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refrigerant

I have an air conditioning system that requires r 22 refrigerant. Is it possible to remove all the r22 and replace it with a different refrigerant. Or can just the compressor be changed to a different one. The condenser is in an air handler that is in the attic.

Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,955
    Condensing unit in the attic?
    R-22 is still available but expensive.
    There are several replacement refrigerants available that are not as expensive but are not "Drop In" replacements. The entire charge will have to be recovered, drier changed, sometimes oil change, evacuation and recharge.

    If this unit is just short of refrigerant find and repair the leak. If its over 15 years cheaper in the long run to replace it.

    GGrossIronman
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    I feel there is no leak, My AC guy came out maybe 3 years ago and added refrigerant, worked good afterwards. Shortly though it was not cooling. I feel the AC guy came back at night and recovered some refrigerant. I really have not had air conditioning since. I want to get rid of him. The air handler in the attic is a bear to change, would I need to change that or just the compressor outside. What is the drier you mentioned?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    It could be worth paying someone competent to figure out where the leak is to find out if it is repairable. If it is somewhere repairable then it could be worth spending the money to repair and recharge if the labor to replace the system will be high.

    Changing the system to a new system would likely require replacing the indoor coil, r410a requires more surface area on the evaporator and condenser for the same cooling capacity.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 188
    cutter said:

    I feel the AC guy came back at night and recovered some refrigerant.

    Now this is interesting. What makes you think that?

    pecmsg
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    Much more likely they just didn't tighten the caps on the service or access valves if it isn't just the leak that caused it to need to be charged in the first place (which also could have been service or access valves that weren't tightened)

    Those service valve caps with a resilient gasket instead of a metal to metal flare seal are really likely to allow the charge to leak out over a decade or so.
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    mattmia2 said:

    It could be worth paying someone competent to figure out where the leak is to find out if it is repairable. If it is somewhere repairable then it could be worth spending the money to repair and recharge if the labor to replace the system will be high.

    Changing the system to a new system would likely require replacing the indoor coil, r410a requires more surface area on the evaporator and condenser for the same cooling capacity.

    I can't remember how many AC guys came out trying to figure why this unit was not cooling. All guys from ac company's. Then I found this guy and he said all that is wrong is there is not enough refrigerant in the system. He added refrigerant and it worked good. as r22 got more expensive it started needing more refrigerant. I see now why the indoor unit would need to be replaced. When this unit was installed the new refrigerant was available, why this was sold to me is pretty rotten. I just assumed he would sell me the latest equipment. Thanks for your reply
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,076
    cutter said:

    mattmia2 said:

    It could be worth paying someone competent to figure out where the leak is to find out if it is repairable. If it is somewhere repairable then it could be worth spending the money to repair and recharge if the labor to replace the system will be high.

    Changing the system to a new system would likely require replacing the indoor coil, r410a requires more surface area on the evaporator and condenser for the same cooling capacity.

    I can't remember how many AC guys came out trying to figure why this unit was not cooling. All guys from ac company's. Then I found this guy and he said all that is wrong is there is not enough refrigerant in the system. He added refrigerant and it worked good. as r22 got more expensive it started needing more refrigerant. I see now why the indoor unit would need to be replaced. When this unit was installed the new refrigerant was available, why this was sold to me is pretty rotten. I just assumed he would sell me the latest equipment. Thanks for your reply

    What year was the system installed?
    There's nothing wrong with R22 from a performance stand point. In fact, most prefer it over 410A.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    GGross said:

    cutter said:

    I feel the AC guy came back at night and recovered some refrigerant.

    Now this is interesting. What makes you think that?

    This is what makes think that. This guy is a father son operation. The outside unit is on the west end of the house, there are tall shrubs between the unit and the front wall of the house. I have a welded wire fence around the shrubs, from the corner of the house around the shrubs and back to the house. The fence is to keep the deer away from the shrubs. The outside unit sits just outside the fence where the fence returns to the house. At the far end of the shrubs there are tall weeds and blackberry bushes that makes it hard to access the unit at night from the west end. When the AC guy comes out he goes around the east end of the
    house to the unit, and returns the same way. The last time the dad came out (the son has never been there) was on a Monday. Tuesday morning I was at the corner of the house where the fence starts. The fence was pulled back away from the house so a man could get through. A deer could not do that, they would not do that in the summer when there is plenty of forage in the surrounding wild. I live on a very quite road, no traffic at late night unless someone is up to no good. I feel the dad sent his son out to do the deed, the dad would have came in the way he always did. That is why I feel there is no leak. I have just made something to lock access to the valves on the outside unit.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,822
    IMO, if an HVAC guy is dishonest enough to steal R-22 at night he isn't too bright.
    If he wanted to get ahead dishonestly he could install, for many customers, 1 lb of R-22 and charge for 2 lbs.
    Who would ever know?

    Also when 410 first came out there was probably some skeptics who were leery of a new gas.
    No one wants to be on the "bleeding edge" of new technologies.

    And if you had a 410 system with leaks, the leaks would allow gas to escape quicker as 410 runs roughly double the pressure of R-22.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    You can have someone pressure test it with nitrogen, pump it up to the test pressure. If it is leaking fast enough to notice in a couple weeks it should be obvious over a couple hours and certainly be obvious if you put the caps back on and check the pressure after a few days.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,076
    JUGHNE said:

    IMO, if an HVAC guy is dishonest enough to steal R-22 at night he isn't too bright.
    If he wanted to get ahead dishonestly he could install, for many customers, 1 lb of R-22 and charge for 2 lbs.
    Who would ever know?

    Also when 410 first came out there was probably some skeptics who were leery of a new gas.
    No one wants to be on the "bleeding edge" of new technologies.

    And if you had a 410 system with leaks, the leaks would allow gas to escape quicker as 410 runs roughly double the pressure of R-22.

    410 is also a blend, so it's likely not going to leak equally.
    What are the rules on a leaking 410 system? Recover the charge and start over?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    JUGHNE said:

    IMO, if an HVAC guy is dishonest enough to steal R-22 at night he isn't too bright.
    If he wanted to get ahead dishonestly he could install, for many customers, 1 lb of R-22 and charge for 2 lbs.
    Who would ever know?

    Also when 410 first came out there was probably some skeptics who were leery of a new gas.
    No one wants to be on the "bleeding edge" of new technologies.

    And if you had a 410 system with leaks, the leaks would allow gas to escape quicker as 410 runs roughly double the pressure of R-22.

    Are you saying 410 can replace R-22? I am going to have a new guy come out and replace it if so.
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    mattmia2 said:

    You can have someone pressure test it with nitrogen, pump it up to the test pressure. If it is leaking fast enough to notice in a couple weeks it should be obvious over a couple hours and certainly be obvious if you put the caps back on and check the pressure after a few days.

    Sound like a good idea. I will call a new company and have them come out. That air handler in the attic is in a very hot place when it is warm outside
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,624
    cutter said:
    Are you saying 410 can replace R-22? I am going to have a new guy come out and replace it if so.
    No. The equipment must be spec'd for 410A.

    When the very first guy added refrigerant, how long did it work well before he snuck back and stole it? Hours, a day, a week?
    Is it possible that what was added leaked out again?
    Was it easier for the guy to get to his vehicle by peeling back the deer fence and forgot to replace it?
    It's not hard to determine if its a refrigerant issue or an electric or component issue. 


  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    HVACNUT said:


    cutter said:


    Are you saying 410 can replace R-22? I am going to have a new guy come out and replace it if so.

    No. The equipment must be spec'd for 410A.

    When the very first guy added refrigerant, how long did it work well before he snuck back and stole it? Hours, a day, a week?
    Is it possible that what was added leaked out again?
    Was it easier for the guy to get to his vehicle by peeling back the deer fence and forgot to replace it?
    It's not hard to determine if its a refrigerant issue or an electric or component issue. 




    When he first added refrigerant quite a while ago it worked fine for several years it was only when R-22 got expensive that it only worked for awhile, then worked poorly. I live in Minnesota so this air unit only runs occasionally during the summer. I would like to make it work. I am thinking about having the r-22 removed and pressure tested with nitrogen if I can find some one to do that. to check for a leak. I feel the soldered joints are good so I don't know where else it can leak.
    I did not keep track of how long it worked good before working poorly. Pealing back the fence was a short cut to the unit. when more refrigerant is added it works better for awhile.
    It probably would be best to have it pressure tested.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    Is the linset brazed or flare fittings or does it have quick connect fittings?

    The tubing in the evaporator or condenser can develop pinholes especially in newer systems.

    The caps on the service and access valves will leak if they aren't tightened or aren't metal to metal seals.
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 61
    Our code requires us to install locking caps on service ports. Apparently people were hooking up hoses and inhaling the refrigerant to get high.

    I wonder if thats whats going on to the OP.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740

    Our code requires us to install locking caps on service ports. Apparently people were hooking up hoses and inhaling the refrigerant to get high.

    I wonder if thats whats going on to the OP.

    Or those caps are leaking. Most of the locking caps I have seen do not have designs that I am convinced will seal reliably.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,076
    mattmia2 said:
    Our code requires us to install locking caps on service ports. Apparently people were hooking up hoses and inhaling the refrigerant to get high. I wonder if thats whats going on to the OP.
    Or those caps are leaking. Most of the locking caps I have seen do not have designs that I am convinced will seal reliably.
    I didn't use them on any of my stuff.
    I swapped out the oem plastic caps for brass ones and used nylog on the orings.


    I've heard too many negatives about locking caps and no positives.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Ironman
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,866
    You need a lawbreaker who will top off your system with propane.
    Don't rat on him unless you enjoy broken legs.
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    jumper said:

    You need a lawbreaker who will top off your system with propane.
    Don't rat on him unless you enjoy broken legs.

    How can R 20 and propane be mixed?
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    This is my locking device. It took me a long time to figure out and think about how I w
    as going to do this, That is a 3/4 inch bolt that goes through top and bottom.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    what kind of caps are on the service and access valves and are they tight?
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 292
    mattmia2 said:

    what kind of caps are on the service and access valves and are they tight?

    I have not got anybody out to check this out yet. when I do I may soap all the valves and caps. This is how I plan to deter any tampering with my system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,076
    That style lock can easily be cut off.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,740
    ChrisJ said:

    That style lock can easily be cut off.

    But it would be tamper evident. Then when it is low again and hasn't been touched they can move on to finding the leak.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,076
    mattmia2 said:
    That style lock can easily be cut off.

    But it would be tamper evident. Then when it is low again and hasn't been touched they can move on to finding the leak.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment