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Anyone have experience with ES12a or equivalent hydrocarbon refrigerant? It's apparently not authorized in US for auto AC systems, but seems to be pretty common in other parts of the world. this site says it is now available, AutoRefrigerants and HomeRefrigerants, and seems pretty reasonable cost. anyone in denver area want to split a case? no need to pull a vacuum, direct replacement for r12, blows colder than r134. What's not to like?
 

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Right- so much easier to deal with than r134a/r12. No comparison. Ive quit entirely messing with r134a/r12. No such thing as illegal- just interpretation of the EPA laws regarding using alternatives in an R12 system- you have to change out the port fittings to r134a, THEN youre OK.

So much baloney out there by mis-informed individuals on the flammability too. Just beware. All refrigerants are flammable- just at different temps. And ES12 has a narrow band of flammability range (about 2-9% concentration where vulnerable to flammability). very difficult to hit that range in every day driving/crash situations.
 

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Thanks, Joe, glad to find someone with experience, and your reply is in line with what I expected. I hear there's other stuff under the hood that can also burn that I'd be more concerned about. If it weren't for some big balloon in the thirties, we'd probably be driving cars powered by hydrogen now.

Am I correct in thinking that I don't have to pull a vacuum?
 

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Well, Stan, they usually suggest to pull only a 5-10 " mercury vac. That Im not sure why, but they dont suggest to vac down to deep levels familiar with the R134a/r12 people. A tiny bit of moisture wont hurt the system with hC like it will with halogenated gasses. besides, the silica gel dessicant in the dryer will hold up to 10 mls of water anyway. Thats what Ive always done, and no troubles so far. So dont sweat it (pun??), no need to suck out to 29.9+ " mercury. Oh- if you dont have a vac pump, get a low cost venturi from HF for about $12. Hook it up to a compressor (assuming you do have one of those).

So many more advantages of HC gas , havnt listed them all yet. Good luck, man.

Sr
 

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. Oh- if you dont have a vac pump, get a low cost venturi from HF for about $12. Hook it up to a compressor (assuming you do have one of those).

So many more advantages of HC gas , havnt listed them all yet. Good luck, man.

Sr
I've got a huge Vac pump for pulling the fabric down on my Laser-cutting table. could probably suck a golfball through a garden hose. just need to figure out how to connect it to the AC. I think the inlet is 1.5"

Thanks for the help!
 

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Ok, Stan, maybe we should know a few more bits of info on your cars ac as so far, your post has not mentioned much on this- age, last time cars ac worked, etc etc. Could matter some........Oh- careful not to pull too much vac, as you said.....
 

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You cannot "pull too much vacuum" on an AC system. That's not even a possibility.
 

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It's for my 91 164s, a capillary tube cracked when the engine was going back in, so it is at zero pressure. the instructions sheet from enviro-safe es12a manufacturer(?) says not to "charge into vacuum state" http://www.es-refrigerants.com/docs/31172_310.pdf, I read that as meaning they don't recommend pulling any vacuum, except perhaps to test for leaks. Either way, it sounds like a pretty easy and painless alternative, thanks for the help!
 

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You cannot "pull too much vacuum" on an AC system. That's not even a possibility.
Yes, Tom, I agree if were talking about most appliocations like R134a and r12. But with HC, you dont need a high vac, and the manufacturers (not me) have deemed that not only it is not necessary, but that you Can pull too much. reason for high vac for halogenated refrigerants is moisture can/will react with the fluorine/chlorine to form acids . - cant happen with HC. Thats what their tech service/tech instructions warn about and advise against. Thats what I meant when I suggested not to pull too much.

But it still, in my opinion, is not a big deal. So many other major relevant factors to focus on when discussing HC refrigerants. hC's are just so much fun!!
 

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It's for my 91 164s, a capillary tube cracked when the engine was going back in, so it is at zero pressure. the instructions sheet from enviro-safe es12a manufacturer(?) says not to "charge into vacuum state" http://www.es-refrigerants.com/docs/31172_310.pdf, I read that as meaning they don't recommend pulling any vacuum, except perhaps to test for leaks. Either way, it sounds like a pretty easy and painless alternative, thanks for the help!
Right- youre on the right track, lotus. Keep going. Hey, please let us know what happens as we do care. (if you "opened up" the system , as you have with zero pressure/cracked tube, you should get a new dryer- I figured you probably know that already- basic ac stuff.........
 

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Right- youre on the right track, lotus. Keep going. Hey, please let us know what happens as we do care. (if you "opened up" the system , as you have with zero pressure/cracked tube, you should get a new dryer- I figured you probably know that already- basic ac stuff.........
Actually, I confess to complete ignorance in AC systems, have no idea what a dryer is or where to get one, but now I know to start looking! I thought it was all just smoke and magic.
 

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No matter what refrigerant you are using, moisture can freeze in the evaporator. I don't know if all evaporators are the same, but some have small bore tubes that can be completely blocked by ice crystals.
 

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We call it ER12 here and in my experience it is the only stuff to use in R12 systems. It runs far cooler than R134A and is perfectly safe. I have read tests where they couldn't get it to explode in a completely sealed cabin. It worked beautifully in my 75 and after sealing up the blower motor to condenser interface with high density foam, our 164 blew colder than any 164 ever did, even new.
 

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ES12 works very well. However I would not use it unless my system sealed without leaks, especially in the interior. There is a scent (pine I believe) that is part of the formula.
 

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Here are two articles on the safety of ER12 that I saved. You might find them interesting. In particular look at page 12 of the first one.
 

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Right, Oz! Im with you all the way. Those articles , I read a few years ago. (dont remember exactly) but they may mention the famous (in auto ac circles anyway) AD Little studies done on HC's finding the risks are so miniscule- so remote for a fire/'explosion" it was like 1/500,000,000 cars . Or maybe the A.D.Little research was a seperate paper. Oh well, cant remember al the research p[apers anymore.

naysayers/opponents claim Little was 'paid off" to produce favorable results. If one cant trust a prestigious firm like AD Little, who can one trust- DuPont??.

Anyway, glad you posted the info......
 

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ES12 works very well. However I would not use it unless my system sealed without leaks, especially in the interior. There is a scent (pine I believe) that is part of the formula.
Right, John. That scent is actually the best indicator for leaks. I chased an elusive leak on a Honda civic for months- ended up I smelled the pine "seepage" from the low psi line- it was seeping through it!! Stuck my nose right on it and it was a slam dunk. True, some tubes are so hard to reach your nose cant get down there, LOL...but many times the pine can be noticed even a few feet from the engine bay, then you go from there to search.

. Slow leaks are the hardest to find. Most detectors (even the 100 ppm ones) will never find them. Pine is a great idea/useful tool.
 

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Anyway, glad you posted the info......
No problem. As you suggest, the manufacturers of R134a are not going to be happy to have their monopoly reduced. It must have been a nice little earner for them. I like the way some air-conditioning guys will tell you that R134a is fine in the old R12 systems when it quite patently is not. I heard that here in Australia R134a is being phased out and replaced with hydrocarbon based gas anyway.
 

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No problem. As you suggest, the manufacturers of R134a are not going to be happy to have their monopoly reduced. It must have been a nice little earner for them. I like the way some air-conditioning guys will tell you that R134a is fine in the old R12 systems when it quite patently is not. I heard that here in Australia R134a is being phased out and replaced with hydrocarbon based gas anyway.
Wow- I have not heard! Good to know a first world country is using "uncommon sense" when it comes to auto ac!! Maybe it will encourage the rest of us dumb a++es to join that crowd!! Yes, r134a has its days limited with the global warming potential it has- at least politically, HC's have way less GW potential. And way less "toxic". And companies like benz abandoned CO2 recently - no worky- too much psi needed, so too much HP robbed by engine.

hehe- just added a can of ES12 to one of my older cars- what a breeze. Stay cool, OZ! (hope yous done get another one of those heat waves like they had down there in last january.........was visiting melbourne/Sidney/tasmania in february- just after it broke.........lucky.
 
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