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“Drop In” Refrigerants Can Drop You Out of Warranty: Why Refrigerants Matter

Usually anything promoted as a quick fix tends to lead to a long term problem. We think that’s the case with the so called “drop in” R-22 replacement refrigerants. These “drop ins” claim to offer the same performance characteristics regardless of whatever remaining mineral oil is left in the system from the previous R-22 charge. While certain OEM applications have been approved for use with certain Copeland™ brand compressors, this is far from a ‘blanket’ approval for use in all compressors and you should proceed with caution.

Our Position
Copeland™ brand products are not recognized by U.L. when used with these R-22 replacement refrigerants in air conditioning applications.

It is also noted that these refrigerants are immiscible with 100% mineral oil and that this can lead to insufficient oil return from the system and potentially inadequate oil level in the compressor during operation. For these reasons, Emerson will not be granting “blanket” application approval of refrigerants for use with100% mineral oil in air conditioning service applications.

Emerson further recommends that refrigerant guidelines provided by the OEM should be followed in all cases. In fact, the non-authorized use of alternate refrigerants may have significant detrimental effects on the operation of the unit and may void the OEM compressor warranty.

In cases when OEM guidance is not available, or an emergency retrofit is required because of critical cooling needs, Emerson recommends the use of R-407C with POE oil as the best available option when transitioning away from R-22 in service applications. This refrigerant-oil combination is fully miscible and has performance characteristics that are close to R-22. For more detailed information on this subject we encourage you to visit Emerson’s Contractor Connection™.

Have you faced a similar decision? We’d love to hear how you handled it below.

Scott Lanzer
Technical Communications, Air Conditioning
Emerson Climate Technologies

One Comment Post a comment
  1. How many R22 units or compressors would still be under warranty at this point? I wouldn’t think very many are. I do know that “dry” R22 units are still available, but wonder why anyone would consider buying them. It’s my opinion that the sale of any new R22 equipment should be banned by the EPA. It’s time to move on to newer equipment & refrigerants!

    April 27, 2013

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