3.02-1: Frigidaire 1929 Low-Side Float Flow Control

HHCC Accession No. 2006.059HHCC Classification Code: 3.02-1

An early low-side float, liquid refrigerant flow control, in deep draw copper header, with brass float valve assembly mounted on eight bolt brass flange, with heavy galvanised over coat, designed for four-pass fin coil cooling unit; Frigidaire, EB4885, circa 1929.

Image Gallery (3 Images)

3.02 Refrigerant Flow Controls - Commercial




Frigidaire Corporation, Dayton Ohio.


EB4885, see Note 1

Serial No.:

12960G, see Note 1


5in Rd. x 14 in long


9 lbs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality, illustrating the engineering, design and construction of an early 20th century liquid refrigerant float control

Patent Date/Number:

From York County (York Region) Ontario, once a rich agricultural hinterlands, attracting early settlement in the last years of the 18th century. Located on the north slopes of the Oak Ridges Moraine, within 20 miles of Toronto, the County would also attract early ex-urban development, to be come a wealthy market place for the emerging household and consumer technologies of the early and mid 20th century.

This artifact was discovered in the 1950’s in the used stock of T. H. Oliver, Refrigeration and Electric Sales and Service, Aurora, Ontario, an early worker in the field of agricultural, industrial and consumer technology.

Type and Design:

Deep draw copper header, with brass float valve assembly mounted on eight bolt brass flange, with heavy galvanised over coat

Special Features:
Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
Targeted Market Segment:
Consumer Acceptance:
Market Price:
Technological Significance:

Following earlier experimentation with automatic expansion valves refrigeration engineers next turned to completely flooded systems for increased evaporator efficiency, using a float valve to meter liquid into the low side of the system.
Low side float metering devices, such as this, were widely employed by the industry in the late 1920’s through the 30’s in both household cabinet refrigerators and commercial applications. Found in walk-in meat and vegetable coolers in food stores and ware-houses across Canada, these cooling units were to become the work-horses of the commercial refrigeration industry from the 1920’s often through to the 1940 With good maintenance these systems would have a remarkable service life, some in operation for 25 to 30 years, often well into the post WW II period, where they would be replaced by smaller more compact, more efficient systems using the new non-noxious fluorinated hydrocarbon refrigerants, e.g., Freon 12
Costly, delicate, requiring regular service, they would be a short lived solution to refrigerant metering, awaiting the development and refinement of the thermostatic expansion valve
The first widely used, so-called low pressure refrigerant, for household and commercial applications in Canada was sulphur dioxide - highly noxious and corrosive. As a result the prevailing practice in the 1920’s and early 30’s was to make evaporators of copper with a heavy coat of galvanizing.

Industrial Significance:

Much of the Canadian commercial refrigeration service industry would cut its teeth on flooded evaporators and liquid level refrigerant metering float controls. A significant service industry grew up dedicated to maintaining flooded evaporators in good working condition; see extracts from Frigidaire and Kelvinator service manuals.

Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

G. Leslie Oliver, The T. H. Oliver HVACR Collection

HHCC Storage Location:
Bibliographic References:

Installation and Service Manual, Frigidaire, for Products manufactured Prior to 1937, Frigidaire Div. General Motors Corp. Dayton Ohio Frigidaire Master Parts and Price Catalogue, SER-335-5M-3-46-(33, Frigidaire Div. General Motors Corp.


Note 1: Float model/part numbers include: H; 96842;17.H; 96842

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