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rmcphearson
08-01-2012, 11:53 AM
I could not find an answer to this elswhere so pardon me for this boring question. I had a condensor unit installed outside the house and since the refrigerant used for the new unit was different than the old he flushed the lines... right onto my lawn ( actually It's a masterpiece of zoysia turf). Now I have to replace the soil as well as the fried turf in this small area in my otherwise flawless outdoor carpet. I wasn't there when he did it. I'm assuming that he contained the old gas and was just flushing the residue out of the lines.

My question is: Is it proper (legal) to flush old refrigerant residue into the environment?

Roland

Frank K
08-01-2012, 12:55 PM
Nope. It's a violation of EPA regulations to purposely vent refrigerant into the atmosphere. It should have been pumped out of the system and recovered for recycling. But, are you sure he vented the refrigerant? He may have recovered the refrigerant like he was supposed to and then used nitrogen to blow the refrigeration lubricant out of the system onto your lawn.

PTSideshow
08-01-2012, 02:52 PM
My bet is if he is other than a no name AC guy on the truck it is the oil that he flushed on the lawn.

Dr Stan
08-01-2012, 02:59 PM
Whether it was freon or oil does not matter. In either case its a violation of environmental laws. He should be busted and forced to pay for the clean-up.

rmcphearson
08-01-2012, 04:52 PM
Whether it was freon or oil does not matter. In either case its a violation of environmental laws. He should be busted and forced to pay for the clean-up.

He recovered the freon but when he finished that he "flushed the lines". I don't know anything about HVAC but it seams to me it would be very costly to flush the lines with a closed loop system. So I'm guessing it's not proper to flush the lines into the environment but everybody does it?

Thanks for the replies.

Thruthefence
08-01-2012, 05:18 PM
Seems to me, EPA rule or no, he screwed your lawn up, and SOMEONE needs to pay for it, and it's not you.

Dr Stan
08-01-2012, 06:04 PM
I don't know anything about HVAC but it seams to me it would be very costly to flush the lines with a closed loop system. So I'm guessing it's not proper to flush the lines into the environment but everybody does it?

Its my understanding auto repair shops have cleaning devices for air conditioning systems and one for cooling systems. So the technology is available, he just didn't bother to use it (too cheap).

Black_Moons
08-01-2012, 06:37 PM
Uh, Im pertty sure he did not dump a material that turns into a *gas* at room temp/pressure, onto your lawn.

That is the part that must be recaptured, the gas.

I have no idea if the oil is considered toxic or a hazard, but its not very nice to be pouring lubricating oils on the lawn.

J. Randall
08-01-2012, 08:57 PM
He recovered the freon but when he finished that he "flushed the lines". I don't know anything about HVAC but it seams to me it would be very costly to flush the lines with a closed loop system. So I'm guessing it's not proper to flush the lines into the environment but everybody does it?

Thanks for the replies.
Don't know how costly a commercial unit would be, but my brother and I rigged one up on the cheap one time. We had a big sintered bronze filter that was cleanable, we used an electric fuel pump and stoddard solvent to flush the system. Worked pretty good.
James

rmcphearson
08-01-2012, 08:59 PM
Seems to me, EPA rule or no, he screwed your lawn up, and SOMEONE needs to pay for it, and it's not you.

Yes, but I'm not going to get this Homer Simpson to repair my Michaelangelo.

Thanks for the info gents.

CCWKen
08-02-2012, 12:42 AM
Most of today's flush agents are biodegradable (soap, and water soluble solvent) and the oil might have been mineral oil based. Still, that's no reason to dump it. The mineral oil is a hydrocarbon and remains so even in a soap dispersant. It should have been captured and treated as "used oil". If he did use a flush and didn't separate the compressor from the system and drain it, I can almost guarantee a future service call. The compressor retains a large quantity of oil that isn't flushed in the normal manner.

I still have some cans R-141b but it's used in a closed flushing system. It's the best flush/cleaning agent for ACs ever but no longer used since it's a HCFC. Nothing has come close to equaling it since it was restricted. I do occasional automotive systems in restorations and the first thing you learn is NOT to use stoddard-based solvents as a flush for new systems or conversions. If you do, you're not doing your customers any favors.

CCWKen
08-02-2012, 01:10 AM
Forgot to mention-You can mix up a diluted liquid dish soap batch and spray it over the area. Follow that with a good watering (flood) to suspend the oil and let it run off to a less-sensitive area. Or pick it up if you have a pump. It will eventually degrade in a couple of months. What killed or burned the grass was probably the soap in the flush. I think it will recover on it's own if you keep it watered even if Zoysia doesn't like a lot of water.