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R-22 replacement

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What are you using for a replacement if you still have R-22 equipment that is good but lost it's charge?

I was told the R-22 price has come down some so some are sticking with that. 407C you have to do an oil change. R-22D you lose some capacity. And there are others

I just talking residential split systems here

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,805
    edited April 2020
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    The supply houses stock up on R22 just before the end of production . With the same time replacements came out .. Now they want to get rid of their stock so they lowered the price .. R22 is not a blend like the others . The blends will fracture if there is a leak ... The gas would stay put forever if system is tight and installed right... One with a R22 system and developing leaks should be thinking of replacing .. How many years now since we where installing 22 systems ?

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    Everyone was prepared for this phase out. It’s been a long time coming. Manufactures changed over years ago. Unlike R12 & 11 that was only a few years before being banned
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
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    We still run lots of R22 the price is decent and it works the best with no headaches. Otherwise 407c I found that a metering device change needs to be made, even if it's just a TXV adjustment but with non-adjustable TXVs ,often one is not afforded that luxury. I have changed systems over and left the mineral oil in and they work just fine as long as the condenser and evaporator are essentially on the same level. Sometimes you can just add a little bit of p o e. At times it might be doing the owner a favor by downsizing the equipment a little bit by using a refrigerant that may drop performance by 8 or 10% like NU22.
    TDX 20 or Bluon, has been gaining some momentum, claims to be equal to r22 and no changes required.
    I don't know for sure but it seems like they have a legitimate product. I know that HVAC-school is promoting them now, altho it may be because they are a sponser. However I don't believe that they would accept a sponsor that they didn't firmly believe in the product. At least that's my take.
    Big Ed_4
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
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    I can't seem to find on TDX20/Bluron's web site what it is.
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
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    > @mattmia2 said:
    > I can't seem to find on TDX20/Bluron's web site what it is.

    Www.bluonenergy.com I think.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
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    I fond an msds eventually but i had to did a lot to find out what was actually in it.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    Well…

    What's in it? Ya got me curious! :smiley:

  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
    edited April 2020
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    I have fixed and converted 22 systems to 407. One was a one year old replacement condenser that had an evaporator leak, I noticed the condenser was charged with POE oil so it was a perfect candidate for 407. This system had a piston orfice, I ran it wasn’t getting the right superheat numbers so I installed a one size larger orfice and that pretty much fixed the problem. I did that five years ago and the system is still chugging along.

    If a system is a fairly newer 22 system that’s leaking, I’ll find the leak and repair it and recharge with fresh 22.

    If a system is older then 15 years old or is in bad shape due to a crappy install I usually quote a new 410 system.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    Rumor is that real men unafraid of jail use propane. Not even refrigerant grade.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    jumper said:

    Rumor is that real men unafraid of jail use propane. Not even refrigerant grade.

    For med and low temp refrigeration yes there going to Propane.
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
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    jumper said:

    Rumor is that real men unafraid of jail use propane. Not even refrigerant grade.

    R290 see a lot of ice machines with it.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    If your client's facility uses thousands of pounds of R22 and he's on a tight budget....
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    407C seems to work from what I have read. My question is some say you have to remove the compressor dump the mineral oil and replace it with POE oil. Others say just add some POE and leave the mineral oil in ther......doesn't seem right to me
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
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    How much is Ammonia still being used or coming back. In the 1960's a lot of commercial refrigeration was Ammonia. Most was replaced by Freon (but not all). I had heard that it was making a comeback after Freon production was stopped.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    R-717 has its place.

    Once you get past the dangers of a leak!
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2020
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    > @EBEBRATT-Ed said:
    > 407C seems to work from what I have read. My question is some say you have to remove the compressor dump the mineral oil and replace it with POE oil. Others say just add some POE and leave the mineral oil in ther......doesn't seem right to me

    (End quote)

    I think it goes back to the manufacturer (copeland) and what they first reccomend. For instance, when we first started switching refrigerants they said you MUST change oil to get to <0.5% mineral oil left in the system, or the oil wont return and the compressor wont be warranted.

    Well , now the official Emerson line is 70% mineral is OK.!

    Also fractionation was found to be a none issue. Possibly in idle systems which had a vapor leak it might occur but no one I know has seen it.

    I have numerous r12/mp39/r409 to 134a systems from ¼hp to 10hp with no oil change which have been chugging along happily for 5-7 years now. Same for r408 to r404.
    If evap is 3 feet higher, I add Supco88 or 25% POE. Why 3 feet? That's the point where a trap is reccomended on a refrigeration install so I just use that as a ROT for myself.

    I have a 50ton Carrier RTU I'm trying r407c on with no oil change soon. (Replacing r22). It runs unloaded a lot so that one will be interesting.
    POE is a great lubricant, but the issue is mineral oil/alkybenzene misibility with HFC refrigerants. In many close coupled systems the manu undersized the piping to save money with just a very small capacity loss. The resulting increase in velocity appears to ensure oil return, without a change to 30% POE.
    Each job has to be looked at critically as to whether the piping will allow good oil movement.
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    edited April 2020
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    An update: I did some internet research on Ammonia (R717). It appears its currently the most commonly used on large industrial systems for food processing and storage plants. Apparently its the most energy efficient refrigerant fluid out there, and appears to be the refrigerant of choice once the system gets above a certain size (unless their are extreme concerns about the effects of a small leak: i.e ships, submarines or other places that are or are by nature nearly a confined space).

    It does have good "warning" smell properties before its dangerous. As a kid I first ran into it at an old meat locker plant: A place that rented out freezer lockers for the storage of large quantities of frozen food - such as from butchering a side or whole beef or pig, etc. Most towns had at least one such facility before home chest freezers were common (and it was tied to a butchering shop - you could buy a half or whole beef or pig, etc and they would butcher it for you and place your labeled meat in your rented locker, so you could get a few Lb per week from it.

    Ammonia was the refrigerant, and most of these plants were actually built before the modern Freon were commonly used for large systems. The local dairy processing plant also had ammonia refrigeration for the final cooling and storage of milk, ice cream, and other dairy products. I ran into it one other place as a kid; but, don't remember the application (These places had coal fired furnaces or boilers and I got into the "mechanical" area to clean and service those).

    It would be very unlikely to see it on residential or small industrial installations.

    Anyway, with the phase out of Freon Ammonia seems to be very common on very large systems again.

    Have a great day,

    Perry
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    I wouldn't say Good WARNING smell.

    When working in those plants we had a small bottle of oxygen 3 - 5 mins worth in case we SMELL it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
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    Ammonia is used in absorption refrigerators used in RVs and otherwise where they might have to run off of gas or electric.
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    edited April 2020
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    pecmsg said:

    I wouldn't say Good WARNING smell.

    When working in those plants we had a small bottle of oxygen 3 - 5 mins worth in case we SMELL it.

    But that's the exact point. You can smell it well before its actually at a real dangerous to health level.

    In my youth you could always smell it. The compressors on these large refrigerant systems had packed shafts and always leaked a bit. I was told that it wasn't a health problem until it started to mildly burn in your nose - and don't worry about just smelling it, and there was emergency breathing equipment in the room or the next room if you needed it - what I now recognize as a version of the US Navy OBA (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus).

    These days with mechanical seals (duplex for the new large compressors I am sure) , or other sealed compressors they have gotten things down to where you cannot smell it in normal use.

    If you smell it - you have a leak by modern standards; and you have escape equipment. That's as it should be.

    But the very definition of "Good Warning Properties" is that you can detect it with your normal senses well before it actually causes major health issues. Ammonia does fit that. Chlorine as well. Chlorine will harm and kill you a lot faster at lower doses. I've worked at places with liquid chlorine tanks... You should see the protective equipment for that and we had to wear on our hips an emergency escape device to even enter the building for a walk-down because even a small chlorine leak could kill you or cause extreme damage very fast - and before you could get out of the room. There were also alarm switches on both the inside and outside of the entry doors to signal a leak or danger. If you detected a leak you pulled the alarm on the way out or when outside the door - and the plant Chlorine Leak response team would deploy.

    I've never seen that kind of protective features at that level for Ammonia.

    Updated to add: My understanding of the regulations are that you cannot even buy or use liquid chlorine without having a 24/7 fully staffed and equipped Chlorine Response team onsite (including multiple seal kits for tank or rail-car valve and tank leaks).

    There's a lot of things that will hospitalize you or kill you that you cannot detect by your own senses. Fortunately, Ammonia is not one of them.

    Perry
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
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    > @mattmia2 said:
    > Ammonia is used in absorption refrigerators used in RVs and otherwise where they might have to run off of gas or electric.

    Yeah I used to own a RV and my wife and I took a year off when I was in my late 30s and toured the country. I distinctly remember waking up one morning , I think we were in Louisiana that time , and thinking that I smelled ammonia... just a little bit but I basically blew it off. So we went for a walk on the beach and came back and holy cow! the fridge took a dump, seemed like it filled the RV with ammonia. Now it was probably only 3 oz or so but man o man!
    We ended up pulling the fridge out and just using an ice chest and gained a lot of storage space.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    The ammonia you use at home is highly diluted. About 90% water and other compounds.

    R-717 Ammonia used in refrigeration is 99+ % Pure.
    By the time you smell it...…………………….. its too late!
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
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    pecmsg said:

    The ammonia you use at home is highly diluted. About 90% water and other compounds.

    R-717 Ammonia used in refrigeration is 99+ % Pure.
    By the time you smell it...…………………….. its too late!

    I believe that you have been given false information. All refrigerant ammonia is 99% (give or take). It always has been. It was used for refrigeration before Freon was even invented and before sealed compressors were invented. It leaked a lot (and those old packed shaft compressors always leaked). Smelling it was common back then - and no real health effects were ever documented unless it was a major leak (I've never heard of anyone killed by ammonia refrigeration. I have heard of people killed by liquid chlorine leaks (Paper Mills routinely use Liquid Chlorine to produce White paper, and Power Plants used to be common users before more safer and practical methods of water chlorination were developed).

    The very reason Ammonia is allowed to be used in RV's today is that it does not harm or kill at typical levels if these systems leak; and as mattmai2 said above, - that they could clearly smell it when it leaked.

    Now I'll admit that the safety training probably tells you that you may be in a very serious health threatening situation if you smell it; and when dealing with large refrigeration system quantities that to play it safe - get out with your rescue device and let the pro's come back in with better equipment. But, you can in fact smell it long before its actually at a dangerous level. Also PELs are levels that may cause health effects if breathed for many hours (not just a few minutes).

    Peace
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,880
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    I'll rephrase...… It can be smelled long after a piece of equipment has been deemed safe.

    Ammonia, Nitrogen, CO2 are all natural refrigerants that have excellent low GWP and Ton per KW #'s but also have either a safety risk, health risk or both.

    Ammonia is one of the best, ive worked on a few plants. The last plant in NYC was the Hunts Point Market that closed in the 90's.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    Ammonia is common in large plants. I know of a school that still uses it in there ice rink.

    I worked on an absorber the gas company in my area pushed Arkla units that made gas fired absorbers They are called Robur now and are still made.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    Another issue with compressed ammonia is its affinity for water. Eventually compound refrigeration will be the way to go and then all those fancy refrigerants will be novelties.