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  1. #1
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    Practical value of an EPA 609 certification

    Hello everyone,

    Recently, I took the EPA 608 test from Mainstream Engineering, and on their website, the 609 certification is offered as well. One of the listed selling points is that it allows technicians to buy refrigerants in containers smaller than 20 pounds.

    In practical terms, has this--or its other benefit, the authorization to work on automotive AC systems--ever been useful for members here that have the certification? Or have any members without a 609 certification encountered situations for which it would have been worth having?

    Personally, this is more of a matter of curiosity than of practical guidance, since I went ahead and "bit," taking the 609 test earlier this week. Advertising works rather well on me, it seems.

    Incidentally, to avoid asking a question that has already been answered, I ran a quick search on "EPA 609" which returned no posts. Nonetheless, I hope that I'm not repeating something that's already been discussed.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Years ago I took the Macs test for automotive, it made it legal to charge $$ for charging auto air conditioning. I made a few bucks. You are allowed to charge or fix a friends car ac or your own as long as no money is involved without the certification. BTW is your recovery machine approved for auto use. All that being said I have no idea if it is still like that.

  3. #3
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    I don't have 609 and it's never been a problem. With that said it definately won't hurt to have it.

  4. #4
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    May 2004
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    I took the 609 many years ago just to add to my other certifications,
    Never used it, no one ever asked to see it. But at least I have it.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2015
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    Iowa
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    It does'nt really mater anymore unles you plan on pre-1994 automtove as being a significant part of your business offerings. I believe the 609 law said a 609 tech could not purchase more than a 20 pound bottle (R12 CFC) at one time. No certification is needed to buy or install R134a.

    I don't know why I remember but I do, my 608 universal class in 1994 covered all the automotive type applications. I seem to remember there was 1 question on the 608 Universal test about automotive applications

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lytning View Post
    Years ago I took the Macs test for automotive, it made it legal to charge $$ for charging auto air conditioning. I made a few bucks. You are allowed to charge or fix a friends car ac or your own as long as no money is involved without the certification. BTW is your recovery machine approved for auto use. All that being said I have no idea if it is still like that.
    Lytning,

    Thank you for the reply. Truthfully, I'll probably never actually do any automotive AC work, even for free, but who knows what might come down the road? I don't actually have a recovery machine yet, since I'm a beginning student of HVAC, but I'm adding things regularly to my future tool list. Hopefully, I can get a bit of hands-on experience through school with more than one manufacturer before deciding what I should buy for myself. I'll keep the approval for automotive use in mind when I pick out a recovery machine. I don't know that the lack of it will be a dealbreaker, but it still might be nice to have if everyting else is equal.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    I don't have 609 and it's never been a problem. With that said it definately won't hurt to have it.
    Jtrammel,

    Thanks for the reply, and I'm sorry to hear about your truck fire. It's good that you weren't injured, though. I agree that it won't hurt to have the certification, or any other, for that matter. I still renew the hazmat endorsement on my CDL, even though I never expect to drive over-the-road again, certainly not with hazardous cargo. The "can't hurt" justification applies there as well, and besides, it's just a little extra studying every four years. It actually did come in a bit handy with the EPA 608 test, as the coverage of DOT regulations and shipping procedures was basically review.

    Again, thank you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by edward301 View Post
    I took the 609 many years ago just to add to my other certifications,
    Never used it, no one ever asked to see it. But at least I have it.
    Edward301,

    If the truth were told, I like certifications for their own sake as well, no matter what field they are in. On the way to school each morning after work, I pass by a materials handling company that advertises forklift training classes. I've been tempted to check that out, and if they are affordable, to even see if some of my fellow students would be interested in taking such training as a group. I've always believed that the "handier" anyone could be to an employer, the better, and having such a certification might just prove valuable some day.

    Thank you for the reply.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Answer-Man View Post
    It does'nt really mater anymore unles you plan on pre-1994 automtove as being a significant part of your business offerings. I believe the 609 law said a 609 tech could not purchase more than a 20 pound bottle (R12 CFC) at one time. No certification is needed to buy or install R134a.

    I don't know why I remember but I do, my 608 universal class in 1994 covered all the automotive type applications. I seem to remember there was 1 question on the 608 Universal test about automotive applications
    Answer-Man,

    That's interesting, and it actually makes more sense to restrict an automotive technician to refrigerant purchases of 20 pounds or less, than it does to require a technician who services stationary units to buy 20 pounds or more. I wonder if the "20 pounds and up" restriction for 608 holders is an unintended consequence arising from the wording of the regulations. That might make for some interesting reading, if I can find the time to dive into the regs themselves. Imagine that--the mutually exclusive concepts of "government regulations" and "interesting reading," both in the same sentence.

    Thanks for replying.

  10. #10
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    I have no idea if my TEZ8 is approved or not. No one has ever asked me about a recover machines pedigree. (:-
    Quote Originally Posted by Apothecary View Post
    Lytning,

    Thank you for the reply. Truthfully, I'll probably never actually do any automotive AC work, even for free, but who knows what might come down the road? I don't actually have a recovery machine yet, since I'm a beginning student of HVAC, but I'm adding things regularly to my future tool list. Hopefully, I can get a bit of hands-on experience through school with more than one manufacturer before deciding what I should buy for myself. I'll keep the approval for automotive use in mind when I pick out a recovery machine. I don't know that the lack of it will be a dealbreaker, but it still might be nice to have if everyting else is equal.

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
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    Does not the section 608 universal cover automotive also ?
    I would guess the 609 was for automotive tech's who did not want all that with 608.

  12. #12
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    Not according to my memory. Now that was in probably about 92 or so. Things change and as much as I try, I can't seem to keep up on everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    Does not the section 608 universal cover automotive also ?
    I would guess the 609 was for automotive tech's who did not want all that with 608.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    Does not the section 608 universal cover automotive also ?
    I would guess the 609 was for automotive tech's who did not want all that with 608.
    No 609 auto is seperate from 608 (type I, II,III and universal)

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