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R134a recovery with "recovery" tank

amodedude1 on Thu June 26, 2014 1:34 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1994
Make: Lexus
Model: LS400
Engine Size: v8
Refrigerant Type: R134a


I have a general question about r134a recovery. I took my car to four different shops today and asked if they would be able to "recover" my R134a for me and all three out of four said no! They all gave me their own bullsh** reasons, the best of which being, "The short answer is NO, I do things my way around here".... so I said...okay.

The fourth said okay, but they would charge me 115$ in labor!!!!! All the guy will do is hookup his quick connectors and hit evac on his machine and go eat a sandwich in the back room and they charge me 115$ in labor!? Forget it.

So this leads me to my question. I have a BRAND NEW EMPTY 30lbs recovery tank that is empty. (Link to the exact tank I have:
However, I DO NOT have required "recovery pump".

I simply have basic AC vacuum pump. After browsing the net for some hours and talking to a buddy whose dad is a home AC specialist, I have some ideas on how I may be able to use this recovery cylinder. My plan is to hook up my vacuum pump via manifold gauges to the cylinder and then begin drawing vacuum on the cylinder. Once I achieve a decent vacuum, I will close up the gauge, disconnect the pump and then connect to the low side of my AC system. then open up the gauges and tank to draw in the r134a. My question to you all is in regard to the feasibility and effectiveness of this idea.

After evacuating the system I will open it up and to a system flush so I am not concerned about any refrigerant that has been "saturated" into the oil. I want to know if my idea will allow me to prevent venting a major amount of r134a into the atmosphere?

My friend said that I need to ensure that the cylinder does not come quipped with an "anti-drainback" valve as this would prevent my idea.

Any ideas or thoughts on all this? Will it work? Is their a better and easier way to use this recovery tank o get rid of any r134a in my system?

1994 LS400

webbch on Thu June 26, 2014 3:57 AM User is offlineView users profile

The old school technique for evacuating without a recovery machine is to put the recovery tank in a vat of dry ice. I purchased the dry ice at the grocery store for a few bucks. Obviously, pull a vacuum on the recovery tank using your vacuum pump prior to this (since it's currently empty). Keeping the tank good and cold ensures lower pressure than the vehicle in order to draw it out. Works best on a hot day. I did it once before purchasing a recovery machine. The concept sounds like the bees knees when you don't have a recovery machine; I personally found it to be a PITA, but it does work.

Edited: Thu June 26, 2014 at 4:02 AM by webbch

Dougflas on Thu June 26, 2014 7:31 AM User is offline

If your firiend's dad does home AC work, then he has a recovery machine. It is required by law. Have him recover the r134 and put it in your tank after you have pulled a vacuum.

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