View Full Version : Refrigerant in Drums

10-08-2005, 10:30 PM
I have a problem I've not encountered before, probably strightfoward to some of you out there. I need to charge a system with R123 but my supplier tells me they can only supply this in drums, not cylinders. How then do I get refrigerant into the system without exposing it (R123) to nasty moist air ?

10-08-2005, 10:44 PM
drums? how large?

10-08-2005, 10:45 PM
have you tried more than one supplier

10-08-2005, 10:52 PM
Drum size is 22Kg. At the moment I have only 1 supplier who can get R123.

10-08-2005, 11:25 PM
who is the supplier?

10-08-2005, 11:34 PM
Try Dupont for some info on R123:-

If I remember rightly your connections onto the drum will maintain an airtight connection so would be similar to using your normal gauges when connecting to a system. But check the above and click on Working Practices.

10-08-2005, 11:40 PM
found a supplier but they in china! they also sell in drums. all the info they give is purity 99.5% moisture ppm 70 max have you contacted the supplier/manufacturer of the system?

10-08-2005, 11:46 PM
tried the site brian_uk posted link to but was unable to open. i will ask around tomorrow see if anyone knows a bit more about this r123. know a bloke in hrp he seems pretty up to date and know his stuff

10-08-2005, 11:49 PM
tried the site brian_uk posted link to but was unable to open.You're getting me worried Sean, I've just tried the link without problems but would you please retry for me - cheers

11-08-2005, 12:12 AM
sorry brian it worked must be my fault i had a quick look it has a european supplier might be worth a ring see if they sell it in cylinders anywhere in u.k

11-08-2005, 12:22 AM
brian have a look in products and on the right hand side they have a toolbar lots of info might be worth a read

Johnny Rod
11-08-2005, 12:55 PM
The ARI spec for moisture in low pressure refrigerants is 20ppm; I don't know really anything about low pressure systems but you might want to look for something a bit higher spec. Not sure where you can get it from over here though, you could give us/HRP a go. I know we sell some stuff for instrument grade but not sure about for refrigerant use.

11-08-2005, 01:20 PM
Hi Johnny, thanks for that, it's BOC Special Gases who want to supply in drums though !
Tried your Dupont R123 link Brian (it worked for me), they mention a method of connecting to the drum but these are for USA drums, don't know if ours will be the same. I've started looking for Drum tapping equipment but have net yet found anything suitable, and I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for either !

Sir Josiah Sodd
11-08-2005, 04:56 PM
This stuff is a HCFC replacement for R11… Right?

EN 378 lists it as a B1 refrigerant ( higher toxicity) – be careful.

Probably an old R11 machine?

R11 always came in drums with a 1” BSP thread. (I think, but it may have been bigger…. Certainly BSP).
I always had a nipple welded onto a Ύ” pipe and hose connection to connect onto the fill valve in my tool box. The vacuum used to pull it in. R11 was not too fussy about moisture as the purge used to separate it out, but you will need to ventilate the drum during fill or the flow will cease.

If you can get it, I think that you are restricted in practice to a UK (or EU) based supplier. There are import restrictions from outside the EU on this stuff as it’s chlorinated. Import licenses are needed, and there are import quotas and limits on any ODS.

Your supplier may be drawing on a bank of stocked supplies as chlorinated production has all but ceased in the EU.
The Chinese firms may not be able to get it in due to the restrictions.

Please check out articles 5, 6, 7 & 8 of the ODS Regulations.

Additionally, the EU commission is looking to invoke the clause in Article 5 that allows a review of the HCFC use restriction dates by 2008. The use of HCFCs will almost certainly be further restricted with an earlier ban than 2015 most likely.


12-08-2005, 06:06 AM
The short-term (or acute) effects of CFC-11
and HCFC-123 are similar, and any necessary
response to emergency situations involving either
would be essentially the same.
Respiratory protection should be worn when
performing all operations during which there is
potential for exposure in excess of an average of
50 ppm, for an entire 8- or 12-hour work day.
DuPont recommends the use of organic vapor
cartridges such as those approved by NIOSH for
removal of airborne organic contaminants I think you should read the following:
http://www.dupont.com/suva/na/usa/literature/pdf/h53018-2.pdf :)

12-08-2005, 07:22 AM
I did a R123 recovery in my capacity as London contracts manager (or something silly like that) for Macwhirters

I used Steve at Fridgetek and if you check their website http://www.fridgetek.com

and click on news scroll down to see young Steve in the 'kit' (I was that cameraman ;-)

I also know that the recovered charge went back to Cardiff for storage so if you contact them they have buckets of the stuff...even some brand new drums that were left in the plantroom



Johnny Rod
12-08-2005, 08:59 AM
What sort of drums are we talking about? I can try to find out a bit more if you like. What amount of R123 do you need to charge?

14-08-2005, 04:38 PM
Hi Johnny, I havn't seen the drum yet. The last time I used refrigerant drums was over 10 years ago and that was R11 being used for flushing. Have they changed much over the years ? The drum I used then was nothing special, just a standard one with two screwed plugs fitted in one end. This will be the first time I've used a drum to charge directly into a refrigeration system, I just need to add a few Kg. to the system.

14-08-2005, 11:29 PM
As far as I know, it only comes in drums, beleive me, if you are topping off and the unit is running, it will go in so fast that it will not get time to take in moisture!!!!

15-08-2005, 05:58 PM
R123/boiling point of 82.2*F is a replacement for the R11/boiling point of 74.9*F and both comes in drums, What you have to do is fix a charging line with a sight glass between the drum and your machine, Tilt the drum and open the line to bleed off gas as the liquid starts to come connect it again and open charging valve keep an eye on the sight glass as the liquid ends close the valve. Also note that you have to charge the system by weight and if wants to trim the charge check pressure,temperature and liquid level in the units sight glass. There are filter driers and purge system in the unit thay will take moisture from the refrigerant. Try to get the OEM service manual and follow the procedure.

Johnny Rod
16-08-2005, 10:32 AM
I think the drums are 25L but with the same two bung holes as 45gal drums. I don't knwo if we do any fittings (not very helpful but just the way it is I think, we usually deal in cylinders) but someone like RS should have something.

A thought, is the system running below atmospheric pressure? You don't want to draw a load of air in.

17-08-2005, 09:05 PM
From what I gather from your responses I think I will have to make up a suitable conection for the drum, then open it to atmosphere before I put my connection on. I will also run the refrigerant through a drier before it enters my system to ensure no extra moisture gets in. I was hoping there would be a recognised method of tapping the drum without exposing the refrigerant to atmosphere. Necessity is the mother of invention - I'll think of something............. Thanks for all your replies, Pete.

17-08-2005, 11:13 PM
I may be wrong (probably) but I am tempted to think that the residual vapour within the drum should prevent any great inrush of moist air, as long as everything is done gently.

18-08-2005, 05:18 AM
Just treat it like R11....we used to use an ordinary length of fire hose (but some drum caps are too small for this)....the system will be under Vacuum so will pull it straight in...I have never been involved with 123 though....believe the safety aspects are a bit dodgy.....breathing kit needed???....because of the properties of the refrigerant it will be in a liquid state with a slight evaporation at normal plant room temperatures..say above 23 degrees....so just insert your hose below the surface of the liquid....wait a few seconds for your hose to fill with vapour then connect at the machine end and open your valve...there will be a high efficiency purge fitted to take care of any minor air ingress.

11-11-2008, 09:32 AM
You should try Chinese supplier. They are more flexible.

11-11-2008, 07:17 PM
You should try Chinese supplier. They are more flexible.
Doesn't really help for a UK question does it ;)

Also I think that as the question was asked three and a half years ago your response is a little late :D

11-11-2008, 07:31 PM
Its amazing how many people reply to something years from the last post

11-11-2008, 07:32 PM
Yep, this guy is like a rash all over the forum today, new-comers huh? ;)

20-12-2008, 09:24 PM
This is rather odd, I've seen these drums and wondered the same.
I still have a jug of R11 myself actually, around 22 lbs, however it's jug form and has a standard 1/4" on it which makes it useful.
Make sure to charge by weight.
R123 I've heard is rather good stuff though from an efficiency point of view, it's got greater uses in the autocascade industry though. It's sort of like a super sponge, not as good as R11, but we're told to avoid touching that these days.