I sure hope freon is as nontoxic to humans as I remember my high school chemistry teacher saying. I'm also really sorry for the Ozone Layer. Yesterday, I managed to douse myself in a freon shower and vent the rest to the sky. I'm receiving my penance since, despite three showers in 12 hours, my skin still smells a bit like gasoline (and I'm a speaker at a conference today).
So the story is this: I freed up the AC from its mounts two days ago, but it was massively too heavy. Way too hard to move without destroying the fragile aluminum skin of the Airstream. So, I decided to take the unit apart in pieces. Makes sense, right? My brilliant idea was to crimp the copper tube between the radiator and compressor, cut it between the two crimps and keep the gas inside until I could take it to be recycled. (Sorry the picture doesn't show the tube. Covered in freon, I forgot about photos.) You've guessed already, being smarter than me, that 50-year-old copper tube is not as flexible as the new stuff. When I went to crimp it, I got a shower. It was more like a freon-pressure-wash. I'm really happy that I didn't fall off the ladder.
My neighbor, Kyle, spontaneously came over and helped me lift both pieces down. He said it was because he didn't want me to die. Regardless, I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to do it myself. I'm always jealous of tall people. And strong people.
Another friend, Mike, came with his truck and helped me take the interior furniture scraps, wood cabinet pieces, and metal tanks to the dump. I saved a few pieces to make patterns, but most was garbage. The old stainless steel freshwater tank was a two-man lift; it was so long and heavy. I'm happy to be putting lightweight plastic tanks back in. We recycled the metal that we could, but much of it was sent to the landfill. Now all the garbage is out of my driveway! Another task that would have been impossible without a friend. I'm thankful for those two friends.
Hopefully the freon smell on my skin goes away soon.
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.