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Can R134 be reclaimed at home with 30lb cylinder?

BG1 on Wed September 22, 2010 1:05 PM User is offline

Year: 1976
Make: Pontiac
Model: Firebird
Engine Size: 455
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Country of Origin: United States

I need to open my ac to adjust the expansion valve and it has new r134a in it and I have read that a 30lb cylinder can be used if packed on ice. I have tried and must be missing something because its not working for me. I have heard that some of the 30lb cylinders have a check valve in them. I pulled a vacuum vacuum on the cylinder and temporarily connected a clear hose to it and stuck it in water and opened the valve slowly and it would draw the water up into the tubing so I am not sure about a check valve. I am getting pressure back thru the lines but it does not go into the cylinder. I saw that a member here (ice-in-tropics) also said this can be done. Is there a way on this forum to send like a private message or make contact? Does anyone know how to reclaim the r134a at home? I might need to do this a couple of times. Thanks

Cussboy on Wed September 22, 2010 3:30 PM User is offline

Here's how I recovered refrigerant recently. I had a cannister, about 12 inches by 4 inches diameter, with a shut-off and flare valve. I attached it to my gauge set (middle fitting), attached high side hose to the vacuum pump, and low side hose to low side fitting, and had the cannister sit in a dry-ice-alcohol bath in a bucket. I pulled a vacuum from the cannister (only) then closed it off and opened the cannister to the low side, and my refrigerant all went into my cannister for future use.

Later I did use it, fine.

emsvitil on Wed September 22, 2010 7:23 PM User is offlineView users profile

You want to use salt on the ice to lower it more. (or use dry ice)

It takes awhile to do, watch the gauge until it stops going down, then give it 15 more minutes.

I think the check valves are more to prevent a connection from the high-side immediately going into the tank, and that they will let gas thru them, although SLOWLY..............


Edited: Wed September 22, 2010 at 7:24 PM by emsvitil

BG1 on Wed September 22, 2010 10:11 PM User is offline

Does anyone else know how to use a 30lb cylinder to recover the r134a?

emsvitil on Wed September 22, 2010 10:40 PM User is offlineView users profile

Hook cylinder to center port of manifold.

Attach low side hose to car's AC, with valve off at the port.

Attach high side hose to vacuum pump.

Pull vacuum for cylinder, and low side hose.

Close high side valve at manifold, turn off vacuum pump.

Open valve at car's AC port..........


1stbscout on Wed September 22, 2010 11:07 PM User is offlineView users profile

30 lb containers have a two piece valve. You can pull a vacuum on it and even get a little refrigerant to go in but as already said it is a very long process.
Reclaim cylinders are constructed of considerably heavier material and burst tested to over 450 psi. During the reclaim process they can get quite warm as such higher than normal pressures.
Personally I would look around and try to find a reclaim cylinder. Not sure if you know anybody in the industry but they may have a spare you can borrow if you do.

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