is running quietly. Evap plate temp was around 13F with air temp inside fridge at 36F just under the evap plate. This is about running for 1 hr. Will leave as is for another hr.

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TravelerMan79

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Inside air temp dropped to 28F with evap plate temp still at 13F. Turned down thermostat on fridge (was about half way), and accidentally shut of comp. Will still leave as it with it on the second-third “dot” setting in thermostat and see what happens. Probably still has too much refrigerant.

F1B4044A-1C75-4A01-A0B3-ADDD6063BEDA.jpeg
 

Greg R

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a good 1/2 to hr for the system to equalize a
Yes

You're very very close. We didn't like to see frost on the compressors shell, that's a risk of flooding liquid back. How far bac is up to you but we liked to see at least 6 inches.

Good Work!!!
 

TravelerMan79

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Went down to check about 45 mins ago, and comp had just cycled off with thermostat untouched from previous setting. Air temp inside fridge was about 28F. Let a little more refrigerant out. This time as with previous time when I vented the refrigerant there was liquid present, which probably isn’t good due to possible slugging. However, with this latest purge there was only a slight amount of liquid present before I got vapour coming out, so I think I’m there. Also, there is still frost on the suction line but much less than before. Comp shell is still cool, and condenser is warm to the touch. Evap plate temp was between 15-18F. I think this is it or pretty damn close.

794B316D-7617-4A1A-8382-341B6D206C77.jpeg
 
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