Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Air Conditioning missed the boat -- Get L'aide

Chapter 3 - Plumbing quality

There is no lower form of quality control than plumbing, one must consider it to be no quality at all.  No competition and it doesn't kill anybody.  Also, a leak is easily detected and fixed.  But this what the air conditioning industry used in the 60's, and has stuck to it ever since.  Freon was easy to work with and only went to 100 psi, the limits of plumbing.

This is different from industrial refrigeration, which uses ammonia.  People get killed with this all the time, but it lacks the cachet of a boiler explosion.  When you read about it, you say "Another industrial accident, like runaway forklifts.  Ho hum".  Their quality control might be a notch above the home industry, but I doubt it, there's no great driver.

However, into this nice world, enters Nasa.  Ozone holes have been here for billions of years, but the satellites just discovered them.  Quel horreur!  We were all going to die.  They quickly cobbled up a mechanism and Freon was guilty.  No need to actually test the hypothesis, that just wasn't done any more. 

Now we use h410a as a refrigerant.  It works at 400 psi, yet the industry uses the same materials and equipment from the 60's.  Ever look at their pressure gauges?  They have a dang apprentice system for the installers.  This is bound to be 'not good'.

This is exactly like Old Detroit in the 70's.  Then, they discovered that 'no quality' didn't work when you increased component stress by 4 times, and it doesn't work for plumbing.  We are back to having lemons, and there is nothing you can do, because there is no completion.

The upshot is that the odds of being saddled with a lemon has gone from one 10,000 to one in a thousand or a hundred.  Just like Old Detroit without all headlines.

- to be continued


Air conditioning cartel in Toronto

Lemon-aide for Air Conditioning, or 'Get l'aide'

Get L'aide, a new book trashing the air conditioning industry

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