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advise for recovering refrigerants

10 useful tips for recovering refrigerant

  1. Handling pressurised refrigerant is hazardous, so always use personal protective equipment (PPE) especially eye and hand protection. For hydrocarbon refrigerants the recovery unit must be designed for use with flammable refrigerants, the work area must be well ventilated, be monitored with a HC detector and have a CO₂ fire extinguisher located in the transfer area.
  2. Check the refrigerant type and charge to be recovered and that suitable dual port yellow top cylinders with adequate capacity are available.
  3. Always use a refrigerant scale to monitor the safe fill weight. Float valve cylinders are not recommended. The safe fill weight for HFC refrigerants is generally stamped on the cylinder shroud and is never more than 70% of the cylinder volume. For HC refrigerants the safe fill weight is 45% of the maximum HFC fill weight.
  4. Fit an inline filter to protect the recovery unit compressor.
  5. Use the shortest hoses with the largest diameter to minimize pressure drop and increase refrigerant flow. Replace hose gaskets if showing deformation and signs of wear.
  6. Use a valve core removal tool (VCT) to remove restrictive Schraeder valve cores.
  7. Use recommended recovery techniques, i.e. push-pull, as indicated in the unit operating manual.
  8. Always purge the recovery unit between jobs. Mixed refrigerants cannot be reclaimed and should not be re-used.
  9. If the recovery process is slower than expected use a P-T comparator to check the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant in the recovery cylinder. The presence of non-condensables, like air, nitrogen and moisture will increase recovery time and can be avoided by proper system evacuation and purging hoses.
  10. Use the shortest unwound extension lead. Undersized and long extension leads can reduce the voltage at the unit and cause difficulty in starting, reduced performance and overheating.