Reclaimers recognized by ARI must certify that reclaimed refrigerants comply with ARI Standard 700-1999 and participate in a random testing program. (Photos courtesy of Refron.)
Contractors today face a triple whammy when it comes to refrigerants. First, the types of refrigerants seem to increase each year. Second, production of a number of refrigerants is subject to phaseout. And third, constant efforts are under way to draw as much life as possible out of any and all refrigerants — while maintaining acceptable purity and quality standards.

The ultimate survival skill in that last category involves reclamation, where a refrigerant pulled from a system is reclaimed (brought to Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute [ARI] Standard 700-1999 purity levels) and returned in mint condition. Contractors and technicians who work through local supply houses may not think much about the reclamation process. However, it is filled with legalities, standards, and close monitoring.

The Reclaimed Refrigerant Program references the ARI Standard 700-1999, “Specification for Fluorocarbon Refrigerants.” According to ARI, “Certification by reclaimers under this standard requires that the reclaimers’ refrigerants do not exceed the contaminant level established” by ARI. The following refrigerants have been subject to purity requirements:

R-11, R-12, R-13, R-22, R-23, R-32, R-113, R-114, R-123, R-124, R-125, R-134a, R-143a, R-401A, R-401B, R-402A, R-402B, R-403A, R-403B, R-404A, R-405A, R-406A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407D, R-407E, R-408A, R-409A, R-409B, R-410A, R-410B, R-411A, R-411B, R-412A, R-413A, R-500, R-502, R-503, R-507A, R-508A, R-508B, and R-509A.

Contract With ARI

Reclaimers who want to be recognized by ARI enter into a contract with the institute. This includes certification by the reclaimer that its reclaimed refrigerants comply with ARI Standard 700-1999, and a willingness to participate in a random test program.

Refrigerants to be tested are selected from the reclaimers’ inventories by representatives of an independent testing lab under contract with ARI. Qualified participating reclaimers may display a certification symbol.

The testing focuses on high boiling residue, acidity, water content, chloride ions, particulates, solids, volatile impurities (including other refrigerants), and noncondensables.

Contractors need to be aware of the applicable ARI standards. Fines may be levied by the EPA for refrigerant sold not meeting ARI specifications.

This article was based on material from ARI and Refron Inc.

Sidebar: Certified Reclamation Facilities

When all is said and done, ARI publishes a listing of facilities certified to perform reclamation for specified refrigerants. Not all facilities are certified to reclaim all refrigerants. Most can reclaim a wide range of refrigerants, but some are limited to only one or two.

The following is a list of ARI-certified refrigerant reclaimers as of July 1, 2002. Contractors should contact reclaimers or local supply houses to be sure certain refrigerants sent out or brought in for reclamation can be handled by the indicated reclamation facility. Also, be aware that from time to time, ARI decertifies reclaimers, so listings are subject to change.

  • Atofina Chemicals: 800-343-7940;

  • CFC Refrimax LLC: 800-406-2292;

  • Clean Air Refrigerant Recovery & Reclamation: 770-734-0706;

  • Cryo-Line Supplies USA: 702-446-8008;

  • Full Circle: 817-759-8900;

  • Honeywell International: 225-346-3601;

  • Hudson Technologies: 941-575-7975, 217-892-8604, 704-394-9491;

  • J.R.’s Appliance Disposal: 651-454-9215;

  • National Refrigerants: 800-262-0012;

  • Polar Refrigerant Technology: 603-394-8041;

  • Refrigerant Recovery Services of Nevada: 888-735-2813, 702-644-3993;

  • Refron: 800-473-3766: 718-392-8002;

  • RemTec International: 419-867-1840; and

  • United States Refrigerant Reclamation: 800-207-5931, 812-867-6628.

    Publication date: 03/03/2003