Frequently Asked Questions on Refrigerants:
Yes, R-502 is a CFC refrigerant and was phased out in the 1990s due to it’s effect on the O-Zone layer. In order to purchase R-502 you need to be 608 certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. You can read more about certification by clicking this link. R-502 is banned across most of the world and most applications are discontinued at this point in time in 2015.
No. You cannot purchase R-22 refrigerant if you are only certified under 609. You will need to have a valid 608 certification as well in order to legally purchase or handle R-22 refrigerant. 609 certification only covers automotive air conditioning units. If the vehicle you are working on either has a secondary cooling unit or the vehicle takes a different type of refrigerant such as R-22 or R-404A you will need to be 608 certified.
You can read more on this subject by reviewing the excerpt from the EPA’s site below or by clicking this link to the EPA’s site.
“Effective, September 22, 2003, EPA has limited the sale of ozone-depleting refrigerants intended for use with stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment to section 608 technicians. Therefore, section 609 technicians cannot purchase R-22, regardless of container size.
Note, that for purposes of maintenance, repair, service, or disposal, that buses using R-22 are not defined as MVACs; therefore, Section 608 certification (Type II or Universal) is required to service buses using R-22.”
The Refrigerant Sales Restriction is a Federal Law enforced under the Environmental Protection Agency. The law states that CFC and HCFC refrigerants can only be sold to EPA certified personnel. Those who are not certified cannot legally buy, handle, or use these refrigerants.
The restriction was put in place due to the O-Zone damaging Chlorine that the CFC and HCFC refrigerants contain. Both the CFC and HCFC refrigerants were banned across the world under the Montreal Protocol due to the Chlorine they contained.
The most popular refrigerants that fall under this restriction are R-12, R-22, and R-502. In order to purchase R-22 or R-502 you will need to be section 608 certified with the EPA. If you are looking to purchase R-12 you will need to be section 609 certified with the EPA.
It is important to note that HFC refrigerants such as R-410A, R-134a, and R-404A are NOT covered under this sales restriction. If you are looking to purchase an HFC refrigerant you can without a license. This may change in time, but as of 2015 anyone can purchase these refrigerants. It is important to note that as of January 1st, 2018 you WILL need to be certified to purchase HFC refrigerants such as 410A, 134a, and 404A. Click the link on the bottom of the article for the exact wording from the EPA’s website.
Lastly, please do not attempt to go around these restrictions. This is Federal Law. If you violate this law you could potentially have the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Government coming to your door. There are numerous instances of the government going after individuals and or companies that violate this law.
Unfortunately, no. 609 certification is only meant for automotive applications. You are authorized to handle R-12 and R-134a, but anything else that is not directly correlated to your automotive cab you are not authorized to handle. Examples of this include refrigerated cargo or other secondary refrigeration systems in your van or truck. Another example would be the Thermoking or Carrier applications. You will need to be 608 certified to work these units.
If you wish to purchase R-22 refrigerant you will need to be 608 EPA certified. To clarify a bit more you will need to be section 2 608 certified as well as having passed the core competency of 608. Fore more information on 608 visit this link.
Yes, as long as you are only buying HFC refrigerants. Thankfully, HFCs include some of the most popular types of Refrigerant. HFCs include R-410A, R-134A, and R-404A. Any newer home HVAC unit is going to be using R-410A Refrigerant (2010 or newer.) and any automotive vehicle in the last ten years will be using R-134A. So, the short answer is as long as you are working on a fairly new unit you will be able to purchase Refrigerant.