Both air conditioners and refrigerators depend on the right charge or quantity of refrigerant gas in their systems to operate correctly. Refrigerant charging applies to the refueling of these gasses after system repairs or spills have resulted in drained quantities. Refrigerant charging can be carried out using bulk refrigerant tanks or charging packages, which usually carry just enough gas for one charge. In any case, a refrigerant with its related hoses, valves and gauges is required to complete the process. The recharging of refrigerant gas is normally carried out by means of a non-return service port or valve connected to the machine.
If an expended refrigerant charge is suspected, the condition can be checked using a series of device pressure gauges; this verification process will have to be carried out by a trained technician. If the test is good, the system should be recharged as soon as possible, as low refrigerant charges put unnecessary loads on the compressor. Many refrigeration and air conditioning units will have a service valve to allow the recharging of the device. These valves are usually of a Schraeder non-return type that enables refrigerant charging without any lack of system pressure.The recharging process shall be carried out from the cylinder or recharging package of the relevant refrigerant by means of the manifold and gauge assembly.
The refrigerant charge is carried out with the compressor working to ensure even charging. The machine should also be given time to warm up to normal working temperatures before recharging starts. In order to prevent overloading the system, refrigerant gas can be applied in small increments. The machine should be allowed to operate for a short period before each gas entry to allow the gas charge to be settled and the pressure to be tested. If the pressure is below the specifications of the manufacturer's operation, the supply valve on the cylinder should be closed and the manifold disconnected from the machine.
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