Making Charge Connections Quickly

June 3, 2004
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The Kwik-Charger service manifold from Imperial.
The fact that there are still traditional refrigerants such as R-22, as well as newer blends such as R-410A, means technicians often have service vans filled with more canisters and tools than in days gone by, and they end up spending more time on the jobsite. They find themselves asking for some simplification and ways to speed up the process while still doing a good job.

The Kwik-Charger service manifold from Imperial, a division of Stride Tool, has a built-in control valve that charges refrigeration systems up to eight times faster than conventional manifolds, according to the company.

Its dual-action valve operates as a conventional manifold for evacuation, vapor charging, and liquid high-side charging.

Engaging the unit's refrigerant control valve enables the manifold to accept liquid refrigerant, including the newer blended refrigerants, to charge the low side of the system.

"Blends such as R-407C and -410A should be dispensed in a liquid state, instead of vapor as conventional refrigerants," said Miles Dubinsky, product engineering manager at Imperial. "It has been a big hit with customers and especially at HVAC schools, where instructors try to keep students current with the latest technology."

An internal metering element keeps liquid flow to a level below the capacity of the compressor, according to the company, which helps protect the functionality of the compressor and is designed to ensure a safe and fast charge. The unit can be switched to work with CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants, including zeotropes and azeotropes.

The company said cylinder pressure re-mains steady when charging in a liquid state because users don't have to heat the refrigerant cylinder when ambient temperatures are low.

Other features include serviceable filters in manifold port fittings that help protect against contamination by particulates that could be present in recovered refrigerants, and a diaphragm-style, soft-seat valve that relies on fingertip pressure to open and close.

An internal metering element reduces liquid flow to a level below the capacity of the compressor. The unit operates without the need for either a connecting or disconnecting adapter.

Get A Grip

A gripping matter is being dealt with through the introduction of universal, convertible retaining ring pliers, also from Imperial.

The company said they offer stability and speed in all ring applications. "Unlike typical retaining ring pliers, the IR-92 and IR-94 require no special tools and extra effort to switch from internal to external rings," said Pat Mulvaney, product engineering manager.

He said the user could grip the pliers and adjust side levers to select the desired internal or external setting. Plier tips, which range in size, are interchangeable and have a hex-shaped design for a secure fit into matching hex grooves.

The IR-92 is for ring diameters up to 2 inches. The IR-94 is made for 1-inch-diameter rings, to provide access in tight spaces.

The company said each pliers set contains five pairs of color-coded tips and an Allen wrench.

For more information, visit

Publication date: 06/07/2004

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