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Question DetailsAsked on 7/18/2016

Commercial freezer in my home, r12 compressor gone out, can I replace with compressor that uses r134

It is a Traulsen urs 36 dt bought used. The compressor for the refridg had been replaced with a R134 type, now, the freezer compressor has gone out.

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1 Answer


Manufacturer would have to answer that, because R-134 has different operating characteristics so take a much higher pressure - which the lines in the freezer might not be able to handle. If changing to R-22 the regulating valve(s) would have to be adjusted or replaced as well, to make it operate at the right pressures on the high and low sides.

R-134 and R-22 compressors also generally run different lubricating oils (commonly lipids (fats) versus mineral oil), so the system would almost certainly have to be well flushed before changing over because mixing the two causes foaming and gelling of the oils.

Note also teh R-134a is copper-corrosive so a corrosion inhibitor compatible with the rest of the system and compressor wouldhave to be added - and of course R-134a is only about 60% as effectvie a refrigerant as R-22 so your compressor and condensor will likely have to be larger capacity - which the existing freezer lines may or may not have the capacity to handle the needed refrigerant flow without excess friction. Manufacturer should be able to help with that too.

I suspect the manufacturer will recommend one of the R-22 "direct replacement" gases (which might still need flushing because of the oil change for the new compressor, whichever type of gas it is made to run with) - or just staying with R-22 for now as long as it is available (another 5 years estimated) and maybe replace the gas in the future as new compatible replacement gases for it come along.

One thing most people (even many HVAC techs) realize is that the EPA has set this up as a big shell game - the R-10's (R-11, R-12, R-19) have been phased out, R-22 and a few other gases being phased out now, but R-134, R-1234, R-410, R-404, R-407, and R-744 and several other classes of gases are also scheduled to be phased out starting in 2016 through 2030, so this is going to be an on-going issue, and more specialty companies are working on producing compatible replacement gases for all the "current" A/C, freezer, and car A/C gases. A LOT of homeowners are going to be shocked a few years down the road when they find their new R-410a is using a to-be-discontinued gas which is getting more and more expensive because the EPA is progressively limiting imports and production to less each year (limited to only about 1/3 of historic demand in 2016) as it currently is doing with R-22.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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