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  1. #1
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    Ethical question on venting

    Ok, so I'm new on this forum and couldn't decide exactly where to ask my question, but here goes.

    Technically, as per EPA regulations, ANY refrigerant (CFC,HCFC,HFC,...) must not be vented. I think we all understand what that means.

    Now, what if I bought some canned air dusters, which is difluoroethane (R-152a) these days and technically an HFC substance, and used it to charge a refrigeration system. Would I be required to recover the gas, even though it came from a can that was basicly sold to be vented in order to dust electronics? Is this a double standard? Does the entering into a refrigeration system change the rules from "yes it's ok to vent the stuff to dust things off" to "no, it must be recovered since it is an HFC refrigerant"?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    You worry to much,,
    You sure are cocky for a starving pilgrim.

  3. #3
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by zachhvac View Post
    You worry to much,,

  4. #4
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    Hmmm, so I assume that to mean it doesn't matter in that case? That's sort of what I thought, but was just checking. I'd probably still recover it to save money, though.

    Supposedly, both R-134a and R-410a can be purchased without a liscense. Does that mean you don't have to recover them either?

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't worry as much as about the ethical implications or the environmental damages as I would about the EPA taking a huge chunk of money from me.

  6. #6
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    The EPA law was funded and placed by the big corporations seeking to phase out generic refrigerants to replace them with new patented stuff, its all about money so nobody cares if you vent a can of a fictitious ozone depleting or global warming creating material, its all fantasy, the corporation had their way,money keeps rolling, relax its going to be OK

  7. #7
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    Ok...hehe, I'm no green freak or anything, so let me rephrase my question.

    Could the EPA fine me for venting canned air out of a refrigeration system?

    Not that anybody needed to know if I did, but this is more of a hypothetical question that came to mind since those cans are in fact R-152a plus some bitterant, and they used to be R-134a not that long ago. Both are HFC, which is supposed to be controlled by the EPA. I will probably be using some for small scale refrigeration experiments since it's easier to get small quantities of it without spending a fortune. Supposedly from what I've read, R-152a is slightly more efficient than R-134a, runs nearly the same pressures, and can work sufficiently well with mineral oil.

  8. #8
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    In your hypothetical "charging from a duster can" scenario I'd be more concerned that the refrigerant destined for a refrigeration system goes through more stringent QC than that destined to blow cookie crumbs out of a keyboard. I was always taught that nothing goes in a system but refrigerant and oil, bitterant might not like being heated, cooled or stable in the system at all.
    ___________________________________________
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twophase View Post
    Ok...hehe, I'm no green freak or anything, so let me rephrase my question.

    Could the EPA fine me for venting canned air out of a refrigeration system?

    Not that anybody needed to know if I did, but this is more of a hypothetical question that came to mind since those cans are in fact R-152a plus some bitterant, and they used to be R-134a not that long ago. Both are HFC, which is supposed to be controlled by the EPA. I will probably be using some for small scale refrigeration experiments since it's easier to get small quantities of it without spending a fortune. Supposedly from what I've read, R-152a is slightly more efficient than R-134a, runs nearly the same pressures, and can work sufficiently well with mineral oil.
    question, have you ever thought about calling the EPA, and just asking them?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MM#7 View Post
    question, have you ever thought about calling the EPA, and just asking them?
    That would probably be like calling the IRS for tax advice....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by seascott View Post
    In your hypothetical "charging from a duster can" scenario I'd be more concerned that the refrigerant destined for a refrigeration system goes through more stringent QC than that destined to blow cookie crumbs out of a keyboard. I was always taught that nothing goes in a system but refrigerant and oil, bitterant might not like being heated, cooled or stable in the system at all.
    Ahh, well, that's part of the experiment. I'm an engineering student and a hardcore tinkerer by trade (if there isn't such a thing, there is now). I'll have an old portable dehumidifier that will be dismantled and built as an experimental test setup to learn more about refrigeration, and that's one of the questions to be invesgtigated. If I burn stuff out, it's lesson learned and no big loss. There's more where that came from.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    That would probably be like calling the IRS for tax advice....
    Haha! I'd actually be curious to hear what their answer would be. It would probably be along the lines of when the boss's brain goes "spoink" in the Dilbert comics.

  12. #12
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    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    That would probably be like calling the IRS for tax advice....
    good post, hey, the guy wants a definitive answer, figure why not go to the source! kinda like years ago, the deal was don't air your dirty laundry!

  13. #13
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    Excellent question, and the discussion shows just how stupid government regulations can be sometimes.

    If you charge a system with canned air and then vent it, ethically you have done nothing wrong other than “store” the canned air somewhere else for a while. However since you are EPA trained and certified you have committed not to release refrigerant to the atmosphere so technically you have violated the law. You could use the canned air on electronics since that is the manner it was intended.

    On the other hand a non certified person could spray the stuff everywhere, but cannot (legally) charge a refrigeration system with it since they are not certified to do that.

    So the issue is not so much ethics as it is a violation of the law the EPA has created.

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