R290 and other hydrocarbon refrigerants have long been a popular topic; while these refrigerants are not new, a lot of equipment running on R290 is only now starting to develop problems. Many HVACR and commercial kitchen technicians need to ensure their equipment is kept up-to-date so they can safely work on R290 systems (in addition to ensuring they are trained to work on R290).
Two of the largest producers of HVACR tools and equipment have released specific charging tools for use with R290, and both of these combine the scale, the manifold and a bottle mount into a single product.
R290 Charging Systems for HVARC Technicians
The two systems we’ve come across are Yellow Jacket and Mastercool (pictured above), and both are available through their dealer network or your local supply house. Both systems appear to offer the same features, including space in the case for a can of R290 however, they lack Bluetooth or Wi-Fi as seen on other systems used to include data from other sensors in your gauge setup.
The Mastercool appears to only include the scale, an integrated bottle mount, and a basic valve whereas the Yellow Jacket is a more complete kit and includes a manifold (analog gauge), sign, and some additional tools, though changes are you already carry some of those with you. If you are just getting started with R290, the Yellow Jacket kit could provide more value for your money.
The Mastercool is called the “High precision charging scale” and the Yellow Jacket is called the “Hydrocarbon Charging Kit”. Since they are so new, you’ll need to ask your local supply store for your exact pricing as they are only sold to professionals, but expect to pay around $100 for the Mastercool kit and around $450 for the Yellow Jacket. Of course, in addition to this kit, you’ll also need to make sure you have the right equipment for working on R290 systems, including but not limited to:
- Warning signs for the kitchen
- Combustible gas sensor/alarm
- Nitrogen purge kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Wet rags
Have you used one of these systems yet? Leave us a comment with your thoughts or visit the discussion board to join a recent discussion about working with R290.