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post #1 of 8 Old 09-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Repairing an older fridge

The 12V refrigerator on the Pearson 32 that I bought last summer has never worked since I first looked at the boat. After squaring away more urgent problems I finally got around to looking at the refrigerator.

It blows fuses (15A) every time it is asked to turn on. I can think of a few possible causes:
  • shorted compressor motor
  • shorted control electronics
  • no refrigerant left (can this cause a blown fuse?)
Does anyone know of any repair facility where I can get the compressor repaired at a reasonable price (less than the price of a new compressor)?
The compressor is made by Frigibar Industries, model CU-2.0 (date unknown -- some time after 1980). The controller was made in Denmark,
Model BD 102N - 3017. It was designed to use the now illegal R12 refrigerant. Will a unit like this run on the newer refrigerants?

Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-06-2008
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The 25 year old 12v Cold Machine on my boat didn't work when I bought it last year. A new Compressor/Condenser unit is $900.

Since my boat budget is not unlimited and I don't mind hacking things together, I cut the compressor off of a mini fridge I had at home.

I brazed the 110v R134a compressor in place of the dead 12v R12 Compressor and put a filler valve on the low side.

It works great.

When at shore, shore power keeps it nice and cold. We out, my inverter keeps it running. It's draws about 8 amps (12v) when running.

Chris

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
Will a unit like this run on the newer refrigerants?
From what I've been told, you do not want to put R134a into a R12 unit. The lubrication oil will react with the R134a. There is a R12 compatible refrigerant call R409, but only professionals can get that.

If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble.

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post #4 of 8 Old 09-06-2008 Thread Starter
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I guess I am out of options

In parallel with this query I also emailed frigibar (still in business). Their reply: electronic control module is the culprit, said module no longer manufactured, so the only option is a replacement compressor -- as someone has replied, $900.

Fridge is about to revert to an icebox unless I can find a compressor on ebay or at one of the marine salvage yards.

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-07-2008
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You might want to check out this forum KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist . I was able to fix my old AB after doing some reading.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiffyLube View Post
You might want to check out this forum KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist . I was able to fix my old AB after doing some reading.
Thanks, Jiffy, for a very helpful lead...

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post #7 of 8 Old 09-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Problem solved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JiffyLube View Post
You might want to check out this forum KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist . I was able to fix my old AB after doing some reading.
This was a great lead.

The original manufacturer suggested replacing the compressor an control module ($900) plus a service call to purge the system of old refrigerant and recharge it ($$$).

KollmannMarine has a forum which pointed me to a vendor who sells a plug-compatible replacement module (www.frigoboat.com). The new module cost me $225 + shipping and it took me less than an hour to install it.

The refrigerator now works like a charm.

Thanks again for pointing me to this resource.

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post #8 of 8 Old 09-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
This was a great lead.

The original manufacturer suggested replacing the compressor an control module ($900) plus a service call to purge the system of old refrigerant and recharge it ($$$).

KollmannMarine has a forum which pointed me to a vendor who sells a plug-compatible replacement module (www.frigoboat.com). The new module cost me $225 + shipping and it took me less than an hour to install it.

The refrigerator now works like a charm.

Thanks again for pointing me to this resource.
I'm glad that the site helped you!

You must have had the same problem that I had, as all I needed was the controller too from Frigoboat.
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