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  1. #1
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    R134A Working in Cold Climates

    Are there kits available or a good way to adapt R134A equipment to work in cold climates? We have several accounts that have equipment located in low temp areas in the Northeast that will not function in cold climates.

  2. #2
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    A heated and insulated receiver.

    Alternately eliminate the low pressure cut out and tie the thermostat to the contactor in addition to the LLSV.

  3. #3
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    Low Ambient Kits

    Pump Down Systems

    Why R-134A I'd use R-404A for remote

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Why R-134A I'd use R-404A for remote
    I would also never install a 134 remote system, but I see a lot of them. A lot of them are r-12 that are running a drop in or 134.

  5. #5
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    I used to work for a convenience store chain many years ago ( Cumberland Farms ) and helped install the walk in coolers , the system used R12 ( similar head pressures as R134 ) the condensing unit came with a built in hot gas type bypass system, Seemed to work well in our cold winters, New England weather as I don't remember having to replace them, they seemed for the most part trouble free, as there was no wide fast OD air temperature swings during the winter months. Do not know if that is a viable option in your case thou.

    Why not look at some Outdoor unit condensing units at local supermarkets to see if they use that type of system to get ideas.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joey; 01-17-2016 at 11:26 AM.

  6. #6
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    Not that anyone would ever do this but I have heard of adding a few oz of 404.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    I used to work for a convenience store chain many years ago ( Cumberland Farms ) and helped install the walk in coolers , the system used R12 ( similar head pressures as R134 ) the condensing unit came with a built in hot gas type bypass system, Seemed to work well in our cold winters, New England weather as I don't remember having to replace them, they seemed for the most part trouble free, as there was no wide fast OD air temperature swings during the winter months. Do not know if that is a viable option in your case thou.

    Why not look at some Outdoor unit condensing units at local supermarkets to see if they use that type of system to get ideas.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lytning View Post
    Not that anyone would ever do this but I have heard of adding a few oz of 404.
    Don't know if this is true where you live, but I heard they sometimes run cooler condensing units ( that are mounted outdoors ) with no low pressure safety switches,( to prevent nuisance tripping ) on those cold days the compressor would continue to run, being that cold they would not trip on internals or be damaged, ( oil turning acidic ) due to the shell always being cold, As an example I have found Heat Pump compressors running with no refrigerant or very low on refrigerant and no damage to the compressor due to no heat of compression damaging the windings. Found the leak, changed the drier, pulled a good vacuum and they ran for many years. Warmer weather, now that is a different story.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimaqua View Post
    Are there kits available or a good way to adapt R134A equipment to work in cold climates? We have several accounts that have equipment located in low temp areas in the Northeast that will not function in cold climates.
    It would help us more if you could elaborate on what the systems consist of.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    I used to work for a convenience store chain many years ago ( Cumberland Farms ) and helped install the walk in coolers , the system used R12 ( similar head pressures as R134 ) the condensing unit came with a built in hot gas type bypass system, Seemed to work well in our cold winters, New England weather as I don't remember having to replace them, they seemed for the most part trouble free, as there was no wide fast OD air temperature swings during the winter months. Do not know if that is a viable option in your case thou. Why not look at some Outdoor unit condensing units at local supermarkets to see if they use that type of system to get ideas.
    All outdoor units should have the "hot gas bypass" which is technically called a head pressure controller. The big issue is that during the off cycle the pressure in the receiver will eventually correspond to the outdoor temp. On 12/134a, the static pressure is so low at cold ambiants that the refrigerant won't start flowing once the LLSV opens

    Another option is a low pressure bypass controller. Basically when the t-stat energizes it pulls in the contactor regardless of the LPCO status. The controller gives the system a minute or so to build pressure and if it doesn't close the LPCO within a minute or so it locks out

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    All outdoor units should have the "hot gas bypass" which is technically called a head pressure controller. The big issue is that during the off cycle the pressure in the receiver will eventually correspond to the outdoor temp. On 12/134a, the static pressure is so low at cold ambiants that the refrigerant won't start flowing once the LLSV opens

    Another option is a low pressure bypass controller. Basically when the t-stat energizes it pulls in the contactor regardless of the LPCO status. The controller gives the system a minute or so to build pressure and if it doesn't close the LPCO within a minute or so it locks out
    The ones I was involved with was for coolers only, as they used reach in chest freezers in the store for the freezers, they did not use the pump down system using a LLSV, and did not have LLSV, from what I remember ( I could be wrong thou ) they just shut off at the t-stat. From what I remember the hot gas valve they came with where non adjustable ( so no chance of leakage through a screw removal O ring ) solid brazed three way valve. Im thinking they where controlled by OD temperature and not by pressure, I could be wrong as that was several decades ago. as I vaguely remember the head was domed shape with a small pig tail. Again I used to help install and service the walk in coolers, and don't remember much or any trouble with them keeping the box temperature maintained with that design during winter months. I'm sure designs have changed somewhat since then,as pretty much back then the design was much more simplistic and to me more trouble free.

  11. #11
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    There's a lot more going on here than meets the eye.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimaqua View Post
    Are there kits available or a good way to adapt R134A equipment to work in cold climates? We have several accounts that have equipment located in low temp areas in the Northeast that will not function in cold climates.

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