“Drop In” Refrigerants Can Drop You Out of Warranty: Why Refrigerants Matter

Usually anything promoted as a quick fix tends to lead to a long term problem. We think that’s the case with the so called “drop in” R-22 replacement refrigerants. These “drop ins claim to offer the same performance characteristics regardless of whatever remaining mineral oil is left in the system from the previous R-22 charge. While certain OEM applications have been approved for use with certain Copeland™ brand compressors, this is far from a ‘blanket’ approval for use in all compressors and you should proceed with caution.

Our Position
Copeland™ brand products are not recognized by U.L. when used with these R-22 replacement refrigerants in air conditioning applications.

It is also noted that these refrigerants are immiscible with 100% mineral oil and that this can lead to insufficient oil return from the system and potentially inadequate oil level in the compressor during operation. For these reasons, Emerson will not be granting “blanket” application approval of refrigerants for use with100% mineral oil in air conditioning service applications.

Emerson further recommends that refrigerant guidelines provided by the OEM should be followed in all cases. In fact, the non-authorized use of alternate refrigerants may have significant detrimental effects on the operation of the unit and may void the OEM compressor warranty.

In cases when OEM guidance is not available, or an emergency retrofit is required because of critical cooling needs, Emerson recommends the use of R-407C with POE oil as the best available option when transitioning away from R-22 in service applications. This refrigerant-oil combination is fully miscible and has performance characteristics that are close to R-22. For more detailed information on this subject we encourage you to visit Emerson’s Contractor Connection™.

Have you faced a similar decision? We’d love to hear how you handled it below.

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6 thoughts on ““Drop In” Refrigerants Can Drop You Out of Warranty: Why Refrigerants Matter

  1. Hi Victor – I believe that is one of the R22 replacement refrigerants being discussed in this article and it would not be approved for use wiht this compressor and might invalidate the warranty coverage. The article also suggests R-407C as the suitable refrigerant replacement for R22.

    • Recently had a service tech add 407 c to the r-22 .After 10 years,he said, I was down a couple pounds because I never serviced the unit. I had kept the filter changed religiously, but if it aint broke why pay to fix it mentality kept me from calling for check ups/ anyway one day it stopped cooling. Now with the charge of the 20 psi of 407c the unit cools but not like before. In fact the registers only thermoscanned at 74 degrees not the usual 57… Somethng aint right, mabe a bad coil? I dunno,man. took all day to get the house down 75 degrees

      • Could be the unit is over charged ,or the subcooling is off. Might be a restriction in the drier or txv with out checking the superheat and subcooling it’s hard to give a proper diagnosis on your problem or possible causes ,r22 is still being sold but at much higher price than previous yrs before , I’m also not a fan of mixing refrigerants and blending your own but in some cases it’s unavoidable ,any refrigerant blended or mixed gets an extra charge for disposal when turned in , ,you could have a weak valve in the compressor. Could be multiple possibilities. I would call your service provider back and complain or maybe call a different company .I’ve seen 1st hand 100s of times technicians just adding gas thinking it’ll solve a problem .when that’s not even the real issue

  2. Yes. You can reprint and distribute these articles and/or just send them the link. Generally, I would prefer they just go to the site so they can search for other articles of interest but whatever works for you is fine. There are also some downloadable articles and other material already in PDF format in the HVAC Pro’s Toolkit which might be helpful. We will probably add some of the more popular articles to the Toolkit in a few months. Thanks for using our site!

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