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Freon vs Puron


emalernee
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Posted this on the ASHI site the other day and thought I would come here to get your, the unaffiliated/unwashed/unwanted, opinion.

The other day an agent asked me what I was going to do about the Home Warranty Companies no longer covering A/Cs with freon. Seems she sold a house that needed A/C service and the Warranty Company would not cover the work.

Then, the other day this article (see below) appears explaining a Warranty Company's position. I get the feeling that this could be a big hullabaloo for us lonely Inspectors if we don't present the true facts to our clients about the upcoming war between Freon vs. Puron.

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif freon.pdf

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Almost everything costs more to fix than it used to. This has been coming for a while. R-22 is no longer being produced but supposedly there is an existing stockpile of the material.

Puron based products have been on the market for at least 4 years. If the system is failing and still running Freon, it is likely due for replacement anyway.

I don't offer warranties so I believe it has absolutely zero affect on me. It just seems to underline the idea that warranties are just another way to fleece money off people since they have a reputation of not paying for any thing anyway.

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Thanks Ezra.

This will be a big issue for the next few years. Also remember that when it comes time to replace the condensing unit the evaporator and lineset will also need to be replaced (incompatibility with the oil from the 22 systems and the new systems). If we don't advise our clients on old systems it could leave a door open.

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It's the story of R-12 all over again, with one difference....R-12 was used mostly in automotive AC's, commercial refrigeration and residential refrigerators/freezers. R-22 is primarily residential HVAC's and some commercial refrigeration. R-12 remained available after the 'end of manufacturer date' for several years. The stockpiles took a while to drop. Overseas stocks were brought in. Drop-in replacements (some lousy ones, some good ones) became available afterwards to sooth the transition to it's end. I expect pretty much the same to happen this time with R-22. If the warranty companies shy away from covering these remaining R-22 units, it won't be big news. They were always about sales instead of service anyway.

As inspectors, a boilerplate update may be a good idea. Check the condenser unit nameplate. If it's R-22, inform the client, perhaps even recommend replacement of an aged R-22 system.

Marc

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Thanks Ezra.

This will be a big issue for the next few years. Also remember that when it comes time to replace the condensing unit the evaporator and lineset will also need to be replaced (incompatability with the oil from the 22 systems and the new systems). If we don't advise our clients on old systems it could leave a door open.

Hi Terence,

What are you telling your clients? Has it cause some of your clients to request a new unit.

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Thanks Ezra.

This will be a big issue for the next few years. Also remember that when it comes time to replace the condensing unit the evaporator and lineset will also need to be replaced (incompatibility with the oil from the 22 systems and the new systems). If we don't advise our clients on old systems it could leave a door open.

Hi Terence,

What are you telling your clients? Has it cause some of your clients to request a new unit.

Ezra and I were talking on the phone about this issue and discussing how it affects the HI (Ezra was kind enough to alert me to this situation.).

Now, when I see and old unit, I verbally state what will happen when it comes time to replace the unit but I haven't put it writing - until now that is.

We have a lot of K&T wiring in this area and when I inspect a home with it I have boilerplate that tells the client to check with their insurance carrier before purchasing the home. Some companies won't insure a K&T home, some will with the caveat that it gets replaced in one year and some don't care at all (and anything in between). While the HI can not be expected to know what insurance companies will, and will not, cover I do believe it is the duty of the HI to be aware and self-educated when it comes to issues like these. With the K&T issue I spent a lot of time calling insurance companies HQ as well as some of their agents. After I got off the phone with Ezra yesterday I spoke with one home warranty carrier and plan on calling more today.

So often, while doing an inspection I hear the Realtor pipe in with "well... they are getting a home warranty" as if there is this big magical blanket that will cover them should anything happen at anytime. I know if I were the client and heard "I'm sorry Mr. Smith, your unit needs replacement and your home warranty doesn't cover the retrofit with units shipped with the new refrigerant" I'd be pretty f'in hot and would be on the phone faster than you could swat a tick. First call would be to the Realtor but the HI wouldn't be far behind. I thought my HI would have been educated about these issues and so does my lawyer.

Looks like I got a bit carried away, sorry. Point is that we are there to protect our customer and with a slight bit of effort we can do a better job (and hopefully lower the odds of ending up in court).

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In reading the PDF that Ezra attached I came across this statement:

Visit

www.R410ASolutions.com to answer all your questions concerning the impact of this new government mandate to you

and your clients or call 877-777-3188 to deliver real time answers to agents and homeowners.

###

This is the second time I heard it referred to as a new government mandate. While talking with a home warranty rep she said the the government "just snuck this one in on us". I tried to explain the Montreal Protocol to her but she was pretty convinced that it was a new thing.

Just some quick history:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The largest Antarctic ozone hole recorded as of September for other similarly named agreements, see Montreal Convention (disambiguation).

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050[citation needed]. Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol".[1] It has been ratified by 196 states.[

The rest can be read at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Protocol

This has been coming down the pike since 1989, it is not new.

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Letsnot bring global warming and holes in the ozone layer into a technical discussion,cuz thats gonna open a big can of worms really fast! [;)]

Anyway R-22 is still plentifull and cheap if youre licensed to buy it,and replacement compressors for R-22 equipment are also readily available.

So if you have a newer R-22 unit id say thats no more than 10 years old its not that big of a deal to change out the compressor and get another 5 years or more from the system.

As for puron thats carrier/bryants brand name for their product,its not a general term for all brands.and anybody whos been in the trades for any amount of time knows of their issues with leaking equipt over the years

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