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Refrigerant Definitions

  1. Appliance - Any device which contains and uses a class I (CFC) or class II (HCFC) substance as a refrigerant and which is used for household or commercial purposes, including any air conditioner, refrigerator, chiller, or freezer. EPA interprets this definition to include all air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment except that designed and used exclusively for military purposes.

  2. Apprentice Any person who is currently registered as an apprentice in service, maintenance, repair, or disposal of appliances with the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (or a State Apprenticeship Council recognized by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training).

  3. Major maintenance, service, or repair - Maintenance, service, or repair that involves removal of the appliance compressor, condenser, evaporator, or auxiliary heat exchanger coil.

  4. MVAC-like appliance - Mechanical vapor compression, open-drive compressor appliances used to cool the driver's or passenger's compartment of a non-road vehicle, including agricultural and construction vehicles. This definition excludes appliances using HCFC-22.

  5. Opening - Any service, maintenance, or repair on an appliance that would release class I or class II refrigerant from the appliance to the atmosphere unless the refrigerant were recovered previously from the appliance. Connecting and disconnecting hoses and gauges to and from the appliance to measure pressures within the appliance and to add refrigerant to or recover refrigerant from the appliance shall not be considered "opening."

  6. Reclaim - To reprocess refrigerant to at least the purity specified in the ARI Standard 700-1993, Specifications for Fluorocarbon Refrigerants, and to verify this purity using the analytical methodology prescribed in the Standard. Reclamation requires specialized machinery not available at a particular job site or auto repair shop. The technician will recover the refrigerant and then send it either to a general reclaimer or back to the refrigerant manufacturer.

  7. Recover - To remove refrigerant in any condition from an appliance and store it in an external container without necessarily testing or processing it in any way.

  8. Recycle - To extract refrigerant from an appliance and clean refrigerant for reuse without meeting all of the requirements for reclamation. In general, recycled refrigerant is refrigerant that is cleaned using oil separation and single or multiple passes through devices, such as replaceable core filter-driers, which reduce moisture, acidity, and particulate matter. Under section 609, refrigerant can be removed from one car's air conditioner, recycled on site, and then charged into a different car.

  9. Refrigerant circuit - The parts of an appliance that are normally connected to each other (or are separated only by internal valves) and are designed to contain refrigerant.

  10. Small appliance - Any of the following products that are fully manufactured, charged, and hermetically sealed in a factory with five pounds or less of refrigerant: refrigerators and freezers designed for home use, room air conditioners (including window air conditioners and packaged terminal air conditioners), packaged terminal heat pumps, dehumidifiers, under-the-counter ice makers, vending machines, and drinking water coolers.

  11. Technician - Any person who performs maintenance, service, or repair that could reasonably be expected to release class I (CFC) or class II (HCFC) substances from appliances, except for MVACs, into the atmosphere. Technician also means any person performing disposal of appliances, except for small appliances, MVACs, and MVAC-like appliances, that could be reasonably expected to release class I or class II refrigerants from appliances into the atmosphere. (See page 6 for a more detailed discussion.)

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