DIY Charging A/C Unit

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  #1  
Old 04-05-03, 05:40 PM
wwjd1955
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Question DIY Charging A/C Unit

Hi Guys. I live in South Texas near Houston. My OLD A/C unit is running almost continuously, and yet the air from the registers is only cool. OUtside temp is around 80, and cannot get interior temp below 77.

I have a set of gauges and a bottle of freon, and last year I charged the system myself. It worked fine all cooling season, so I feel I need to top up the freon again. Unfortunately, I lost my notes on the proper way to hook up my gauges, and the proper balance / readings on the gauges when the freon is charged properly.

Any help on this?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 04-05-03, 07:43 PM
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wwjd1955:

With today's environmental laws sealed system repair is no longer a diy activity.
Call a licensed tradesman and you shouldn't have to "juice" it up every year.

http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/ozonelayer/salerest.htm
 
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Old 04-06-03, 12:02 AM
firsthvac
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Do you have the certification to properly handle freon? Obviously if you had to charge it last year, then a leak is in the system. Can you find and repair the leak properly?

Due to enviromental laws I cannot, and will not advise anyone other than a known certified HVAC service person how to properly use refrigerants.

Sorry...but it's a matter of integrity to my industry and American duty to follow the laws of my country.
 
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Old 04-06-03, 06:58 PM
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$10,000 Fine

Even better than that...if you get caught with the stuff and don't have a licence, your neighbor doesnt like you and rats you out, or enviornmental police get wind of what your doing, it's a $10,000 fine for EACH violation. about 8 years ago, some lady complained about a tech that released freon in her kitchen on a service call on her refrigerator, ratted him out and collected on the reward. A nosy neighbor could do you in... even land you in jail....and for what.... also if you have a hole in your gas tank, what do you do? Keep adding gas, or fix it? When the freon leaks out so does the oil!, Your unit is headed for the bone yard if its low on gas and you run it anyway. Shut it off. Find the leak and repair it.
Have someone licensed do it.
 
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Old 04-06-03, 08:07 PM
wwjd1955
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Wow, are you guys in a union or what?!? I respect that you are all trained and licensed professionals, and understand your comments regarding the "imminent death" of my unit (after all, it is ancient - I'm guesssing at least 15 - 20 years old). I am saving my coins as we speak for the new unit I know I will need in the very near future. All I am trying to do right now is to get the old unit working a little better, make the wife happy, and just maybe make it through one more season before having to send this unit to the bone yard.

As far as the rest of your posts, let me say that I am not a licensed HVAC tech., the freon was a gift from a good friend who is a licensed tech but now lives in another state, I bought the gauges so I could check these sorts of things for myself, the source of the leak is a sticky schrader (sp.?) valve that I don't want to pay $250 to replace in this old system, and I guess Texans are just stubborn about trying to save money by doing anything they can for themselves, especially those of us raised in the country and not in the city.

Guess I'll just have to bug my buddy for the needed info and go from there. As I am very careful with the freon and gauges, I hope to release less damaging gases than a small herd of flatulant cattle might in an hour's time. I plan on replacing the seal in the brass cap on the valve when I take it off. Since the last charge lasted all cooling season last year, I am relatively sure the leak is very slow, and am hoping this new seal might stop it all together.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your concern.
 
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Old 04-06-03, 08:25 PM
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wwjd1955:

It's not a protectionest attitude.
How can we council you to break the law, damage the environment by your repair methods and endanger your safety with materials and equipment you know nothing about?

In the old days, a quick shot of Freon and on to the next job was the norm. Times have changed and it's our responsibility to make you aware of that.

Besides, your wife would probably be much happier with your company and a dozen roses than your mucking around outside.
 
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Old 04-06-03, 08:55 PM
wwjd1955
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Understood. I'll get in touch with a licensed HVAC tech to get the repairs done. While he is here, maybe I can get him to reduce his invoice a bit by trading this almost full bottle of freon to him. Then I won't even be tempted to use it.

Thanks again for your help.
 
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Old 04-07-03, 09:42 AM
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A/C fix

From what you said on where the leak is. Dont have the $$ cost here . But by the time you went out and got the tool that you can use to take that schrader out and put a new one in with no lost of freon. Ill bet it would cost you more than the service call Oh and how old is old I know of a AC unit that runs like a top and its 37 years old now ED
 
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Old 04-08-03, 05:15 PM
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Smile Are you sure that's what you want to do???

Your going to replace the unit because it's old??? Save your coin and run it till it dies! (the compressor)...The unit will still do fine as long as you keep the coil clean in most cases. If it ever trips don't just reset it, find out why it tripped...The schraeder core removal tool is $30.00 trade price (approx.)the core about $2.00....What you were being warned against is this, Texas has people incarcerated as we speak for refrigerant violations. Some guy was caught with R-12 got like 30 years to life....By the way, you added Freon to your system??? If I said, "Can I put oil in your salad" you might want to ask what kind of oil? R12, R22, R502 are all Freon...this is a Dupont trade name only. If your Freon was R502 (orchard can), its most likely junk now. The 30#cylinder of R12 (white can)now is about $1000.00-$1200.00. R22 (green can) is the common but not only gas for AC, some used R500 also or R12. Charging might be the undoing of your system, why its failing. Unless you know the proper procedure to purge air from the gauges or know how to purge angd charge sealright hoses ,air was in the gauges and hoses, when they were connected to the system, and you introduced air (or non-condensibles ) into the system along with moisture which will adventually break down the oil and cause it to fail. Take some advice...I use to try fix cars and stopped doing that and just decided to work a few extra hours overtime to help pay for the repairs instead, I got this from my younger brother about fixing cars...Hire someone who does this all day long...he's much faster...it will be cheaper in the long run, parts don't get replaced willie nilly and still broke! Vollunteer what you do for a living on overtime...and pay the repair. Plus I enjoy doing what I truely know! and... alot less headaches and alot more fishing!
 

Last edited by GregH; 04-08-03 at 09:13 PM.
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