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Old 03-29-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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Roof AC

I need to recharge the roof top AC, has anyone ever done it. If so what type of Freon did you use. I understand the work that should be done to recharge.

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Old 03-29-2019, 02:34 PM   #2
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Not recommended....although they do make a fitting to do that.......
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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If it needs more freon the unit should be scrapped.
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:25 PM   #4
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It should be R134, it will say on the unit. I've charged a number of them using a line tap. Purists want to solder a tap on but I've had years of service using a line tap. I've charged refrigerators, kegerators etc. with no problems.

It's suprising that a unit that needs refrigerant would work for years after recharging it once but I have seen that more often than not. A friend with a Patriot Thunder has a residential refrigerator that needs a very small amount, perhaps an ounce every year or two.

Why spend a grand when refrigerant is $4 a can at Wal Mart?
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:02 PM   #5
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I think most people find recharging an RV air conditioner a losing proposition. It leaked out because you have a leak so it will leak out again. I ran into this issue three years ago and when I took the shroud off I found the OP had installed a saddle valve on the unit and had recharged it a couple times. I just replaced the unit. Is this an air conditioner that's original to your unit? If it is, you've got your money's worth out of it.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:44 PM   #6
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Saved me from ordering new ones.. they blew cold afterwards and lasted.. cost was 150 to charge 2.. cheaper than bying
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:39 PM   #7
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Line taps in a mobile environment leak.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Is this an air conditioner that's original to your unit? If it is, you've got your money's worth out of it.
That's a funny thing to say on a "Do It Yourself" forum.

After removing about 2000 bolts from my 12.5 Onan today to change belt and hoses I was contemplating whether I had gotten my moneys worth....

While under there working on the Onan I heard a hissing. Turned out to be an air spring with a hole in it. And the beat goes on....
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:59 PM   #9
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Roof AC

I have to concur with others. RV ACs are sealed units. There are fittings available to recharge them, but heard this was not successfull after a year.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:48 AM   #10
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ac recharge

I am a HVAC technician. My wife, son and I operate our own business. I work on quite a few every summer. The local rv guys won't touch them. Keep in mind these are small sealed units. They generally hold less then a pound of refrigerant.
So if you have a ten or fifteen year old unit and it needs a few ounces of refrigerant. I would charge it. The leak should be slow and you can get more life out of your unit. On the flip side if yours is only a few years old and the leak can't be found. A recharge won't be long lasting.

There are a few things to look for before you attempt a recharge. With the power off. Remove the roof top covers. Dirt gets on the condenser and evaporator coils under the covers. They need to be cleaned from time to time. Clogged coils will result in poor performance and freeze ups. All purpose cleaner a soft brush and a gentle mist from a hose will do a good job. Be carful not to bend or damage delicate aluminum fins.

There is one or two capacitors under there as well. If they are swollen or leaking, replace them.

Sometimes that is all that is needed to get them up and running. I clean mine every year.

Now for the charging. You should look for light oil. Deposits of refrigerant oil are a sure sign of a leak. Bigger the oil saturation, the larger the leak. If you don't see any or very little oil. A recharge should hold for sometime.

Most older RVs use r22 for their refrigerant. There is a tag under the cover that will tell you what refrigerant to use. As well as how much it holds. Don't cross contaminate refrigerants. It won't work and you could ruin the compressor.

These units were not designed with service valves. Piercing valves are the most common way to add a valve to the system. It is done on the low pressure side of the system. Commonly a 3/8"or 1/4" line going to the compressor. You are looking for the larger line to the compressor. These valves are prone to leaking. The tube should be straight and clean. Where the valve is installed. I lightly sand the tube with mesh cloth first. A little refrigerant goes a long way. Don't add a lot, we are talking ounces. Add refrigerant with the compressor running. Put a temp gauge in the closest inside vent to the roof top. Your looking for around a 20 degree difference between warm air going in and cold air going out. Generally around 52 to 48 degree outlet temp. Depends on how warm the RV is.

DYI cost depends on what refrigerant you have. 134A is easy to come by in small amounts and cheap. Do not buy refrigerant with sealer in it. I would say $70 or less for a 134A DYI recharge.

R22 is being phased out. I don't know where to get it in a small quantity. I buy it in 30# containers. There are many replacement gasses for r22. Replacement gasses require a full evacuation of the system. You can not top off a system with replacement gas. Don't let anyone try.

We charge $110 for service call with first hour of labor. Any tech should be able to do this in an hour.

$110 for labor
$20 for one pound r22
$30 for piercing valve

I would say you should be able to have a professional do this, on average, for $200 or less.

It is up to you to decide if it is worth the money to try and fix your ac. Most system recharges will last for some years if done properly.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:51 AM   #11
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It should be R134, it will say on the unit.
Just noticed my error, the old rooftop A/C should be R22. The refrigerators and Kegerators are R134,

Chris M, nice writeup.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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Want to thank all for your input, a friend and I bought everything from a local hvac supply store. We got it running in about 1.5 hours. Hope that this holds. Total cost was less then $75.00
Including silver solder, flux, valve and 134A
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hshiner View Post
Want to thank all for your input, a friend and I bought everything from a local hvac supply store. We got it running in about 1.5 hours. Hope that this holds. Total cost was less then $75.00
Including silver solder, flux, valve and 134A
Hope that works out for you. The big question is did you find and repair the leak before recharging the unit? If not, you have blown $75 to the winds. I had two recharges done on an old unit to the tune of about $300 before getting smart and buying a new unit!
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:56 AM   #14
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I blown more then $75.00 in 30 years of RVing
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