FIXED 1948 GE - Possible system overcharge


Premium Member
Nov 30, 2022
San Diego
Model Number
1948 GE
Hello all, posting to say hello, post some pics, and seek some advice. First, I've been restoring three fridges over the last year or so: a 1948 GE space saver, a 1949 GE, and a 1953 GE combo with lazy susan shelves. The 1953 I bought from a lady who had it in her family since new in '53. She had an old black and white photo of herself next to it as a child. Runs great, just needed stripped and repainted. Interior was flawless, and I now use it in my garage as a cheese cave.

I purchased a Mueller Brass Co. kit so I could access the systems, and a set of gauges. Plus alot of time watching Youtube vids by David.

The 1949 is tore down and getting ready for paint. Compressor runs great, evaporator gets cold and frosts over.

The 1948, I refinished and turned into a kegerator. Sacriledge, I know, but it came out great and I saved it from a gentleman who was going to discard it. The compressor runs strong, but did not frost over the evaporator completely. So I found and repaired a leak on the low side return from the evaporator while I had the system out of the cabinet (Staybrite 8 solder with a nitrogen charge in the system), rewired with a new Supco relay (the original GE relay was shot) and 3 prong appliance power cord. I then vacuumed the system down overnight while keeping everything warm under a blanket, let it sit under vacuum the next day for a couple hours to ensure system integrity, then recharged with 12 oz. of R12, which is what the tag on the system called for.

This is where I'm having the issue. While it frosted over further after running for 6-8 hours, it did not frost over completely up to the point where the thermostat sensor is mounted. So I added another half can of R12. The compressor started to get loud, then stopped running. I let it sit with power off for a bit, the low side gauge pressure was a little high(~25 psi while it was running) so I let some pressure out of the system, then started it back up. Compressor runs fine, draws vacuum, but now the evaporator doesn't get cold at all. I fear I may have over-charged the system with R12. If this is the case, what would be a recommendation.... vacuum the system down again overnight and start from scratch? Will this remove all the refrigerant?

I do have a full can plus a half can of R12 left (I bought 3 cans).

I guess the question is how to deal with an overcharged system.

Any advice would be appreciated greatly!


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  • 1953 GE Lazy Susan.jpg
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