I hope this thread will find the attention of pro fridge techs with advice regarding joining fridge/aircon copper pipes.
I have recently become intrigued by diy fridge / freezer
/ aircon repair and maintenance
. At my location there are no legal
requirements for doing this work and after some bad experiences with local "techs" the only way to get anything done properly is to do it myself. I'm not a licenced tech but I understand the principles of operation of these machines, and have now come to a point where the biggest barrier is accomplishing good quality copper pipe joints fit for high pressure pipes, ie I want to add service
valves, change compressors, connect cold plates (old ones with no quick couplings), and so on..
Conventional wisdom says this kind of connections should be "brazed", meaning you purge the pipe with nitrogen in order to avoid oxydazation / contamination inside the pipe, and hard solder the joint with a relatively higher temperature flame torch using silver solder. But this requires quite a lot of equipment
and work imho. I would prefer something easier.
Furthermore, it is my understanding that "soft soldering" (using lower temps and solder that melts at lower temps) is not suitable for fridge/aircon copper pipes as the joint would not withstand the high pressures once system is running? Can anyone confirm this? One might (or might not) be able to avoid the contamination inside the pipe by using lower temps without nitrogen in pipe, but if the joint is weak or leaking then what's the point? Am I correct?
Then I recently discovered these " grimp-on quick connect couplers" (or whatever they are called) made by companies such as Parker (Zoomlock) and Vulcan Lokring ( Lokring) and a few others.
But these systems don't appear suitable for someone wanting to make just a few connections in his boat.. I believe to get started one has to buy one of their starter kits with the tool, selection of couplers, locking fluid, etc, and the initial cost would be very high. Looks like these ones are more suitable for high volume professional continuous daily use by a tech.
So.. What's left?
I can only think of two more options, *the self piercing valves (for adding a service
port) and the flared couplings.
but I know Mr Kollmann does not recommend them as they may leak. Are there any good ones that would be ok?
The flared couplings: would these be ok to use in fridge/aircon copper connections? I know they are used in household water
and gas pipes but those applications have much much lower pressures than fridge/aircon pipes. How about use in fridge/aircon apps? Can they handle the higher pressures?
If flared connections are deemed suitable I reckon that would be best option out of the ones above.. Simple cheap
What am I missing??
Any other recommended methods?
Ps I tried the search and google
but not much I could find. I would really appreciate to hear from the CF Pros.