View Full Version : What Refrigerants do you carry most of?

12-01-2002, 01:14 AM
And why?

With all the refrigerant choices today... what are your favorites for :

Low Temperature Applications?

Medium Temperature Applications?

High Temperature Applications?

I say those temperature "applications" with hesitation because compressor manufacturers have different opinions of what is Low, Medium and High. Many commercial coolers: 38F degrees cabinet with 23F Coil are considered HIGH Temperature! To me... that is medium temp.:)

Mike Hopkins
14-01-2002, 01:55 AM
The only thing I carry is what I have room for, 22 & 134a.
Anything else and I'll have to go and get it. 123 & 11 are definite pick up's. Only low temp. I have fooled with much is 404a. I really think it's not a good idea to carry any refrigerant on the truck but it comes with the territory. We drive these trucks around carrying
things that will probably require a permit in the near future. A recent RSES meeting we had brought in an officer with the commercial vehicle enforcement division that shed some light on this issue that is long overdue. One fella swears we should all drive pickups with service bodies instead of vans, hence nothing in the cab that can hurt you. I tend to agree with him and consider my next vehicle to be a pickup. Another fella I know went to pick up some refillable propane tanks, like the 50# recovery tanks we carry. They told him he could not put them on his van and would have to return with a pickup or trailer (state law). No fuel gas cylinders in an enclosed vehicle. Now I want like an F-550 with dual rear wheels, 4 door cab, V-10 diesel...
Watch your local legislation, something may be coming down the
pipe. Especially in light of what happened last year, the government is looking at all these issues.

Mike Hopkins

14-01-2002, 03:40 AM
Yeah.... I wondered a few years ago. Most compressed gas cylinders are also required to transported in the vertical position and chained in place.

750 Valve
15-01-2002, 11:44 AM
I used to work for a company that had heaps of varying contracts, including pubs,clubs,hotels,all the major fast food chains,butchers,restaurants,ice machines and small industrial applications. We drove Toyota Hiace vans, these things were a mobile supply house,all the parts you could possibly need, refrigerant was as follows - Low Temp- R404a (20kg), HP 80 (20kg), R502(20kg) if available, Med Temp- R134a (12kg), MP 39(20kg), Isceon 49 (12kg) and R12 (20kg) if available. Of course a 20kg bottle of R22 as well as a "D" size (small) bottle of CO2 for blowing out condensers and an oxy acet set as well! With all the parts the vans used to struggle up hills, not to mention potention for danger, most used to be held in by rubber straps.
Now I work for a company that does supermarket only, so all I carry is R404a (20kg) and R22 (20kg), although if a 200kg rack is short of gas 20kgs tends to do bugger all. Stuff carrying around 60kg bottles though, you would throw your back out lifting them out of the van.

Jack Lester
20-05-2002, 03:35 PM
Since I do mostly Ultra Low temp I carry many differant gases on the truck, R95, R23, R290, R170, R404A, MP66, R13, R22, R12 and in the shop R13B1, R14, R1150 and some exotics I don't know the "R" designation.

20-05-2002, 07:17 PM
Hi, I only carry one small 10KG cylinder of 404a, the other I have either statched at a customers store just of the motorway. (large cylinders) or I collect/get delivered from the wholesalers dependant on how quick I need it. Anyway the systems I work on are of a reasonible size, I usually require 60Kg bottles, not many carry these in their vans.
I think Mikes idea holds water, anyway I wouldn't mind a pick-up either.
Regards. Andy.

21-05-2002, 01:19 AM
Since I do mostly Ultra Low temp I carry many differant gases on
the truck, R95, R23, R290, R170, R404A, MP66, R13, R22, R12
and in the shop R13B1, R14, R1150 and some exotics I don't
know the "R" designation.

Jack, I have to ask. What is the value of the refrigerant you carry?:)

21-05-2002, 01:30 AM
In Florida we have an odd mix. Most supermarkets have adopted 404A for low temperature and even medium temperature. R22 is still quite popular, though, for both applications. After that come the blends and it is a nightmare of variety. This is for matching previous retrofits or doing our own. We favor 408A and 409A as far as truck stock goes, but have warehouse stock of 134A, MP30, MP39, and even R502.

Regarding vehicles, we are turning toward more utility bed pickup trucks after having nothing but vans in the fleet. The techs like them. Management sees them as a way of reducing truck stock, so it makes good sense. However, there is less security.

Ultimately, we rely upon a good refrigeration wholesaler to open their doors when we have a major, emergency need for refrigerant. Thank goodness for them.:)

20-09-2002, 07:07 AM
How come you MUST be a member of some group to find out changes in the laws???

Why can't we be mailed copies of both proposals and law changes individually?

I usually carry around 414b, 134a, dry nitrogen, and occassionally 22.

When my 414b is finally used up, I get to use Geroge's infamous R406a as my R12 replacement.

What is R95?

Sheesh....RSES wants a lot of money just to be a member..........

20-09-2002, 07:11 AM
PS I already use a Ford F150 Pickup Truck, with bottles chained, rubber strapped, and tied with rope to keep them from falling over. Yes, it may be overkill, but I think about an accident and the chance of a little kid getting hurt by a 'bottle' rocket.

I hate using a pickup truck...everything gets wet...you have to cover the bottles from direct sunshine, and what's to stop someone from walking by and opening a bottle thus letting out your expensive refrigerant?

It's far easier to be robbed from a pickup truck than a caged van.

20-09-2002, 07:54 AM
HI Zolar

Stupid question probably, but why don't you have a top fitted to your pickup?

Personally, I also like the idea of a crewcab pickup. Room for the family, and capacity for pretty much all your gear (bear in mind that in the U.K, pickups are smaller than American ones. Thankfully we work on chillers (O.E.M.) so don't have to carry HGV's worth of spares. Although the customers would often like us to! <sigh, shrug>.
Our co. looked at crewcabs last year, but decided against them for 2 reasons: High tailgate increases risk of injury lifting stuff in & out, and also they didn't like the 'Tonka Toy' look.

20-09-2002, 06:44 PM
I have wood rails on the truck so I can haul domestic refrigerators.
A truck 'cap' wouldn't even begin to slow down the thieves in my neighborhood....sigh

Right now, the wife's in labor and hit her first 5 minute contraction....I might be away for a bit....lol

Thanks for replying


22-09-2002, 03:13 PM
Refrigerant cylinders contain liquid under fairly low pressure in comparison to nitrogen or oxygen cylinders. While they must be secure, there is not the danger of becoming a "rocket" if they rupture. However, there is some risk associated with carrying a leaking cylinder in an enclosed van. I always leave my heat or A/C in my van set to bring fresh air in. A large leak would be audible to the driver and he/she should be able to pull over to get fresh air and correct the problem. As far as refrigerants stocked. I have two racks that hold four 30# cylinders each. I carry two cylinders each of R-22, R-404a, R-402a (HP-80), and R-414b (Hot Shot) which replaces 134a, 12, 500, 401a, 409 etc.. I travel a large area and don't have the luxury of running to the supplier. This inventory seems to cover me most of the time.

Steve Niles
23-09-2002, 02:46 PM
Low Temp - R404A and R507
Medium Temp - R404A and R22
High Temp - R22

Low Temp - R404A
Medium Temp - R134A
High Temp - R134A and R22


Ultra Low Temp:

For those old R500 applications:


Residential Air Conditioning:
R22 and R410A

Hope this helps.

01-12-2002, 08:12 AM
Re-reading the original post, I'm not sure we really answered the question. In rural Kansas, we generally stock R-409, R-134a, R-404a, and R-22 on the trucks in 24 to 30# cylinders. R-409 seems to be a fairly good replacement for R-12 in both medium and low temp applications. There will be some times that R-401b (MP-66) delivers better performance in low temp and R-401a (MP-39) works better in medium temp. These two seem to work better when the available condenser is a bit marginal. We keep these at the shop for emergency use.
We also stock HP-80 and HP-81 for "just in case" We can generally get to our own stock faster than our supppliers can get awakened, dressed and drive to the store. One tech always backs up the one "on call". If you're thawing out a thousand pounds of lobster, you really don't want to wait.
We use a rack for 24 to 30# cylinders that allows us to stack them four or five high and still keep them very secure with cable or chain.

02-12-2002, 12:49 AM
Has anyone tried or stocks R406A?

Steve Niles
02-12-2002, 03:46 PM
To Zolar1 in Cincinnati. At last report, the pending safety rating on this refrigerant was A1/A2. I would suppose that this is due to the 4% isobutane(R-600a). This is going to keep it off many selves. We do not stock it and probably wouldn't recommend it without knowing more about the application.

03-12-2002, 03:54 AM
George should be by sooner or later....he's the one who invented it.

As long as it's on the SNAP list, I can use it. The last time I looked, I believe it was.

Let me know if it isn't there anymore.

Steve Niles
03-12-2002, 04:12 PM
Zolar1, R406A is listed in SNAP. The following address will take you to the applications that it is approved for. Depending on your use, R406A is listed as a CFC replacement. This listing is maintained by the government and will keep you out of the EPA's cross hairs.

Your orginal question dealt with use and stocking, not approval. Just as a follow up, I wasn't sure what the safety rating was when I last posted. I have researched it and by reference; Table 2, Page 13, ASHRAE Standard 34-2001, ISSN 1041-2336, lists R406A with a safety rating of A2.

I am unsure of what your application is. This is why I ended my last post with a disclaimer. The question was not of a legal issue unless your application was not recommended or allowed by the EPA (see above). The question, as I saw it was one of use. When you asked about use and stocking this product, the market generally follows industry standards set by the equipment manufacturers. Most component manufacturers have not recognized the use of anything other than A1 rated products. Even some of those have been disallowed based on content. In an existing application for retrofit, the owner can do what ever they like as long as it is legal. They own the equipment. If the equipment or any component of that equipment is still under factory warranty, it is important to check with that manufacturer to determine whether they recognize R406A as an alternative. A number of them that I have approached have indicated that the use of R406A would void the warranty immediately.

The other issue that you should check on is the local building codes. Each state and local municipality have their own safety codes which must be followed regardless of EPA or SNAP listings. We have a number of those situations in my geographic area. These codes have been written to exclude the use of any refrigerant that is not safety rated A1.

Hope this helps. Didn't mean to challenge your decision to use the product. I just wanted to answer your use and stocking question. The above explains why it may not gain as wide a use and stocking as other alternatives.

03-12-2002, 10:18 PM
Information wise I tend to rely on the UK Institue of Refrigeration seem to get updates on legilsation and standards monthly with a lot on Ammonia.

Stock wise about to get a few tons of R245fa, have some PFC 4112 (some was shipped in glass jars!!!), R123 has just been banned on site, R404A and of course a few kg's of R22.

Should see what we are trying to get in for next year..scary!

04-12-2002, 07:42 AM
Thanks for the link. I looked and R406A is acceptable in almost every R12 application, including automotive.

About warranties being voided...if they allow R414B, then they will NEVER know if someone put in R406A because it's the same thing except that R406A has a couple more percent of R600A in it (which would evaporate and leave no trace once vacuumed out)

Regarding local laws over refrigerants....unless they mail me copies of chapter and verse, for city AND county, or post it in the local newspaper on the front page for a month, I wouldn't possibly know what the idiots running the local government would allow or disallow. I do not belong to any organizations locally. Can't afford their dues, and darned certain they don't represent my interests. If they did, I would make a LOT more money with a LOT less work. I feel I can get better information from this fine web site.

When I took some schooling right before I got my Universal License, the instructor didn't mention anything regarding local laws concerning refrigerants.

Now that you have me paranoid, I will simply avoid putting anything on equipment that ties my name to it. Anyone could come after me and alter the refrigerant with something else.............

George Goble invented the stuff. He claims that the A2 rating is political, not an actual hazard.

95% of the items I use R406A in, have system capacities of 3 to 4 ounces (ie domestic refrigerators). The other 5% are hermetically sealed systems that usually contain 1 pound or less.

So, if 4% isobutane is a component of the 4 ounces of rerigerant charge, just how much will acutally be a threat to safety?

I guess it's less than the amount of butane in a cig lighter.

Hmmm...maybe I should buy some blue spray paint...<wink>

Industrial tech
26-05-2003, 10:43 PM
Ammonia, NH3, R717

Space Shifter
12-07-2010, 05:07 AM
atm... i have

r22, r134a, r401a, r404a, r410a r414b, r507 on board the truck.. thats my normal supply