Acid in the lineset

The Ultimate HVAC Guide to Removing Acid and Moisture From Refrigerant

Lily Galleo Blogs, Education, HVAC Maintenance, QwikProducts

Acid in the lineset

Checking for acid can prevent costly breakdowns in the future. To catch these instances before the unit breaks, use QwikCheck 2-Second Acid Test Kit. Removing acid from refrigerant is a different story…

If even trace amounts of acid are found in a system that is only a few years old, then what? Nothing has broken down…yet. Acids are typically formed by chemical reactions with components and/or materials of construction, lubricating oils, and/or impurities. Elevated temperatures can also accelerate the instability of the refrigerant and cause the formation of acids. Luckily there are other treatment options you can try before scrapping the entire thing.

Understanding and Addressing Acid Formation in HVAC Systems

Acid formation in HVAC systems is often a symptom of a deeper issue that needs to be diagnosed and addressed. Typically, acid forms due to some sort of contamination introduced into the system, either through added products that interact with refrigerant/oil additives or accidentally through improper evacuation.

Treating the Root Cause

To effectively deal with acid formation, you need to treat the underlying problem or consider replacing the system entirely. A key component often implicated in this issue is the filter drier, which may not be functioning properly. Always replace the filter drier if you detect acid in your system.

The Nature of Acid Formation

Acid forms in the oil within the system, and since oil does not circulate as efficiently as refrigerant, the acid tends to remain trapped within the compressor oil or on hard surfaces in contact with the oil.

“Even the best filter drier cannot filter or dry what never reaches it.”

~Mainstream Engineering

Residual Oil

Replacing the oil in the system is a recommended step, as it addresses most of the acid present in the oil. However, some residual acid and oil will remain on the hard surfaces within the compressor. This residual acid can either:

  • Neutralize itself on the hard surface, causing minor corrosion and a few byproducts.
  • Encourage more acid to form after you’ve treated the system, potentially leading to a burnout despite your efforts.

Risks and Recommendations

There are inherent risks in a typical acid cleanup, including residual acid and potential exposure to outside air during treatment. To mitigate these risks, consider using a product that remains in the system for only 45 minutes. This product mixes with compressor oil, absorbs acid without altering its chemical composition or creating byproducts, and then changes phase to mix with the refrigerant. It is subsequently removed by the system’s filter drier, along with any acid it carries, thus speeding up the process for acid to reach the filter drier.

To summarize, a filter-drier is the way to get rid of acid and water. The problem is that acid with oils (such as POE, PVE) also water, tend to stay in the oil and therefore the compressor can fail before sufficient acid (or water) has slowly migrated to the filter-drier in the operating system.

Introducing QwikShot

QwikShot Acid and Moisture Treatment is a co-solvent designed to eliminate acid and moisture from HVAC systems by moving it through the operating system and into the filter dryer BEFORE there is a system failure. Contaminants, like acid and moisture, can cause significant damage to the components of an HVAC system, leading to reduced efficiency, costly repairs, and even system failure. QwikShot’s unique formula targets these harmful elements, providing a cleaner, more efficient system while removing acid from refrigerant lines

QwikShot Acid and Moisture Removal


Key Features of QwikShot Acid and Moisture Treatment
  1. Easy Application: QwikShot is incredibly easy to use. The product comes in a convenient, pre-measured capsule that can be quickly added to the system with our QwikInjector.
  2. Fast-Acting: Once introduced into the system, QwikShot works immediately removing acid from refrigerant lines. This rapid action helps prevent further damage and restores the system’s performance.
  3. Compatible with All Refrigerants: QwikShot Acid and Moisture Treatment is compatible with all refrigerants, making it a versatile solution for any HVAC system. This ensures that regardless of the type of system you are working with, QwikShot will be effective and it is designed to not void any compressor manufacturer’s warranty.
  4. Non-Toxic and Non-Flammable:  QwikShot is both non-toxic and non-flammable, ensuring that it is safe to handle and use.

Benefits of Using QwikShot When Removing Acid from Refrigerant Lines
Prolongs System Life

Acid and moisture are two of the leading causes of HVAC system failures. By effectively removing these contaminants, QwikShot helps to extend the lifespan of the system. This means fewer repairs and replacements, saving both time and money in the long run.

Improves Efficiency

An HVAC system free from acid and moisture operates more efficiently. QwikShot helps to restore optimal performance, ensuring that the system runs smoothly and uses less energy. This leads to lower utility bills and a more environmentally friendly operation.

Prevents Costly Repairs

By eliminating harmful acids and moisture, QwikShot prevents corrosion and damage that can lead to expensive repairs. This proactive approach helps to maintain the integrity of the system, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.

Enhances Refrigerant Longevity

Contaminants like acid and moisture can degrade the quality of refrigerants, leading to reduced cooling capacity and efficiency. QwikShot helps to maintain the purity of the refrigerant, ensuring consistent performance and cooling effectiveness.

Products Mentioned In This Post

Discover QwikShot in a Baker Distributing, Johnstone Supply, or United Refrigeration store near you