Recharge my home's own A/C

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I have a manifold set and 30lb can of R-22 refrigerant and need to top off my home AC system that seems to need a recharge every 3-4 years. Is there a do-it-yourself guide that shows how to locate the low pressure recharge point and steps a repair person through it? I've googled the subject and not found anything! I really do not want to pay a repair man $100 to add one pound of refrigerant into the system, when I own the coolant and tools. Thanks in advance.
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id get a good book on the subject and read it.. might search hvac books..
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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Rick wrote:

You need far more than a manifold gage to accurately charge an air conditioner! Read and learn what you need in instruments and know-how. - udarrell - Darrell After you know what to ask a service tech, call and get the leak located and fixed, ask the tech to use your R-22.
--
Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
http://www.udarrell.com/air-conditioning-total-heat-enthalpy-latent-heat.html
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I would start buy Finding the leak, the refrigerant must be going somewhere. These days $100 dollars isn't a lot to pay for experience and convenience. Plus if you need special tools, Gauges, hoses, regulator, buy the time you chase all that down what do you really save? There's a real fine line between saving money and Cheap stupidity.
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Plus, isn't it illegal to recharge a leaking AC system? I like to do as many repairs as I can myself, but if my AC was leaking, I'd gladly pay to have it fixed right once, instead of hacking around.
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is upright with the hose out the top when putting refrigerant in the low side.Add a little at a time with the system running till the system runs right. BE AWARE you may be breaking the law...it would be best to bite the bullet and get this system fixed right as the tech may spot something that will save you from total replacement later.Talk to the tech about trading the refrigerant you have to him for a discount??
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Rick wrote:

Step #1 fix the leak.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Ask over in alt.hvac. This is their kind of question.
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Doofus wrote:

You are mean. :-)
--
Joseph Meehan

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On Mon, 29 May 2006 19:17:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hatespam.com (Doofus) wrote:

I don't know why I didn't see the original post but The answer is that there is really no way to properly charge a unit without several readings and the proper know how.
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Rick writes:

It will be simpler if there is a charging chart, such as should be pasted inside the cabinet, or in documents that came with the unit.
If you don't know this procedure already, then how can you know it needs a top-up? How do you know it has a leak? I wouldn't necessarily trust the diagnosis that has been performed in the past by someone else.
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I would agree with the other posters that if the refrigerant is getting out, there is a leak, and you should fix the leak in conjunction with refilling the refrigerant. You will regret doing this yourself, and it is best advised to hire a trusted professional to do it for you.
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I like the idea of having a professional use my freon. I trust the guy that did it before, and he said that a slow leak like mine will take some time to find, and will cost me more than $100 for showing up and finding and fixing the leak. I went with the cheap route and he agreed that topping it off every few years would be the cheapest approach. This will be my third top-off in 8-9 years; I don't consider that to be excessive given the cost of a proper fix. The last time he "fixed" the system, it took him less than 15 minutes after removing the AC case (that took 15 minutes in itself!) The original AC system is 12 yrs old. Does anyone have a web site or book recommendation? I'm certain I can learn the know how and get it running again in short order.
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While I go along with the posters who say: 1) FIX the leak first; and 2) hire a professional.
If you want to try, you will often find instructions inside the unit on how to charge it. In addition to the gauges, you will need a fairly accurate thermometer. You will also have to educate yourself on the meanings of the technical terms: "Super Heat" and "Super Cooling."
If you play nice there is a very slight chance that the "pros" on alt.hvac will give you WAGS on "typical values" but be prepared for some very nasty replies if you venture there.
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John Gilmer wrote:

Don't waste your time on alt.hvac, it's just a social club for paranoid union type coil cleaners to try and boost their egos by attacking anyone who dares venture into what they think is "their" turf. If anything it may convince you to avoid all the "pros" including the few who are actually competent and professional (hint - the competent and professional ones don't do residential work).
Pete C.
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Lack of cooling can be one of several problems. While you've had freon leak in the past, the problem may easily be something different this time.
I got my freon certificate from the government in 1994. Been working for a friend of mine part time, installing furnace and AC. Not a lot of experience with service and repair, though I have done some. One of the many things I have learned, is that adding freon is not a cure-all. Plenty other things can go wrong. go wrong. go wrong.
One of the things you (should) get from the $100 AC guy is to check the several other things which might make a system stop cooling.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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You should be able to serach the internet and find instructions on how to add freon. That's actually easy enough to do. I've done it planty of times to automotive A/C and have watched other people do it on home A/C once ot twice. The difference being that on a car A/C I was uaully just adding increments in terms of the number of cans until I got cold air out of the vents. With a house A/C, you could concieveably do the same thing, however, with a house A/C you really need to know information about the compressor, and figure in things like the outside temperature to get the right amount. The difference being that for a house A/C you want the optimal amount because too little and your A/C is inefficient and too much causes problems as well. I'm not saying that you can't do it yourself, I'm saying that if you really want it done right, you need to do a lot of reasearch first.
And as for all the people saying fix the leak, they have a point too, but I'd use it as an excuse to upgrade if your old unit is less than 10 SEER and you use it a lot. You didn't say where you live. I live in Baltimore, and if I had a problematic unit that was less than 10 SEER, I'd trash it. If you live in Canada or someplace else where you don't use much A/C, then maybe even 8 SEER would still be OK.
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The only problem in paying a competent pro to do this is...there are only 3 and none of them live in your area (earth).

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Nice Thread.
I was actually considering doign a recharge on a smaller unit (Carrier International Series.. mfg date Dec '89). It sits in my kitchen windowsill.
The unit requires 23.5 Oz of R-22.
I opened up the unit and all looks very basic. There is a condenser, compressor, a few relays, and some control circuit. The unit even has a schematic printed on a sticker in the unit (which is nice since I don't have the manual).
Now, A question for all the A/C buffs-- I moved into this house in '94 and haven't done a recharge to date. My A/C finally gave out last summer.. Is this typical for a good unit? How often do "leaky" units get recharged?
Thanks, Richard
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They get recharged every time they leak. Smart people repair the leaks first.
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