If the refrigerant system has been open to the atmosphere, it must be evacuated before the system can be filled. Moisture and air mixed with the refrigerant will raise the compressor head pressure above acceptable operating levels. This will reduce the performance of the A/C system and damage the A/C compressor. Moisture will boil at near room temperature when exposed to vacuum. To evacuate the refrigerant system:
- Recover the refrigerant system.
- Connect a suitable charging station, refrigerant recovery machine or a manifold gauge set with vacuum pump and refrigerant recovery equipment.
- Open the suction and discharge valves and start the vacuum pump. The vacuum pump should run a minimum of 45 minutes prior to charge to eliminate all moisture in system. When the suction gauge reads to the lowest degree of vacuum possible (approximately -88 kPa (- 26 in. Hg) or greater) for 30 minutes, close all valves and turn off vacuum pump. If the system fails to reach specified vacuum, the refrigerant system likely has a leak that must be corrected. If the refrigerant system maintains specified vacuum for at least 30 minutes, start the vacuum pump, open the suction and discharge valves. Then allow the system to evacuate an additional 10 minutes.
- Close all valves. Turn off and disconnect the vacuum pump.
- Charge the refrigerant system.