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Cheap condensers

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  • Cheap condensers

    The 1st multi flow large condenser I bought was a Red Dot unit (MEI) cost around $240, the next one I bought was Omega (same dimensions/ type) was around $150, the last one I just bought (again Omgea/santech) was just $108.37! Cheap for 31K BTU! I don't know why the prices are dropping, but I'm not going to ask!
    The last one I bought was taken out with a deer strike so need a replacement.

  • #2
    IDK? It this item becoming such a slow seller that lowering price is in preparation of discontinuing making it or costs of storage to have them is exceeding possible profits?
    This or other "things" in general when prices dump like that either it's going obsolete OR just maybe it can now be made on demand so fast that's more cost efficient.

    Sometimes think it's just me but later the same thing find out quality took a real plunge unseen perhaps and YOU are the test for the pain tolerance of that!

    MetroWest, Boston


    • #3
      Could be any of the above. Should be here today so I can put my eyes on it. I went to my last order, and just hit the "reorder" button, so I hope I got what it did last time. It worked well, and even when the deer bent it in a U shape just had a slow leak, slow enough not to dump all the oil when it bled off.


      • #4
        Let us know if it looks different or cheapened somehow? IDK, made in a different place?
        MetroWest, Boston


        • #5
          Came yesterday and looks like the one I put in last spring, Still made in China for Santech, but can see no difference. The place I mail ordered from also lists it elsewhere for full price of $275? Can't figure that out!
          I might get it installed this weekend, but I'd need a pump to charge the system, -5F when I went outside, and at that temp 134a is all liquid at atmosphic pressure.


          • #6
            What? You still see the same thing for the old price? IDK, just hope it holds a vacuum at least if you can rig up the way before installation.
            It's clear to me that "Made in China" doesn't have to mean junk or lousy quality but seems if a maker wants to cut corners they are more likely to comply or I'm all wet?

            Good luck with it anyway take the bargain.

            The January temp + weather game is in full force here or close. Was almost warm enough yesterday, 21st to check A/C. Like you just said 134a and the others are close to liquid or are as you progress below the zero F. mark. All by -28F TMK includes PROPANE so don't plan a BBQ (a New Englander would) when that cold, I am but will take a pass on that thank you.

            It's tough for a few months. As mentioned before on my own vehicles will disable compressors from being able to try to kick on is AYOR they are meant to with defrost anything request if only to exercise them but oil isn't at the ready. That can just be a split second from engine heat the system shows for a second adequate static pressure takes certain situations like run something 45 minutes trying like all get out to de-ice the vehicle and 2 feet of snow (or multiples of that) on it before you could go anywhere anyway. Nothing new with that lived here forever,
            MetroWest, Boston


            • #7
              Propane is liquid at atmosphic at -44, but the tank pressure drops under 10 psi when the temps dip below 0. That's assuming its pure propane and not mixed with butane. LP can be a mix, but most here will be mostly propane. Still I try and run my tank out during the hot season to burn off as much butane that might be in the tank as possible.
              I used to work on propane powered buses in Chicago, and when the temps hit -23 getting enough heat into the fuel tanks to move the propane was difficult.
              Best results are had with a buried LP tank, but few have that luxury.
              The generic condensers have a industry std number, so any that carry that number should bolt in place of any other make of that size.


              • #8
                Post was held up but posted? If not in order - sorry. Propane TMK is a by-product of refining crude oil and LNG is what you can get out as "Natural Gas" and compress it.

                OMG - are the properties all uniform? I bet not. Fuels that are liquids can be buried here once even heating oils just archive that now it's out and new on a schedule or don't do that.

                Gaseous stuff is above ground that I know of only can be uselessly slow or low pressure. Again IDK if all the same exactly. Buying it, it's pumped, measured and on a scale for personal or portable containers. It's handy. OMG, this is Massatwoshoots the rules change by the foot on anything who could keep up?

                Anything refrigerant for gasses? I plain don't have room the most reasonable places don't store much get it out of inventory it's in the way along with other seasonal anything gets stored elsewhere I think out of state all abutting states are near.

                Back to the game. Hope it works out and you can and do have adequate working room that isn't dangerously cold. Just in from checking now it's cold but not out of control - YET! +/- another few weeks usually out of the woods on that,

                Last edited by Tom Greenleaf; 01-26-2019, 05:20 AM. Reason: Came thru as a duplicate
                MetroWest, Boston


                • #9
                  Natural gas stays gasous (at sane pressures) to well below -100F, LNG is NG that is pressurized to the point it will liquefy, several thousand psi. Has to be stored in special tanks, often spun fiber to make it strong enough to hold the pressure and the small size of the molecule. It mostly methane. LP is liquified petroleum gas is mostly propane but can contain butane and is what is used for home heat cooking and domestic hot water in much of the rural areas of the country where it doesn't pay to run NG lines. Butane has more heat per volume and is mixed in in southern states where cold is not a problem. Since it is like refrigerant it looses tank pressure in the cold, and those that have a large draw application bury the tank 6' under ground to keep it above freezing, but it is more expensive to do so and I don't know what the laws are on testing and leakage. A few miles away from me is a large NG pumping station and pipeline jct. There is one road, where the high pressure NG line runs along the road (buried) but the landowners negotiated a deal for the right of way, each property got a high pressure tap on the pipeline and regulator to knock it down to what a "city" line would have and get to have NG heat, something unheard of in most of the rural farm houses. Most of us have to make do with propane. I remember heating oil when I grew up. big 275 gal tanks in basement. Back in the 70's they started running more NG and many houses "converted" to NG and there were more than one case where the oil truck hooked up to the now disconnected fill pipe and pumped heating oil into the basement of a house! What a mess!


                  • #10
                    A lot of MA and the NE where populated has NG in pipes in the ground as a gas TMK not very high pressure just was a national event here for one area somehow was overpressure and some appliances when turned on (newer stuff too) burned up, had issues and several places mostly homes totally burned down! Problem still isn't totally fixed.

                    It's a different bird of a product for sure burns clean when right and wasn't aware of temp and it's state thanks for that! Good choice if available is a total opinion and preference being fast, instant heat do remember this is "Colonial America" once used for lighting too with a mantle street lights on all the time some may still be there like downtown Boston in the "Brownstone" areas you can Google those super old townhome areas of many very old cities of the east coast. Not a clue where they got the gas that pre-dates an engine or electricity also TMK nothing was just in the ground right here is in Up-State NY top of which is coastal to Lake Ontario. Need a map that's the last Great Lake before exit to the Atlantic.

                    TMK but unsaid is NG also just sneaks out of the ground in areas by itself also unsaid (not very popular to discuss) you aren't going to stop it so why not use it?

                    Aha? Didn't know how much pressure to liquify but you do or can get tall bottle swaps done by a service for your home when it's not available otherwise if that's you choice specifically cooking ----- now count me out on details of why it's preferred for that by some or many?

                    Last but have heard of more than one home converted to NG still had the tank for oil perhaps lots of oil still gave it away so tank could be removed and was filled again by total mistake wasn't there! "Ooops would be an understatement" for sure!!

                    MetroWest, Boston


                    • #11
                      Never heard of or seen NG in "bottles" only LP or propane.
                      When I lived around Boston, some of the old Apts in Medford and Arlington were set up for "coal gas" where the stoves originally had to be vented to a chimney. Coal gas was made by heating coal and driving off the gas, leaving coke, which was the main product.
                      Coal gas didn't burn as pure as NG and the byproducts were deadly.
                      Yeah, I watch that situation in Lawrence and Andover with interest, and I lived for a while in Lowell (although I don't brag about it!). I remember a big gas storage tank down by the river in Lawrence left over from the old days of coal gas ( Gone now) . From what I read, because the "street level" mains were from the old days, when there wasn't as much use, to make sure the pressure was high enough to meet the increased demand, they used variable regulators from the high pressure transmission pipeline to the street level, it used small "sensing lines" to raise the street level pressure as the demand increased, so there was enough pressure at the end of the "street". When the contractor was replacing these old street mains with new, they left the sensing line connected to the old mains,and when they were shut off, the variable regs sensed a drop (in the old mains) and increased the pressure (in the new mains they were now connected to) to try and bring it up, Dumb mistake that should never have happened!
                      I remember when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's that they were still finding wooden water mains, still in service in Boston, the weeped a bit at the higher pressure but rarely failed! Even the water dept didn't know what and where everything buried was!


                      • #12
                        Getting back to the topic, I installed the new condenser today. It still had a dry nitrogen charge in the condenser when I removed the shipping caps, so am hopeful there will be no problem. I did notice one of the fittings is not quite aligned like it should be but with plenty of room should not cause a problem, hose is flexible. May be a factory "blem" but not marketed as such. The alignment is only noticeable once installed on the brackets,


                        • #13
                          Sounds OK so far. I should know and don't if nitrogen charge alone is a smaller molecule than say 134a is. I think it's claim to fame is it doesn't change pressure with temps as much or not so noticeable? Tires for example with ambient air are about 1 PSI per 10F change in temp. Matters for tires as we should know too a vehicle with nice A/C and 4 flats (if 4 wheel vehicle) - just sit and enjoy the cool? Kidding in a way. I tell folks with one belt set ups that you can see if a compressor goes totally gone you also lose PS, some lose PB, Alternator or many water pumps. You don't have A/C and not going anywhere either.

                          Hope you can match up hoses and nothing rubs was one from an accident auto body didn't route metal thru radiator support well enough in hindsight just that one should have tried to fix it the replacement really super stunk was so weak tiny stones thru grille at HWY speeds made holes you could see! Nice.

                          In MA and or other places many condensers are accidents if a claim you have 6 months if not noted or a failure is covered so I never got those actually rather not.

                          Glad you could work on it know it's nasty cold where you are so please don't send it this way as if you can help it but it's expected to drift along - gee thanks :-)
                          MetroWest, Boston


                          • #14
                            I know for a fact nitrogen will loose pressure in the cold just like other gases. I delivered a broadcast antenna for a tv station. They are hollow and ship them charged with nitrogen, its a freight claim for the whole antenna if it doesn't arrive pressurized, The day I delivered it was -23F and the gauge said 0 psi! There was quite a discussion, but the next day it warmed a bit and pressure showed, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
                            The amount of power dissipated by the antenna in service, if there moisture inside, it will arc and burn a hole in the antenna.


                            • #15
                              ? I believe your observations. How would or does anyone prove something like this is in fact true nitrogen? It's part of the make up of air at least about the same % at where people would or could live without help changing percentages or pass out.

                              Have I/we been sold bad info on it? It was fully advertised for use in tires specifically to be stable, not leak, cause corrosion but very costly to separate and locally advertised just $75 bucks have your tires change over and forget it short of a puncture or other reason you let it out??

                              Interesting because I haven't heard a word about it for tires in vehicles for at least a few years now but may have missed it. Also wondered if so great why isn't is just sold in cans to fill your own tires?

                              Maybe I've opened "Pandora's Box" full of misleading info on it? It's said to be in shock absorbers as a pressurized gas (who knows for sure again?) for suspension, those lift things for hoods, trunks, hatches all over the place vehicles or not if something isn't stable or more stable at the wild temp changes a lot of things wouldn't work.

                              Back to keep this related to A/C is all about gasses that can condense at reasonable pressures and evaporate back under control when and where you want it to yet tolerate off season of currently unreasonable (can argue that with my family) temperatures which have NOT broken any records unless you factor the exact date/day of the year.

                              -24 Cornbinder, I do see that listed I personally have not been in that temp since I think it was 1980 was colder 'real' air temp not a calculated "feels like" factor,
                              MetroWest, Boston


                              • #16
                                My understanding is the oxygen in air can attack rubber under heated conditions, and that nitrogen is more neutral. It must expand and contract, otherwise internal combustion engines wouldn't produce any power, the oxygen and fuel burn to produce heat, but it is the 78% of air that is nitrogen that does the bulk of expanding when heated to produce power.
                                oxygen is highly reactive esp when hot. They've used nitrogen in hyd accumulators and aircraft struts for as long as I know. Not surprising automotive puts it in shocks and tires now. Not sure its work it in tires. I know the big industrial gas companies started 1st putting it in tires. but I don't see any gain for the cost. I run my truck tires thru 3 treads (original, and 2 caps) and by that time the casing is shot, I don't see where nitrogen would help any?
                                As to temps, I don't see it that cold often, but do get into -25 to -30 every once and a while. Those are air temp and not 'Wind Chill" numbers. You better be well prepared for it. It funny, once it is below about -5, I can guess the temp by how long the vapor trail is coming out of my exhaust stack. AT -25 it is longer than the trailer and at -30 it is about 2-3 times as long!


                                • #17
                                  Oh my Cornbinder89. What a LOT to rethink and what tolerates the extremes. So true about the vapor trail as a clue almost have to dang temp measuring things quit working anyway in and around those extremes!
                                  MetroWest, Boston


                                  • #18
                                    Well, after mid-week temps where the high temp stayed well below zero, today is hovering in the upper 30's, warm enough for the frost switch to turn on the compressor, so I charged the system. According to my calculations, converting from the R12 charge, to the 134a, it should take right around 3 12 oz cans of 134a.
                                    After evacuating the system, I put 2 1/2 cans into the receiver in liquid form (compressor off), then the rest of the last can with the compressor running in vapor form into the low side port.
                                    This is my 1st attempt to charge a system in this low a temperature. While it is far too cold to assess how well it will cool, I think I was successful. I had the condenser covered to build some heat into the refrigerant so the compressor would run long enough to draw the remaining vapor from the last can. One thing about charging this way, it almost completely empties the cans when in liquid charging, my hand heat was enough to build a little pressure in the can, the system was cool enough that condensing pressure is around 35 psi, and if the can is warmer, almost all of it enters and stays liquid.
                                    When I built this system I added another set of ports, the originals are on the compressor manifold, a high side at the drier, and a low side on the outlet of the evaporator. This allows me to charge in the liquid state without worrying about slugging the compressor when it is turned on, by putting the liquid right into the receiver.


                                    • #19
                                      Good for you. Sure was watching actual temps nothing for the low 'actual' air temps you had but the wind was insane. I was having trouble keeping shop up to 60 nothing for A/C going on all other stuff.

                                      Went thru this once now quite some time ago mostly because it was possible to get shop, all the metal of tools and equipment all plain hot. Truth is just the proper charge and prove that it working did take way too much time but just had to prove it could be done.

                                      Seem to be out of the sub-zero nights still long nights a memory remote says it did touch 33F today but nothing really melted ground takes time,
                                      MetroWest, Boston


                                      • #20
                                        Blankity blank "self sealing" cans! I had a Mastercool can tapper, no adaptors or cheap tappers, and the can wouldn't release its product, finely got it to "pass gas"! and when I removed the can, there was something rattling around, it was the "self sealing" portion of the can!
                                        If I look around I can still get the old style, I guess I'll have to keep doing that.