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Old 24-03-2008, 10:37   #1
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Recharging AC?

I have two AC units in my boat and am pretty sure they need a recharge. Since they are 20+ years old, Im sure they use R-22. Where can I get R-22 or a substitute that works?

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Old 24-03-2008, 11:13   #2

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You need to look on the unit to determine the proper refrigerant to put in. Usually there is an indication on the compressor itself. Also, you need to be up to speed on using a refrigeration manifold, the high and low pressure sides, appropriate fill and running pressures, etc...

This type of work can literally kill you if you aren't 100% sure what you are doing.

You might need to read up on Richard Kollmann's site and get his book. It's called "Do it Yourself Refrigeration", but a refrigerator and an air conditioner are the same thing. He has a section for a 1/2HP A/C compressor. Same thing as most air conditioners.

BTW: It's R-12 you are probably looking for. I has some, but recently got rid of it, sorry.

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Old 07-05-2008, 09:47   #3
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I'll also second the recommendation to buy Richard Kollmann's book and a set of gauges. I just recently got my pocket picked by a refrigeration guy. I used to think that I knew how to recognize modern day Pirates, because they usually come wearing suits and ties, but this pirate came-a-looting in a refrigeration tech uniform. Recharging an ac or refrigeration unit isn't exactly neurosurgery or time consuming, but I hadn't gotten my book or gauges yet and decided to hire a 'professional' to give my unit a charge, since the compressor and fan were running but not cooling the plate. 2 minutes travel time, 2 minutes to charge the unit, "That'll be $140 please".

Set of gauges-$80
Kollmann's book-$40
can of freon-$10

Not getting a quote because I expected to be treated fairly-Priceless!!

It's no wonder we are becoming a disposable society. Fix it yourself, or throw it out and buy another one!!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:17   #4
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As it turns out, I wasnt running the AC on start for long enough. Puts out some cold air now, but I have to run it on start for around 5 minutes before putting it on run. The other AC unit is FUBAR though and will likely have to be replaced. Oh well, the large one works, so its good enough for me. Thanks for the advice though. Ill keep it in mind when I get around to putting new freon in the system.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:49   #5

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"when I get around to putting new freon in the system."
With R-12 you have to be careful. Anyone who is in the business, and legitimate, will not sell it to you unless you are licensed to handle it or resell it. Anyone who simply has a can left over from a decade ago, might be a legitimate buddy who'll sell it to you ignoring those laws. But then there's a third seller--the ones selling outright counterfeit R12, which can be many things, and ruin your system.
R-12 sells legitimately for roughly $30-50 per pound, $20-25 for an old (12-14oz.) can of it is not unreasonable if you can find it on the garage sale circuit. But that still leaves the question of where did the old Freon go, and isn't there a leak to still fix?
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