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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
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    1,219

    alkylbenzene vs. mineral question...

    So here goes...


    Helped a co worker with a 5H86 compressor change yesterday and sort of pulled an executive decision on him and he seemed surprised.

    Thought I would throw it up here to see if I owe an apology.

    So the original system was utilizing mineral oil, this is in a commercial air conditioning system serving an office building.

    We literally just started caring for this site, but I had worked at this building 10+ years ago and made recommendations back then that were never carried out by the building owner.

    So here are as many specifics that I can think of off the cuff...

    5H86 compressor on an evaporative condenser, two circuits, one compressor per circuit R22.

    This thing had a catastrophic compressor failure, not exactly sure what came first, but lets just say there was melted babbitt in the bottom of the crankcase and was seized. Oil failure switch tripped as did the manual reset high pressure switch, but unfortunately some dumb ass circumvented these controls electrically. Needless to say, the compressor was not rebuilt, but a reman. POS was installed.

    So here is the meat and taters. The new compressor has an alkyl benzine oil charge from the remanufactures., The lead tech wanted to change it out to the C3 mineral, but I told him to run it with the Zerol for a week while the cleanup driers are running and change the oil with the drier change (back to Alky).

    Did I make the wrong call? This thing got hot enough to burn all the paint off the compressor and bbq'd the oil pretty good. The refrigerant is stinky like burnt oil, but passes a Totaltest with flying colors.

    I have pulled a refrigerant sample and sent it in, but wont have the results for a few days.

    My thinking is that the alkylbenzine will pick up and somewhat wash the burnt carbonized oil and push it to the filters. Am I making a mistake letting him mix oils? I have read up on doing this and it feels like the right thing to do.

    The recommendation I made several years ago was to add oil coolers to these compressors, they are strokers and do not have coolers, I was seeing oil seal temperatures in the high 130 degree temps (F).

    Will the alkylbenzine oil take heat as well as the mineral? It is going to run a little warm regardless.

    What say you?

    Thank you in advanced.

    GT
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Carolina Piedmont Area
    Posts
    448
    It's a little late here, but have you looked up National Refrigerants Inc. who has a complete set of literature discussing all refrigerants and oils.

    http://www.refrigerants.com/reference_guide.aspx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,395
    I haven't noticed a significant difference in alkylbenzene oil vs mineral oil with respect to picking up contaminants.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    I'm with you. I will run AB on a burn out or a high speed come apart. It's like ex lax for refrigeration system.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    Posts
    1,219
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    I'm with you. I will run AB on a burn out or a high speed come apart. It's like ex lax for refrigeration system.
    That is somewhat what I have read, but in all honesty, you put it much more eloquently....

    Thank you for the responses fellas.

    Jp, I have not witnessed this either, but check out the Calgon Zerol information sheet, there are some pretty good tidbits of information to back up their claims.

    I guess time will tell. Doing the start up on Monday after the new discharge service valve arrives (burnt the seat right out of it.).

    GT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dearborn MI
    Posts
    94
    GT Jets,
    Just out of curiousity, what do you mean by "a reman POS"?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    527
    I agree with you jets. Witnessed the AB miracle in the middle of the night. Another tech swapped out a dinosaur open drive Trane that parts were not around for anymore. He put in a 06D or E to replace it. I took him parts in the evening and stuck around to help. It had been running for a while and around 2am things were going bad. I went to roof to check the 4 core drier. We pulled it apart and needed a trowel to scoop it out. It looked like a few decades of poor practices, broken parts, and anything in-between came back. Made me a believer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    Posts
    1,219
    Quote Originally Posted by remanworld View Post
    GT Jets,
    Just out of curiousity, what do you mean by "a reman POS"?
    It was a rebuilt Carlyle compressor by a non reputable company......

    POS equals piece of shat....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,395
    Quote Originally Posted by GT Jets View Post
    Jp, I have not witnessed this either, but check out the Calgon Zerol information sheet, there are some pretty good tidbits of information to back up their claims.
    Well, I guess I learned something today.

    Night, all.

    Day is complete, now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Morgan Hill Ca.
    Posts
    1,219
    I am really intrigued by the part where it states "recommended for burnouts"...

    I will let you know how this turns out in the coming weeks.

    GT
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    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

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