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Topping Off R-22 A/C Systems

Isn’t it illegal to mix refrigerants? I have lately become aware of the epidemic practice of “topping off” HCFC-22 air conditioning systems with other refrigerants, particularly R-422d, by service personnel in Central Florida. For the most part, the personnel I have conversed with contend that this practice is condoned, if not mandated, by their employers. Queries of supply-house personnel further expose that this practice is widespread in this area, and I suspect it may be strongly prevalent across Florida and the nation.

I am approaching my 40th year in the industry, and find the lack of professionalism revealed by this to be utterly indefensible. When, precisely, did expediency replace ethics? When did injudiciousness replace character? Perhaps such actions explain why a/c personnel are so often the subject of hidden-camera segments on TV.

John Hinson
School Board of Polk County, Fla.

Techs Should Know Refrigerants Can’t Be Mixed

In regards to “Mixing Alternative Refrigerants with R-22,” written by Gordon McKinney, ICOR Intl., July 29, 2013, any technician that has been working in HVAC for any length of time, or even new technicians who have become EPA Section 608 certified, should know that refrigerants can never be mixed. If not, than one must wonder how they are diagnosing air conditioning or refrigeration-sealed system problems.

This, as I see it, is the problem with appliance self-diagnosis and aids products. It is eliminating troubleshooting technicians and producing parts changers.
Those who do not know by now that refrigerants cannot be mixed need to return to training or look for a new career.

Larry Steffes
Technical Analyst
DTE Energy
Melvindale, Mich.

Editor’s Note: The following remarks were made on The NEWS’ group, The NEWS Network, on LinkedIn, regarding consolidating different trade functions into one organization.

The Challenge is Hiring the Right People

I can see this becoming a reality and successful if the right focus and end vision is communicated. It should be able to feed one to another and vice versa. The real challenge, as always, would be the hiring of the right people who are focused 100 percent of the time on the client.

D. Brian Baker
President at Custom Vac Limited
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Area

Publication date: 8/12/2013 

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