IEC 60335-2-104 Ed. 2.0 en:2021— Recycling Refrigerants

A service technician is using gauges a recovery pump and tank to remove refrigerant from a residential air conditioning system adhering to IEC 60335-2-104:2021.

When refrigerants are mishandled, they can cause environmental contamination and disease. Regulations and standards govern technician training, where and how refrigerants are sold, equipment, and as safe and efficient refrigerant recovery. IEC 60335-2-104 Ed. 2.0 en:2021— Household And Similar Electrical Appliances – Safety – Part 2-104: Particular Requirements For Appliances To Recover And/Or Recycle Refrigerant From Air Conditioning And Refrigeration Equipment provides specifications for electrical equipment to recover and/or recycle refrigerant from air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.

What Is IEC 60335-2-104?

IEC 60335-2-104:2021 deals with the safety of electrical recovery and/or recycle equipment to recover and/or recycle refrigerant from air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. The standard applies to air-conditioning, heat-pumps, and refrigeration equipment incorporating open drive or motor-compressors with maximum rated voltages not more than 300 V for single phase appliances and 600 V for all other equipment.

IEC 60335-2-104:2021 also applies to appliances not intended for normal household use but may be a source of danger to the public, such as appliances used by service personnel in shops, in light industry, and on farms.

How Do You Manage Old Refrigerants?

There are different ways to deal with old refrigerants, namely: refrigerant recycling, reclamation, or recovery:

  1. Recycling is done by first removing the refrigerant from the system containing it, and then sending it through equipment that will “clean” it. Cleaning refrigerants entails removing the moisture and particles that make it toxic. Once recycling is done, the refrigerant can be put back in its original container, or it can be stored in a different container for future use in a different system.
  2. Reclamation uses technical equipment in order to assure that all impurities in the refrigerant are removed, returning it into its most pure state. This is according to standards set in AHRI-700, which specifies acceptable levels of contaminants (purity requirements) for fluorocarbon, hydrocarbon, and carbon dioxide refrigerants and lists acceptable test methods. The purity must be tested and certified before the refrigerant can be reintroduced into the market.
  3. Recovery is the process of removing the refrigerant in any condition from the system using it and transferring it to a temporary and safe external container without necessarily testing or processing it. The refrigerant used is not changed in any way. Recovery is done when the HVAC equipment using the refrigerant needs to be tested or repaired.

How Do You Recycle Air Conditioning (AC) Refrigerant?

IEC 60335-2-104:2021 defines refrigerant recycling as “pumping out (removal) and cleaning of refrigerant from air conditioning or refrigeration equipment.” It refers to a means of extracting a refrigerant from an appliance (except MVACs) and cleaning it for reuse in equipment of the same owner without meeting all of the requirements for reclamation.

First, the refrigerant is sent to a compressor that sucks it out of its original container. Then it gets sent to different types of equipment that dries and filters it. The recycled refrigerant is cleaned using oil separation and single or multiple passes through devices, such as replaceable core filter-driers, which reduce moisture, acidity, and particulate matter. The driers remove any moisture that could damage the cooling system of the HVAC equipment; the filters take out any minuscule particles that could cause clogs and damage to the HVAC equipment. After passing through the driers and filters, the now recycled refrigerant is then stored in a new tank. The newly recycled refrigerant can be used or saved for future use.

IEC 60335-2-104 Ed. 2.0 en:2021— Household And Similar Electrical Appliances – Safety – Part 2-104: Particular Requirements For Appliances To Recover And/Or Recycle Refrigerant From Air Conditioning And Refrigeration Equipment is available on the ANSI Webstore and as a IEC 60335-2-104:2021 RLV which contains the International Standard and its Redline version, showing all changes of the technical content compared to the previous edition.

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