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    Question Regassing question [amateur]



    Hi,

    I've got an 18000btu split a/c unit (Bergdorf) I bought a few years ago. I self-installed it in my portakabin office, and it worked beautifully for about 12 months, then slowly and noticeably got less & less effective over the next 6-8 months. Diagnosis - I didn't do the connection pipes up firmly enough, and the gas leaked out over time. It sat on the wall for the next 4-5 years, a few months back I decommissioned the cabin but kept the A/C unit.

    Obviously, it needs new gas (R134 I think, but will confirm before I get any obviously). I'm also assuming I need to add some oil, but here come the questions....

    1) How much oil? Roughly? Is it likely to have lost much as the leak was so slow?
    2) How much gas? I can get 5kg of R134A for 35 locally, I'm guessing that would last me a lifetime even if I didn't cure the leak...
    3) I'd like to re-use the piping. It's been indoors most of its life, and the only times it's been disturbed are when I've disturbed it, so it shouldn't be too distorted/fractured or work hardened. Plus it's going back into an indoor setting (the outside unit is under cover), so it should last years, right?

    This is a self-install again by me (a capable amateur but not an a/c expert by any stretch), the building is basically a large shed, it's not for commercial or domestic use, so I don't need to follow codes, so long as I don't do anything stupidly dangerous.

    Of course, if it would only cost, say 50ish to have someone come onsite & gas/oil/recommission it for me, then that's the route I'd take. Unfortunately I'm on a shoestring budget though, otherwise I'd be tempted to just buy another one.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice.

    Cheers!
    Ade.



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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Where are you in the UK,that may get you some response?

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    it's not for commercial or domestic use, so I don't need to follow codes, so long as I don't do anything stupidly dangerous.
    Welcome to the real world.

    You have set your location as UK. Here we are not allowed to carry out any work on any refrigeration circuits unless we are suitably qualified and registered. Sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by GOV.CO.UK
    Only trained technicians can carry out work on equipment containing F gases, including:
    • installation
    • testing for leaks
    • general maintenance
    • disposal or decommissioning when you no longer need the product
    For more information have a look HERE

    Last edited by The Viking; 12-06-2017 at 10:21 PM.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Hi, thanks for the replies.

    I'm in Birkenhead, right on the end of the Wirral peninsular. Miles away from anyone...

    Re codes/qualifications/registrations etc.... well, I won't tell if you won't

    Seriously - I'm just after some advice. I'll have a go at re-gassing it myself, if it's not incredibly difficult, but without the proper training etc. I obviously don't know the volumes, pressures, and so on. Come to think of it, I don't even know _what_ oil to use (Mobil 1 is not suitable, I assume!). At the end of the day, if I destroy my own AC unit, then I can just shrug and buy another one when the budget allows. I just need to not set it on fire...

    Cheers!
    Ade.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    PS: I do spend quite a lot of time in China. We can pretend the A/C unit is there if that helps nudge nudge wink wink etc...

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Sorry most people here don't do nudge wink,we are professionals that abide by all! the rules and regulations,cowboys are great in the wild west but my friends on here are all abiding by rules that's what professionals do,if I was you I would just save up and buy a new unit,or put more Windows into your cabin.

  7. #7
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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    Hi,

    1) How much oil? Roughly? Is it likely to have lost much as the leak was so slow?
    2) How much gas? I can get 5kg of R134A for 35 locally, I'm guessing that would last me a lifetime even if I didn't cure the leak...
    3) I'd like to re-use the piping. It's been indoors most of its life, and the only times it's been disturbed are when I've disturbed it, so it shouldn't be too distorted/fractured or work hardened. Plus it's going back into an indoor setting (the outside unit is under cover), so it should last years, right?
    Cheers!
    Ade.
    "PLUG AND PLAY" AC capable amateur / I didn't do the connection pipes up firmly enough, and the gas leaked out!

    Very funny read (going to get moaned at by the drama police but you would do it anyway so here goes!)
    The oil leakage would not have been large enough to worry about just ignore it.
    It will have 1.1 - 1.8 Kg of refrigerant (will be marked on the data plate on outdoor unit)
    You can reuse the pipe if there is no leak
    I hope you are not growing something you should not be????

    Until refrigerant and AC products are stopped being sold without the need for certification this will be a continuing saga!
    It is not just online stores selling AC but all the manufacturers of AC in the UK, cutting the professionals out as they chase unit sales!
    I love the smell of Ammonia in the morning!

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Many thanks all. I appreciate everyone here is a professional (so am I... in my chosen profession).

    Hookster, many thanks. No... it's not for growing things, it's for keeping my fevered brow cool in summer, and warming my frigid workshop in winter. AS to not doing the pipes up tight enough.... er, yeah (embarrassed smiley), I didn't know they needed to be murder-tight! I do now....

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    ......... AS to not doing the pipes up tight enough.... er, yeah (embarrassed smiley), I didn't know they needed to be murder-tight! I do now....
    Not 'murder-tight' but correct tight.

    Welcome to the ozone hole generating group.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by FaultCode View Post

    Welcome to the ozone hole generating group.
    R134a has an ozone depletion rating of zero. My A/C is not so old it uses R12!

    See, I'm not a totally clueless idiot.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    In all my years in the trade I've never seen an a/c unit on r12...or r134a come to think of it
    I'm back on the Pale

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by frank View Post
    In all my years in the trade I've never seen an a/c unit on r12...or r134a come to think of it
    ^^Agreed^^

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    35 for 5kg is cheaper than we get it for a the wholesaler so you are doing well there, or perhaps I'm being rogered.
    Health and safety first..........unless I'm in a hurry.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    www.gas-uk.co.uk near St Helens, Merseyside. R134A is 35kg for a 5kg bottle (there will be a bottle deposit too, but obviously that's refundable on return of the cylinder). R410A is the same price but the smallest size is 10kg. (so 70). Looks like I only need around 670gms, I can get a piddly little 800g bottle via eBay for around 35 (from Germany? Why no UK suppliers I wonder?) - expensive way to buy it, but OK for a one-off. Then I need to make/buy a filler adapter. Happy days. Good excuse to get on the lathe

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    I have an old Ford Granada in the shed, that uses (used) R12. I presume it's all gone off to eat some ozone by now, when I get a very large Round Tuit, I'll replace the A/C system with something that uses a more modern gas.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    That's cheap! Looked on the website provided it appears misleading,but they are getting a call from my son who is still involved in the industry,sadly me due to health issues I am not feet up now awaiting my operation,but wow some refrigerant prices are scary God help you guys out there trying to make money!

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    If you look closely on the site before you can order it you
    have to submit your F-gas certificate and declare who is the
    qualified person who will be using it.

    See

    https://www.gas-uk.co.uk/help/f-gas

    It is against the law in the EU to sell refrigerants to unqualified
    personnel and they face prosecution if they flout the law.

    Rob

    .
    Last edited by Rob White; 14-06-2017 at 09:28 AM.
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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    I can get a piddly little 800g bottle via eBay for around 35 (from Germany? Why no UK suppliers I wonder?)
    You will find that any site on ebay that sells refrigerant is quickly
    shut down and therefore they all require proof of qualification before
    they will take your order.

    If you find a site that actually does sell the stuff both you and they
    are breaking the law and if found both are open to prosecution.

    So your question "Why no UK suppliers" is answered with It is against
    the law!

    Rob

    .
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  19. #19
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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob White View Post
    If you look closely on the site before you can order it you
    have to submit your F-gas certificate and declare who is the
    qualified person who will be using it.
    I hadn't spotted that, no; but then I hadn't looked closely either. Good to know.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob White View Post

    It is against the law in the EU to sell refrigerants to unqualified
    personnel and they face prosecution if they flout the law.
    Genuine question then: Why is the only R410A on eBay for sale from Germany? I though the Germans were even more sticklers for EU rules than we are/were?


    One last question then: Do you need certificates/qualifications to work on vehicle A/C systems; and if so, are they the same certificates/qualifications as you would need to work on fixed A/C systems? Basically... can I get someone who normally does car AC to "do a foreigner*" and regas my split system without breaking any laws?

    Cheers,
    Ade.


    * Obviously any monies paid would be declared for tax etc.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    I hadn't spotted that, no; but then I hadn't looked closely either. Good to know.




    Genuine question then: Why is the only R410A on eBay for sale from Germany? I though the Germans were even more sticklers for EU rules than we are/were?
    They are good in Germany, look closer at the site and check the small
    print I bet there will be a clause that states a certificate is required.

    I honestly would be surprised if they would ship it to you without proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post

    One last question then: Do you need certificates/qualifications to work on vehicle A/C systems; and if so, are they the same certificates/qualifications as you would need to work on fixed A/C systems? Basically... can I get someone who normally does car AC to "do a foreigner*" and regas my split system without breaking any laws?

    Cheers,
    Ade.


    * Obviously any monies paid would be declared for tax etc.
    I'm sure you could find somebody to do a foreigner they could work
    in any discipline of the fridge industry. If they were prepared to do the
    work and if they were satisfied the system was gas tight, then no laws
    would be broken.

    Obviously all VAT and duties would be declared and paid

    Car AC used to be exempt but was brought under similar requirements
    to those for static refrigeration equipment.

    Since 2014 all mobile fridge, freezer or AC (MAC) is covered by a legal
    requirement for refrigerant qualifications. It is not exactly the same
    as normal static equipment but they are now clamping down on their
    use and who can work on them.

    Regards

    Rob

    .
    Last edited by Rob White; 14-06-2017 at 10:45 AM.
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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Again, many thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

    I've discovered a kink at one end of the pipes from my unit, so they need either replacing, or cutting back & flaring.

    I can't find a suitable board to post an official request on; but if anyone fancies the job of re-gassing & recommissioning the unit for me, please feel free to PM me. I do realise that everyone's going to be snowed under (pardon the phrase) right now, of course. Maybe I'll ask again in October when you're all scratting around for work.....

    Cheers!
    Ade.

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    .

    Put your location in your profile and
    somebody who works in your area
    might be able to assist.

    Regards
    Rob

    .
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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by AdeV View Post
    HI'm in Birkenhead, right on the end of the Wirral peninsular.
    Cheers
    Ade.
    1234567890

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    Re: Regassing question [amateur]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob White View Post
    .

    Put your location in your profile and
    somebody who works in your area
    might be able to assist.

    .
    Hmm, I thought I had, oops.

    I'm in Birkenhead, postcode CH41 1DT.

    Still looking for anyone who can assist...

    Cheers!
    Ade.

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