Recharge a window A/C unit?

Old 08-18-16, 08:25 AM
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Question Recharge a window A/C unit?

Does anyone know of an economical way to recharge a window A/C unit with r410a refrigerant?

The story:
I was cleaning my unit, and when I unbolted the coil to clean under it, I accidentally bent the tube leading from the compressor to the exhaust coil. When I bent it back, the tube burst and all of the coolant blasted out of the lines

Now, I can braze/solder this thing back together, but I don't have a license to get refrigerant. Anything I can do here besides find a super friendly HVAC person to help? The rest of the unit is in excellent condition, though I feel I may have just turned it into a big paperweight. Suggestions besides throwing it away and buying a new one?
Old 08-18-16, 08:37 AM
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Anything I can do here besides find a super friendly HVAC person to help?
Welcome to the forums. Sounds like you have this figured out.
Old 08-18-16, 08:59 AM
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I doubt your unit has the ports for connecting to recharge. You'll need to add those in addition to fixing the broken line. Unless it's a rather new and good/expensive unit I start looking for a nearby recycling center.
Old 08-18-16, 09:44 AM
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Pilot Dane,

Correct, it doesn't have the necessary ports, but that can be fixed for a few dollars by attaching a bullet piercing valve on the cooling side line going into the compressor, right? So that plus brazing a straight connector and theoretically, all I'd need is to charge it, right? Any idea how much refrigerant a 6,000 BTU unit takes? Since r410a is kind of expensive, I think the sticking point here would be the cost and availability of the refrigerant, yes?

Is there anything else I'd need to worry about? Like, for example, the existing air that has been introduced into the lines from the leak? Would I need to do a proper evacuation, purge, and charge on this thing now? If so, it seems like that would be a dealbreaker for me. Thoughts?
Old 08-18-16, 10:07 AM
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You do not need a license or permit to purchase R-410a, look on Ebay.

Yes, you DO need to purge (with nitrogen) and into a recovery system and you DO need to use a vacuum pump to remove all the air. Adding a filter-dryer might also be a good idea.
Old 08-18-16, 10:12 AM
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I'm not an A/C tech, but I believe that R410A while not "cheap" is nowhere near as expensive as R22 refrigerant. I don't think the cost of the R410A itself will be a big factor. What will cost you is the technician's time & talent to recharge the unit. Since the system has been open to the outside environment, a vacuum will have to be drawn to purge all the air from the system. Normally, on a split A/C system, the filter/drier would also be replaced because of the moisture that would have gotten into the system. I don't know if a window A/C has a filter/drier or if it's replaceable. The tech may run into a problem knowing how much refrigerant to add to the system (unless you or he knows how much it holds), as I doubt that he will be able to hook up his gauge set to the unit.
Old 08-18-16, 11:10 AM
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Unfortunately.... the administrators have adopted a policy where sealed systems details, including repair and charging, are not discussed in the forums. I do realize that the refrigerant you require can be bought without a license but it is being grouped into home A/C systems and therefore is not open for further discussion.

At this point you require some specialized equipment and would be advised to seek out a local tradesman for help.

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