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sulphur dioxide refrigerant

recently picked up a 1930's ge refrigerator. refrigerant in fridge is sulphur dioxide. i want to restore the fridge, problem is the compessor is grounded. anyone familiar with this refrigerant. if i threw in a r-134 compressor and flushed the system and charged with r-134 or a blend would it work with the existing coils? 


  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144

    DUDE,thats some pretty NASTY refrigerant. It smells bad,it will cause you to run away FAST . It will kill any bushes,plants,cats ,dogs that get in the way.Be cautious! Let the Professor tell you which refrigerant is a proper replacement, and which compressor to put into this baby .good luck.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666

    We had, when I was a kid in the mid 1940s, a used GE refrigerator, the kind with the condenser coil on the top. It replaced an ice box, where a huge block of ice was placed every other day, and the pan of water underneath had to be emptied at least once a day. It used ammonia (NH3) as the refrigerant. Pretty good refrigerant -- until it leaked, that is. That smelled worse than sulfur dioxide, though either would cause a hasty exit from the premises.

    I do not know if there is enough refrigerant in a residential size machine to kill anyone, but if you kept on refilling one, it could mount up. They may still use ammonia in industrial size refrigerating plants, such as the ones they used to use to make the blocks of ice for people who still had ice boxes. I think the development of the Freon type of refrigerant was to provide one without the problems from leaks. They may also be gentler on the equipment that NH3 or SO2.
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144

    away our age's a little here, we are.They sure do still have ammonia plants, and   the one here on L.I.N.Y. is an ice plant,cubes and blocks.Another WAS a seafood distributor. I say ,was, because Rodger ,the hotshot ,ammonia man out of NYC,didn't know much about watercooled towers.He had not allowed for water bleed off or tower clean out. After 2-3 years the condensors rotted thru,the towers released the ammonia into the atmosphere and trouble soon began. The neighboring bldgs evacuated, police ,3 fire depts, ambulances, public safety officials ,helicopters, and news people all showed up .No one was injured, and the fish seafood co was forced into a freon ice maker
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