Feb 23, 2021
In this episode, Bryan and Craig Migliaccio (AC Service Tech) discuss all the ways that nitrogen can make your job easier.
Nitrogen is an inert gas that we can use for purging refrigerant lines and completing scale-free brazing jobs. As techs, we should have at least one inert gas in our trucks to help us do the best job possible. We can use inert gases for purging refrigerant from tubing, flowing and preventing oxidation while brazing, and pressurizing a system for leak detection or a pressure test. You'll also find nitrogen useful for getting oil out of the way before pulling a vacuum.
You can also use nitrogen to help clean out a drain line. However, you'll want to be careful; if the PVC pipe isn't secure, you could create leaks (or a total blowout). You can cause severe structural damage if you flow a compressed gas under too much pressure.
In some cases, we also use nitrogen to pressurize a gas line (including propane or natural gas lines). We can pressurize that to about 6 PSI to get the pressure up to a more desirable level. (Not to mention, we can reinflate tires with nitrogen, though that's not a strictly HVAC-related application.) Outdoor units may be installed near a dryer vent, which increases the risk of the unit getting dirty. When that's the case, you can use nitrogen to blow off any of the lint and debris.
Overall, you can use nitrogen for applications where you'd usually use compressed air. Anytime you work with any kind of inert gas, you need a flow meter and regulator; a normal gauge manifold just won't cut it. Make sure you flow the gases at appropriate pressures, too.
Check out Craig's website at acservicetech.com.
Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.