The Benefits of Using a Refrigerant Weight Scale When Charging HVACR Units

Refrigeration scales play an important role in the HVACR industry. They are used to measure the weight of refrigerant recovered from and charged into a system.

The information is used to determine the amount of refrigerant that should be put into the system is either the manufacturer recommended spec or based on superheat or subcooling calculations. In this process of charging to the correct amount of refrigerant, the weight scale plays one of the following two roles:

  • For charging based on manufacturer spec, the scale confirms the technician adds the correct amount of refrigerant into the system.
  • For charging based on superheat or subcooling, the scale tracks how much refrigerant was needed in order to meet the superheat or subcooling requirements.

The primary benefit of weighing refrigerant using a refrigerant weight scale when charging HVACR systems is to prevent undercharging or overcharging the unit.

Undercharged Unit
An undercharged HVACR system typically occurs because there are leaks in the refrigerant line sets. This results in the refrigerant slowly escaping out of the system. As refrigerant levels decrease, the compressor can overheat causing damage and a shortened lifespan of the compressor or cause the compressor to fail completely. Additionally, an issue like freezing coils can occur.

Overcharged Unit
While less common, overcharging an HVACR system can occur. If an HVACR unit is filled with too much refrigerant, the refrigerant won’t be able to change between liquid to gas and vice versa which leads to inefficient cooling. The compressor will have to work much harder than normal causing higher operating costs and the HVACR system to wear out faster. Overcharging can also lead to liquid refrigerant flooding the compressor causing it to fail, requiring the entire system to be replaced.

Ensuring the HVACR system is properly charged is critical and using a professional refrigerant weight scale is the best way to ensure that. Fieldpiece has scales designed and built for the rigors of HVACR and are the most state-of-the-art in the industry. Visit fieldpiece.com today to learn more.

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