Maintaining your Recovery, Recycle and Recharge Equipment
Recovery, Recycle, and Recharge machines are built to provide years of reliable service. However, it is an electro-mechanical device and as such does require routine maintenance. Regular service intervals will help keep the machine running at peak performance levels. It is important to always read and follow manufacturers recommended service procedures. Some of the items that require regular inspection are as follows:
Typically dirt and debris in the service environment are the main causes of service couplers failure. Technicians must inspect the receiving end of the coupler to make sure it is clean and oil free. Also inspect the O-rings to make sure they are pliable and free of cuts or gouges. Finally, inspect the valve to ensure it is free of dirt and turns freely.
It is important to inspect the hoses for cracked, abraded, or blistered areas. Cracks and abrasions indicate external wear whereas blisters generally indicate internal problems. If any of these wear indicators are present, it’s best to replace the hose. Also inspect the hose crimps and fittings on the end of the hoses as well as valve core depressors to make sure they are free of dirt and operate freely. Double check the gaskets for wear and pliability.
Refrigerant scales ensure that the correct amount of refrigerant is charged into the vehicles A/C system. Follow the manufacturer’s procedure for checking scale accuracy at least once per year or after service on the unit has been performed. If the unit is equipped with a DOT tank, examine it to make sure it is up to date.
While the inspection covers are still off, it is an ideal time to change the filters if necessary. Some recovery machines keep track of filter life based on the number of pounds of refrigerant filtered and prompt the user when it is time to change the filter. Some manufacturers recommend a filter change after servicing a certain number of vehicles. Either way, a properly maintained filter will keep the recovery machine running at peak performance. Always remember to inspect the gaskets and threads when changing filters.
Vacuum Pump Oil
If the recovery machine comes with a vacuum pump, make sure to change the pump oil when required. Vacuum pump oil is hygroscopic, which means it has an affinity for absorbing water, resulting in rust or scale build-up on internal components. Be careful not to overfill the vacuum pump. When this occurs, oil will discharge in the exhaust air and settle on other internal components attracting more dirt and debris. It may also cause the vacuum pump to smoke, prompting a service call.
The machine itself has several internal components that should be inspected to ensure many years of dependable service. About every thirty days the unit should be inspected with an electronic refrigerant leak detector. While performing this task, a visual inspection of the electrical system can also be done. Check to make sure electrical connections are secure, the power cord is not damaged and that all the safety guards are installed properly.
Examine the periphery of the recovery machine; examine the wheels, casters, and cabinet for damage. Wheels or casters that do not move freely will at very least be an annoyance and may cause the unit to tip over. Lastly, protect the unit when not in use by using a dust cover. Dust covers not only keep dust from migrating to the internal parts of the machine, they also protect the machine from inadvertent bumps in a shop environment.
Performing regular maintenance check-ups will help keep your recover, recycle and recharge equipment in great condition and provide you with many years of dependable service.
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