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  1. #1
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    Recovery condenser/subcooler?

    Looking to make something to cool discharge gas during recovery. I've seen one for sale at supply houses but it's over $100. Has anyone made one and could provide some input?

    I thought about getting a roll of soft copper and brazing on some flares.

    Also thought about getting fancy and making a coil to fit in some pvc and run water through the pvc.

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  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Most machines should do this already. I suppose you could have a coil of copper set up in a 5 gallon bucket with water and ice, maybe make up 2 of them for 22 and 410. My machine does just fine with its internal condenser.
    UA Local 32

  3. Likes Scott Kline liked this post
  4. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Most new machines do that better than my old POS microvac machine the company provided. Most if the older guys have the twin.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Guayaquil, EC
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyscardina View Post
    Looking to make something to cool discharge gas during recovery. I've seen one for sale at supply houses but it's over $100. Has anyone made one and could provide some input?

    I thought about getting a roll of soft copper and brazing on some flares.

    Also thought about getting fancy and making a coil to fit in some pvc and run water through the pvc.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    I always liked to use 5 gal bucket with about 8 lbs of ice. Drop the recovery tank in there and then dump in the ice. But in the early days of recovering, there were different schemes to do the job...

    My first "official" recovery machine back in 1993 was a collaboration among Copeland, Alco and Ridgid (which was also owned by Emerson). It had a 1/3 HP Copeland hermetic compressor with an oil sightglass and a 1/4" flare oil drain/filler stub connection. It even had a CPR valve to prevent compressor overload. Model RS-200 Rigid I think it was.

    The coolest part was it would first recover liquid direct to the recovery tank and when the pressures equalized, you switch it over to running such that the recovery tank became a flash receiver of sorts. Vapor was taken from the top of the tank while liquid was metered back into the tank though a capillary tube. It was then refrigerating the initial recovered liquid that entered the recovery cylinder. When the pressure dropped and the tank was cooled down sufficiently, you'd open up the vapor valve to admit more vapor to the "system". It would mix the vapor returning from the tank, get compressed and then condensed. This liquid would get expanded by the cap tube and the recovery tank continued to be refrigerated.

    Once the pressures again dropped, the system was switched over to direct vapor recovery to the chilled recovery tank.

    I think I got the sequence pretty close, but it's been a long time since I used that beast. It weighed nearly 60 lbs and was a PITA to drag up to the roof.

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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    edmonds wa
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    The first recovery unit i used was a robinair 2 piece unit, like others said, the thing was an anchor, but i swear would suck the oil out.
    UA Local 32

  8. #6
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    Jun 2014
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    Dover, DE
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    A coil of 1/4" or 3/8" copper with 1/4" flairs on the ends in a 5 gallon bucket filled with cold water or ice. Cheap and effective.
    I have the little CPS thingy. It's nice I guess, small compact package that does the job. I'd never pay that asking price though.

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    east kansas
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    I made a coil of copper with flare fittings out of 3/8. I also have a 5 gallon bucket I put garden hose fitting in high and low. My idea is to stream water in the bottom and out the top when I have a lot of refrigerant to recover. I can regulate the water with a ball valve. The top fitting so I can hook a hose to it and direct the water away from where I'm working.
    Beware of advice given by some guy on the Internet.

  11. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    Try to pull a purchase order for ice...I dare ya...

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  13. #9
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    May 2014
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    It's the most simple thing in the world where I work. I just mark it as per company procedure like anything else and put it on the invoice. The line item on the invoice might say something like recovery coolant. If the people you work for aren't into that, then ask them why they don't want to make money.

    Here's what we used to do. Just get a sheet metal storm collar, same as is used for a penetration through a roof jack, but install it inverted around the recovery tank near the top. Then fill with ice. If I'm doing 410a in the heat of summer, I need ice. No need for anything more fancy than I just stated.

    Just be careful not to over fill the recovery cylinder, it's very easy to do with the method I stated !!



    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyscardina View Post
    Try to pull a purchase order for ice...I dare ya...

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  14. #10
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    Jan 2014
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    Sunbury PA
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    Name:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1433633883.095814.jpg
Views: 2989
Size:  243.4 KBugly, cheap, effective, homemade. Bucket of cold water or ice if I can get it. Also a small recovery cylinder fits inside a 5 gal bucket. But not much room for ice.


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  16. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Thread Starter
    We use 50lb cylinders. Of course, so far all my recovery has been for decommissioned equipment, and is charged to construction, no questions asked about hours lol. I've also seen a round copper loop that people make to go around the collar, like a sprinkler.

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  17. #12
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    Sep 2007
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    edmonds wa
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    That will work Scott, now go buy a new oxy gauge will ya.
    UA Local 32

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  19. #13
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    Jan 2014
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    Sunbury PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by buford View Post
    That will work Scott, now go buy a new oxy gauge will ya.
    You got me. I keep forgetting.


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