Buying a new recovery machine can be quite an investment that needs to last for years to come.
I was in need of a new recovery machine and bought the Robinair RG3 which I made a video on and wrote a post on it here.
Before leaping in and buying a unit looking through your options and reading reviews is the best buying method I have found.
What fits one scenario might not fit another. If you’re a one man operation your requirements can be much different than a large shop with dozens of employees.
So let take a look at some of the things to look for when buying a recovery machine and the top selling units.
Things to consider when buying a refrigerant recovery machine.
Recovery machines are not cheap and are a long term investment that hopefully will last 15-20 years.
Units vary in prices from $400-$5,000 depending on name brands and the build.
Buying a unit online is much cheaper than buying a unit from a local supply house at least in my case. Large cities may have more competition driving prices down. Myself living in a smaller town the local options are limited. For me prices online were half that of the local HVAC supplier.
Not everyone will need a expensive recovery machine and can get by with a cheaper model. While a very busy HVAC shop will need to recover quickly and reliably with technicians moving on the the next call.
Weight can become a factor when a recovery unit is being hauled around all day. A unit will have to be carried up ladder’s onto roofs, sometimes over fences, and all matter of obstacles.
This has become less of a issue in recent years as most units now weighing less than 20 pounds. Years ago some recover machines could weigh up to 50 pounds or more.
3…Twin Cylinder VS Single Cylinder
Twin cylinder units will recover quicker since they are more powerful than a single cylinder unit. The price matches this with twin cylinder units costing more.
4… Oil-less VS Hermetic Compressors.
This is not much of a issue in 2015 as most recovery machines are now oil-less as compared to hermetic compressors of the past. Oil-less units offer much better recovery rates, direct liquid recovery, elimination of oil maintenance, and the ability to handle multiple refrigerants.
How long the warrantee last is always a consideration. Name brand companies will no-doubt have a reputation to keep and warrantee their products for longer. Buying with a credit card can also add warranties which vary from one card to another. Buying from third party sites such as Amazon also can add another level of protection as all big companies have their own protection plans.
So What is the Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machine?
An answer to this question will vary from one technician to another.
Since there is many factors to take into account from cost to recovery times reading reviews in the forums or on Amazon will help you make a better informed decision on a unit that will fit your need.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links which at no cost to you allows us earn a commission on product purchases.
Our Picks for Best HVAC Refrigerant Recovery Machines 2018
Robinair RG3 110V AC, 60 Hz Portable Refrigerant Recovery Machine
The Robinair RG3 is a good unit that I bought and have used for awhile now.
The unit is a oil-less that has a high pressure safety switch which shuts it down if the pressure goes above 550 PSI, and of course it will works with any refrigerant R-22, R410a, R-12, R134a and so on.
Using it on a 3 ton R-22 residential unit it will evacuated the system in about 30 minutes. Of course this will change depending on the temperature, and refrigerant type that is in the system.
Overall a good unit for the money and does not disappoint.
Robinair RG6 110V AC, 60 Hz Portable Refrigerant Recovery Machine
The R6 is the big brother of the R3 with quicker pull down times. It is also a good unit and worth a look for those running a large shop or many jobs.
Inficon 714-202-G1 Vortex Dual Refrigerant Recovery Machine, 1 HP, 120V
The Inficon G1 is another good unit that gets the job done.
It is uses a 1 HP dual piston compressor that works nicely.
Tips For Using a Recover Machine
1…Don’t use manifold gauges when recovering. Having a set of dedicated hoses to recover with is ideal. Using a manifold set and hoses that also are used to charge a system can lead to cross contamination. Plus when old refrigerant is recovered the system might of had a burn out or any number of contaminants in it. Everyone will have an opinion but ideally using hoses that only used for recovering is best.
Understand what Push/Pull is and a complete understanding of how it works.
Consider making or buying a Sub-cooler which can benefit recovery times in certain cases.
Remove Schraeder valves which can restrict the flow of refrigerant.
Remember a recovery cylinder must have 20 percent more capacity than the unit that is being recovered.