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  1. #1
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    How bad is refrigerant theft in San Antonio TX?

    Just came across this today. Apparently, they're thinking about a local code requiring all fittings be made tamper resistant and anything that's readily accessible to malicious thieves will be considered a safety code violation

    http://epay.sanantonio.gov/dsddocume...load/IB173.pdf

    Is the theft of refrigerant from A/C units that bad in San Antonio TX?

  2. #2
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    I knew someone who died deliberately inhaling refrigerant from a neighbors unit.
    Sad, he had issues with substance abuse and was brought up in the trade.

  3. #3
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    That's not a local code, it's a national code.

    When or if your jurisdiction adopts the 2009 and that section of the IRC & IMC the locking caps become code. Most places that follow the ICC codes are about 3 or 4 years behind, so figure in 11 or 12 many places will require that those caps be placed on all new installs.

    That bulletin is just an explanation of what was passed in the 2009 codes and how it applies in surrounding areas.
    Ed J

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stamas View Post
    I knew someone who died deliberately inhaling refrigerant from a neighbors unit.
    Sad, he had issues with substance abuse and was brought up in the trade.
    Legislations aimed at property owners designed to protect criminals is outrageous. It's not like they can't just go to Wal-Mart and buy duster (R-152a) or R-134a from automotive section, but as usual public servants don't really know what they're talking about just from seeing addressing refrigerant as "CFCs/Freons". Hardly any exterior condensing unit contains CFCs.

    They're probably under pressure from emotional citizens who know someone that did something dumb and got killed and blame condensing units, because "we know he got the deadly gas from evil air conditioner outside machine"

    Professional refrigerant thieves will have keys or simply move on to line piercing pliers to tap into the system instead of the valves only aggravating the cost to victims(those who have to pay to have the system repaired).

    What's next, mandatory locking cap for gasoline to deter thieves to protect their lives from sniffing gasoline?

  5. #5
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    North Richland Hills, Texas
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    From the link in the OP.
    " Refrigerant is a lethal chemical
    Refrigerant is highly addictive"

    LOL, idiots.

    There is nothing chemically lethal or addictive about inhaling the refrigerants used used in todays systems.
    The "high" feeling refrigerant huffers get is due to oxygen deprivation to the brain.
    They are actually suffocating, but since refrigerant is one of many otherwise harmless chemicals that displaces oxygen, and prevents CO2 buildup in the blood, it short circuits the natural physiological response to low oxygen levels in the blood.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICanHas View Post
    They're probably under pressure from emotional citizens who know someone that did something dumb and got killed and blame condensing units, because "we know he got the deadly gas from evil air conditioner outside machine"
    More likely under pressure from the manufactures of the stupid locking caps.


    The things only work when only some systems have them. Then the refrigerant huffers move on to systems with regular caps. Once every system has them, they'll figure out that the caps are easily defeated with a 1/4 zip screw and a nut driver (you screw it in where the key goes)
    Last edited by craig1; 08-17-2010 at 08:51 PM.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=craig1;7548712]More likely under pressure from the manufactures of the stupid locking caps.
    How about the inhalers parents buy there kids ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    More likely under pressure from the manufactures of the stupid locking caps.


    The things only work when only some systems have them. Then the refrigerant huffers move on to systems with regular caps. Once every system has them, they'll figure out that the caps are easily defeated with a 1/4 zip screw and a nut driver (you screw it in where the key goes)
    LOL, A good friend of mine invented those, must be laughing all the way to the bank.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    More likely under pressure from the manufactures of the stupid locking caps.


    The things only work when only some systems have them. Then the refrigerant huffers move on to systems with regular caps. Once every system has them, they'll figure out that the caps are easily defeated with a 1/4 zip screw and a nut driver (you screw it in where the key goes)
    Then, I'll have to hide a can of Dust Off inside the panel, so it'll serve as "sacrificial refrigerant" in a hope they'll leave the A/C's charge alone

  10. #10
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    DFW
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    If the system has leak dye in it will their poo glow? I dont want to think if it has leak stop in it what will happen in the bathroom.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    The "high" feeling refrigerant huffers get is due to oxygen deprivation to the brain.
    Not quite... refrigerants have anesthetic and "narcotic" properties just like chloroform, because of their solubility in lipid. It is even stated in the MSDS.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerk View Post
    If the system has leak dye in it will their poo glow? I dont want to think if it has leak stop in it what will happen in the bathroom.
    Probably not. Articles here and there says they collect it into a trash bag first and leak dye doesn't carry into vapor phase.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Once locking caps are installed, the clever refridgerant pilferer will probebly use a woodworkers drill and a tiny bit to accomplish the same goal. jmho
    If it doesn't go easy, you are not using a big enough hammer.

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