Questions on R410A

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Bit of back ground I gave away/sold all my refrigeration related tools 20+ year back.
I now do, pro bono, a triage for the local senior center support program. (it's been over 100 in this are for weeks). The only tools I have are a VOM, Amp meter and a set of Xcellite spin tight hand tools that come in a blue roll up kit. I fix the obvious, tripped breakers, flooded drip pans, diagnose blower/condenser fan problems. Remove bugs from contactors etc.
Anything more is handled by a phone call to the outreach group and occasionally a discussion with the 'real' tech with an eye to getting the cool back on.
I've been talking to the techs that the outreach group pays to fix the real problems. they have tried to explain to me how to property check if the R410A system is low and more so the process used in 'toping off'.
Seems I'm too dense to understand what I've been told.
My question is there a web site, book or other source of information that can give me a better understanding of what's involved from a practical point of view. I figure if I can plow through that I should have a better basis to understand what the techs are trying to tell me.
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First off, R22 and R410a refrigerants are *NOT* compatible in any way, shape or form, neither are the 2 different oils. Systems should *NEVER* need "topped off". If it does, there is a leak that needs fixed. R410a is charged as a liquid, not a vapor. You will need a thermister temperature clamp that is compatible with your VOM to take actual refrigerant line temps, you will need a gauge manifold and hoses that will handle the higher pressures of R410a, you will need an R410a PT chart, and you will need to learn how to charge by subcooling and superheat.
"beer can cold" will cause all kinds of problems with nuisance safety trips and can destroy a compressor in short order, not to mention the lack of humidity control and much higher power bills.
If the data plates on the equipment do not specify specific subcooling or superheat, a good rule for expansion valve systems is 10F - 12F subcooling and 12F - 15F superheat. If you have one of the very rare R410a systems or an R22 system with a piston, then 20F superheat is the norm.
All this being said, check with your local supply houses and ask about R410a cert classes, as well as getting your EPA card. so you can purchase said refrigerant.
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Understand that from the get go.

I have the EPA card from years back but have NO INTENTION of doing the work. My trust is understanding how it's done. Folk I've spoken to seem to know what they are doing. The problem is on my end not theirs.
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I don't know of any such. If you'd want to add an infrared thermometer and some electrical tape, I can give you a few directions, things to check.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Bit of back ground I gave away/sold all my refrigeration related tools 20+ year back.
I now do, pro bono, a triage for the local senior center support program. (it's been over 100 in this are for weeks). The only tools I have are a VOM, Amp meter and a set of Xcellite spin tight hand tools that come in a blue roll up kit. I fix the obvious, tripped breakers, flooded drip pans, diagnose blower/condenser fan problems. Remove bugs from contactors etc.
Anything more is handled by a phone call to the outreach group and occasionally a discussion with the 'real' tech with an eye to getting the cool back on.
I've been talking to the techs that the outreach group pays to fix the real problems. they have tried to explain to me how to property check if the R410A system is low and more so the process used in 'toping off'.
Seems I'm too dense to understand what I've been told.
My question is there a web site, book or other source of information that can give me a better understanding of what's involved from a practical point of view. I figure if I can plow through that I should have a better basis to understand what the techs are trying to tell me.
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I'd appreciate anything you could offer. I just want to understand the 'how to' not that I'm going to do this work.
BTW I'm likely to ask a few really dumb question.

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No worries, I've asked a few dumb questions in my life.
When I check refrigeration equipment, I put some electrical tape on the various tubes, because IR thermometers don't read shiny metals very well. Some on the discharge line, to the top of the condensor. Some, on the filter drier. Some on the suction line.
When the equipment is running, I like to see discharge temperatures between 150 and 210. That tells me that the compressor is pushing heat.
I like to see the filter drier "not much" hotter than the ambient temperature. That tells me that the condensor is reasonably clean, and getting good air flow.
I like to see the suction line noticably cooler than the ambient, which tells me that there is a good refrigerant charge, and the system is helping cool the compressor.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

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On 7/29/2012 9:30 AM, Steve wrote:

I don't have a clamp on temp sensor but I do have a dual input thermometer with Velcro straps for the thermocouples. It's handy to slip one of the tiny probes under the pipe insulation to read the temperature there. I sort of wonder what the ozone huggers are gonna do next to make air conditioning more difficult. O_o
TDD
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The rumor mill is saying minimum federal standard will increase in 2015 from 13SEER to 14 or 15SEER. This is not a problem or issue for me as 98% of the time I am installing 15SEER systems.
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On 7/29/2012 10:55 AM, Steve wrote:

If by some weird chance, Obama is not un-elected, get ready for solar and windmill powered AC systems. Except for government of course, the mucky mucks are going to stick with what actually works. O_o
TDD
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"The Daring Dufas">>

If you have enough land/sun solar power absorption systems work well. We had access to an old old 45ft sailboat (built in the 30's I think) with an solar sbsortin system and the heat sink was sea water. Kept most things cold (think beer) and we had a good bit of ice. Some of the places we sailed ice was worth more than money and was used for some really neat trades.
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On 7/29/2012 6:46 PM, NotMe wrote:

There is a YouTube video of an interesting solar powered AC system of 10 tons think but it takes up a lot of space and I don't know what sort of maintenance is required to keep it running. Mo stuff, mo money. ^_^
TDD
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On 7/29/2012 11:38 AM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Just think...If Mr Obama does win re-election...What kind of a mess he will inherit... ;-p

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On 8/1/2012 3:58 PM, PaxPerPoten wrote:

Who's he gonna blame? ^_^
TDD
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Why, it's the previous administration's fault!
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Who's he gonna blame? ^_^
TDD
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On 8/2/2012 5:29 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You mean when the Democrats took control of the Congress and Senate in 2007? ;-p

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On Wed, 01 Aug 2012 22:58:48 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Where it all began with a rogue family's agenda to control the flow of oil to the world of course. Obama (no president) can fix this in one term. Could take 4 presidents when one or two screws up the country as bad as this family did.
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On 8/2/2012 12:29 PM, ?@qmail.not wrote:

Obama, our first and last Affirmative Action President. ^_^
TDD
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Someone noticed, that companies were discriminating against certain racial groups. Preferential hiring, based on thier race. So, to make things fair, the government instituted quotas, and now companies are forced to preferential hire people based on thier race. Some how, I don't see the improvement.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Obama, our first and last Affirmative Action President. ^_^
TDD
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On 8/2/2012 5:28 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

It was instituted at the US Postal Service with the expected results. ^_^
TDD
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