RACA Journal June 2016 - Page 75

Tool Talk Susanne Dobelin Susanne Dobelin is the general manager of ToolSense, a dedicated supplier of professional HVAC&R tools, equipment and instruments. With over 30 years of experience in the industry – from starting as a HVAC&R apprentice in Germany, through being a training manager and course-ware developer at OTTC, and her present position at ToolSense – she has a comprehensive understanding and first-hand experience of the majority of tools and instruments and their proper use. Starting her career at a time where cheaply-made lesser quality tools were a rarity, she has an educated understanding of what constitutes good quality, longevity and how to work smarter instead of harder. Charging tools hoses and accessories (Part 2) By Susanne Dobelin A good set of hoses in a necessity if you want to work smarter, not harder. We take a look at everything you need to know about charging hoses and accessories. I n the previous article we had a look at the different types of manifolds and how technological changes and challenges have influenced the innovation of smarter, more accurate and versatile tools. Regardless of the type of manifold you choose, a good set of hoses is a necessity. Having a variety of fittings and complimentary accessories at hand makes working smarter, instead of harder, a breeze. Charging hoses Charging hoses are usually purchased as a set of three (red, yellow and a blue) hoses with a 1/4” FFL (female flare)/knurl fitting (one straight, one 45°) at either end. The straight FFL fitting attaches to the manifold and the 45 degree angled one to the service port when in use and should be attached to the hose anchor at the back of the manifold, after use to prevent contamination of the system and damage A good set to the hose gasket and thread. of hoses is a The service end is fitted with a core necessity. depressor (valve opener) to depress the Schraeder valve in the access port. The standard knurl fitting will have blow-off grooves to channel the refrigerant and prevent spray back. Hoses with special low loss anti-blow back fittings are a step up from this and preferable as they automatically trap the refrigerant in the hose when disconnecting; besides meeting non-venting regulations, this also prevents finger burn. Please note that these are not recommended when working on R410a www.hvacronline.co.za #ToolTalk systems; rather use hoses with ball-valve ends when working with R410a. Much like the fitting on a bicycle pump used to inflate a bicycle-tube, the knurl fitting is designed for finger-tightening to tighten and seal the connection to the service end without force. The use of a tool such a water-pump plier or other excessive force may not only compress and damage the hose gasket, but the amount of torque that would be exerted by a tool can also cause damage to the service port on the system. Hose gaskets Hose gaskets are usually made of Neoprene (black) or Teflon (white) and will need to be replaced periodically. Changing the hose gaskets can be done easily with a gasket-pick tool. The pen-type tool alongside has a specially shaped pick to remove the worn gasket without damaging the thread of the knurl fitting, there is also a core depressor remover and it has space for a couple of spare gaskets inside the handle. When not in use the pick can be removed and safely stored inside the tool handle. Gasket pick tool. Continued on page 75 RACA Journal I June 2016 73