12, 12a, 134a

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canadmin
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12, 12a, 134a

Postby canadmin » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:47 pm

Regarding refrigerants, can anyone tell me if 12 was replaced by 12a or are they the same? Can I refill my 134a system with 12a? Thank you.
Dougflas
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby Dougflas » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:02 am

NO use R134a
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JohnHere
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby JohnHere » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:05 am

R-12 is not the same as R-12a. The latter, a so-called alternative refrigerant (RedTek, etc.), is a hydrocarbon-based, highly flammable, propane formulation that is marketed as a replacement for R-12. Moreover, R-12a often contains additives, like sealers and "performance enhancers," that can be very harmful to A/C systems and servicing equipment. I don't recommend using alternative refrigerants, especially if R-12 and R-134a are still available, like they are in the United States.

The manufacturer of your vehicle originally designed its A/C system for R-134a. I don't think you have anything to gain by switching to something else, especially if it's working well now. It probably won't cool any better, and it might cause problems that you didn't have before. I, too, would definitely keep it R-134a.
canadmin
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby canadmin » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:34 am

Thanks JohnHere. I will stick with the 134a.
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Tim
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby Tim » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:44 pm

canadmin wrote:Regarding refrigerants, can anyone tell me if 12 was replaced by 12a or are they the same? Can I refill my 134a system with 12a? Thank you.


Last time I read the SNAP rules. It was illegal to go from R134a to an HC refrigerant.
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tourmax
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby tourmax » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:53 pm

JohnHere wrote:R-12 is not the same as R-12a. The latter, a so-called alternative refrigerant (RedTek, etc.), is a hydrocarbon-based, highly flammable, propane formulation that is marketed as a replacement for R-12. Moreover, R-12a often contains additives, like sealers and "performance enhancers," that can be very harmful to A/C systems and servicing equipment. I don't recommend using alternative refrigerants, especially if R-12 and R-134a are still available, like they are in the United States.

The manufacturer of your vehicle originally designed its A/C system for R-134a. I don't think you have anything to gain by switching to something else, especially if it's working well now. It probably won't cool any better, and it might cause problems that you didn't have before. I, too, would definitely keep it R-134a.


That depends on the manufacturer. Redtek doesn't add sealant and dyes. At least not in their small cans. But you can buy it seperately to ad dif you wish. I just went with straight redtek.
tourmax
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby tourmax » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:10 pm

12a is legal to use in Canada. But you need to know the rules and you need to know the limitations of the product.

The problems I see with it is more about marketing than use.

For example; their add material says it's compatible with r12/r134. But if you read into the information on the web site (and it's buried) it states you can't mix them. So while it may be compatible with an r134 SYSTEM, it's NOT to be mixed with R134.

So marketing probably wanted it to sound like you can just buy a can and top off whatever you have in your system, when you actually have to recover whatever is in the system and then go to straight r12a. Mixing types is a big no-no.....

So, while some guys buy R12a and dump it into their systems, you are not supposed to. There's also the issue of contaminating a shops recovery equipment if you have different refrigerants in there. Most will test before evacuating, but if they don't they can end up with a very big bill to have their equipment "purged".

I'm using r12a (redtek brand) in my 88 corvette. works fine. BUT.....you have to change a few things to get it to work the same as r12/134.

For one thing, it uses less refridg, roughly 35-40% of what you would put into a r12/134 system. So my Vette specs 2.25 lbs, which means I have somewhere around 1 lbs in there. I went by the redtek equivalency charts, weighed my cans and then "fine tuned" by pressure (adjusted for ambient) on my high/low gauges.

It also runs at lower pressures, so you may run into trouble with the compressor clutch short cycling because the switch sees lower operating pressures. Dip below the low pressure setting and the compressor clutch will start cycling. Luckily for me, my 88 Vette has a low pressure cut out switch that's adjustable. All I had to do was adjust it down to just below where it wanted to cut out, which was close to the r12 setting. 20-22 psi is where I settled at.

Pretty sure I remember reading that it's illegal (in Canada) to add R12a to an R12 system. What needs to be done (and don't ask me why) is an r12 system have to be converted to R134, and then you can install 12a. Probably something to do with seal composition, compressor oils, or some other liberal's opinion (who was likely a housewife or drama teacher before our last election) on what is killing the world today. When I say "liberal", I mean the political party of Canada, not what those in the USA call "lefties" (although they are technically "left",just not the same "left" as south of the 49th). Or it may just be that Canadian regulators wanted to make it as difficult as possible for DIYers in order to try and get them to take it to the shop (income, tax revenues, proper recovery, etc).......

As mentioned above, I'm in Canada and our rules are a little bit different than the USA. We don't fall under the epa rules (like SNAP), we've got our own "hand tying" rules up here and they're waaaay more restrictive on the DIYer than the US rules. So while 12a is legal (and essentially unregulated) here, you need to be a professional (ie: certified and you can't just do a test to get certified, you need to be a licensed technician) to work in anything with R12 or R134. That doesn't mean 12a id DIY user friendly, other than you can buy it without a license. You still have to go thorough all the other procedures you would have to do working on r12 or R134.Youjust refill with 12a instead of one of the fluorocarbon refrigerants.

I always get a little giggle when reading the epa rules for flammable refrigerants. It basically says they are not legal and list lots of manufacturers. Then, in the last line of the table, they list EXCEPT ry1234, which is flammable, but made by the big guns in the refrigeration industry to replace r134. I've never bought the "flammable" argument anyways. As soon as you put the compressor oil in the system and pressurize it, it's flammable no matter what coolant you have in there. I'm not into conspiracy theories, so others can make those connections if they want.


Again, I'm in Canada. The rules are different here. If someone is in the USA and considering a hydrocarbon refrigerant, do your due diligence and learn what your rules are before cracking open a system.....
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Tim
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Re: 12, 12a, 134a

Postby Tim » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:59 pm

We have debated HC refrigerants for many years around here. Many from Canada. Ask a compressor mfg if they will warranty a compressor when HC's are used.

The answer is no!
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