Vitrifrigo -refrigerant fittings?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 15:51
ThreadID: 139629 Views:6266 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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After sitting for several months the 85L frig doesn't cool. Nothing has changed: battery at 13.2V and interior light comes on. I couldn't hear the compressor start (traffic noise nearby). Thinking the refrigerant gas maybe low, low hours on the machine but seldom used. Is there a gas service port on the back? I know most of the camper frig/freezers don't have any way to service the gas, but hoping!
Thanks for your advice
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 16:15

Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 16:15
What brand and model?

I haven't seen a 12V fridge that has a low gas pressure cutout, but yours may?

First thing I would do is check the lead and make sure it is ok.

Does the fridge have indicator lights on it, do they light?

If you the compressor doesn't start then it won't cool no matter what the refrigerant level is.

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AnswerID: 629863

Reply By: RMD - Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 16:20

Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 16:20
Before worrying about gas content, get some plastic hose and hold it on the compressor and the other end to your ear. When switched ON, you should hear if the compressor starts or not. It is a mechanical device after all. If motor doesn't run then voltage supply to compressor motor check, is there an internal fuse in motor/compressor circuit?? If it runs, the same hose, again to your ear, other end may be able to be placed on or near to the TX valve where the gas enters the evaporator and the gas flow makes a noise as well if there is gas being pumped through the system. One a motor run check and the other gas flow check. Think easiest things first, not the most expensive.
AnswerID: 629864

Follow Up By: mike39 - Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 21:14

Monday, Feb 03, 2020 at 21:14
If that fridge uses a Danfoss type compressor, the electronic control unit (particularly older ones) can be vulnerable to failure.
I have an ancient Trailblazer with the above compressor and the only maintenance it has required was for me to once top up the gas when it stopped cooling (I was told fridge gas can seep through copper tubing?)
FollowupID: 905029

Follow Up By: Member - abqaiq - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 07:16

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 07:16
So it seems no one knows if there is a gas service point on a Vitrifrigo 85 L frig: the dealer, by phone, didnt know! To my knowledge only our old Liemack and maybe the newer snomaster have service fittings. As I wrote earlier nothing else has changed, wiring, etc. Unit just sat in the trailer for a while. Looking for a fuse today and will run unit in the quiet to determine if the compressor tries.
FollowupID: 905030

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 09:56

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 09:56
If it does no have a gas service point, a competent fridgie can add one.
OKA196 motorhome
FollowupID: 905034

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 10:35

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 10:35
Refrigerant gas leaking through copper tube eh! Now that would be a problem with a 45 year old Kelvinator then, which is still running and cooling same as original.

Even IF the gas was gone the motor would still run the compressor. Place an orbital sander base against the compressor case and let is massage it/vibe it for a short while. It may be just sluggish/stuck and not starting from not being used. Use a hammer!
FollowupID: 905039

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 08:33

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 08:33
mike 39 I think someone is pulling your leg regarding the copper.

The last time I was in Tamworth for the Australian cutting horse championship this fridge was still running untouched.

This fridge was the first electric fridge purchased by Tamworth butcher Jack Allen and his wife Edith in 1947. The family had previously used an ice chest to keep their perishable food items cool. Whereas the cooling of an ice chest relied on a large block of ice, brought in each week by wagon, electric refrigeration simplified the process in a self-contained and less messy way with much more space. This was a new fridge for a new home, purchased when the family business was being wound down and Jack began to consider his retirement. After both of the initial owners had passed away in 1965, the fridge was handed down to their son Les and then to their grandson Des. The fridge has always remained in Tamworth and operated continually for 66 years. It is still in excellent condition. As was the case with fridges of this era, the small freezer section needs to be defrosted weekly.There has never been any maintenance or mechanical repairs required, with the only attention it has needed over time being to replace the door seals in the 1980’s. It is still in good working order.

FollowupID: 905050

Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 09:48

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 09:48
The only time one would expect copper pipe to leak refrigerant is if it has pin holes in it ie faulty pipe or it has a fracture in it. A fully sealed system like a standard small fridge should never leak gas. Fitting a fill connector though could become a weak point to be wary of.

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FollowupID: 905053

Reply By: Member - Supersi - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 15:34

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 15:34
Given that the compressor might be running, you say that you couldn’t hear it due to background traffic noise, have you considered that it might be a thermostat problem?

My Vitriofrigio wouldnt cool- replaced thermostat and all good
AnswerID: 629889

Reply By: bobsabobsa - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 17:27

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 17:27
There will not be a refrigeration port on the fridge unless a fridgy put one in what you will have is a 1/4" copper tail that has been pinched and welded over
AnswerID: 629891

Follow Up By: mike39 - Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 08:12

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2020 at 08:12
Not all... the Trailblaza does have both HP and LP service valves readily accessible.
FollowupID: 905049

Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 19:19

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 at 19:19

First t
thermostat needs checking
any safety switch operation
compressor current draw and voltage

fridgies typically have to add service points
fridges usually have a capillary tube [=fixed orifice]
charging is done by weight
but compressor flooding plus head and low pressures are observed ,,cabinet temp is also monitored
AnswerID: 629894

Reply By: Member - abqaiq - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:41

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:41
Followup--Got the Vitrofrigo out of the trailer. Turns out the Vitrofrigo, Liemack and Snomaster (reportedly) refrigerators all have gas service fittings. Service guys coming in a few days.
AnswerID: 630000

Follow Up By: Member - abqaiq - Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 07:51

Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 07:51
The problem was low gas. Interestingly Vitrofrigo used a R-12 type gas connector (old stock at hand?) on the clearly labeled R-134 system! So much for quality control!!
FollowupID: 905279

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