As from the first of January the refrigeration gas R22 in its virgin form has become illegal to use.
It is still legal to use R22 in recycled form but none is available.
This does not mean that equipment containing R22 can not be used.
The industry advise is-
1 If the equpment works fine leave well alone.
2 If the equipment has a leak and needs re-gassing but causes no other problems repair the leak and replace the gas with R417a.
3 If the equipment causes consistant problems replace it with new.
I HOPE THIS HELPS ANYONE HAVING CHILLER PROBLEMS
Just to add a wee bit more meat to the post,
Refrigeration the Law & Your Responsibilities
Given the high number of received enquiries on this subject the following notes are provided as a reference guide:
• EC Regulation 842/2006 commonly referred as the F-Gas Regulations requires that the operator of equipment using refrigerant gases is to be held ‘responsible’. The trigger for the accountability rests with the quantity of refrigerant employed within the system. For those containing more than 3Kgs regular service checks are required- the results being documentated and retained on file for a period of a minimum of 3Yrs.
• Operatives & Companies employed in the service, maintenance & repair of refrigerant systems must be appropriately trained and can demonstrate their compliance with the regulation in much the same way that CORGI used to operate for the gas sector. This may be confirmed by membership of either voluntary or mandatory registration with bodies charged with overseeing the process. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that the operatives employed have the required qualifications.
• Refrigerant & Oil are classed as hazardous waste and require registration with the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain compliance. They additionally require that items removed, for example when a compressor is changed or the system scrapped, it must be sent to an approved recycling facility and as with previous notes above the results documented and retained on file for a minimum of 3 Yrs.
• At the end of this year production of virgin R22, one of the most common refrigerants, is being withdrawn. Although it has been stated that continued usage of recycled R22 is acceptable until 2014 the current levels of recycled R22 have fallen well below required levels such that a shortfall seems inevitable. It is fair to state that alternative refrigerants are available to meet the shortfall but the characteristics differ so that EXACT performance cannot necessarily be guaranteed.
Although many of the smaller packaged systems will not need the annual inspections at some stage during the operational life the operator will have to comply with the conditions as shown above, and it must be noted that these may well change as climate controls become tighter and tighter, so an understanding is required to avoid fines which are considerable and in extreme cases could lead to prosecution and criminal records and or imprisonment.
Good info from both sources, thanks