Section 14: Addition of Contaminants Prohibited
When recovering a refrigerant, it is illegal to add, mix or dissolve a foreign material, substance or waste that will make the refrigerant unacceptable for reclamation.
Mixed refrigerants contain a blend of refrigerants not manufactured by a primary source or producer.
They usually occur as a result of an unintentional (accidental) mixing of refrigerants during fieldwork.
Refrigerant containers must contain only one type of refrigerant.
Mixed refrigerants are unacceptable for the following reasons:
- They have a potentially adverse effect on the operation of refrigerant systems
- They can lower the efficiency of the system and increase the cost of service
- They can affect the compatibility of materials used in the refrigerant system
- They may void the manufacturer’s warranty and reduce the life expectancy of the equipment
- They can increase service costs due to the high cost of destroying refrigerants
Contaminated refrigerants are also a form of mixed refrigerant.
They are considered to be contaminated when they contain foreign materials or substances.
Some example of contaminants and contamination sources are:
- Carbon that results from the breaking down of refrigerant oils
- Strong acidic concentrations in refrigerants resulting from moisture entering the refrigerant system
- Steel or copper filings not removed from the refrigerant system at the time of installation or service
- The oil film coating found inside new copper piping was not removed from the refrigerant system at the time of installation or service