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Old 13-04-2020, 19:41   #1
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Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

Hi all,

Got an email from Ozefridge today, warning me that there are some cans of R134a refrigerant that have made it into Oz on foreign flagged ships. (As we all know, you cannot buy R134a here in Oz unless you are a refrigeration tech). Some of these cans contain other ingredients, including leak sealants. Be VERY careful, as they may not be compatible with your fridge and can glue it up completely.

Happily I donít anticipate needing a regas for my Ozefridge for many, many years, based on the experience of others, but I was glad of this warning because I can see how it might be tempting for us Aussies, given the difficulty in obtaining gas legitimately in our far flung places.

If in doubt, check with your favourite fridge tech first.

Matt.
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Old 14-04-2020, 03:40   #2
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

Thanks, Matt. Good information, and advice.
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Old 14-04-2020, 14:57   #3
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

I dont see a problem most refrigerant leak sealers are a liquid. Just dont tip the can upside down & just draw of the gas component.
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Old 14-04-2020, 18:06   #4
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

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I dont see a problem most refrigerant leak sealers are a liquid. Just dont tip the can upside down & just draw of the gas component.


Well, feel free to try it on your fridge. Iíll stick with Peteís advice.
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Old 15-04-2020, 12:40   #5
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

Did the e-mail provide any information on how to identify these cans?
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Old 15-04-2020, 13:59   #6
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

I switched over to a locally manufactured hydrocarbon based R134 equivalent a couple of years ago. The fridge appears to work just as well and has not seized up nor blown me up yet and does not require any licensing.
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Old 15-04-2020, 18:00   #7
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

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Did the e-mail provide any information on how to identify these cans?


Well, in one case the can was labelled in Spanish. But aside from that, it was more of a general warning.

More of a general heads-up to us R134a starved Aussies.
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Old 15-04-2020, 18:03   #8
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

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I switched over to a locally manufactured hydrocarbon based R134 equivalent a couple of years ago. The fridge appears to work just as well and has not seized up nor blown me up yet and does not require any licensing.


Interesting. Can you tell me more? I can forward to Ozefridge. Theyíll be interested Iím sure.
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Old 15-04-2020, 18:03   #9
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

Nearly all domestic fridges now use Hydrocarbon refrigerant R600A, been around for years basicly its LPG based & works great. The R134 with the leak sealer included was designed for belt driven automotive systems & has been around for years.
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Old 15-04-2020, 21:51   #10
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

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Interesting. Can you tell me more? I can forward to Ozefridge. Theyíll be interested Iím sure.
Ozepete of Ozefridge is well aware of it but with the regulations in various Australian states they are probably not in a good position to use it.

The company who manufactures it is Hychil and their biggest customer base is Europe where a lot of domestic fridges use it. I suspect it might also find wide use in auto aircon systems there.

I take the view that I already have an open ended system with up to 9.3 kg of hydrocarbon gas in the boat with flexible hoses and numerous screw threaded connections as potential leakage points and consequently adding a fully closed system with all copper piping and silver soldered connections containing 100 grams or so of hydrocarbon gas and that consequently the added hazard is very minimal.
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Old 15-04-2020, 23:20   #11
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Re: Warning about canned R134a in Australia.

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....

I take the view that I already have an open ended system with up to 9.3 kg of hydrocarbon gas in the boat with flexible hoses....

Eeeek!

When you put it that way....

Hadnít considered that it might be flammable. But yes, in comparison to a couple of BBQ gas bottles on board, it is kinda trivial.
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