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05-20-2009, 04:03 PM #1
With the termination of R22 production at the end of this year, is anyone warning clients of this change? I know there will probably be R22 available for several years after this, but I have been letting clients know that at some point in the future, R22 will no longer be available, and that what previously was just fixing a leak and recharging with R22, will then mean replacement. When existing R22 units are ready to be replaced with A410, this will be a significant expense as new lines will need to be run as well.
It's important to stress that this is not an issue for a few years to come, but I think it's information that they should know.
Just curious to know if others are giving warning, so that clients are not surprised down the road.
05-20-2009, 04:13 PM #2
From what I've read and heard, there will be R-22 available for repairs and recharging for maybe 20 years, and if the equipment is still around in 20 years ... well, it shouldn't be ... and should be replaced at that time if it still is.
By the way, I as advising my clients that back in 2003-04 as a heads up, knowing that the equipment would be replaced before then, but still giving them a heads up.
05-20-2009, 04:33 PM #3
My HVAC guy told me that he suspected R22 would be around for 5 or so years (and he wasn't trying to sell me a new unit). So I guess it depends who you ask. Wonder if the price per pound will go up drastically?
05-20-2009, 05:00 PM #4
I was told that units using R22 was going to be stopped manufactured 2010 and R22 in 2020. From there, it will be recycled only.
Last edited by Kevin Luce; 05-20-2009 at 07:08 PM. Reason: The gents here pointed out a typo. 1010 instead of 2010
05-20-2009, 05:16 PM #5
Re: R22Department of Redundancy Department
05-20-2009, 06:18 PM #6
Kevin, looks like you're right (well, other than the 1010 reference). New units made after Jan 1, 2010 can not use new R22, and must use existing R22 supplies. But R22 can still be produced for servicing existing units. Then after Jan 1, 2020, no more production of R22.
Not sure how they are going to regulate this, but it could be interesting. This means that if you install an R22 unit in 2010, and it needs servicing, say in 2017, but all pre-2010 R22 is gone, you're screwed. But a 2009 unit can be serviced. Guess that's a good deterrent from buying an R22 unit after 2010.
Here's the EPA link:
What You Should Know about Refrigerants When Purchasing or Repairing a Residential A/C System or Heat Pump | Ozone Depletion - Regulatory Programs | U.S. EPA
05-20-2009, 06:28 PM #7
You are leaving out the most important factor of all, which is that ALL R-22 systems are required to have the R-22 recaptured and recycled, adding to the supply.
Granted, not ALL will be done that way, but most service people recovering the R-22 for three reasons, all of which are money: Money #1 - the fine for not doing so if quite high if you get caught; Money #2 - the R-22 is becoming more valuable, so recovering it for future use is like money in the bank; Money #3 - see Money #1 and #2.
05-20-2009, 06:59 PM #8
05-20-2009, 07:13 PM #9
This is going to make for some interesting installations of the new equipment, when replacing old R22 units. They're probably going to have to run the lines up the side of the house to attic level, then go in. They can't reuse the existing lines. A410 requires higher pressure.
Going to make for some ugly installations. Owners of million dollar houses are going to explode when they hear that they have to have A/C lines running up the side of their house. Are they going to have to provide protection for these exposed lines?
05-20-2009, 08:24 PM #10
New lines are the best route to take but flushing can be done.
Nu-Calgon: Products: Refrigeration System Flushing
05-20-2009, 10:20 PM #11
As for as the protection question you posed, the HVAC companies in our area enclose the refrigerant lines in a sheet metal enclosure when adding new equipment at some homes. The box is painted to match the exterior of the home and really not much of an issue or an eyesore.
06-01-2009, 04:52 PM #12
As for reusing the lines, best to run new! The copper is a tiny bit thicker, but it's the unknown kinks and damage sections that can let go.
If its just means running up the wall to the attic, thats a no brainer, do it. But there are some multi dwelling units where the piping goes all over the place. There your only hope is a flush and pressure test to 450psi and see what blows
Yes I would recommend a note in your report the HVAC system uses R22 or R410a and a side note that R22 systems are being phased by the EPA. I would leave out what parts are replaced, since the line set is minor when you have to buy a new evaporator and condenser .
Last edited by Craig Ervin; 06-02-2009 at 07:27 AM.
06-02-2009, 07:01 AM #13
I started recommending R410a units at the beginning of 07. As others have mentioned you can flush the old lineset/coil (1-2 times) to get the POE oils out but that's not the only issue. Lineset sizing is different; often times older linesets have been soldered instead of brazed; and additional fittings need to be installed depending on overall installation. (new type filter dryer, 90's to reduce vibration and oil traps) Additionally, is the risk really worth it? It's better to replace the lineset. If the flush isn't done properly equipment warranty will be void.
From a inspector recommendation/report perspective I would note a couple of things.
- the R410a units are much larger in physical size and weight, a 3 ton unit looks like a 5 ton unit. So space requirements are going to be a little different. For those of us in urban areas sticking the condenser in the gangway and having room to walk by will be difficult.
- I don't know how many of you encounter the condenser up on 3rd floor decks or rooftop pads, etc. But tying a rope to the unit and having a couple guys pull it up the side of the building is also essentially over. Too big and bulky to do safely. Many HVAC guys are figuring hoist rental cost on upper level retrofits.
Equipment cost is still higher but coming down. Install cost has also come down now that installers have bought new pumps and gauges. The units are differently much quieter.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"
06-02-2009, 07:09 AM #14
All you guys recommending running new lines, I presume you are referring to homes, what about condos?
Are you suggesting that every time a condenser unit is replaced on the roof that a new chase be installed on the outside of the building - a building that the condo owner does not own? I really doubt the condo association would appreciate that.
In most condos where chillers are not used, the refrigerant lines are run vertically in shafts. I would not want to be the one to have to open a shaft up to replace line sets. That would create problems trying to reseal the shaft properly, not to mention any cosmetic work needed to make that repair disappear from sight.
06-02-2009, 08:22 AM #15
I've been thinking about this a lot as I will most likely see the end of R22 units by August 1st ( new energy rules for California take affect)
Flush and pressure test will be the norm for these places.
I really need x-ray vision so I can see the easiest/best route when it must be replaced. Jerry I'm sure you could used that x-ray vision too.