View Full Version : Exploding refrigerator

04-12-2002, 07:15 AM
After recovering R134A from a domestic refrigerator, I proceeded to heat up the dryer to replace it, and fix a leak.

As it turns out, the fridge was clogged solid in 2 places (good old POE oil...sheesh)

Well, after a couple of minutes, the copper spun dryer explodes, sounding like a cannon!

It seems there was some trapped refrigerant in the system.

I was lucky not to be injured, but very well could have been.

Any comments?

How about a product liability suit against the manufacturers of the fridge or the poe oil?

I come across far too many with restrictions (usually in the condensor or the cap tube, but this time it was both places)

04-12-2002, 03:40 PM

Your socio-political colors are starting to bleed from the fabric of your posts !!!!


04-12-2002, 07:57 PM
Hi, Zolar1:)
where I come from they arrest you if you blow up something.:D
More seriously I knew a guy once with a scar on his face where a drier blew up on him.
I would say a re-visting of you method statement would be a good idea, with a step added in where you make a cut in the drier body with a hacksaw before adding heat.
I'am glad to hear you are alright, at least this story has a happy ending.
Regards. Andy.

04-12-2002, 08:37 PM
This sounds like a classic case of a blocked capillary which caused the fridge gas to be blocked.

If we are applying heat we always make sure that the system is open so that the pressure can escape


05-12-2002, 02:30 AM
Socio-politcal?? LOL

Perhaps I should put smiley's next to my humour so people can tell the difference? :-)

Yes, I am very lucky I didn't get hurt.

I had the low side open after I recovered the refrigerant.

Cutting lines does make me nervous.....

05-12-2002, 03:12 PM

06-12-2002, 07:30 PM
I like to hacksaw the drier off close to the body, then unsweat the remaining ends. Makes the job very easy, and safe.

06-12-2002, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by Gary


07-12-2002, 08:26 AM
I was thinking side cutters..........

08-12-2002, 10:59 PM
As an aside to this discussion (yes I would cut the drier out myself)... some time ago I was recovering gas from a system prior to a compressor change-out.

Standing in the small plantroom alongside, to keep warm, I was going through the junk left by a previous firm and came across a used filter/drier with the flare ends covered with the plastic caps.

Playing with the plastic caps, as you do :) , I managed to loosen one enough for the stored pressure inside to blow the cap off and injected my arm with the residual oil and refrigerant from inside the drier.
Oh Boy, did that smart :eek:

So always be careful with any system/component or whatever that was under pressure at some time in it's life, they can, and do, bite back.

08-12-2002, 11:16 PM
I never ran across a cap I didn't like ...lol

Also, cutting the cap tube off of a dryer can cause a fridge to not cool properly.

Out of all the fridge's I worked on, this one was the only to have caused me this kind of problem.

Hmmm...maybe herefishy would like me to send some blades for his hacksaw...hehe

08-12-2002, 11:30 PM
Maybe Herefishy can UPS me his hacksaw as he doesn't like using it:D
He may have a point, I once worked for a guy who was too tight to by proper piecutter for the job he was doing with 3 1/8" copper so he used a hacksaw. The job had open compressors on it so every six months or so I would be changing shaft seals on one of the three compressors, which just happen to have been copper plated causing them to fail:rolleyes:
Maybe the pipe cutter would have been a good idea after all, cheap git:D
Regards. Andy

15-02-2004, 06:33 AM
How about a product liability suit against the manufacturers of the fridge or the poe oil?

Sue, sue and sue. It's not even funny.

15-02-2004, 07:09 AM
Interesting to read about a so called exploding drier or drier
capillary. This has happened the last 45 years with most of the older techies. Nothing new and nothing spectacular.

What about these 100 million HC fridges in Europe and probably
100.000 in the Uk (very related to the US anti HC's)

Any accidents to report. Death, lost limbs, eyes lost or worse.
I am basically interested in these so called incidents which seem to happen over the world with HC fluids in refrigeration and AC plant.

So far in Australia where I migrated to we have 60 Ton (60.000 kg' of HCs in MVAC systems since approx 1995) and 350.000 cars running around with HC in their AC system with any accident.
So far not even technicians servising the stuff and as you are
aware bright fridge technician, those servicing car AC is not your type of technician. Yoy are a lot brighter thn them.

I am looking for accidents---any help
Any accidents even with HFC ,HCFC's and CFC's any help from any of you. Been trying worldwide so far for 3 years and no luck.

Like to hear those HCs flammable stories--can you help!!!!!!!!!!