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Help finding correct amount of R134a for Antares/Edina Combo


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I have an Antares Combo built around the notorious Edina upright freezer converted into a refrigerator.


I know it is junk, but the price was right and it still does the job in a small office.


I can not find a tag to tell me the correct amount of R134a to put in the unit only a label on the compressor specifiying R134a.


It stopped cooling, I put a bullet peicing valve on the suction side and put in what I think was the correct charge ~128grams. I got this number from a photo that I found of a tag that I think was of an Edina machine.


I have attached the photo of that tag that I am referencing.


Can someone please verify that this is the correct charge amount for one of these machines.


The machine is cooling well now, my only concern is the suction line is frosting up heavily now and I want to make sure the issue is not with the amount of refrigerant that I put in. Perhaps the suction line is supposed to be fully frosted all the way up to the compressor, can anyone give me some insight?




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You would not install a full load of freon unless you evacuated the system first, so it doesn't matter how much the factory put in it.  You are supposed to use refrigeration gauges to watch the low side pressure as you add gas.  I don't even know if you tapped the low side or not.  I always add gas until I get to around 10-11 lbs on the low side when the unit is running.  Without gauges there is no way to know if it's now overcharged or still undercharged and the iced line is a symptom of that.  My guess is it's overcharged, but it doesn't matter since your machine is now cold.  Live large while it's cold because these things leak the gas out inside the cabinet walls where you can't repair the leaks.  It's just a matter of time before it leaks out again and you have warm soda.


I'm glad you recognize that the machine has no value.  When it craps out you just scrap it and buy another or a paltry sum.

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Thanks for the reply.


I have a full gauge set that I use for auto AC work. Yes, I peirced into the low side (what I refer to as the suction side).


I am familiar with the idea of filling a system via pressure only. But given the choice I figured I could not go wrong filling it via the factory specified charge weight.


Yes, I am fully evacuating. I pulled ~30" Hg for 30 minutes. It held the vaccuum for 1 hour so I figured if it was leakind it was not a huge leak and was worth trying to recharge. For $5 of freon I figured I did not have much to loss.


Hoping someone has a Anteres combo with a charging tag still attached that they can varify the charge weight.


I am getting very conflicting info about frost on the suction line.


Some say that if the suction line is frosted the entire way to the compressor that means the system is overcharged. Others say it means it is undercharged.


Yet others say that for a freezer (which this unit really is with a different thermostate to keep the soda from freezing, I think) it is OK for the suction line to have frost the entire way up to the compressor because the system is set up to have the freon below freezing the entire time it is inside the cabinet and will still be cold enough to frost the return/suction/low line outside of the cabinet.


Any opinions/observations would be appreciated. Not only am I interested in this specific machine but general info about refrigerators and freezers in general.

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If you have a gauge set then put your blue low side line on the line tap while the unit is running and see what the pressure is.  As I said, the low side should run around 10-11 lbs. on the low side when charged.  That is the highest pressure I can get on the low side of those units regardless of the amount of gas I put in.  If you're unsure of the actual operating pressure then bleed some gas off and see if you have any change.  If you drop much below the 10-11 lbs then you might need to put a little more in.

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I am in no way trying to be argumentative, I greatly appreciate your help and insite.


Take a look at the attached photo in my first post. It shows a low side pressure of 140 PSI for what I think is the tag for an Edina freezer (FMR8).


Any thoughts about why the low side pressure would be so high compared to your recommended 10 PSI?

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As you are finding, knowing how to work on auto A/C systems doesn't translate over to other refrigeration systems.  Ours are different in that most vending/small appliance systems don't use an expansion valve (unless it's a large system or a frozen system) and none use an orifice valve.  The label you showed does look like its off an Edina machine and Edina/Frigidaire didn't make but this one model.  These are actually based on small apartment/dorm room refrigerators so they are high/medium temp systems.  They are not forced air systems, but mechanical systems in the way they transfer heat.  This is why the low side operating pressure is so low. 


The pressures on the label relate to the maximum pressure the system can withstand before bursting, not the operating pressures.  The freon charge of 4.5 oz is the only way to know how much freon to put in, but that number is only for an empty, evacuated system.  Since you said you evacuated yours and recharged with 4.5 oz of freon, then you should have the proper amount of freon, assuming that the label you posted applies to your machine.  Frigidaire also produced other machines for other manufacturers so while the label looks familiar it might not be from your machine.  I don't buy or sell these machines as they aren't "real" vending machines so I can't refer to a label for you.


You do have to realize that if your freon charge is correct, the frost line you see could indicate you have bad valves in the compressor.  But again, if your machine is cold now, then leave it alone until you actually know you have put the wrong amount of gas in. 

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