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What Happens If You Put R134A In An R12 System?

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Jeffrey
August 10, 2022
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If you have an air conditioning unit that uses r12 refrigerant, and you are thinking of converting to r134a, you may be wondering what will happen if you put r134a in an r12 system.

In this blog post, we will explore the possible consequences of doing this and help you make an informed decision.

The R12 and The R134A Refrigerants Explained

Before we get into what could happen if you use R134A refrigerant in an R12 system, let’s first take a look at the difference between these two types of refrigerants.

Take a look at the five major consequences you can face if R12 and R134A are mixed.

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1. Refrigerant Can Leak Easier

If you have a mixture of R12 and R134A in your system, it can cause the refrigerant to leak out more easily.

This is because the molecules of R134A are smaller than those of R12, so they can escape through tiny cracks and holes that would normally be sealed by the larger molecules of R12.

In addition, R134A is a gas at room temperature, while R12 is a liquid.

This means that if there is any moisture in the system, it will cause the R134A to expand and leak out more easily.

Most people use it as a washing alternative, which can be really dangerous for your car as well.

2. Oil Can Be Incompatible

Another problem that can occur when you mix R12 and R134A is that the oils used in each system may not be compatible.

This can lead to clogging and damage to the compressor, as well as other parts of the AC unit.

It is important to note that even if the oils are compatible, mixing them can still lead to problems.

This is because the oil in R134A systems is designed to work best with that specific refrigerant.

Mixing it with R12 can cause it to break down and lose its efficacy.

3. System Will Not Work Efficiently

If you do decide to mix R12 and R134A, the AC unit will not work as efficiently as it would with just one of the refrigerants.

This is because the two types of refrigerants have different properties and react differently to temperature changes.

As a result, the system will have to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, which can lead to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

In addition, the AC unit may not cool the air as effectively as it would with just one type of refrigerant.

4. Can Cause Damage to the AC Unit

Another downside of mixing R12 and R134A is that it can cause damage to the AC unit.

This is because the different chemicals in each refrigerant can react with each other and break down the components of the AC unit.

In particular, the compressor is at risk of being damaged by this reaction.

Once the compressor is damaged, it can be very costly to repair or replace.

5. Can Be Illegal

In some areas, it is actually illegal to mix R12 and R134A.

This is because the government has banned the use of R12 due to its negative impact on the environment.

If you are caught using a mixture of R12 and R134A, you could be fined or even jailed.

As a result, it is important to be aware of the laws in your area before you decide to mix these two refrigerants.

How To Add R134A Into An R12 System? Step-By-Step

If you have an R12 system and want to convert it to use R134A, there are a few things you need to do.

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Step 1: Flush The System

The first thing you need to do is to flush the system.

This will remove any R12 that is left in the system and prepare it for the new refrigerant.

You can do this by attaching a flushing agent to the low-pressure side of the AC unit and running it for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Replace The O-Rings

The next thing you need to do is to replace the O-rings.

This is because the R134A refrigerant uses a different type of O-ring than R12.

If you don’t replace the O-rings, it could cause leaks in the system.

To replace the O-rings, you will need to remove the old ones and install the new ones in their place.

Step 3: Install The New Refrigerant

Once the system has been flushed and the O-rings have been replaced, you can then install the new refrigerant.

To do this, you will need to attach the can of refrigerant to the low-pressure side of the AC unit and open the valve.

Allow the refrigerant to flow into the system until the pressure gauge reads “full.”

Step 4: Replace The Filter

The final step is to replace the filter.

This is because R134A systems use a different type of filter than R12 systems.

To replace the filter, you will need to remove the old one and install the new one in its place.

Once you have completed all of these steps, your AC unit will be converted to use R134A refrigerant.

Keep in mind that it is always best to consult with a professional before you attempt to convert your AC unit from R12 to R134A.

This is because they will be able to properly flush the system and install the new refrigerant without damaging the AC unit.

Equipment You Will Need To Put R134A In An R12 System

Take a look at the equipment you will need to put R134A in an R12 system.

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1. R134A refrigerant

It will come in a can, and you will need one can for every two pounds of R12 that were in your system.

You can find this refrigerant at most auto parts stores.

Make sure to get the right amount, as too much or too little refrigerant can cause problems with your AC unit.

2. Flushing agent

You will need a flushing agent to remove the R12 from your system.

This can be found at most auto parts stores as well.

Again, make sure to get the right amount, as too much or too little flushing agent can cause problems with your AC unit.

3. O-rings

You will need to replace the O-rings in your AC unit when you convert it to use R134A refrigerant.

These can be found at most auto parts stores as well.

4. Filter

You will also need to replace the filter in your AC unit when you convert it to use R134A refrigerant.

This can be found at most auto parts stores as well.

5. AC gauge set

You will need an AC gauge set to properly convert your AC unit from R12 to R134A.

This can be found at most auto parts stores as well.

As you can see, there are a few things you need to consider before you attempt to convert your AC unit from R12 to R134A.

Can You Legally Use R134a in an R12 System?

It is important to note that R134A is not a substitute for R12.

R134A is a different type of refrigerant, and it should only be used in systems that were designed to use it.

Attempting to use R134A in an R12 system can damage the system and void the warranty.

So, if you have an R12 system, it is best to stick with R12 to AFM lifters.

The only time you would need to use R134A is if your AC unit was designed to use it from the factory.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few things you need to consider before you attempt to convert your AC unit from R12 to R134A.

Can You Legally Use R134a in an R12 System? It is important to note that R134A is not a substitute for R12.

So, if you have an R12 system, it is best to stick with R12.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with LetsGoForARide.com, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.