Troubleshooting of R-410A Chiller Equipment

When troubleshooting industrial R-410A refrigeration systems, technicians should be aware of the important information regarding safe and proper use of such refrigerant. The main characteristics that will be covered on this page are oil characteristics, operating pressure comparisons, and the concept of temperature glide.

Troubleshooting of R-410A Chiller Equipment


Since 2009, Whaley has been manufacturing chiller systems with the new R-410A refrigerant. These systems operate at a higher internal pressure compared to other refrigerants such as R-22, R-134A, or R-404A. A chart is provided below showing the X-Y comparison of Temperature (F) vs Pressure (PSIA). Notice how R-410A is higher than both compared refrigerants at any temperature range. The increase is moderately exponential. Because of these higher pressures, tools that technicians use such as, manifolds, gauges, and refrigerant hoses, must be rated for corresponding high pressures.

Below is a great check-list for R-410A chiller technicians:

  • Make sure all of your recovery devices are made for R-410A
  • When charging the chiller with R-410A, always ensure you are using an industrial type meter device in the manifold hosing. Also make sure you are charging into the suction line when the compressor is operational.
  • All manifolds should be rated for at least 180 PSIG on the low refrigerant side, and 700 PSIG on the high refrigerant side.
  • All hoses should be rated for at least 700 PSIG pressure service rating.
  • Always make sure the equipment used to service the chiller are designed for use with R-410A.
  • All recovery bottles should be rated at 400 PSIG pressure service rating.
  • R-410A systems cannot be used with R-22 refrigerant components, such as the liquid line components. Reciprocally, R-22 systems cannot be used with R-410A refrigerant components.
  • R-410A is not a drop-in replacement for R-22, therefore, you cannot charge an old R-22 chiller with R-410A. The higher pressure of R-410A would destroy the R-22 system.

Polyester oils are used with 410A, which absorb moisture easier. Precision service techniques must be used, or your refrigeration system could quickly absorb liquid into the system if liquid were to get into the system. Conversely, R-22 used mineral oils. Because of this difference in oils, a different type of liquid line filter drier is utilized with R-410A, to allow for more moisture removal.

The temperature glide for R-410A is smaller than 0.2 degrees, which is negligible. Most R-410A saturation charts used by technicians in the field don’t show the temperature glide on them. This is all due to the fact that R-410A is very close to being an azeotrope.