AC leaking refrigerant? Not always!

Page 1 of 2  
Until today, whenever I've hear someone say that an HVAC tech came out and added some refigerant to their central air system my immediate reaction was to ask them, "You know, that's supposed to be a completely sealed system, did the tech look for, find and repair a leak before he/she added refrigerent?
This morning I was watching the Fox News channel and their medical consultant Dr. Manny Alvarez started talking about how teen agers have taken to filling plastic bags with what he just called "freon" from the service ports on outdoor AC compressors. Then they go off and breath in the gas to "get high".
Thinking about that it'd take little more than a pair of pliers to remove a service port cap and something to push the valve down with, leaving no sign of what they's done until they've taken enough so your AC starts working poorly.
Dr. Alvarez warned of the serious medical dangers of breathing freon and mentioned that in some cases it can cause death. He also said frostbite to kid's faces has resulted from their releasing the refrigerant directly (without a plastic bag) and trying and suck it in as its spraying out.
I've been hearing lots of stories about the copper parts of AC equipment being stolen for their scrap metal value, but this is the first I've heard about this freon breathing thing.
Dr. Alvarez mentioned that locking service port protectors are available for "about $30.00". Those might be good enough to make the kids want to go away and look for someone else's AC system without locks.
What next I ask?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

One can only hope that the kids dumb enough to do this sort of thing will remove themselves from the gene pool. Their parents will of course whine up a storm and get all kinds of undeserved sympathy from some people while they should actually be charged with the neglect that generally leads to this kind of behavior.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote: ...

It goes to prove that intelligence or lack of is inherited.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hilarious! LIkely an offshoot of the old R12 fad. Back in the 60's, one could buy an aerosol can of "glass frosting" (just R12 in a can), squirt it in a bag and sniff it. Would fairly knock you for a loop. Got fairly popular. I got noooooooooooo idea what R22/R410a would do (and don't ever wanna find out).
AQ

"The monkey and the baboon was playing 7-up. The monkey won the money but he scared to pick it up. The monkey stumbled, mama. The baboon fell. The monkey grab the money and he run like hell!" - from "Dirty Motherfuyer", Roosevelt Sykes, around 1935
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alphonse Q Muthafuyer wrote:

I expect they do the exact same thing, basically asphyxiate the subject. The various "Freons" are pretty inert and indeed some are used as propellants in medical inhalers.
Instead of stealing Freon out of people's A/Cs, if the idiot kids had a clue they'd just shake CO2 out of soda bottles the same way. Or perhaps just hyperventilate into a paper bag to get a CO2 buildup / O2 reduction. Of course if our schools weren't failing and managed to teach some biology and science, the kids would understand this...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

When I first read that I pictured the "glass frosting" stuff as something used to make ordinary glass windows look like frosted glass ones and wondered how the heck R12 could do that. (For very long at least.)
Then I woke up and realized it must have been a product used to (temporarily) frost the rims of cocktail or beer glasses.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 01 Aug 2007 18:05:11 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

When you're high on R12, you can't tell the difference.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It displaces oxygen, just like a lot of things.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Huffing?
This has been going on for decades; I'm surprised it took "Dr. Alvarez" or your local station this long to get around to reporting on it. Well, maybe it was a slow news day.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Being sued for an un-locked A/C unit. It's an "attractive nusiance," like an unguarded swimming pool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Having accidentally gotten high on paint or gasoline fumes a couple of times, I can't believe that some people do it on purpose. It is an awful experience! Why would anyone snort solvents or unknown chemicals from air conditioning equipment when pot is so easy to find?
But surely this will lead to a mandate for locking caps on AC equipment.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 01 Aug 2007 14:52:39 -0700, The Reverend Natural Light

Because they're stupid. (I'm not recommending pot.)
On the tv they are always telling parents to "Talk to your children about drugs/sex/AIDS/alcohol/drinking and driving/cocaine/huffing whatever.
Frankly, I would have been insulted if my parents thought I was so stupid I didn't know how dangerous most of those things were, and I think a lot of kids would be not only insulted, but would resent it and go out of their way to prove their parents foolish.
I don't have kids but my parents' method seems a lot better to me. For years before I had any access to those things, when they watched the tv news, or tv dramas, or read the paper, and they saw someone get in trouble with any of those things, they would say outloud, How stupid can that guy be. What if he killed someone? How much does he think it takes to kill his own brains. What is she going to do with a baby and no husband?
They didn't address these comments to me, so I wasn't insulted.
And it was clear that they really believed what they said, and weren't just being more cautious than necessary parents. Or trying to ruin my fun.
They also didn't have to either wait until the last minute, wait longer than the last minute (like after I was already 15 and getting drunk at parties) or spend a lot of time wondering when it was too early and when it would be too late.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
mm wrote:

If there isn't a news report, tv drama, paper or other media around with the "right" warning story when the kid happens to be around - it is a parents' obligation to let their child know about the dangers that are out there. To assume my kids are too smart for this or that is not something I'm willing to do. I don't believe it is an insult to their intelligence to inform them of dangerous practices - if they do know about whatever it is, great, it doesn't hurt to hear it twice. If they don't know, it's an education. They already know I don't think they are stupid. But, they also agree that many times they just plain don't know what they don't know - and they can learn from others' experience (that belief fades between for a period between 16 and 21 in my experience ;-)).
I agree you can dissuade by implication of stupidity where the opportunity is available, but where it is not, better safe than sorry.
Case in point - the recent fad huffing propellant out of those key board cleaner sprays. Sounds like same thing as this a/c stuff with same effects - except some of these kids got frostbitten tongues, etc. Some died, some had major lung/tissue damage. Some probably just got high and moved on. BUT - I talked to my 15 year old about it *just in case* he knew someone who was doing it who might not be totally aware of the risk. A "new" fad often seems safer than the old "bad" things.
I also let my kids know that it is not okay with me if they do x, y or z - not because I'm p***ing in their wheaties, but because I love them. As they get older they can make their own decisions, but until then, it is my job as a parent to do what I am able to do to keep them safe and out of trouble.
My .02 - Laurie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Huffing" has been going on for decades, as was previously mentioned. Refrigerant, spray paint, you name it and they have probably tried it. FWIW, I think those "keyboard cleaners", and other similar sprays are 134A refrigerant. You can't vent it when working on car a/c, but they can use it for that-- go figure. A few years ago I bought 2 of those Ronco glass frosters at a second hand (junk) shop for $3 each--two full cans of R12 for $6. They were like regular aerosol cans, where you pushed down on a stem in the top to dispense.My side puncture can tap fit just fine. I used one to recharge a friend's freezer after fixing a leak they caused -- broke the cap tube while moving the box. Stlll working AFAIK. Still have the other can. Larry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Like the wise man said.... you can't fix it AFTER they did something where they didn't know the outcome.
Talking to your children BEFORE is just a wise thing to do... just like under age pregnancies. You can't undo it after they're pregnant, but you can prevent it by talking to them!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Been going on for years...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 01 Aug 2007 15:40:35 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

Why is it a sick teenager who won't take a prescription pill that will make them well, will happily consume an unknown concoction from someone they don't know? And pay for the privilege?
--Andy Asberry-- ------Texas-----
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

And why is it that the same people who worry about healthy food and food additives seem to be the same ones who use recreational drugs the most.
And I who give not a thought to food additives** have never taken and would never take any illegal drug, and avoid prescription drugs too..
**Until the recent food problems. Now I give a teeny thought.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia writes:

"Huffing" has no doubt really happened at some point in history, but I expect this is rare enough to be considered an urban legend.
R134a is an inert narcotic gas you can buy cheaply and legally at Walmart. Great for humanely euthanizing small pets.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In the legal sense Tetrafluoroethane isn't a narcotic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.