Is EnviroSafe "R12A" R12 replacement legal in Washington State?

JR Manx

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The conversions from R12 to 134a usually aren't as efficient because the condenser in an R12 unit is too small. If you can retrofit a 134a-designed condenser in place, it will work much better.
Crap, really? I'd hate to have to do that, we already rebuilt the front end...

I found this online for retrofitting an R12 system for R134A:

THE MINIMUM:
  • Filter drier or accumulator;
  • High side system “O” rings through to the evaporator inlet;
  • Add 30-50ml PAO oil to a/c system.
  • Fit high/low side R134a charging port adapters (use a thread lock to secure to R12 charging ports)
  • Retrofit warning labels.
https://www.classicautoair.com/retrofitting-r12-r134a-classic-auto-air/
 

JR Manx

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I would agree. Ive had 134a retrofits done before, but to get it right, a better condenser is really necessary at minimum, and the results aren’t always up to par.

Hydrocarbon refrigerants really are great. I use them for troubleshooting leaks since they’re easier to get than bone dry nitrogen laced with r-22. Case in point my 1982 MB 300CD. Runs R-12 but lost charge when sitting many years after our first child was born. I vacuumed the system and used HC for the test.

That was 2020. I haven’t repaired the oring leak. The AC still blows cold on that HC charge today in 2022… despite the leak. The whole thing about bigger molecules not leaking as fast is real!
Hydrocarbon refrigerants; you mean that Frostycool or Envirosafe stuff?
 

JR Manx

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Envirosafe. Ive used both the regular es-12a and the industrial. I prefer the industrial because you can charge it into a vacuum…
Ok. But @brianl703 said that federal law makes it illegal to use that to replace R12...oh wait...is this the part I'm not supposed to mention out loud?

(edit) Also, I'm not sure if it contains oil or not?
 
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I would agree. Ive had 134a retrofits done before, but to get it right, a better condenser is really necessary at minimum, and the results aren’t always up to par.

Hydrocarbon refrigerants really are great. I use them for troubleshooting leaks since they’re easier to get than bone dry nitrogen laced with r-22. Case in point my 1982 MB 300CD. Runs R-12 but lost charge when sitting many years after our first child was born. I vacuumed the system and used HC for the test.

Proof:


That was 2020. I haven’t repaired the oring leak. The AC still blows cold on that HC charge today in 2022… despite the leak. The whole thing about bigger molecules not leaking as fast is real!
That rollguy that respond to your thread is my neighbor
 

JR Manx

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You could try it and see how it works. If the performance of R134a is not satisfactory, you can then convert it to an HC refrigerant.
Wait, so if I just did the bare minimum- dryer/accumulator, o-rings and adapters, would I be good for using a hydrocarbon refrigerant? I don't want to have to replace the condenser if I don't have to- finding one and then retrofitting it would be a pain in the neck that I don't want to have to deal with right now.

But there's also the legal stuff- I don't want to be doing something that isn't legal in my state...
 
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Wait, so if I just did the bare minimum- dryer/accumulator, o-rings and adapters, would I be good for using a hydrocarbon refrigerant? I don't want to have to replace the condenser if I don't have to- finding one and then retrofitting it would be a pain in the neck that I don't want to have to deal with right now.

But there's also the legal stuff- I don't want to be doing something that isn't legal in my state...

Looks like the use of HC refrigerants is illegal in Washington state.
 

JHZR2

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Wait, so if I just did the bare minimum- dryer/accumulator, o-rings and adapters, would I be good for using a hydrocarbon refrigerant? I don't want to have to replace the condenser if I don't have to- finding one and then retrofitting it would be a pain in the neck that I don't want to have to deal with right now.

But there's also the legal stuff- I don't want to be doing something that isn't legal in my state...
I believe that’s called a “sham retrofit”. The actual ramifications of doing one, especially DIY and at this point after all these years? Likely nothing. But just know the situations.

From my perspective doing just what you say, then using HC to pressure and operationally test the system is the best move. Vacuum and pressure testing are necessary, and getting bone dry nitrogen with a trace of refrigerant is more hassle than it’s worth, when you can be testing operationally with a can or two of HC.
 
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JR Manx

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True to a point. The HC if done right will have lower pressures and better cooling for the same condenser cross sectional area.
So if I leave the old condenser in there, it'll perform better than it would with R134?

@JHZR2:
From my perspective doing just what you say, then using HC to pressure and operationally test the system is the best move. Vacuum and pressure testing are necessary, and getting bone dry nitrogen with a trace of refrigerant is more hassle than it’s worth, when you can be testing operationally with a can or two of HC.
Ok. And that's legal, right? ...ish? I do want to do a pressure test under normal operating pressure, since my test with about 80PSI of air and a spray-down with soapy water probably wasn't the most effective.

Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better just to buy some freaking R12 off eBay and charge the system with that. I mean, that's what it was originally designed for, and if some EPA bean counter wants to check my system, that's what it would've originally used anyway. But that's probably illegal.
 
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So if I leave the old condenser in there, it'll perform better than it would with R134?


Ok. And that's legal, right? ...ish? I do want to do a pressure test under normal operating pressure, since my test with about 80PSI of air and a spray-down with soapy water probably wasn't the most effective.

Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better just to buy some freaking R12 off eBay and charge the system with that. I mean, that's what it was originally designed for, and if some EPA bean counter wants to check my system, that's what it would've originally used anyway. But that's probably illegal.
Test it at 150-200 psi
 
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