Cruisair R417a - Evacuate and Recharge R22?

Discussion in 'Beard Marine Vendor Forum' started by 480ces, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. 480ces

    480ces Member

    Jul 14, 2011
    390 Motor Yacht
    Cummins - 480CEs

    I have a split system (FX16C-P/M188-417SMX) that cools my bridge. The Condenser is marked R417a, while the air handler is marked R22.

    I had a local HVAC guy out and the system is totally empty...we're pretty sure the leak was at one of the flare connections.

    My problem now is R417a is TOTALLY UNAVAILABLE in Canada!

    Can the system be evacuated and recharged with R-22? As I understand it the FX line was originally an R22 unit that was changed to R417a mid life cycle.

  2. Rocket

    Rocket Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jan 14, 2008
    Long Island NY
    2007 48 Sundancer
    Previous: 2004 420DA, 2007 320DA, 2006 240DA
    Cummins QSC 540 8.3
    R417a was a retrofit refrigerant for the phase out of R-22. At some point, some one probably charged the system and relabeled the unit. It is a drop in replacment meaning you didnt need to change the expansion device, oil, etc. Simply change the refrigeration drier and charge the unit with R-22.
  3. 480ces

    480ces Member

    Jul 14, 2011
    390 Motor Yacht
    Cummins - 480CEs

    That's what I was thinking, though this unit has only ever had R417a in it. The factory label spec’s R417a.
    It’s a AB type lubricant so it’s R22 compatible as well, I see no reason why it can’t be evacuated and recharged with R-22.

    Dometic stated to only charge it with R417a but I suspect its just their customer service people being overzealous on sticking to the book.

    Has anyone else ran into this?

    Why do you suggest changing the refrigeration dryer?
  4. dpmulvey

    dpmulvey New Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Homeport: Charles City, VA
    1999/2007 330 Sundancer Hardtop.
    6.2 Merc Horixons
    1.5:1 Velvet Drives
    I am always amazed at how non availability and patent expiration go hand in hand with refrigerants. :huh:
  5. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    You need a new AC guy. R417 was another misguided attempt to replace R-22. It was a blend of several different gases. One of it's differences is that it didn't seal as well as R-22 which may or may not mean something in your case. The first step is to find the mentioned it might be a flare this confirmed? The reason I ask is that the gas issue is moot if the coil has corroded and has a hole(s) in it. If that is the case and the unit is 10 years old....repairing it may cost a lot more that it is worth. If he precharged it with Nitrogen and found the leak this would answer the big question. If it is just a loose fitting, all he had to do was tighten it, evacuate the unit, charge it with R-22 and call it a day.

    R-22 is not cheap but it still is available in North America is you have a EPA license to buy it. I bought two big 30lbs. cans just to have them for repair work. They have doubled in price in the last 12 months.


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