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bagelhead
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Post by bagelhead »

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Last edited by bagelhead on Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JF2141
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by JF2141 »

427A is a drop in replacement for R22. Should work fine. 427A is just much cheaper than R22
bob60014
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by bob60014 »

R22 is being phased out and command's a premium price. The retrofit was a wise move, especially if it leaks again.
neilpilot
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by neilpilot »

bagelhead wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:45 am Hi,

Just wanted to hear any thoughts on the following. Newly installed AC Coil used existing R22 from existing Condenser. R22 leaked shortly after installation. HVAC company replaced R22 with retrofit 427A.

Thanks.
My thought is that I hope you or they found and repaired the leak.
Spirit Rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by Spirit Rider »

neilpilot wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:34 am
bagelhead wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:45 am Just wanted to hear any thoughts on the following. Newly installed AC Coil used existing R22 from existing Condenser. R22 leaked shortly after installation. HVAC company replaced R22 with retrofit 427A.
My thought is that I hope you or they found and repaired the leak.
This is even more important since R427a is an HFC blend of R134a/R125/R32/R143a.

Leaks of single refrigerants simply affect the overall charge. Modest changes in the charge do not have significant operational impact. Whereas, even minor leaks of blends can result in fractionation. This change in the percentages of the refrigerants in the blend. Will change the operational characteristics of the blend.
Topic Author
bagelhead
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:20 am

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Post by bagelhead »

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Last edited by bagelhead on Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NHRATA01
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Location: New York City area

Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by NHRATA01 »

I had also heard that of the drop in R22 replacement. It is not as efficient of a refrigerant as R22 and will add more load to the compressor which can kill it quicker.

I'll throw this in - we have industrial grade older R22 chillers at my work site. R22 is rapidly increasing in price, and getting scarce. Our chiller maintenance vendor has been unsuccessful in finding a drop in replacement and the chiller's OEM officially stated the residential R22 drop in is not recommended.

My sense is there are a lot of commercial and industrial R22 machines out there, and if there was an acceptable drop in, it would be widely used. So my suspicion would be a residential drop in would not be ideal for a long term plan.

*I am not an HVAC tech.
SittingOnTheFence
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by SittingOnTheFence »

NHRATA01 wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:21 pm My sense is there are a lot of commercial and industrial R22 machines out there, and if there was an acceptable drop in, it would be widely used. So my suspicion would be a residential drop in would not be ideal for a long term plan.
Thank you for mentioning this. I've been considering a "dry" replacement for my 22 yr old R22 machine and this comment is likely to steer me to a different, and unfortunately, much more expensive solution. That would be a ductless solution for my 60 yr old rambling house. Existing ductwork is too small to handle newer units.
killjoy2012
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by killjoy2012 »

FYI - One option is to buy a canister of R22 from somewhere (like Ebay) to hedge against the almost guaranteed price increase over time. Most will make you either show certification or attest that you will not use/install the R22 yourself - only using a certified installer.

My HVAC service guy always grumbles when he can't charge me his outrageous pricing per lb, when needed (rarely).
NHRATA01
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Location: New York City area

Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by NHRATA01 »

SittingOnTheFence wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:17 pm
NHRATA01 wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:21 pm My sense is there are a lot of commercial and industrial R22 machines out there, and if there was an acceptable drop in, it would be widely used. So my suspicion would be a residential drop in would not be ideal for a long term plan.
Thank you for mentioning this. I've been considering a "dry" replacement for my 22 yr old R22 machine and this comment is likely to steer me to a different, and unfortunately, much more expensive solution. That would be a ductless solution for my 60 yr old rambling house. Existing ductwork is too small to handle newer units.
My residential unit, about 15 y/o went out on me last spring. Froze the coil twice late in the '16 cooling season so I suspected it was low, and yup, all the R22 charge was gone by the time April came. I briefly looked at finding a canister online but a year ago it was up to ~$50/lb - believe my unit took 12lbs so $600 - AND you need to produce a refrigeration license to anywhere it is being sold (yes this includes the sellers you will find on ebay as mentioned in the post above). The residential HVAC techs reportedly were charging up to $100/lb for top offs last summer - our commercial price for R22 here was pushing $40/lb. It is only likely to get considerably more expensive in the coming years, until it hits the point R12 recently did where there are few users left and a bunch of stock no one wants anymore.

IMO if you have an R22 unit and it leaks or starts failing, bite the bullet and install a new R420a unit rather then pay a premium for an obseleted refrigerant. My 4ton unit was ~$4500 for the condenser, air handler and lineset. Fortunately reused existing ductwork and wiring.
testing321
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by testing321 »

NHRATA01 wrote: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:14 amIMO if you have an R22 unit and it leaks or starts failing, bite the bullet and install a new R420a unit rather then pay a premium for an obseleted refrigerant. My 4ton unit was ~$4500 for the condenser, air handler and lineset. Fortunately reused existing ductwork and wiring.
Not to mention that the newer units are much more energy efficient using about 30% less electricity.
Liberty1100
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by Liberty1100 »

killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:18 pm FYI - One option is to buy a canister of R22 from somewhere (like Ebay) to hedge against the almost guaranteed price increase over time. Most will make you either show certification or attest that you will not use/install the R22 yourself - only using a certified installer.

My HVAC service guy always grumbles when he can't charge me his outrageous pricing per lb, when needed (rarely).
I wouldn’t recommend going this route. Besides the hassle, It is equivalent to you buying your hip replacement and then asking the surgeon to install it in your hip. Why would the surgeon like doing that?
Spirit Rider
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by Spirit Rider »

Liberty1100 wrote: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:40 pm
killjoy2012 wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:18 pm FYI - One option is to buy a canister of R22 from somewhere (like Ebay) to hedge against the almost guaranteed price increase over time. Most will make you either show certification or attest that you will not use/install the R22 yourself - only using a certified installer.

My HVAC service guy always grumbles when he can't charge me his outrageous pricing per lb, when needed (rarely).
I wouldn’t recommend going this route. Besides the hassle, It is equivalent to you buying your hip replacement and then asking the surgeon to install it in your hip. Why would the surgeon like doing that?
I bought two 30lb jugs of R-22 for $2/lb twenty years ago when I bought and installed my current system. I only used about 2lb during the installation it, not a drop since. They have certainly helped with the systems of friends and family. I brought the jug when there was a problem at my goddaughter's condo. The HVAC service guy didn't have any problem using my jug and didn't charge a penny extra. That was the last of the first jug and now I'm on the second jug.

I have always bought my own major service parts for my vehicles and never had a problem with a mechanic or dealership installing them at their normal shop rates when it was something I didn't want to do myself. I bought the marble, slate and tile to be installed in my house. I hired a top notch guy to do most of the installation. He didn't have any problem doing it that way and me helping him to reduce the cost. He taught me all the ins and outs along the way as we did the slate in the sunroom, marble in the foyer and tile in the kitchen, so I could finish the tile in the hallways and bathrooms myself.

You are obviously dealing with the wrong people. I find the majority of tradesmen more than happy to help you out saving money. If they are good and I always hire the best, they are so busy that they appreciate anything that gets them on to the next job and reference.
Mudpuppy
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by Mudpuppy »

SittingOnTheFence wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:17 pm
NHRATA01 wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:21 pm My sense is there are a lot of commercial and industrial R22 machines out there, and if there was an acceptable drop in, it would be widely used. So my suspicion would be a residential drop in would not be ideal for a long term plan.
Thank you for mentioning this. I've been considering a "dry" replacement for my 22 yr old R22 machine and this comment is likely to steer me to a different, and unfortunately, much more expensive solution. That would be a ductless solution for my 60 yr old rambling house. Existing ductwork is too small to handle newer units.
Have you explored if it would be cheaper to upgrade the duct work rather than going with ductless units?
SittingOnTheFence
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Re: HVAC: R22 Freon leak, Replaced by 427A Retrofit

Post by SittingOnTheFence »

I thought about it...briefly.

Some of the ductwork runs through finished basement. Would require pulling sheetrock ceiling in 4 locations to access those runs.
Most of the rest of ductwork is accessible except for 2 runs that are in a crawl space w/ about 2.5' of clearance. All 20 air registers are in the wall, so will require a lot of additional work unless I accept reducing each run when it gets to the destination.

The real dealbreaker.....I notice that accessible duct joints are wrapped in asbestos so presume the entire system is the same (it was retrofit with aluminum backed insulation so who knows what is hiding in there).....A can of worms I hesitate to have bid out.
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