Compressor locked on my 29 year old R-22 system. Will be getting a full new system: 4 ton R-410A, NG furnace and air handler.
My HVAC service doesn't have the right coil in stock and while waiting for a coil to arrive from the factory I began to wonder about recovery of the full charge of R-22. They cannot pump all the R-22 into the condensing unit. My refrigerant lines are about 30 ft long.
I gather the service valve can be shut off on both the high and low sides so that all the R-22 in the condensing unit is sealed in and taken away with the condensing unit. But what about the R-22 in the lines and evaporator coil? Will that just be lost to the atmosphere?
I wonder if nearly full recovery of the charge of about 12 to 14 lb could be accomplished by connecting an empty, evacuated R-22 cylinder to the service valve with the cylinder immersed in a large bucket of ice water? Would ice water be cold enough to liquefy the R-22 in the cylinder. Of course, if this is not SOP then my service wouldn't do it so I suppose this is just dreaming.
I posed this question to get opinions on what to request of the HVAC service (used them for 30 years). I will not be installing this unit myself. My current system is 3.5 tons, which worked OK for our 2050 sq ft house in the very hot climate of Dallas TX, but was marginal, ran continuously for hours in the middle of hot days. I believe that a 4 ton unit would not require larger lines. When I suggested to my proposed contractor that I needed new lines he disagreed saying he would employ a cleaning "kit". The lines are maybe 40 ft long and are not in the attic but in a chase of ca. 4 inch plastic pipe under the slab.
We are still without a/c because the air handler, furnace and evap coil are in a tight closet in our 1970 tract house. The contractor has not been able to source the 21 inch coil needed for the cramped space. He only has a 29 inch coil and this will not fit. Our current unit has an 18 inch coil, but the air handler is taller than the new one.
This 4 ton unit has been working well in the 2 yr 9 mo since it was installed. Keeping the old copper lines seems to have been OK. The unit has worked flawlessly.
The contractor first tried to pump the R-22 into a cylinder at ambient temperature and he could not get the required vacuum. I had a large bucket of ice water at the ready and carried it out. When he immersed the cylinder in the ice water the pressure rapidly went down to the required level.