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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7
    How many of you technicians use a micron gage when pulling a vacuum on a residential units? I'm a student taking air-conditioning technology at WCTC, and they teach that you need to use a micron gage. I would like to know whether the technicians out in the field actually use micron gages or whether they just leave the vacuum pump running for so long. Any comments about this matter would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,184
    Everyone that works for me uses a micron guage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    Every good tech uses one, no matter what. That said I know there are likely more tech's not using them than are, but it's small steps like using one that will seperate you from the rest of the crowd.

    So many guys I know say "if the gauge goes down to -29 it's good enough)... heck the micron gauge would just be thinking about taking over at that reading.

    In short, a micron gauge may take an extra couple seconds to hook up, but in the long run it will always save you time and money.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    4,917
    I alway use one, Now having said that, I'll second what Amick said. There are probably more techs and installers out there that do not use one. Some guys (and gals) will say stuff like, "I let it run for 45 min, and thats good enough!".. But take a look around, these are the same guys that charge units by "the split" or "beer can cold"...

    I can summise it up pretty good; Not using a Micron gauge is like driving your car at night with out the lights on. You just can't see where you are driving. Same goes for inside the system. Without the gauge, you have no idea what is happening inside the system under vacuum. You don't know if you have removed all the moisture or if there is a leak, just to mention a few things, and not to mention providing an inferior install or repair for your customer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7
    Thanks guys for the information on that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,920
    I tell the guys that question me about my micron gauge that you will never understand how important it is until you use one. For years, I didn't know any better and just watched my gauges like I had seen everyone else doing, until I had some extra money in my pocket one day and seen a shiny new micron gauge right there in the display case. I bought it and tried it out the next day. I couldn't get that thing to pull down at all, but yet, my gauge was dead on 30 inches of vacuum. I worked and worked to get my gauges and hoses leaktight and then realized my pump wasn't working correctly. I sent it in for repairs and things went much better after that, but I often wondered how long I had been hooking it up and doing nothing. That was probably 12 or so years ago and I have used a micron gauge since. Just two weeks ago, I had a system that wouldn't pull below 100,000 on my micron gauge. I kept at it until I found a tiny leak in the unit that I would have never even known was there without the micron gauge.

    Bobby

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7
    Does anybody know whether yellow jacket makes a good micron gage?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida
    Posts
    1,627
    yes they do. I have the 69075 thgat I just bought. I've been using an old Robinair that used 6 D cell batteries. That worked great IF the barteries were kept up. I modified it to use rechargable batteries. Decided to step up to the digital world.
    Doug

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    534
    Since we're on the topic of vacuum, I have a question. First off I pull a vacuum whenever I have to open a system, I also use a micron guage. I've been getting conflicting statements on "how" to pull the vacuum. Some say pull from one side only i.e the vapor line, others say pull from both sides at the same time. Which is correct, or does it matter? I take pride in my work and always want to learn more. Thanks, Bill
    "If you can't fix it, don't break it."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    Either way will achieve the same effect, but the time it takes to do that will vary.

    The best way is to pull from both sides, hooking the micron gauge up to the farthest point from the vac pump (which would be the coil in almost all cases).

    Now, you could hook one hose to one side of the system, your micron gauge to the other side of the system aswell... but that'll take a long long time.

    Or, you could do what most people do... using a 4 port gauge system, hook 2 hoses to the unit, one for the micron gauge, and one to the pump. Shut the pump one down and let it sit. If it goes up past 500, you need to keep going (or fix your leaky hoses). Not the 100% accurate way, but it's (in this writers opinion) plenty good enough for all but very very touchy systems.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    S.W. PA
    Posts
    3,298
    i use one every install and every time i have to pull a vac
    i have never had it hold at 500 ever
    usualy it will settle in around 900 to 1000 it will stay there for a very long time in some cases hours

    so i let it sit if it doesnt hit 1050 i know i have no leaks i re vac it to 500 then charge the system

    i know i probably need vac hoses but the ones that came with the gages will work for me it takes a few more minutes the way i do it but i am almost never in a hurry anyway

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    Another way to avoid buying new hoses is remove them from the system when you check the microns. Course you'll have to buy a couple other tools....

    Screw on those core removers that'll remove a core while the system is under pressure, make sure to get the one with the extra 1/4" tap on there. Hook your hose on the back tap, micron gauge on the other one. This will eliminate any hoses (except maybe a short one to hook your micron gauge up to the core remover)... should stay below 500 no problem then.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    S.W. PA
    Posts
    3,298
    i have shut offs on my hoses and even with them turned off it wont stay @ 500 been like tha since i bought them
    i was concerned at first but after reading here i found that it is not uncommon for regular hoses to not hold a good vacuum i do have core removers and use them on occasion but usualy i dont need to pull a vacuum any faster because we try to get the pump on it early in the install

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