If you are an HVAC technician, you will need to have a refrigerant scale in your truck to help you measure just how much refrigerant is going into the various units. This will make everything more comfortable, and you will see how much refrigerant is being drained into the container without guessing in real-time. This task needs to be precise, which is why you need to have the scale ready to use.
Those who haven’t purchased one before, make sure that you read our comprehensive guide on these scales to ensure you get the right one.
Top 5 Best Refrigerant Scales
When it comes to refrigerant scales, you want to get the best model available, which means comparing the various options.
1. Best Overall: Robinair TIF9010A Charging/Recover Scale
If you are interested in only the best available, then this model would be the one to look at. This one will be portable, and it comes inside a case with a handle and an easy to read screen attached via a cable. This can tell you the measurements in pounds, kilograms, and even decimal pounds to make it very precise.
This can be removed from the box if you don’t want to carry it around, but otherwise, it will be very convenient and easy to use. It has touch key controls, 3 display modes, and automatic zero.
For those who want something top of the line, this would definitely be the model that should be on the top of your list.
2. Runner Up: Fieldpiece SRS3 Wireless Scale
For those who don’t want something that is the best available, this might be the model for you to look at. This one is made of sturdy yellow and black plastic with a reader not attached, which means you can carry it with you if you are moving around. If you are searching for something heavy-duty that you can put into a corner or any other spot, then this one is going to be great.
This is very accurate, and it will be easy to use, and you can easily read the measurements since the screen is back-lit.
If you don’t mind spending money on a durable model, this will be the ideal one for your needs, especially if you want something that uses batteries.
3. Best Budget Option: Mastercool 98210-A Electronic Refrigerant Scale
Those who don’t want to spend a lot of money will be the model for you to check out. The design is rugged yet compact, and it comes with a box to hold the device and the measurement reader, which is attached using a long cable. This can weigh up to 243 pounds easily, and the platform is 9” x 9” in size, which means it will fit nearly anywhere in your workshop.
The LCD is large, so it makes the readings easier to see, and you can add some select programming for amounts desired, which will give you an alert before it hits that mark.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your workshop but want something that you can use there often or take with you while you travel, this is the ideal model to look at.
4. Elitech LMC-200 Refrigerant Scale
For those who don’t want something overly complicated, this sturdy yet simple designed model would be great. This is made of nylon, and you can get your readings in ounces, pounds, and kilograms with a total weight capacity of 220 pounds. The LCD is easy to read, and it is attached to the device, so you don’t have to worry about losing it while you are moving around.
This also comes with a heavy-duty bag so you can carry it with you while you are traveling without having to find something to put it in.
If you want to save some money while still getting a high-quality scale, then this will be the perfect model for you to look at.
5. Zeny Refrigerant Scale
For those who want something that will be easy to use, this is one model that you want to have on your list. This can weigh up to 220 pounds, and it can tell you the measurements in pounds, ounces, and kilograms. The LCD is pretty big so that you can read it from a good distance away, and the platform is slip-resistant, so you don’t need to worry.
The case is hard plastic and very sturdy, which means you can put it into your truck while traveling and not give it a second thought.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this model would be great, and it will be easy to carry around and use.
Refrigerant Scales Buying Guide
When it comes to buying your refrigerant scales, you need to know many things, including how they work and what factors to consider. The more you know about this, the easier it will be for you to choose the right model. Keep reading on to find out a few things that can make your final decision easier no matter what model you choose.
How Refrigerant Scales Work
You might think that using a refrigerant scale might be hard, but in actuality, it is straightforward, and just like using normal scales. You would need to put the tank for the refrigerant on your scale, and the weight of this tank and any remaining refrigerant will then be displayed. If you are filling using this tank, you can watch and see the weight go down and down.
This will let you know just how much of the refrigerant you have already put into the system. If you put the weight of the used tank at zero while recovering the refrigerant, you will have a much better idea of how much you have recovered. The scale will give you some precise measurements of how much refrigerant is being used or recovered.
You need to ensure that you have a precise number while adding this powerful chemical to the system or recovering it. This is why you need to have a good, reliable, and accurate refrigerant scale, which can help you with everything. Think about how accurate the various models are that you are looking at and then see which one would fit your needs.
How to Weigh Refrigerants
If you haven’t already been using the refrigerant scales for your HVAC systems, then you need to start immediately. This will be very easy, and you need to put your scale into place and then add the tank on top of the scale. This would let you know the tank’s current weight, which could be with or without the refrigerant.
You should ensure that you are writing down or noting what the measurement was when you first started. You would then subtract or add to this measurement to let you know how much of the refrigerant you could recover or how much was added to the system. This will make everything easier, and you can know the exact amounts added, which can help you find out if something is leaking.
All About EPA Regulations
There are different EPA or environmental protection agency regulations put into place, which means you should know what they are. They would regulate what you need to do to purchase the refrigerant and recover and add it to the systems. This will be a certification that you would need to have if you will work in this industry.
Some of the top regulations to know about when it comes to HVAC includes purchasing the refrigerant. You need to ensure that not only do you know what these regulations are but that you have the right certification and the proof to show. Numerous people can purchase under the restrictions, including:
- Technicians who have their technician certification under Section 608 for appliances and refrigerator based refrigerant
- Employers of the certified technician with the section 608 certification or the authorized representative of the employer if written evidence is given that they employ at least one technician who is properly certified
These are just a few of the times when you would be able to buy it for refrigerators or other appliances. Ensure that you are aware of these regulations and requirements before you go and try to purchase it. Also, if you plan to use the refrigerant for your air conditioning vehicle, there are regulations about who can buy them.
Some of the various rules that you need to be aware of when it comes to purchasing vehicular based refrigerant includes:
- Technicians who have their technician certification under section 609
- Employers or an authorized representative of said certified technician with the required evidence of them working for them
Section 608 allows the certified technicians to buy the refrigerants used for air-conditioning and stationary refrigeration equipment. Section 609 is used for those who aren’t purchasing the refrigerant for these reasons, but that is used for vehicles. Ensure that you have the proper certification that you can use and have the appropriate evidence you can show.
Also, there are non-exempt small cans of motor vehicle refrigerant, holding 2 pounds or under the refrigerant. These have valves that self-seal and have unique fittings sold to individuals without certification only for DIY usage on their cars. Ensure that you are thinking about whether you have the right certification required to purchase these items.
Things to Consider When Buying Refrigerant Scales
You need to ensure that you are picking the right refrigerant scale when looking at the various models. This might seem not very clear at first, especially if you haven’t purchased one before, but some factors will help you. Some of these factors include:
- Precision and accuracy – You want to ensure that the refrigerant scale you are getting is accurate, so you want to find one with an accuracy level as close to 0 as possible. The majority of them have an accuracy level of around +/- 0.055 rdg for every 10 grams, which is important. The more accurate your device, then the more accurate your measurements will be.
- Display and readability – You will also want to find a refrigerant scale with a screen that is easy to read. Think about the screen’s size and if it is back-lit to ensure you can read it easily and from a good distance away. You also need to think about whether or not it would be detached or if it will be attached to the scale.
- Safety – You also need to find one that will be safe, which means it needs to be sturdy. You don’t want that doesn’t sit well on the floor since it can tip over and cause a huge problem. It would help if you also considered having a textured platform to give a bit more grip to the bottom of the tank rather than something smooth.
- Charging capability – Another thing to consider is the charging capability, and you need to know how long it would take to charge. It would help if you also thought about charging it, and it would need batteries and much more. Think about this and determine if you want one that needs to be plugged in or take batteries.
- Size of the platform – The platform size is also important since you want there to be enough area to hold the tanks. Make sure that you find one at least 9” x 9” so the tank will be able to fit easily and not tip over. This will make it easier for you to take it with you, so you want something portable and easy to carry.
- Weight capacity – Also, ensure that you are thinking about the weight capacity, so think about how much it can weigh in total. You need to think about the weight of your tanks and if the refrigerant scale can handle it. If you have larger tanks, you should think about getting a scale that can handle them along with the smaller tanks.
- Price – You should also think about what your budget is going to be and how much the models are that you are looking at. You want to know just how much you want to spend, and that should be the limit you are looking at when it comes to models. If you want one that is of higher quality, then you might want to spend a bit more than you originally planned.
- Warranty – Also, think about the warranty and what you are going to get from the company. You want to have at least a 1-year warranty for your refrigerant scale to ensure that any problems would be taken care of. Please find out how long it would be valid and what the warranty will cover simultaneously.
- Additional features – You should also make sure that you are thinking about any other features you might want the scale to have. This could include the different measurement options, carrying bag, back-lit LCD screen, and much more. If you want some features, you need to know what they are to look for them and compare them to the various models.
These are just a few of the top factors that would help you find and purchase the right refrigerant scale. Ensure that you are using these when trying to make the final choice since they can help you narrow down your list to the top options. Don’t purchase anything unless you have used these factors before you have compared a wide array of options.
Why do I need to use a refrigerant scale?
You want to be accurate when it comes to just how refrigerant you are using and putting into the system. Likewise, you also want to know how much refrigerant you might be recovering from a system, and that is why measuring it is vital. The more accurate you can be, then the better it will be.
How long will the recovery process take?
This can be anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes and sometimes even more. It really depends on just how much refrigerant you are trying to recover from the appliance and how much your tank would hold.
Why do I need to consider a portable refrigerant scale?
If you aren’t just working in your workshop, you never know when you need a refrigerant scale, especially if you inspect an appliance. You should always have one on hand so you can use it when needed, along with having a tank ready.
What is the frequency of checking the calibration for the scale?
If you are wondering how often you will need to check your refrigerant scale’s calibration, it all depends on how often you are using it. If you don’t use it as often, you should check it every few months, but you should do this every month if you use it frequently.
Why is the calibration of my refrigerant scale important?
You might think that the scale’s calibration might not be important, but if it isn’t properly calibrated, then your calculations won’t be accurate. This is vital since you want to know how much refrigerant you are recovering or adding to various systems. The more you have it calibrated, the more accurate your measurements will be, and you can keep detailed records easily without worrying.
Why do I need to keep track of how much refrigerant I am recovering or using?
If you aren’t sure how much refrigerant is in your tank, you need to ensure that you measure it before using it for anything. This will let you know if you have enough for the appliances that require it, and you need to have a list. If you know where you have recovered what amount of refrigerant and where you used it, everything will be much easier for you and your business.
Make sure that you are finding the right refrigerant scale for your needs, and this should be one that you find sturdy and affordable. You also need to ensure that it has a good size platform, and it needs to weigh all of the tanks you have. These are great for helping you be more precise in measuring the amount of refrigerant used, so go ahead and check out these models.