4.9 Section 14: Addition of Contaminants Prohibited

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

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

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