The Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigerant Institute has announced that they will be doing away the various colored refrigerant cylinders that we have grown use to in the past. The differing colored refrigerant cylinders will instead be replaced by a light-green gray color (RAL 7044) across all types and sizes of refrigerant containers. The expected completion date on this change is the year 2020.
The reasoning behind this change is due to the sheer number of alternative refrigerants that are being approved by the EPA’s SNAP program. With each new approved refrigerant a new color label was assigned. As you know, eventually you’re going to run out of colors. On top of the limited supply of colors, and the real reason this decision was made, is that there were instances of confusion as to exactly what refrigerant a technician was working with. You may have some refrigerants labeled as a light-red, a light-pink, and a dark-pink. Each one of these refrigerants could have drastically different properties but all look very similar to each other.
It was a matter of industry safety that this decision was made. If all refrigerants are the same color than you are FORCED to look at the label on the cylinder/container detailing what type of refrigerant that you are dealing with. This should eliminate any accidental miss-identification and hopefully will also result in safer work environment.
Overall, I feel that this change is overdue and look forward to the day when the colored refrigerants are completely gone from the market.