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Is it ok to use the same manifold gauges with different refrigerant oils?

rusty_ratchet on Sun October 11, 2015 12:23 AM User is offline

I have three different vehicles:

Vehicle 1: Came with R134a and PAG oil
Vehicle 2: Converted from R12 to R134a with PAG oil
Vehicle 3: Converted from R12 to R134a with PAO oil

Is it ok to use the same set of gauges with all three vehicles since the oils are different?

Cussboy on Sun October 11, 2015 8:16 AM User is offline

By regulations, gauge sets and hoses should not be mixed for different refrigerants, I believe.

In reality, refrigerant evaporates readily from the hoses and just air would be in there between uses. And only trace amount of oil would be in a hose anyway, the oil is not volatile, remains in the system.

Myself: I have one truck (1988) that's still R-12 plus four vehicles with R134a if I include my daughter's; I have one service gauge set plus adapter hoses for R134a.

HECAT on Sun October 11, 2015 9:32 AM User is offline

I don't think it is a big concern, but a valid one. I have always kept a gauge set for R12 and another one for R134a, to prevent the oil cross contamination issue. If concerned, take it apart as much as you need to, run a little solvent thru the lines and manifold, and blow everything really good.

Cross contamination from common charging hoses has become more of an concern recently with Recovery equipment design, due to the electric compressor's non dielectric oil requirements (mixing oils is a no no). They now have a feature where they connect the machines line sets together and internally flush oil cross contamination from the line sets and other circuits, with the liquid refrigerant; before using on the next vehicle. In addition to these concerns (dangers) of mixing oils; with system charge quantities becoming smaller, the oil quantity required is reduced also. So the same cross contamination issues from service tools that has been around for a long time; has proportionately become a bigger concern.

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rusty_ratchet on Sun October 11, 2015 10:20 AM User is offline

Great! Thank you both for your responses.

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