Originally Posted by Fireworks
Trotty is right, it is illegal to vent refrigerants to the atmosphere. Also refrigerants are cancer causing and escaping gasses can cause severe burns and even frostbite.These gasses are under pressures of 250 to 300 psi and are very dangerous. For your own safety let a trained technician do it for you. Not only that, you cannot purchase these refrigerants unless you have had the proper training in their safe use. Here in Canada it is cadded ODP Ozone Depletion Prevention training, and you must be registered in the trade to recieve it.
Well, you are right on some points, but, perhaps, a bit mis-informed on others. I happpen to be a licensed in the handling of "refrigerants" (USA, Enironemtal Protection Agency or EPA). Refrigerants are only under 250 to 300 PSI when the unit is on, and, obviously the compressor is running and that depends on how the system was engineered. And, you would only get frostbite if you were to come into contact with a refigerant in a liquid form. Something as small as a chiller only uses a few ounces of refrigerant while a home air conditioner might use 4 or 5 pounds or more. Anything that bleeds to the atmosphere is insignificant and if it has a leak it's already bled out anyway. You can purchase certain refrigerants such as for your car air conditioner but not others. ODP stands for ozone depletion potential and not ozone depletion prevention. ODP is a measure of a given refrigerant gas's ability to "consume" ozone molecules. It varies wildly with ozone frinedly gases becopming more and more prevalent. My comments stem from 25+ years of engineering level experience and hands on know how in air conditioning and refrigeration. Good grief, this subject would take a few textbooks and a few months to discuss thoroughly.
I digress though and agree that you want a trained technician to service your chiller, specialized tools and equipment notwithstanding. I would suggest a person who is trained on refigerators and freezers as opposed to big air conditioning systems.