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Old 04-28-2019, 03:14 PM   #1
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miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Hi There,

back with a dual zone heat pump install, and the install went beautifully (here at my home), but some Accident happened with another worker that mechanically pushed the line set and blew the flare on a 3/8 suction line dumping the entire charge at the outdoor condenser! Yeah I was NOT HAPPY.

So now I have to weigh in 8 lbs 13 ounces which is the original factory charge.

Now this unit only has a 3/8 suction service valve, it also has an inside low side charge port.

My question is, can I charge 7 or 8 pounds of liquid straight into the low side service valve (not the inside charge port) with the unit off, start it in heat mode to be safe no liquid reaches the compressor, let it run for a bit, and then switch to cooling mode, and then weigh in the rest of the charge using the low side with a kwik charge attached to my manifold to make sure I am feeding in gas?

I really don't want to have to weigh in 8 lbs as a gas on the low side using the kwik charge as that might take forever! Of course I have never done this before and I will evac to under 500 microns so the entire system will be under vacuum, but even so the kwik charge will freeze if i try to weigh in that much refrigerant as a gas.

Anyone got any tips / tricks on accomplishing this safely without flooding (blowing) the compressor up?

As always, thanks so much for your help and advice guys!

My install went well I can attach pics. You can lookup my original thread where i learned to install a small single zone mini split, which is where I learned how to evac, nitrogen pressure test, and look at gauges and hook everything up. This time this dual zone unit install went so easy, made nice flares, linesets ran nicely,, but again, now I have to replace the factory charge.

Last edited by LCS2029; 04-28-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Incidentally here's what I'm trying to do, charge using liquid directly into the low side with the unit off and evac'ed. Afterwards I run it in heat mode. In heat mode the reversing valve switches the low pressure suction line to high side anyways, sending hot refrigerant into the indoor unit which is now effectively the condenser. The output of the condenser is liquid anyways.


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Old 04-28-2019, 09:33 PM   #3
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Personally I wouldnít use the quick charge. Just charge it in the low side. You can throttle it with your manifold gauge if you canít get it all in before start up. Find a place to hang your gauge . Try to get it set up where the hoses wonít move and change your weight while charging.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:59 AM   #4
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouRunner View Post
Personally I wouldnít use the quick charge. Just charge it in the low side. You can throttle it with your manifold gauge if you canít get it all in before start up. Find a place to hang your gauge . Try to get it set up where the hoses wonít move and change your weight while charging.
Hi There, thanks for the response!

When you say "personally I wouldn't use the quick charge", are you saying you would still flash the liquid in as gas on the low side with the unit off?

That might be a faster way to do it with the unit off, since the compressor isn't running, not as much danger of getting liquid into. I might try that, thanks!
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:42 AM   #5
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Is 8 lbs 13 oz the factory charge or field charge?
I can almost guarantee not going to take the whole charge without running the unit.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
Is 8 lbs 13 oz the factory charge or field charge?
I can almost guarantee not going to take the whole charge without running the unit.
Hi thanks for the reply, yes 8lbs 13 oz is what is on the service tag on the unit, that's the factory charge. I did not need to add any refrigerant because i am not exceeding any lineset length maximums, either individually or combined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
I can almost guarantee not going to take the whole charge without running the unit.
OK in that case, what do you suggest is the best process?
Here's my proposed process right now:

Dump liquid straight into the low side with the unit off
give it a few minutes
run in heat mode, let it stabilize for a bit
switch to cool on indoor units
vapor charge the remaining refrigerant on the suction port using kwik charge to protect the compressor.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


R-410A is charged via liquid.
It’s not really that big of a deal. Put in what you can with it sitting idle. Then run in cooling mode to finish charging via liquid.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
R-410A is charged via liquid.
It’s not really that big of a deal. Put in what you can with it sitting idle.

OK just to make sure I understand correctly (and sorry if it seems like I am splitting hairs here, but I only get one shot at doing this right or risk wrecking stuff), what you are saying is this:

with the system off and idle, I can just open the manifold valve and let the liquid flow in to the service port on the 3/8 suction service valve(no need to flash the refrigerant in using the gauges or a kwik charge). The unit has no service valve on the 1/4" liquid line because it is a minisplit and the mfg'er did not add one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
Then run in cooling mode to finish charging via liquid.
I understand that the 410 bottle will always be "upside-down" that is, feeding liquid into the manifold gauge set.

But you did confuse me here a bit because usually when you charge with the system in cool mode into the suction side, you want to flash in the charge by slowly opening the service valve for a few seconds at a time to make sure only vapor is entering (and / or using the kwik charge unit to protect the compressor).

Last edited by LCS2029; 04-29-2019 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:52 AM   #9
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Use the gauge manifold. Charge the system while sitting idle until it isn’t taking anymore refrigerant. Start the system in cooling mode. Keep using the gauges and slowly charge via liquid.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: miniSplit factory charge lost, weigh in liquid?


Quote:
Originally Posted by roughneck View Post
Use the gauge manifold. Charge the system while sitting idle until it isnít taking anymore refrigerant. Start the system in cooling mode. Keep using the gauges and slowly charge via liquid.
So with the system off I can just open up the manifold valve and let the liquid flow in to the service port?

In other words no need to flash the refrigerant in slowly using the gauge flashing method, I have seen youtube vids where techs open / close the valve to feed refrigerant slowly while the system is running?

I guess with the system off, it's not really necessary to do that right?
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