Damaged line in vintage Westinghouse refrigerator

JBP

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Hi all. Thank you in advance for any advice. I did that thing I've warned many others not to do - damaged a line (one of the ones built in to the freezer portion) with a knife trying to loosen ice during defrosting. I love this old garage fridge, one of my sons did a great candy blue and silver lacquer repaint on it, been in the garage for over 20 years and worked perfectly always, right up until today. I want to save it.

Point is, can I fix it? Model number is 8153. I haven't fired it up since the leak, assuming that would damage the compressor. Does the freezer section do all the cooling for the fridge? Or can that portion be disconnected somehow?

Please let me know what other pertinent info I can provide.

Thank you.
 

Jake

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Hi,

Nothing pulls up for model number 8153, take a photo of your model number tag and take some photos of this refrigerator and upload them all here.

A freon leak of R-12 is going to be next to impossible to fix because R-12 is no longer available.

Jake
 

Dan O.

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JBP said:
I haven't fired it up since the leak, assuming that would damage the compressor
Good. If you had run it, it might very well have been beyond repair. What happens is moisture is sucked into the refrigeration system contaminating the compressor oil, and eventually damaging the compressor as well.

The leak will have to be repaired. That would usually require aluminum welding which is pretty much a lost art. It might be able to be epoxied.

Recharging as Jake said is likely going to be hard to accomplish too. You can call around and ask if any local servicers or used appliance stores can perform it. Usually refrigeration repairs start at $150+ so even if you can find someone willing to do it, it's going to be expensive $$$.

Dan O.
 

JBP

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Thanks Dan O., appreciate the reply. I have the ability to bring it in for repair as well so I'll start asking around. I'm in Milwaukee if anyone has a recommendation for a place that would repair a vintage unit.
 

JBP

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Milwaukee
Hi,

Nothing pulls up for model number 8153, take a photo of your model number tag and take some photos of this refrigerator and upload them all here.

A freon leak of R-12 is going to be next to impossible to fix because R-12 is no longer available.

Jake
Hi Jake,

Thank you for the reply as well, appreciate the help! Below are pics of the tag, the fridge and of the puncture I made.

IMG_0791.JPG
IMG_0792.JPG
IMG_0805.JPG
 

JBP

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I should also mention I put foil tape over the puncture to hopefully prevent or reduce contamination.
 

Jake

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Thanks, good photos!

I noticed F-12 as the refrigerant on the model number tag, I have never seen that before, have you Dan O.?

Jake
 

Dan O.

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Jake said:
I noticed F-12 as the refrigerant on the model number tag, I have never seen that before, have you Dan O?
I've seen R12 labeled different ways. It could indicate Freon 12 or maybe Westinghouse's own formulation. I'm pretty confident it's R12.

The bigger problem might be the quantity, 1 lb! Moden refrigerators only use ounces. And for a product in short supply... doubly so. Hopefully someone has some recovered refrigerant they can use.
 

JBP

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Hello @Dan O. and @Jake - thanks for your guidance. I took the chance of epoxying the hole. I used Highside brand Red Epoxy, and heat cured it. So far so good, it is cooling well, (cold enough for proper 40 degree beer) although I am certain that I need to re-charge either way, and that is my next step.

Any thoughts on this line tap:
************

No hotlinks to that site please
 

Dan O.

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JBP said:
although I am certain that I need to re-charge either way
You did already charge it after the repair though, correct?
 
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Jake

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You can get a line tap at any appliance parts store in your area.

Jake
 

Dan O.

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He said it's cooling, "cold enough for proper 40 degree beer"!

Maybe it wasn't punctured at all? :/
 
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