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Thread: Freon Theft

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    911

    Freon Theft

    Seems like its pretty common in the US, didn't expect to read that its happening closer to home...

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/05...al-freon-theft



    for some reason, I expect to see a rise of freon theft after this article though......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    South
    Posts
    580
    It's code here, all new installs have to have locking caps.

    Never heard of someone having it get stolen though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by truck12 View Post
    It's code here, all new installs have to have locking caps.

    Never heard of someone having it get stolen though.
    I had a case of someone stealing refrigerant from one of our installs a few years ago. We put in a new system in a new auto dealership. One of the systems ended up having the condenser close to the sidewalk near a busy street. (Think busy road full of car dealerships). well, about a month after the install, I get a no cool call from the area this condenser serves. I get there and find the unit low on refrig. I do a leak test w/ N2, and no leaks found. I re charge the unit.
    Two weeks later, another no cool call. Yep, unit FLAT on charge this time. Hmm.. Another leak search, this time I inject some dye. Re charge the unit, and all is good again. no leaks found.
    Another two weeks later, yet ANOTHER NO COOL CALL for the same unit. I am like, WTF! I check the UV dye, and found dye splattered all over the service ports. I always clean up after doing an injection to avoid false readings. This was sprayed all over the back of the condenser and the wall next to the unit.
    I asked the customer to point one of their security cameras at the unit. I recharge the unit, and all is well for a few weeks. Sure enough, the ac stops working. This time the service manager of the dealership reviewed the security footage. Sure enough, some tweaker was using a balloon to fill it up with gas from the AC service ports, and then huffing it on the spot. I watched the footage, and it was stupid. The guy wold fill the balloon up, huff it all and fall on the ground. He would get up, and do it all over again until he had enough.

    That's when I installed the locking covers and the problem went away. That was about 7-8 years ago, long before the covers became code here on new installs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,742
    I posted something like this last year. Nothing new.

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=893692

    The only difference is that R22 is costlier to replace this year than last year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,598
    Its Canada...Im surprised they don't legalize it.
    "The road to Hell is paved with progressive policies."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    Its Canada...Im surprised they don't legalize it.
    I'm sure it must be legal in California. (thinking huffers). Or maybe even 'medically prescribed'.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    jersey
    Posts
    89

    Cool

    nice......
    of all the evils out there .. i believe marijuana is the least of our worries

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California/Nevada
    Posts
    3,594
    It's code here, all new installs have to have locking caps.

    damn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Paper Street Soap Company
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    2,298
    Quote Originally Posted by WorkHardThenDie View Post
    nice......
    of all the evils out there .. i believe marijuana is the least of our worries
    No, its just an additional evil.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,253
    If you think it is expensive here checkout australia, $150/kg for R404 and $100/kg for R410

    now thats a place to send the thieves to.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    64
    I remember from highschool (late 90's... Houston, TX area), kids that would huff refrigerant from parked cars and homes.

    As of Oct 1 2011, Texas is on the UMC/IMC 2009, which requires locking caps for all new instals.

    Tony

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,445
    Would anybody happen to know if the bad guys have been able to beat the locking caps?
    Also, do you offer the caps as an added sale to your customers?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by ncboston View Post
    Would anybody happen to know if the bad guys have been able to beat the locking caps?
    Also, do you offer the caps as an added sale to your customers?
    Well, for the time being, I think that it is more of a matter of inconvenience.

    With so many units LACKING locking caps, a possible refrigerant thief would just move on down the line... Instead of trying to circumvent them.

    Give it 5 to 10 years though, and I would assume that a few cap key's would be the number one tool in a refrigerant thief's tool kit.

    I suppose by then we would see something coming out from master lock (if refrigerant theft becomes a big issue) with unique keys for each.


    I offer them to my customers but I do not push them. Especially if they are not on R-22.

    Tony

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