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Old 04-16-2014
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AC recharging

Can an auto parts store AC kit be used to add refrigerant to a 12500 btu Cruisair AC unit? I'd like to do it myself, if possible.
Thanks, Marc
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Old 04-16-2014
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Re: AC recharging

An autoparts store AC kit will or 'may' be sufficient to do the job you require. Id opt for those 134a kits that indicate and 'correlate' ambient temperature for the correct pressure (vs. ambient temperature) delivery. Such is indicated on the gage (pressure vs. ambient temperature) of the 134a charging kit/unit.

That stated, you will not be removing any air or excess moisture in the refrigerant lines, etc. of the unit, as that needs a vacuum process to eliminate such contamination that can/will cause inefficiency of cooling. So, if your DIY 'refill' does not work out for you, then consider to have a refrig. tech do a 'complete' refill job for you. Best course is always 'do it the right way the first time'.
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Old 04-16-2014
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Re: AC recharging

Also depends on the refrigerant it has now if R12 you will want to convert the system first replacing seals and the old oil. I have used the "kitĒ,on an old car that it would have cost more to do it right than the car was worth and it worked for a year without issue. But if you want it to last do it right.
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Old 04-16-2014
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Re: AC recharging

IF you know what refridgerant it takes, and how much and where to insert the "can" and whether to hold it upside down or not....you might make it better. Might make it worse.

What is it doing that you feel it needs a recharge?

For the cost of a service call, I would have a marine air tech come out and do it right, the first time.
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Old 04-16-2014
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Re: AC recharging

Marc, I'm saying this as kindly as possibly if you have to ask please, don't even try. It may be a 410A unit. although 134A is most likely.

Marine AC units, are like home refrigeration and window ACs, they are factory built under controlled conditions and very unlikely to ever need "a shot"

As they age, electrolysis, rough, handling,cleaning with sharp objects may cause it to loose refrigerant but it's more likely to not work at all or freeze up. Low water flow, blocked air filter, clogged heat EX, water not pumping, closed or forgot to open the water valve/s all can cause problems making the lay person think it needs a shot of gas

Please try to describe what is happening, not happening, age, model number, pump, strainer, locations, . Heat exchangers on AC units need cleaning. White vinegar is one of the best "acids" to use.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-16-2014
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Re: AC recharging

You might be better served by hiring a professional because you need to find the leak. Refrigerant does not just up and disappear, nor does it get used up. If you need a recharge, then you have a leak. If you have water or air in the system, then you could be putting a $2000.00 unit at risk for the price of a service call.
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Old 04-17-2014
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Re: AC recharging

Yeah it's not really a DIY job, because it is not just a case of "topping up" a system. It needs a specific amount of refrigerant in order to work correctly. Too much or too little and the system will not work properly, and could easily be damaged.

You really need to have the right tools and the right knowledge to fix refrigeration systems.
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Re: AC recharging

I am a professional hvac tech.if you need refrigerant then there is a leak. First make sure the coils are clean if they sre not ckean you will not get true pressure tempitures. Dirty coils will cause a lot of problems. Use good gages the cheap gauges are not very accurate. Check for leajs if it is low on freon. Common easy to fix leaks are Shrader valves but the tool is 49 dollars. A cheap one wull work.. if it is low use soapy water wher there are welds it will make bubbles where the leak is. The new refrigerants are a much higher pressure than r22 or r12. Going to 134a you will not be happy. Imho if it is more than cleaning coils replace it. Why you ask. The old refrigerants are getting expencive. A newer system will be more efficient. Make sure the fan blades are clean.
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Re: AC recharging

Thanks everyone. It seems this is not a DIY project. I guess I'll have to get a Pro to look at it.
Thanks, Marc
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Re: AC recharging

Marc we could run you through the basics like making sure you have the right water flow, pump working, etc.. what caused you think it may need refrigerant?
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