Trailblazer fridge problem

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:41
ThreadID: 55767 Views:13282 Replies:7 FollowUps:14
This Thread has been Archived
I have a 100 litre trailblazer fridge that I purchased about 25 years ago and it has been running on and off for most of that time. I have been running it on battery topped up by solar panels for some time now and the compressor seems to be running continuously. The fridge is used for a very important job, two 18 litre kegs are kept at a temperature of about 4 degrees.
Does anyone know of someone in North Queensland who could maybe check it and possibly put in a new compressor. I have no idea of prices however I have checked the current prices of a similar fridge and they seem very expensive.

Pooley
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:46

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:46
Try this and go to about us.

Trailblazer

They will send you parts any were any time.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 293866

Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:48

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 21:48
Check out the service tab as well.

Cheers steve
0
FollowupID: 559587

Follow Up By: Angler - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:04

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:04
Thanks Steve,

been to the web site and filled out the form for prices etc.

Lets hope they reply.

Pooley
www.bycompass.com
0
FollowupID: 559598

Follow Up By: Bros 1 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 11:14

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 11:14
Steve,
They don't make a basket as of this time. I have an 80 litre Trailblaza and can't find a basket suitable as yet.
Do you or any other Trailblaza owner know where a suitable basket can be found.
Cheers
Bros.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 559672

Follow Up By: Topcat (WA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 11:44

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 11:44
Hi Bros, if you have a Fridge City outlet near you try them for a suitable basket. That's where I got mine for my 60 ltr. Trailblaza. Cheers.
0
FollowupID: 559683

Follow Up By: Bros 1 - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:31

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:31
Topcat,
Thanks for that bloke, but the only store hits i get are all in WA.
Cheers
Bros
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 559813

Follow Up By:- Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:44

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:44
G'Day Pooley,

Don't bother about the web form, ring them direct on Tuesday morning and you will get all the help you need.

Regards

Rolande
0
FollowupID: 559816

Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 00:58

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 00:58
Hi Bros
The Trailblaza people use the mitre 10 rectangle mop buckets or if you can get a basket from the 40lt Waeco, they work a treat and you can store a bit on it too. You might feel that the two wire things on the side might have to be cut off but I just turn it around so it doesn't bother me to much then. We have the 70lt one.
Hope this helps?

Cya
Ms Doe
:)
0
FollowupID: 559858

Follow Up By: Bros 1 - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:58

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:58
G'day Ms Doe,
Thanks for your reply. That gives me something to work on as well.
Cheers
Bros
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 559925

Reply By: Member - colleen M (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:09

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:09
try portable fridge solutions nth cairns 40324754
if he cant fix it no one can
AnswerID: 293875

Reply By: GerryP - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:36

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:36
Hi Pooley,
If it's running continuously and not cooling, or if only a portion of the evaporator (cooling coil) is getting cold, then it is more likely to be short of gas rather than a crook compressor. I hope the kegs haven't rubbed through the coil somewhere. However, a good fridgie will be able to do the work for you.
Cheers
Gerry
AnswerID: 293889

Follow Up By: Angler - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:47

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 22:47
No coils are visible in my fridge as they are attached somehow to the outside of the alloy waterproof liner. I have asked for information about pressures and refrigerant quantities etc and hope I get an answer.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Pooley
0
FollowupID: 559614

Follow Up By: GerryP - Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:25

Thursday, Mar 20, 2008 at 23:25
No prob's Pooley - don't know the actual fridge, but would suggest that at 25 years old would still be running on R12 which is the banned CFC refrigerant that stuffs up the ozone layer. However, there are a few alternatives gases including R134a or even hydrocarbon (flammable) which could be used as a direct replacement.

To measure pressures you need a set of refrigeration type gauges, but using them without a licence is illegal. To work on any refrigeration system nowadays requires an Arctick licence and the licence is federal, not state, so it's the same everywhere.

You could check as follows to give you some idea of what is happening - for a working system, with the compressor running, the discharge pipe should be very hot (too hot to thang on to for more than a few seconds) and the suction pipe back to the compressor should be quite cold (perhaps close to frosting).

If both pipes are the same temperature, then chances are the compressor is stuffed (not pumping)

If the discharge is warm to hot and the suction is warm (but cooler than the discharge), then it's likely the system has lost some or all of the gas. If this is the case, then only a section of the cooling coil will be cold and the rest warm.

Look carefully for oil stains around the pipes - there shouldn't be any. If there is, then it's possibly from a gas leak in the system.

There could be other reasons such as blocked filter/drier within the refrigerant circuit (Older Engels often had this problem), but not something you can do yourself.

All fairly crude, but without proper equipment at hand, may help you work out what's happening.

Hope that helps mate. Good luck.

Cheers
Gerry
0
FollowupID: 559622

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:44

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:44
"suction pipe back to the compressor should be quite cold (perhaps close to frosting)"...???? cccccra...pardon me, but:

it is not an airconditioner where suction cooling is required?...its a fridge (or freezer if selected for this duty)

the suctionline of a fridge or freezer is not cold and certainly nowhere near freezing (or sweating) back to the compressor .....the only way to check if the system is undercharged (short of gas) is to stick gauges on it....one cannot do this by feeling the suction line for temperature

also R12 is not banned...its just that you cant pruchase it new... if you can get your hands on it, it is quite legal to use in a system which was using it

trailblazer use a copper tubing taped to the the outside of the inner liner .......while the condenser is a copper tubing taped to the inside of the outer cabinet...then filled with insulation

if part of the evaporator is freezing then its probably one of two things (but other fault/s could prevail)...short of gas or inefficient compressor.....a good refrigeration tech should be able to check this out for you
0
FollowupID: 559719

Follow Up By: GerryP - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:00

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:00
No sweat No 1 (no pun intended :)). I did say it was a fairly crude assessment of what could be wrong. As for suction pressures/temperatures, 25 year old fridges quite often sweat back to the compressor on R12 when temperatures in the evaporator come down below zero. I run my Engel at -2 degrees as I love my beer REALLY cold.

I also realise you can still use R12 if you have it, but it is banned from sale - therefore, as far as a customer is concerned, it is no longer available.

I really don't want to get into any arguments here as I know exactly where you are coming from and you obviously have a knowledge of refrigeration. I've also been in the game since the late 60's. However, as Pooley was trying to diagnose his situation and get some idea of what the problem might be, other than feeling the pipes, there's not much he can do. I admitted it was a crude assessment, but might serve to give him some idea of what might be happening in his system. I concur, there are a multitude of other less common possibilities, but without proper tools an accurate diagnosis can not be made.

Only trying to help mate...
Cheers
Gerry
0
FollowupID: 559808

Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:05

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:05
Hi Pooley

While you are investigating your fridge problem,send the two 18ltr
kegs down to me, I will look after them at no charge, just make sure
they are full.

Cheers
Daza
AnswerID: 293942

Reply By: Witchdoctor - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:28

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 10:28
I had a similar problem with my 60Lt of the same vintage also the electronic control unit was stuffed. Trailblazer did a complete rebuild (compressor & electronics) as the old gas was not compatible with the new control unit, total cost was around $800.00. After spending some time talking to them about their fridges i would not get just anyone to look at it.
Give them a call on (07) 5491 1849 their service backup & support is second to non.

Cheers David
AnswerID: 293946

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:58

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:58
"old gas was not compatible with the new control unit"...????
the control units (and or compressor for that matter) doesnt care which refrigerant (R12 or R134a) is used... eg they dont sense/record or control in way the refrigerant

I would suggest that the new control unit was not compatible with the old compressor......meaning they had to replace both items....& as as R12 is now un-available as a new refrigerant they had to carry out retrofit to R134a as part of the repairs
0
FollowupID: 559721

Follow Up By: Angler - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:32

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:32
Member No 1

OT

I thought a wife was an appliance that one screwed on the bed and it did the housework. And some are in white.

Pooley

0
FollowupID: 559814

Reply By: Angler - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:31

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 21:31
Thanks for all the answers and excellent suggestions guys,

I think the freight may be a bit high to send the kegs for safekeeping however freight collect may be worthwhile. NOT.

Checking further,

The return line is cold as one could expect as the compressor is running continuously. The output line is also very hot. This is fairly normal with the danfoss compressor. Even if I turn it off for an extended period the return line still becomes quite cold when turned on again, there is slight frosting/condensation at the exit point of the fridge liner for about 2 inches.
These indications all look good however the thing still runs non stop. I reckon the compressor is getting a bit long in the tooth. I think they use flap valves rather than actual one way valves and these may be leaking a bit.
I changed the control unit about 15 years ago with the newer version as the old ones failed regularly.

I think I can still get some R12 though it has been a while since I talked to the owner of a supply. R134 does require a much higher pressure than R12 and this gives rise to the damage caused to vehicle A/C systems.

I have written to Norcoast and look forward to hearing from them about the problem. I also asked for info about charge capacity and pressures at the input and output of the compressor.

I do have a tame fridgy available for replacement should that be the problem.

Pooley
AnswerID: 294049

Reply By: Angler - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 16:13

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 16:13
Thanks to everyone, Margaret from norcost rang me Saturday and we had a great discussion about my problem and she certainly knows her fridges.

I now have to get it down to her in Brissy somehow and get it fixed. They do a full rebuild including all the bits you cannot see behind the alloy. Fairly expensive but I get back an as new fridge.

She is coming to Townsville for the big display show in May and I hope to look her up.

Pooley
AnswerID: 294236

Sponsored Links