Counterfeit Refrigerant is a growing problem throughout the world.

Counterfeit R-421A Refrigerant

The other day I was notified by one of my contacts that there has been a rash of counterfeit R-421A refrigerant within the United States marketplace. I always try to cover these stories as counterfeit product can end up hurting not only the original manufacturers but also the end-users. 421A is a patented refrigerant made under the brand name of Choice Refrigerants. It is an R-22 alternative that is designed for an easy retrofit/conversion away from R-22.

421A is an HFC blended refrigerant that consists of R-125 (58%) and R-134a (42%). Its pressures are nearly identical to that of R-22 which makes for ease of retrofitting. The temperature glide is quite low due to the blend only containing two relatively similar refrigerants. There is also no oil change required so you can continue using the existing mineral oil within the system. All those benefits aside, R-421A does have a significant Global Warming Potential number of  two-thousand six-hundred and thirty-one. So, it is not a perfect refrigerant – there never is one, but it is a very good choice when converting a system away from R-22.

As I had mentioned earlier, R-421 is patented and can only be distributed and supplied by Choice Refrigerants or an approved Choice Refrigerants distributor. Today there is counterfeit 421A product being distributed within the market. I will not get into what company is doing this, but the impact of this counterfeit product was significant enough to get Choice’s attention. This counterfeit product is not only infringing on the existing patent but it is also not the exact same formulation. This slightly different refrigerant can result in poor system performance and could even lead to damage to the system itself. Along with that, since it is counterfeit and slightly modified it is NOT approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s SNAP program. That means that it is illegal to use or sell the counterfeit product.

R-421A Refrigerant
R-421A Refrigerant

Legal action is being taken against the companies that are distributing this counterfeit product. In the meantime though you can tell that it is genuine R-421A refrigerant product through a few ways. The first is actually asking for the specific brand name of Choice Refrigerants. This product is patented and cannot be sold under any other brand name. Another way to identify if the product is legitimate is by reviewing the packaging. The package should show the ‘Choice’ brand name as well as their tag line stating, ‘The Easy Choice.’ Lastly, every cylinder made by Choice Refrigerants comes with a QR code printed on it. This code can be scanned by your phone or computer and will take you to a product information page from Choice.

We at RefrigerantHQ are partnered with a certified distributor and if you are interested in purchasing or trying out the product please reach out to me by following this link to our contact page.

Thanks for reading,

Alec Johnson




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