Changing Refrigerant Oil
The requirements of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (the Act) and the implementing regulations cover refrigerant contained with oil. The oil in a refrigeration appliance may contain large amounts of dissolved refrigerant. EPA requires a reduction in the pressure prior to an oil change to ensure that the bulk of the refrigerant contained in the oil is recovered. Pressure must be reduced to a maximum of 5 psig. This reduction in pressure will greatly reduce refrigerant emissions while permitting a slight positive pressure to force the oil from the compressor.
There are two acceptable procedures for recovery of refrigerant contained in oil:
- Evacuate (or pressurize) the refrigeration appliance, or isolated portion, to a pressure no greater than 5 psig and then remove the oil; or
- Drain the oil into a system receiver to be evacuated (or pressurized) to a pressure no greater than 5 psig.
For further information concerning stratospheric ozone, copies of regulations or fact sheets, please call the Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline at 1 (800) 296-1996.
Questions concerning the proper disposal of oil should be forwarded to the RCRA hotline at (800) 424-9346 OR TDD at (800) 553-7672.