Recharging the reefer
Dick de Grasse photo
To the editor: Nearly every boat we know has had problems with their boat's refrigeration system. Usually reefers need to be recharged. I made a recharge system using a NAPA automobile AC recharge system that uses the 134A refrigerant. I cut off the automobile AC fitting and spliced in a hose that connects to the boat reefer's Schrader valve. The Schrader valve hose shown above can be found at an AC equipment supplier or AC service center.
Be sure to evacuate the hose with 134A refrigerant before attaching it to the Schrader valve, otherwise air will be pumped into the reefer. The 134A pressure should be high enough to bring frost down the line just outside the reefer box. Usually about 10 pounds on the gauge will do it. A can of 134A should last a long time, because boat reefer pressures are much, much lower than auto AC pressures.
&mdashDick de Grasse and his wife Kathy live aboard their Tartan 34 Endeavour in southern waters during the winter and sail in Maine in the summer.