Active vs Passive Refrigerant Recovery
The active removal of refrigerant from a system using Refrigerant Recovery Machines makes the process much easier than using passive methods. The removal of refrigerant from a system that is being repaired or replaced is mandated by the Montreal Protocol which was enacted September 16, 1987 to regulate the production and use of chemicals that contribute to the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer.
Passive Refrigerant Recovery Methods
There are various techniques for removing refrigerant from a system without the use of a refrigerant recovery machine, but note that you won’t get all of the refrigerant out of the system. You can use the compressor to assist the removal or use the migration method.
By running the compressor and attaching your hoses to a service valve on the discharge side of the compressor to retrieve high-pressure gas or to the high-side liquid line, you can get a high percentage of the refrigerant in the system, just not all of it. You will need to cutout the compressor as it nears “0” PSIG on the gauge, at which point you would jeopardize the compressor.
Active Refrigerant Recovery
Refrigerant recovery machines are rated by the speed they remove refrigerant from the system based on three methods, “Push-Pull”, “Liquid” and “Vapor”. The most commonly commercially used refrigerant recovery machine comes with two cylinders for faster removal.
Recycling differs from recovery in that recycling is a process to reduce the contaminants in refrigerants. This involves the use of filter driers to remove moisture, particulate matter and by separating out oils and removing non-condensable gases.
This process also differs from refrigerant recovery in that reclaiming is the process of cleaning the refrigerant for reuse. This requires that the refrigerant meet a certain specification which can be verified by chemical analysis.
Checkout our review of the different manufactures of Refrigerant Recovery Machines.
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