replace freon???

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
cestan
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:57 pm

replace freon???

Post by cestan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:19 am

So when we bought out house one year ago it came with a free home warranty. wouldn't you know it, the ac compressor dies two days before the warranty ended. whahoo. compressor is getting replaced by the warranty company but the hvac guy says the freon?Puron? needs to be replaced since that may have caused the compressor failure. 10lbs at 45$ a pound. does this seem right? why not just reuse the old refrigerant?

renue74
Posts: 896
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by renue74 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:29 am

A HVAC system is a closed loop system....meaning the refrigerant is cycled in the system. When something breaks or there's a leak, the refrigerant escapes the system...so new must be added after a repair.

The cost sounds about right.

Teague
Posts: 840
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by Teague » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:55 am

The old refrigerant could be contaminated with "non-condensables" such as air or water vapor. This happens from prior less-than-stellar service techniques.

These contaminants do not compress well so they put extra strain on the compressor, because it has to work harder at higher pressures. So the service guy is right, even if they recovered all the old refrigerant during the compressor replacement, it should be replaced with refrigerant that is known to be uncontaminated.

The question then turns to the home warranty company. What sort of a chicken **** outfit would think new refrigerant is not part of a compressor replacement?! This is a good example of the problem with home warranties. Many outrageous exceptions and exclusions from coverage.
Semper Augustus

jebmke
Posts: 6879
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:12 pm

Teague wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:55 am
The old refrigerant could be contaminated with "non-condensables" such as air or water vapor. This happens from prior less-than-stellar service techniques.

These contaminants do not compress well so they put extra strain on the compressor, because it has to work harder at higher pressures. So the service guy is right, even if they recovered all the old refrigerant during the compressor replacement, it should be replaced with refrigerant that is known to be uncontaminated.

The question then turns to the home warranty company. What sort of a chicken **** outfit would think new refrigerant is not part of a compressor replacement?! This is a good example of the problem with home warranties. Many outrageous exceptions and exclusions from coverage.
That was my thought as well. Just like you wouldn't recover the coolant and reuse it if you replaced the radiator or waterpump in your car.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

J G Bankerton
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by J G Bankerton » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:15 pm

CFCs are being phased out and will get more expensive. It is also expensive to convert an old unit so it can use an R-22 substitute. This is called being between a rock and a hard place.

cestan
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:57 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by cestan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:19 pm

have looked at the unit. it is a carrier unit and it has a puron sticker on it so i will need puronor equivalent. agree with the uselessness of home warranties but it was no cost to me.

neilpilot
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: replace freon???

Post by neilpilot » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:21 pm

Puron = Genetron R410A = generic R-410A

J G Bankerton
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by J G Bankerton » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:23 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:21 pm
Puron = Genetron R410A = generic R-410A
That costs $5.44 a pound, DYI.

killjoy2012
Posts: 898
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm

You can buy a new, sealed 25lb jug of Freon on Ebay for $132. Then pay the HVAC pro an hour labor to install it.
Installation is not a DIY effort.

barnaclebob
Posts: 2225
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: replace freon???

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:35 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm
You can buy a new, sealed 25lb jug of Freon on Ebay for $132. Then pay the HVAC pro an hour labor to install it.
Installation is not a DIY effort.
With a couple hundred dollars in tools it can be. I recharged the R-134a in my car with no issues using an borrowed vacuum pump and gages from autozone (not the quickshot cans). Its the same procedure with slightly different gages for residential AC systems.

neilpilot
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: replace freon???

Post by neilpilot » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:02 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm
You can buy a new, sealed 25lb jug of Freon on Ebay for $132. Then pay the HVAC pro an hour labor to install it.
Installation is not a DIY effort.
But the OP says his unit is R-410a. I suspect that what you call "Freon" is actually R-22, which is pure CHClF2. R-410A is a blend containing only about 45% R-22, and the two should never be mixed in a unit designed to run on one or the other.

R-410A should cost less than half of R-22.

killjoy2012
Posts: 898
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:17 pm


Lucky2Invest
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by Lucky2Invest » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:17 am

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:02 pm
killjoy2012 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm
You can buy a new, sealed 25lb jug of Freon on Ebay for $132. Then pay the HVAC pro an hour labor to install it.
Installation is not a DIY effort.
But the OP says his unit is R-410a. I suspect that what you call "Freon" is actually R-22, which is pure CHClF2. R-410A is a blend containing only about 45% R-22, and the two should never be mixed in a unit designed to run on one or the other.

R-410A should cost less than half of R-22.
Better hope it's not R-22. I just paid...wait for it...$200 per pound for it. Just did 2lbs to get me through the summer. But didn't have any other choices as that's the going rate

neilpilot
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: replace freon???

Post by neilpilot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:05 am

Lucky2Invest wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:17 am
neilpilot wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:02 pm
killjoy2012 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:29 pm
You can buy a new, sealed 25lb jug of Freon on Ebay for $132. Then pay the HVAC pro an hour labor to install it.
Installation is not a DIY effort.
But the OP says his unit is R-410a. I suspect that what you call "Freon" is actually R-22, which is pure CHClF2. R-410A is a blend containing only about 45% R-22, and the two should never be mixed in a unit designed to run on one or the other.

R-410A should cost less than half of R-22.
Better hope it's not R-22. I just paid...wait for it...$200 per pound for it. Just did 2lbs to get me through the summer. But didn't have any other choices as that's the going rate
When you buy 2 lb from a repair shop you will pay thru the nose. It cost then no more than $5-$7 a lb. Rest is pure profit.

IowaFarmBoy
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:19 am

Re: replace freon???

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:44 am

Sometimes when compressors die, they do so by a metal part failing and introducing lots of metal particles into the system. This requires removing the refrigerant, flushing the metal particles out and then recharging.

And as someone else has mentioned, the refrigerant could be contaminated by water, etc. At the very least, installing a new compressor requires opening the system and thus re-charging the refrigerant. They may be able to clean and recycle the old refrigerant- I'm not very up on this. Auto shops are able to do this but they don't have to have portable equipment.

alfaspider
Posts: 920
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by alfaspider » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:01 am

Calling it "Freon" in the context of repair is not particularly helpful. There are a variety of chemicals that are useful for refrigeration, with a variety of costs. If you are talking R-22, yes, it's expensive.

Teague
Posts: 840
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: replace freon???

Post by Teague » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:03 am

alfaspider wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:01 am
Calling it "Freon" in the context of repair is not particularly helpful. There are a variety of chemicals that are useful for refrigeration, with a variety of costs. If you are talking R-22, yes, it's expensive.
True. As an interesting aside, propane is also a really good refrigerant, and is used in some industrial settings (not in the US though). It does not deplete ozone, does not contribute to global warming, is cheap, and has properties very similar to R-22. But I don't think I'd want several pounds of propane at high pressure circulating through my house.
Semper Augustus

neilpilot
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: replace freon???

Post by neilpilot » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:15 am

Teague wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:03 am
alfaspider wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:01 am
Calling it "Freon" in the context of repair is not particularly helpful. There are a variety of chemicals that are useful for refrigeration, with a variety of costs. If you are talking R-22, yes, it's expensive.
As an interesting aside, propane is also a really good refrigerant, and is used in some industrial settings (not in the US though). It does not deplete ozone, does not contribute to global warming, is cheap, and has properties very similar to R-22. But I don't think I'd want several pounds of propane at high pressure circulating through my house.
True, but possible misleading in the context of residential HVAC. For residential use, there are really only 2 in use, R-22 & R-410A.

Propane (R-290) is joined by a slew of other refrigerants. Ammonia (R-717), CO2 (R-744), R-134A & R-407C are common in industry. I worked to develop R-134A in the mid-90s when I was at a production facility fluorinating various HFC compounds.

Post Reply