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Changing Refrigerant Oil

The requirements of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (the Act) and the implementing regulations cover refrigerant contained with oil. The oil in a refrigeration appliance may contain large amounts of dissolved refrigerant. EPA requires a reduction in the pressure prior to an oil change to ensure that the bulk of the refrigerant contained in the oil is recovered. Pressure must be reduced to a maximum of 5 psig. This reduction in pressure will greatly reduce refrigerant emissions while permitting a slight positive pressure to force the oil from the compressor.

There are two acceptable procedures for recovery of refrigerant contained in oil:

These procedures minimize the loss of refrigerant from the oil and the interior of the refrigeration appliance while the oil is drained. It is a violation to change oil at higher than 5 psig.

For further information concerning stratospheric ozone, copies of regulations or fact sheets, please call the Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline at 1 (800) 296-1996.

Questions concerning the proper disposal of oil should be forwarded to the RCRA hotline at (800) 424-9346 OR TDD at (800) 553-7672.

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