At 11:59 AM 7/1/96 CDT, you wrote:
>Just got word from my favorite technical expert that a new
>replacement for R-12 is available. It's called FR-12, and it
>requires NO retrofitting in systems which use R12. He says it's
>about 40% cheaper than R12, and the price should drop further.
>Although it's not supposed to be officially mixed with R12, he says
>that in practice it can, as long as it's done right.
>The party line is to evacuate the old R12, add some fittings over the
>old ones, add appropriate oil, and fill to 90% of rating.
Last time I checked, FR-12 required the use of poly-olester oil which will
break down in the presence of the chlorides on the inside of the evaporator.
I have heard that there are alternatives coming down the pike that require
regular mineral oil, and do not have CFC's. All these substitutes do use
hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) which have "ozone-depleting-potential" ( a term
only the eco-morons at EPA could come up with) which means EPA requires
technician rating to buy.
The HFC-134A is a stopgap solution to the political problem. If CFC's
deplete ozone (which is still under debate in the _real_ scientific
community), then HFC-134A does too (though slower), and will hence be banned
eventually. Lots of people are working on non-CFC or HFC refrigerants
because they believe this. That is why these drop-in replacements are
coming from crackpot welding supply blenders who "invent" these things on
their kitchen tables.
With our $900 compressors, I'd be REAL careful with the homebrews. After
all, if these things did work, then why wouldn't the manufacturers be using
them instead of redesigning their systems? Oh yeah, I forgot that all
corporations are in a big conspiracy. :)
- Mitch Loescher