How to Recharge a Coca-Cola Cooler


Coca-Cola was introduced at Atlanta's Jacob's Pharmacy in 1886 as a soda fountain drink that sold for 5 cents a glass. By the end of the 1920s bottled Coca-Cola surpassed sales of soda fountain drinks, prompting the company to begin using an open-top metal cooler -- the first soda vending machine -- that held six bottles at one time. Older Coca-Cola vending machines are considered collector's items by pop icon aficionados. In fact, antique Coca-Cola vending machines routinely fetch prices of more than $2,000, as of the date of publication. The cooling systems on these machines falter over time and there are a couple of approaches to take if you're trying to learn whether or not you can recharge the cooler in your Coca-Cola vending machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical connector
  • Electrical wall socket or power strip
  • Unplug the Coca-Cola vending machine to prevent electrical shock.

  • Remove the plate that covers the vending machine's compressor. Typically, these are located on the back of the machine at the bottom, and easily pull right off.

  • Grab hold of the compressor and slide it out of the vending machine.

  • Inspect the compressor's vents to make sure they are not covered with dust or other debris. If corrosion is present on the compressor it should be replaced with a new one.

  • Use an electrical connector to check the vending machine's compressor by placing one of the connector's probes on one of the terminals and touching a second terminal with the remaining cord, just like you would use jumper cables to check a car battery. Do this with each terminal. If the motor does not stimulate the electrical connector it has to be replaced.

  • Contact a licensed Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technician, if the compressor works, to have your Coca-Cola cooler recharged with Freon -- the brand name for chlorofluorocarbon. Freon is illegal to purchase or sell in the U.S. and only a licensed HVAC professional can recharge a cooling system with Freon. You can find a website to help you locate an HVAC technician in the resources section.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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