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Servicing Requirements for Farm and Heavy-Duty Equipment

EPA regulates the servicing of equipment used for cooling the driver or passenger compartments in farm equipment and other heavy-duty equipment, such as that used for construction, mining, or quarrying.

These appliances are similar to motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs) and are often serviced by the same technicians. However, the regulations for servicing MVAC-like appliances (and the persons servicing them) differ somewhat from the regulations for servicing MVACs.

EPA regulates the servicing of MVAC-like equipment under Sections 608 and 609 of the Clean Air Act (40 CFR 82, Subparts B and F). These regulations address the following topics:

  1. Venting Prohibition
  2. Required Practices
  3. Equipment Requirements
  4. Technician Certification
  5. Safe Disposal of Refrigerant
  6. Mobile Servicing
  7. Topping Off Refrigerant
  8. Recharging Refrigerant
  9. Compensation

Venting Prohibition

It is illegal to vent (release) refrigerant from an MVAC-like appliance. Only carbon dioxide (R-744) is exempt from the venting prohibition.

Required Practices

Anyone servicing an MVAC-like appliance must recover and recycle refrigerant in accordance with the regulations specified in 40 CFR 82 Section 82.32.

Equipment Requirements

Certified equipment must be used to recover or recycle refrigerant in MVAC-like appliances.

Technician Certification

Technicians who service MVAC-like appliances must be certified as either Type II technicians under EPA’s Section 608 regulations, or earn MVAC technician training and certification under EPA’s Section 609 regulations. The option of becoming certified as a Type II technician instead of becoming an MVAC-certified technician is unique to individuals who service MVAC-like equipment only.

Safe Disposal of Refrigerant

At the end of their useable life, refrigerants must be recovered from MVAC-like equipment. Owners or operators of salvage yards or other disposal facilities may recycle and return refrigerant recovered from an MVAC-like appliance back to the MVAC-like equipment service sector for reuse, or send the refrigerant to a reclaimer.

Mobile Servicing

EPA regulations permit service facilities to transport recovery and recycling equipment from where they are usually stored and used to service locations (such as auto body shops, used car dealers, farms, construction sites, mines, and quarries) to perform refrigerant servicing or to recover refrigerant from salvaged vehicles.

Certain states and localities might prohibit mobile servicing, however.

Topping Off Refrigerant

Facilities that "top off" MVAC-like appliances but do not perform any other type of refrigerant servicing are still considered to be performing services involving refrigerant. They are therefore subject to all requirements that apply to facilities that perform a wide range of refrigerant servicing.

Facilities that only charge MVAC-like appliances are not required to purchase approved refrigerant recycling equipment, but technicians must be properly trained and certified by an EPA-approved Section 608 or Section 609 technician certification program.

In addition, persons opening MVAC-like appliances are required to have recovery equipment available. Opening an appliance means any service, maintenance, or repair on an appliance that could release ozone-depleting refrigerant from the appliance.

Recharging Refrigerant

Technicians must recycle refrigerant prior to recharging it into an MVAC-like appliance, even if the equipment is the same equipment from which the refrigerant was extracted.

Compensation

Persons who service MVAC-like appliances are subject to the equipment and technician certification requirements set forth in the Section 608 and 609 regulations regardless of whether they are compensated for their work.

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