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Refrigerant Recovery

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Summary

  • Liquid recovers quicker than vapor.
  • Sub-coolers like the CPS MT69 & simple copper coils can cut recovery times in half! See (Figures 2 & 3).

Background

EPA Section 608 prohibits the intentional release of any ozone depleting substance and technicians make good faith efforts to maximize the recovery and recycling of R-22. As R-22 buy back prices rise and replacing R-22 becomes more commonplace, using techniques that minimize recovery time will lead to greater pay-offs, both in reduced labor costs, reduced call-backs and increased retrofit margins.

Best Practices

  • Always use valve core removal tools to remove Schrader cores.
  • Always purge all hoses.
  • Maximize hose diameters as much as possible.
  • Minimize hose lengths as much as possible.
  • Use commercial/homemade sub-coolers.
  • Avoid using hoses with core depressors or quick release attachments if possible.
  • Recovery as much liquid as possible before recovering vapor refrigerant.

Additional Tips

  • A sight glass makes it easy to determine when all liquid refrigerant has been recovered.
  • Utilize inline filter driers to remove contaminants and increase R-22 buyback prices.
  • For large refrigerant charges (over 15 lbs), use direct liquid recovery or push-pull methods.
  • Ambient conditions can greatly effect recovery times.
  • Keep recovery cylinders cool with buckets & ice or wet rags.
  • When possible, utilize unit compressor to pump down refrigerant to high side for liquid recovery.

Video

Figure 1. Appion standard recovery.

Figure 2. CPS MT69 Molecular Transformator.

Figure 3. Homemade Subcooler.