May 17, 2017
In this episode of the podcast, Jeremy Arling from the EPA comes on and answers some common questions about the new rule changes that affect recovery, leak repair, recordkeeping, and evacuation on HVAC and refrigeration systems.
EPA 608 rules regulate the actions that technicians must take when it comes to refrigerants and the atmosphere, such as venting, recovery, and evacuation. It has always been illegal to vent HFCs, including R-410A. The changes to EPA 608 attempt to treat all refrigerants equally; R-410A would be on equal footing with HCFC R-22, for example. EPA 608 also clarifies the actions that require certification, including the purchase of ozone-depleting substances.
It is not illegal to recharge CFC or HCFC refrigerants. However, the availability of HCFC refrigerants will dwindle over time; systems will need to be charged with reclaimed refrigerants, not new R-22.
EPA 608 will also crack down on recordkeeping for recovery and reclamation. The technician does NOT have to keep the records; it is the responsibility of the company. However, the technician should keep track of the recoveries they do and provide those records to their companies.
When recharging leaking systems with over 50 lbs of refrigerant, technicians should know that HCFC-reliant appliances must be repaired, retrofitted, or retired within specific timeframes. There is no minimum time frame between the leak repair and verification testing; however, the EPA recommends testing within 10 days of the repair.
The EPA has approved the use and recovery of flammable refrigerants for a handful of industrial applications. Most of these also receive exemptions from the venting prohibition.
If you want an app to help you keep a record of recovered refrigerant, I would suggest looking at the R-Log app HERE.