How to Remove R12 Refrigerant

by Lee Sallings

The Clean Air Act of 1990 restricts the release of air conditioning refrigerant in the atmosphere to help prevent further damage to the ozone layer. Section 609 of the Clean Air Act of 1990 requires that, beginning January 1, 1992, a recovery and recycling certification is mandatory for all persons servicing automotive air conditioning systems containing R-12 (Freon) refrigerant. This certification, along with EPA certified recovery and recycling equipment, is required to purchase R-12 and service automotive a/c systems containing R-12 refrigerant.

Step 1

Unscrew the plastic dust caps from the vehicles a/c service ports. The high pressure service port will be on the small diameter a/c line connecting the condenser, located in from of the radiator, to the evaporator located on the firewall. The low pressure service port will be on the a/c line connecting the compressor to the evaporator. Screw the fittings on the ends of the recovery/recycle machine's hoses to the vehicles service ports.

Step 2

Rotate the levers on the valves located on the ends of the machine's hoses until the lever is inline with the hose. Plug the recovery/recycle machine into an electrical outlet and turn on the machine's power switch. Turn the selector switch on the machine to "Recover" and press the "Start" button.

Step 3

Allow the machine to run until it stops and the indicator light on the machine shows the process is complete. Check for leaks in the system by waiting 15 minutes to see if the pressures rise on the machine's gauges. If the pressures rise a leak in the vehicle's a/c system is present.

Step 4

Close the two valves on the machine's hose by rotating them until they are at a 90 degree angle to the hoses. Unscrew the hoses from the service ports and reinstall the plastic dust caps.

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