Whenever repairs are made to any air conditioner
parts that hold refrigerant, you must discharge,
purge or flush (if contaminated), evacuate, charge
and leak test the system.
In a good system,
refrigerant lines are always under pressure and
you should disconnect them only after the air
conditioning system has been discharged to a
refrigerant recovery unit through the service
valves on the compressor.
Refrigerants are safe when used under the right
conditions. Always wear safety goggles and non-
leather gloves while discharging, purging, flushing,
evacuating, charging, and leak testing the system.
Do not wear leather gloves; when refrigerant gas
or liquid contacts leather, the leather will stick to
WARNING: Use care to prevent refrigerant
from touching your skin or eyes, because liquid
refrigerant, when exposed to the air, quickly
evaporates and will freeze skin or eye tissue.
Serious injury or blindness could result if you
come in contact with liquid refrigerant.
Refrigerant splashed in the eyes should first be
treated with a few drops of sterile mineral oil in the
eyes, then rinsed with a weak boric acid solution.
Do not rub the eyes. Call a doctor right away.
Refrigerant splashed on the skin should be treated
the same as for frostbite: gently pour cool water
on the area, but do not rub the skin. Keep the
skin warm with layers of soft, sterile cloth. Call a
doctor right away.
Even though refrigerant does not burn, when it
contacts extreme heat or flame, poisonous
phosgene gas is created. This gas is also
produced when an open flame leak detector is
Phosgene fumes have an acrid (bitter)
WARNING: Do not work in an area where
refrigerant may contact an open flame or any
burning material, such as a cigarette. When it
contacts extreme heat, refrigerant breaks down
into poisonous phosgene gas which, if
breathed, causes severe respiratory irritation.
Do not breathe the fumes from an open flame
discharged, flushed, charged, and leak tested
using an open flame leak detector.
Changes in both federal and state laws will affect
the way dealerships service air conditioning
systems. Under current federal laws, refrigerant
must be recovered and recycled by all users to
protect the environment, and not released into the
atmosphere. Many service operations not directly
involving the air-conditioning system require the
release of the refrigerant charge. Under the new
regulations, dealerships not having the required
recovery and recycling equipment (and properly
trained and certified personnel) will not be allowed
to do any of this service work.
Because of its very low boiling point, refrigerant
must be stored under pressure. To prevent the
refrigerant cans from exploding, never expose
them to temperatures higher than 125°F (52°C).
Never leave refrigerant cans in the sun, and do
not store them in sun-exposed areas where heat
can build up, such as in gloveboxes, automobile
You must work in an area where there is a
constant flow of fresh air when the system is