No, Recharging R22 Isn’t “Illegal” in the US


If you remember my recent article on the company that went to my friend's house for a PM and did nothing but leave a system quote.

Well, it got worse…

My friend Josh left them a D-rated review on a popular review site, and the owner of the company responded with… an apology? A bottle of wine?

No.

They responded with threats. Threats that they are going to report Josh and us to the EPA because we added 1/2lb of R22 to the system.

Here is a quote from this companies public review response. This is a DIRECT QUOTE:

We advised him that the company that came out and added R22 to a leaking system is in violation of the EPA laws, and we would report the company with a copy of this review stating that the other company came out and added 1/2 lb of R22 freon

Before you get the wrong idea, I would never condone “gas and go” behavior. In this case, the unit was about 3 degrees of subcooling low, and we weighed in 1/2 lb and performed an electronic leak check. We found the TINIEST of hits on the evaporator in the fin pack, and we instructed Josh of his options.

Sometimes a system needs to be recharged to get the customer cooling or because the leak is very small and the customer chooses not to repair it at that time.

In systems containing UNDER 50 LBS of refrigerant, that is not against EPA regulations.

I'm not sure where people get this from, other than THIS, which applies only to systems over 50 lbs. Even then, some recharging is allowed.

By all means, know and follow the EPA regulations, perform proper leak detection, and give the customer all their options, but leave off the high and mighty scare tactics.

Scare tactics are bad for our industry and bad for our customers.

—Bryan

P.S. – Now, with the recent EPA press release, it looks like all bets may be off with R410a and other HFC refrigerants as well, but as of now, it's in the proposal stage.

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2 responses to “No, Recharging R22 Isn’t “Illegal” in the US”

  1. Sounds like these people took a page out of the scammers who call you saying they work for the IRS and “have police at the ready to come and pick you up” if you don’t pay what they say you owe them!?

  2. Agreed…give the options and let the customer decide. Make sure they are educated completely on either choice!

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