One of the very first steps when it comes to diagnosing your home air conditioner, refrigerator, or even your vehicle’s air conditioner is understanding the temperature and the current pressure that your system is operating at. Having these facts along with the saturation point, the subcool, and the superheat numbers for the refrigerant you are working on are essential when it comes to really understanding what is going wrong with your system.
After a visual inspection the very next step for the most seasoned technicians is pulling out their gauges and checking the pressure and temperature. It just becomes second nature after enough calls. I have heard stories of rookie techs calling some of the pros on their team for help on a system that they’re stuck on. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Miami or in Fargo. It will never fail that one of the first questions the pros ask the rookie is what is your subcool and what is your superheat? Having and understanding these numbers is key to figuring out what to do next.
But, these numbers won’t do you any good if you don’t know what refrigerant you are dealing with and what the refrigerant’s boiling point is at each pressure level. This article aims at providing you with just that information.
R-23 Refrigerant Information
R-23 refrigerant is not commonly used. When you do run into it it is typically used in a cascade setup in a low temperature refrigeration system. It was originally developed as an alternative to the R-13 refrigerant. R-13 was a CFC refrigerant and was banned across the world in the early 1990’s due to it’s damaging of the Ozone layer. This was all done through the treaty known as the Montreal Protocol.
When R-13 was banned the HFC refrigerant R-23 took it’s place. It solved the problem with the Ozone but now there was a new problem with R-23. This new problem is known as Global Warming Potential (GWP). The higher the GWP number the more impact the refrigerant has on the environment.
Carbon Dioxide (R-744) is used as the zero measure for this scale. Any number above zero is that much more potent then Carbon Dioxide. In the case of R-23 its GWP number is over fourteen-thousand. Yes folks, you read that right. R-23 is fourteen-thousand times more damaging to the environment then Carbon Dioxide. It is because of this extremely high number that you will not find too many R-23 systems today. It is being replaced by more climate friendly refrigerants.
However, if you do run across one though you will need to know the pressure. Let’s take a look at our pressure chart below. (Note that the first pressure value is in Vacuum inches in Hg.)
R-23 Refrigerant PT Chart
|Temp (F)||Temp (C)||Pressure (PSIG)|