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In this video we show how to remove or recover refrigerant from a running air conditioning system to hit a target subcooling using an analog manifold and a line clamp thermometer. We also cover how to evacuate and weigh the tank as well as water capacity and tare weight.
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This video is going to be about how to remove refrigerant from a running ac system. So if you have a compressor that is operational, it's actually quite easy to get refrigerant out of the system. Only to a point you don't want to pull it down into a vacuum, but you can remove a good portion of the refrigerant very easily by just connecting from your liquid line to a recovery cylinder. So in this video we're going to show a few steps that are kind of in addition to that, we're going to show it with a basic analog manifold, like we show here, i'm using a core depressing tool here, because a quarter pressing tool helps reduce losses, allows You to control kind of the flow in and out of the valve, a little bit easier and prevent some of that blowback from refrigerant we're also going to connect our suction gauge just so that we can monitor the system operation again.

We're going to just make the assumption this is a txv system on the inside. You would actually have to check that to make sure that it is a txv inside we need to connect a line temperature clamp in order to measure our liquid line temperature. You can do this with either an analog manifold or with a digital set of probes or digital gauge, as you can see, because this is a txv system, we need to check and see what our indoor txv sub cooling should be. That's the number that we want to hit and so we're going to look at this system and find that this system is overcharged.

So if you take a look here, you can see that we're right at about 115 degree, condensing temperature on the needle for r410a, and if we compare that 115 degree, condensing temperature to our liquid line temperature, our actual measured liquid line temperature you're going to see that We have a 20 degree sub cooling, so our target is 10. We have 20. That means that we need to remove some refrigerant from the system, but before we put a new tank into operation, we need to pay attention to a couple things. Our wc or water capacity is the total amount of liquid water that a tank can carry in it.

We need to always only use 80 percent, and then we also need to convert it from water to the actual refrigerant that we're working with. We have on our hvac school app, a tank calculator that can allow you to do this very easily. That is the fill in water capacity. That's wc tw is the tear weight or the empty weight of the tank.

So assuming this tank is empty, it should be weighing about 16.6 pounds before we add anything to it. But before we put this new tank into use, we're just assuming that it hasn't already had refrigerant put in it we're going to pull a vacuum on the tank, and we want to pull this vacuum down below 500 microns generally. This is going to go pretty quickly if you use large hoses like we're, showing here in a good quality pump like the navac vacuum pump that we're showing here they're, going to start at atmospheric we're going to open both of our tank valves and then we're going To pull down our vacuum until we get below 500 microns, and i like to see down to at least 300 microns on the tank, then we valve off the tank. We remove our entire vacuum assembly and now we are ready to put refrigerant in the tank.

We put the tank on the scale and now we zero out the scale you can see. I'm connecting my center hose to the liquid gauge, i'm opening the valve and then i'm going to purge a little bit of refrigerant. Before i open the tank, you could also do it in an opposite direction. We want to make sure that we get the air out of a hose.

You can see. I added 12 ounces - that's not very much, but in this demonstration we've been monitoring our liquid line. Temperature and our gauge pressure this whole time, we've done it slowly and now you can see we're at 107 degrees on our gauge temperature, which is our condensing temperature, we're comparing that to our liquid line temperature of 97, and now we are at 10 degrees of sub Cooling now, normally, you do this slowly, a little bit at a time, a few ounces at a time, depending on how far away you are from the target and you're going to monitor that as you go in this case, we've hit our target so now we're safe To go ahead and disconnect everything. The first thing we do is we back out our core depressor and then we feed that refrigerant, that's in the gauges and hoses back into the suction side, so that we don't waste that refrigerant shouldn't be a significant amount of refrigerant.

But we just don't want to waste it. Then we can safely disassemble everything. That is how you can remove small amounts of refrigerant from an operating system. You can also remove larger amounts of refrigerant from an operating system, just make sure not to allow your suction side to go down into a vacuum.

Otherwise you can damage your compressor, so don't run your suction side into a vacuum or even even down to zero. On an operating system, thanks for watching our video, if you enjoyed it and got something out of it, if you wouldn't mind hitting the thumbs up button to like the video subscribe to the channel and click, the notifications bell to be notified when new videos come out, Hvac school is far more than a youtube channel. You can find out more by going to, which is our website and hub for all of our content, including tech tips, videos, podcasts and so much more. You can also subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app of your choosing.

You can also join our facebook group if you want to weigh in on the conversation yourself thanks again for watching you.

38 thoughts on “How to remove (recover) refrigerant from a running ac system”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James W says:

    Awesome video

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hassan Abdulrahman says:

    Hi I have questions
    Dose this cylinder consider as dangerous goods how can I get the MSDS as I would like to import it to middle east
    Thanks Are you in Barrhaven ?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars vincenzo La Barbera says:

    Is this the same process for a small window air condition? I have a 10,000 BTU window air condition and would like to remove the Freon

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars robert haggerty says:

    Another 6 minutes of great knowledge Thx.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars hubercats says:

    Great video!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ronald Nunez says:

    This turned out to be very practical to me. I’ve been in that situation before. Now I know an easy and effective way to do it. Thank you.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rahul ojha says:

    Good information, amazing video Service area Ottawa??

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eric Tsui says:


  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars david karpen says:

    While doing this. What prevents oil from leaving the system as well? And would that damage the compressor because if the correct oil was added from the factory and an imbecile overcharged it, if oil came out with the excess refrigerant, the system would now be low on oil? Correct?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars DxBOY15 says:

    Top Notch 👌🏼 great demonstration as always

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mike Casey says:

    What software is this?? This is amazing stuff for training!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Wdbx831 says:

    Top quality education – who knows, maybe they will be eligible for continuing education credits.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars حسين احمد جبار says:

    Hopefully you guys stick to 3d video tutorials because it's give us clear explanation.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Northfigy says:

    I just discover the HVAC school app !! Wow thank you! And thank you for your vidéos this is helping me a lot at school and in my summer Time job !!

    Great job !!

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Space MC says:

    Great illustration

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kenneth Lobo says:

    Thank u so much .Great video

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ClickyMcbuttons says:

    Jandy was here. Are you in Nepean ?

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars GeoMac Granddad says:

    Great thorough explanation of the process, while being quick and concise! The animation detail is nothing short of amazing too, perfectly matched to and illustrative of the information content. Really gotta hand it to you, it's professional grade production.
    And I can definitely perform this operation much more quickly and efficiently after reviewing this.

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jamal Badhafari باظفاري says:


  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kev Jeudy says:

    Great videos. Very helpful.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars التبريد والتكييف للمهندسين says:

    👍👍👍❤❤❤ Service area Barrhaven??

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars iLoveNYthisMuch iLoveNewYorkThisMuch says:

    video tutorials like this are great. huge help thanks

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott M says:

    What app did you use for refrigerant bottle weight?

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Karl says:

    How does pulling to a vacuum harm the compressor?

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars TheDirtyD says:

    Awesome video thanks Brian.

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars OcRefrigeration , Hvac & Electrical Video's. says:

    Wow, Very cool Graphics ! Very Well done. 👍
    If u don’t my mind me asking , What Program are u using to do a Video like that ?

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jamison Ausburn says:

    You guys are awesome! Uppin’ my game with every view. Are you in Kanata ?

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars HVAC-RA says:

    WOW these new vids Bryan is producing are ready for prime time! I can watch them again and again to imprint these processes.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Johnson says:

    Great info and presentation.
    I would vote for lingering a bit longer on the more salient points that may be passed over by our short attention spans.

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars yafiteli says:

    If you're recover multiple pounds should you do it from the vapor line using a recovery machine to avoid stealing oil? Don't you steal more oil recovering from the high side?

  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Michael Staley says:

    Great video. Just finished watching videos similar to this on ac service tech channel. Keep up the good work.

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Esau Melendez says:


  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr Green says:

    I've noticed that alot of these models feature a txv, are pistons no longer being made or phased out? Service area Orleans??

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars tecnico says:

    Great video.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Junior says:

    What application are you using to make these videos? They come out awesome every time!

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eassyheat/ Cooling says:


  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kenny Johnson says:

    Yes, another amazing video from HVAC school. I love this channel ❤

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Centinela Refrigeración says:

    Hi , thanks for share this

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