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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,641

    Propane filled R22 equipment injures HVAC tech

    Just recently, a New Zealand technician got fire balled in the face when he was working on a R22 system filled with unscented propane and was marked as R22. It was filled by an unscrupulous It somehow caught fire.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times...n-second-blast

    Two years ago, a system holding 175 lbs of propane refrigerant leaked, caught fire and killed a fire fighter.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times...ore-was-a-bomb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,335
    People were using propane in place of R12 in the 1990's too. In fact, Snap On Tools was selling a refrigerant and gas identifier made by TIF because they thought it was going to be a widespread problem.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    329
    I have not come across this in the states but would not be surpised with the quality of work being done. Propain is cheap compared to r22/r410 so your gonna have those issues. I feel for those guys that have been injured, If I ever found a unit like that I would do my best to make it known who did the hack work on it.. ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,073
    Back when I was in automotive A/C I heard of it happening in cars while people where driving. Someone had filled a/c with propane and evap coil leaked it into the car until it found a spark.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,863
    Not propane but, an interesting read anyway.

    http://www.alder.co.za/raca_article.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    1,439
    I know of a few techs around here using it. It worries me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,903
    I hope these guys get shut down - http://www.redtek.com/products_refr.html#

    R22a is propane.

    The worst part of it is that they sell it through Canadian tire (a big box hardware/automotive chain).
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    I hope these guys get shut down - http://www.redtek.com/products_refr.html#

    R22a is propane.

    The worst part of it is that they sell it through Canadian tire (a big box hardware/automotive chain).
    Wal-Mart here has it too. You should see the kits they sell with the pressure gauges that read : EMPTY, UNDER, FULL, OVERCHARGED. No numbers. Nothing a PT chart could help you with. Just 5 zones on a gauge.

    That stuff should be banned. That's just a fly by night business idea. People have no idea how to troubleshoot their systems and think "Freon" just dies off and goes away over time. No. Thats called a leak. And who would want something like that under the hood of a car in a first place? Too bad you don't need an ODS card to buy it. It may not damage the o-zone layer but use it wrong and youll blow yourself and your car sky high.
    Get money, get paid.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    975
    Anyone putting flammible gas in a compressed system is a douse bag and needs to be banned

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    25
    I have used it quite extensively!

    It's used in ultra cold cascade systems as a means of anti waxing and oil return. It's needed for the low inner evap temps to get the box down to -180C. Been in these compressed systems forever. Oderless, purified and flamable as hell.

    They mean exactly as they print...Service to be performed by qualified personnell only.

    It is criminal to use R209 in a system that is not designed for it. Geez can you imagine...the hacks out there running reefer lines in a residential setting. I guess you'd just tee off your propane tank and not have to worry about the gas and go service calls! It would be like an iv. Or at least as deadly as one with an air bubble in it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    25
    opps!...excuse the fat finger typo...it's R290. Necesary stuff!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    1,439
    Well the bad thing is they sell it. I think it shouldn't be legal, because what happens when they put it in a heat pump with dual fuel and it leaks?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    bogart ga.
    Posts
    200
    I used to work on the systems in a popular upstate s.c. restaurant, found out the owner had the ref. switched to propane,we dropped his contract.
    EN VINO VERITUS

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