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Old 24-09-2010, 09:22   #16
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Ricahrd, I respect the depth of your expertise on boat refrigeration but cannot understand how you are miscontruing so much of what I say.

"You are misunderstanding the laws intent which is to protect the earth's air and atmosphere not the type hardware used in a boat's refrigerator. "

I never discussed the intent of the laws. I know very well that the intent of the laws is to protect the ozone layer, and that they were not intended to protect boat hardware or the business related to it.

What I said was that I wouldn't be surprised if the BOAT REEFER INDUSTRY was using their own stated misinterptretation of the EPA policy or the laws to further their own sales. That's something very different from any implication that that might be the intent of the law.

And, ignoring any effect of industry lobbyists on the creation of regulations in general.

Totally different issue.
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Old 24-09-2010, 11:14   #17
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Thanks for the input everyone! I will take all advice given, and double-check my electrical connections first. If it comes to a new fridge, I guess I will also bite the bullet and get a new evaporator too....
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Old 24-09-2010, 11:51   #18
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On a recent AB Compressor, what fittings/adaptors are needed to add refrigerant? I have a running compressor and no cold - the unit sat for two years, and worked before that point. I want to try and introduce a small amount of refrigerant to see if it can get the seals working again, and then call a pro to top off to the correct amount if that works.

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Old 24-09-2010, 19:21   #19
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Cris, If compressor is left running for one half hour and there is some refrigerant in system there will be a spot in evaporator that is cold and compressor is warm. If compressor is now warm it has been running. No frost or cold at all and it is confirmed compressor is running indicates no refrigerant flow so chances are there is a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant leak then must be located and repaired. If unit did not leak prior to extended storage and did leake during storage then leak can be found in low pressure side of system, maybe at servicing fitting.

Knowing the model of compressor will identify refrigerant to use in servicing this unit. A BD2.5 compressor will require Freon R12 refrigerant, the BD3 and BD50 are designed for 134a but can also be serviced with R12 after all 134a is removed. 134a refrigerant can not be used in the Danfoss BD2.5 compressor as it is not compatible with Mineral oil. Standard ¼ inch flare servicing equipment is used for R12. A ACME 134a adaptor to ¼ inch female flare is needed to service Adler Barbour units with 134a refrigerant, it is available at most auto parts stores.

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Old 24-09-2010, 19:46   #20
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"the BD3 and BD50 are designed for 134a but can also be serviced with R12 after all 134a is removed."

Why on earth would someone want to put R12 in a [presumably newer] R134a system?!

Especially since the R12 is 5-10x the price and "civilians" cannot legally install it or buy it as an end user in the US, without an EPA certification. (And on the "gray" market, R12 is often counterfeited or contaminated, it isn't always R12.)
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Old 24-09-2010, 20:12   #21
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I think Richard was just stating the facts. Compressors with mineral oil cannot be used with 134a, but if it has ester-based oil, it can be used with 134a.

Sometimes stating the facts leave implications open to interpretations that weren't meant (like in this case, I presume).

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Old 25-09-2010, 07:27   #22
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Anyone who understands the Clean Air Act law with regard to CFC refrigerants knows there is no ban on use of Freon R12 refrigerant. All refrigeration units manufactured after 1996 were requires to use a non CFC refrigerant. Refrigerants HCFC containing R22 are in their first phase of being banned by setting limits on production. Refrigerants containing 134a are overlooked today for their global warming affect but are expected to be replaced in the future.

The earth is a big place and I assure you there are good reasons why someone might want to use R12 refrigerant if it is all that is available or condenser temperatures are too high for 134a or it is less expensive and available.

It is true that there are so called drop in substitute blends containing butane that should be avoided. Boats operating in cool climates can use 409a as a substitute for R12 but all blends I consider to be unfriendly in fractional HP compressors. When it comes to costs R12 prices do vary $15 dollars and more to service an Adler Barbour unit. I have never charged more than $10 dollars for Freon R12 refrigerant. Suppliers of R12 must pay a annual surcharge for quantities on hand this is why prices continue to raise on CFC refrigerant.
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Old 25-09-2010, 07:44   #23
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can you buy freon without certification? I thought you had to be certified to buy it. I got certified and usually Im asked for my card when I purchase. Even the auto shops in Md dont seem to carry the small cans like they used to. Curious
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Old 25-09-2010, 11:20   #24
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The law is that refrigerants can not be sold to anyone without the appropriate license.
I subscribed to the federal register till I retired and without a review of EPA’s current position, purchasing of small Freon R12 cans is only permitted to those holding licenses under section 609 of Fed. Reg. 40 CFR 82.32. for use in mobile A/C systems. If you are licensed under part 609 you may only purchase R12 refrigerant. Licenses covered under 608 allows the holder to purchase all refrigerants except one pound cans of R12.

As to where you can find 5 ounces of R12 you must shop around many people still have 14 ounce cans on their boats. Craigslist and EBay still list R12 from time to time selling for no more than $20. Be sure that what you buy is pure Dichlorodiflouoromethane 12 and no substitutes. As I mentioned before if it is imposable to get R12 then 409a can be used in cool climates.
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Old 25-09-2010, 13:38   #25
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"The law is that refrigerants can not be sold to anyone without the appropriate license."
Not quite right. R-134a can be sold in small quantities, typically the 14(10?)oz cans sold in auto chain stores, TO ANYONE.
Or do you really think the tens of thousands of auto supply stores that display R-134a in racks up front are flagrantly violating federal law?

As of 2009, the last time I checked the EPA codes, R-12 and other refrigerants can be sold to ANYONE WITH A RESALE LICENSE if their purpose is to resell them to an EPA-licensed end customer. This is a loophole, because it means anyone who has a resale license (sales tax license) can legally buy R12 and claim it is for resale. The guy who sells it to them legally can do so. If the buyer doesn't resell it--they've committed a crime but let's face it, the odds are they will never be audited and caught, making it very possible for an unlicensed party to buy R12 this way.
Unless they've closed that loophole--which is necessary in order to allow the business of distributing goods for trade--it still exists.

The real crime is the number of AC shops that simply top up leaking systems, or refill leaking systems, without fixing the leaks. And that they use refrigerant gasses, instead of nitrogen, to do their pressure testing. Causing more gas to be dumped when a system fails the pressure test.
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Old 25-09-2010, 18:00   #26
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Hellosailor, we all understand our responsibility in following the EPA’s regulations to protect our earth. Interpreting the law as you are if all refrigerant were lost out of a system would you allow an unlicensed boater to replace his own evaporator, even though the EPA regulations specific prohibit unlicensed persons from working on a refrigeration system? It would be more helpful if you could use your knowledge to help fellow boaters re-commission their inoperative refrigeration units while conforming to the law.
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Old 25-09-2010, 20:18   #27
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EPA regs like any other regs don't always compute.

I worked 36 yrs in commercial and industrial refrigeration. Here I am working on a little chiller.

The past few years I have been doing some boat work. I can and did go buy large quantities of R12 and MUCH more expensive exotic refrigerants well after the production of said gases was banned. Some very expensive/specialized machinery simply won't work on the "replacements".

Now as to EPA folly. I can right now go buy R11, 12, 13, 502, 503, etc in whatever quantities I need as holder of a "Universal" card. I CANNOT go buy an itty bitty can of R12 at an auto parts supply as I do not have cert for MVAC or like MVAC appliances. WHAT sense is this? Last time I was in SXM anyone could walk into any number of stores and buy R12 and it wasn't expensive at all. Ozone only floats in the sky over the USA?

As to the original question. Yes you can connect an old evaporator to a new condensing unit. The physical connections are not difficult. m
Making it work efficiently and reliably is another question entirely.

Refrigeration equipment is not the place to go cheap. Ever. If you want efficient trouble free operation.

Listen to Richard.
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Old 25-09-2010, 20:50   #28
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Can the EPA answer his question?

[QUOTE=
I have been frustrated trying to get ahold of any customer support for this product - who do you call with Adler Barbour technical questions?
Thanks as always[/QUOTE]

Thread Alert!!

And Ditto!! michaeldsusa
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Old 26-09-2010, 07:54   #29
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Originally Posted by michaeldsusa View Post
... Listen to Richard.
Adler Barbour is owned by Dometic / Waeco
Dometic Support ➥ Customer Support - Dometic

However, Richard Kollmann (kollmann marine) is THE go to guy for marine refrigeration.

KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist
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Old 26-09-2010, 10:21   #30
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Mikee, if you could purchase the small cans of R12, the odds are your local auto chain still couldn't sell them to you because they only deal in mass market, and R12 can only be sold to certified persons these days. It just wouldn't pay for the shops to carry it.

You make a good point about "replacement" gasses, few people other than the ones who make and market various blends consider them to be effective or "proper" at all. If and when the root cause of the problem is fixed, the price of one gas charge usually isn't a breaker on any repair. The price of having the job done repeatedly requiring multiple charges is usually the deal breaker for the more expensive gasses like R12.

And since techs are required to keep a complete set of separate equipment for each gas type (at least in the US) including gauges, recovery tanks, etc., folks may just not be aware that it rapidly becomes uneconomical for a shop to bother supporting every gas that ever has been used, as the equipment sits unused.

Economics and mass marketing...who says logic or good science have any role in policy and regulation?<G>



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"Interpreting the law...would you allow an unlicensed boater to... even though the EPA regulations specific prohibit unlicensed persons from working on a refrigeration system? "
How do you draw any conclusion about my interpretation? The laws are fairly straightforward, although you keep mis-stating parts of what they say. Mis-stating as in simple and direct contradiction or omission, there's no interpretation involved.
The folks who tested me and certified me taught me verbatim what I've said. If you don't like me being candid about loopholes and legality, that still doesn't change the truth of the matter.
When the law prohibits an unlicensed person from working on a system, that doesn't need any "interpretation". That's why I got licensed, so I could work on my own equipment legally and properly.
When you talk about using knowledge to help people, my knowledge of existing systems is far less than yours, so I can share far less, and I make no bones about that.

"It would be more helpful if you could use your knowledge to help fellow boaters re-commission their inoperative refrigeration units while conforming to the law. "
Conforming to the law? Should we reply "on point" or to the wider issues involved with repairs? When someone asks you about a repair, should you always preface your remarks with the fact that a proper repair may require a substantial investment in equipment (vaccum pump, guage set, leak test kits, multiple gas charges), making it economically unfeasible for Joe Boater to try their own repairs, regardless of the law?

Morality is all well and good but it changes from time to time (ask Rosa Parks if she should have sat in the back of the bus) if someone is intending to fix their own gear, you can make a far more effective case for "it will be cheaper to hire someone" than for "that's illegal". The problem being that many of us have spent good money time and again on hiring some clod with all the right licenses, who winds up releasing a lot of gasses multiple times without fixing the problem.

A new sealed AC/refrig system sold on the mass market typically functions for 10-20 years without any problems, yet a repair is often only warranteed for 30-90 days and often fails inside of a year or a couple of years. Certainly part of that is just the aging and failing of older systems, but part of that also reflects on the quality of the repairmen in general. As long as that continues, folks will want to do their own repairs. Answering their questions honestly, to the best of ability, and not passing on FUD about regulations, isn't all that bad.

Protect our earth? That's an admirable goal. Drink warm beer and learn to like it, stop using refrigeration except for vital medical supples, and we can argue that you've taken the first step toward real protection. Morality and protection really should be split off into a separate thread, don't you think?
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