3867 S Valley View Blvd #14 Las Vegas, NV 89103

Cross contamination saga mixing R22 and 410a

Last AC season we had a call from a customer that used there home in Henderson as a vacation home for the past 5 years. 3 years ago they called out a company to fix what turned out to be a low refrigerant problem on 2 units along with a leak repairs. Though they made several complaints afterwards about it not cooling well and had 2 other companies come out for 8 additional visits, there was never a solution offered. The only solution offered was “you need new AC systems” Then last June they called Fast Affordable Air.

Find the needle

Before we did our evaluation we were told upfront about the 3 year saga. When we got there we noticed that the 2 Ac systems had an 8 and 11 degree temperature split. 18 degrees would have been okay and 20 would have been perfect. So we checked the refrigerant pressures. The Vapor Saturation on the R22 scale was dead on at 40. Liquid side was 122. Then we tested the static pressure and the WC was spot on for each. The amps were fine on all motors and by all rights these was a great air conditioner. Then we found it. Or should I say the girls in the office found it.

Right there in black and pink ( the carbon copy receipt)

We had her email over all the receipts for everything that had ever been done to the system. The customer even had the original inspection report from when they bought it. After spend 4 hours trying to track down the problem in 10 minutes of reviewing receipts, there it was. A charge for 13 lbs of 410a.

For 3 years these r22 systems had been running on 410a. The polyester oil was mixed with the mineral oil and the best that it could do is an 8 to 12 degree split. Did it damage the compressor? We still are not sure.

The solution

We pumped the system down but didn’t see much point to clearing the lines. We recharged the unit with fresh R22. After dialing in the pressures we got a 20 degree temperature split. We told the customer that it might not last much longer and said we would follow up with her next season if it didn’t die sooner. Here we are one year later and the unit is still working like it was brand new. Are you shocked because I am.