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  1. #1
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    Do refrigerants degrade?



    So this is something I’ve wondered about for years. Presuming there is no contamination, leaks, or other problems, would any refrigerants degrade in any way after many years of use? I would think so since just about all fluids in closed systems seem to degrade in some way, but then again, I’ve never heard of doing a “refrigerant change”. And if the refrigerant doesn’t degrade, I presume the compressor lubricant would degrade, right? Thanks.



  2. #2
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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    Providing that the system operates without any problems whatsoever then the refrigerant should remain as it was when it was installed.
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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_UK View Post
    Providing that the system operates without any problems whatsoever then the refrigerant should remain as it was when it was installed.
    Thanks. What about the oil?

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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    Same thing. Remember that as soon as you connect a manifold set onto a system you have started the contamination process by introducing air/moisture and reducing the original refrigerant charge with the connection leakage.
    Brian - Newton Abbot, Devon, UK
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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    Health of oil depend greatly on oil temperature. If system never exceed oil braking temperature, than oil should be fine for many years of service.
    Now, when I am officialy citizen off EU, I am looking for decent job! For any job offer please check my profile!

  6. #6
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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    So the oil won’t degrade if the system isn’t contaminated and never overheats?

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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    I've seen compressors over 40 years old still running on the original oil, generally for small systems the oil will last the life time of the system.
    Mostly found in Oxfordshire, UK :)

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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    Thank you. Do all types of compressor oil tend to last a long time? What about PAG and POE oil?

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    Re: Do refrigerants degrade?

    .

    Most last, it's not the oil or refrigerant that is the problem. As stated before the weak link is us we connect and disconnect and we are good, bad and indifferent to the quality of our work. That means it is the stuff we introduce and or the stuff we leave behind in the system that then causes issues with the oil and the refrigerant.

    Left alone most if not all types of oil and refrigerant will behave and give years, possibly decades of trouble free service. That is not always the case some systems tended to be more problematic than others but for the most part if maintained and ran inside their designed spec, most systems would run for ever.

    Back in the day issues with R134a and blockages in capillary tubes, caused by the dryer medium not totally being compatible and causing restrictions, this lead to the comp running hot trying to over compensate and that burnt both the oil and refrigerant. Was it an oil issue, gas issue or dryer?

    R407c has a large glide and if alowed to leak only the R134a part of it leaked initially. This then caused the R407C to turn Into R410A which is a compleatly different gas altogether and run at higher pressures. This then stressed the comp and causes issues with oil overheating and comp failure.

    I could go on but the common theme is under normal conditions the system should run for many, many years without issue, it is only when they have an issue do we get involved and then aggravate the issue.



    Rob

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