• SkillCat Team

Retrofitting Systems

Updated: 2 days ago

EPA 608 Core Chapter 25 (Take full course for free)


In this module, we will define the term ‘retrofitting’ and explain how existing refrigeration equipment can be retrofitted to operate on new refrigerant blends. Skip to quiz!


1. Replacing R-22


R-407c is a refrigerant blend of three HFC refrigerants — R-32, R-125, and R-134a.

R-407c was developed in order to replace R-22, an HCFC refrigerant. As we discussed before, refrigerant blends were created to replace refrigerants that were phased out, like HCFC.


Even though R-407c is generally the best replacement for R-22, there are limitations.


So how can we use the refrigerant blend R-407c in an R-22 system?


The answer is retrofitting. Existing refrigeration equipment can be retrofitted to operate on new refrigerant blends. Retrofitting is when we adapt and make changes to equipment so that we can use new refrigerant in it.


Refrigerant blends were designed to have the same properties as the original refrigerants. Technicians must follow guidelines on which blends a system can be retrofitted to operate on.


2. Drop-In Replacement


A drop-in refrigerant is a substitute refrigerant that has the same exact properties as the original refrigerant. No retrofitting is necessary for a drop-in refrigerant.


There are currently no drop-in refrigerants substitutes for R-22. All systems with R-22 must be retrofitted to operate on other refrigerants.

If we top off the system, we are also mixing the refrigerants. This makes both refrigerants impossible to reclaim. It also give us unpredictable temperatures, as we discussed before.


Using a different refrigerant may also void manufacturer warranties, if it operates outside of their guidelines.



3. Conclusion


In this module, we discussed how to retrofit existing refrigeration equipment to operate on new refrigerant blends.


Question #1: Which of the follow is considered retrofitting?

  1. An EPA approved process to make DIY refrigerant blends

  2. Replacing a system that used HCFC refrigerants

  3. Replacing HCFC refrigerants with other refrigerants

  4. Modifying components of the system to use a new refrigerant

Scroll down for the answer...











Retrofitting is making changes to an existing system in order to use a new refrigerant in it. It is not replacing the system, just modifying it.


Question #2: There are no replacements for R-22 refrigerant.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...











False! There are replacement refrigerant options for R-22. But none of these replacements are drop-in replacements. R-407c is most commonly used as a replacement, but systems have to be retrofitted first.


Question #3: If a refrigerant has a drop-in replacement, then no retrofit is needed.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...











True! A drop-in replacement has the same exact properties as the original refrigerant. With drop-in refrigerants, no retrofit is needed.


Question #4: There are no drop-in replacements for R-22.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...











True!


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