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How Do You Buy R12 Refrigerant?

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Only technicians certified by a Section 608 or 609 EPA-certified testing organization and employers of certified technicians are authorized to purchase R-12 refrigerant products, as of 2015, states the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The government tightly regulates the sale of refrigerants in the United States.

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Note that R-12 refrigerants and other refrigerant products sold in bulk containers, such as drums, cans and cylinders that fall under the CFC or HCFC classification, are regulated for sale only by EPA-certified technicians, notes the EPA. This includes a range of products, including Freeze 12, FRIGC FR-12, Free Zone, GHG-X4, and other blends that contain HCFCs. However, the restriction does not apply to air-conditioning equipment or components refrigeration classified as R-22 or to the resale of these refrigerants that are used in window air conditioners and similar units.

Technicians certified to service air-conditioning equipment and stationary refrigeration equipment by a Section 608 EPA-certified testing organization can purchase any type of ozone-depleting refrigerant with the exception of cans containing less than 20 pounds of R-12. Section 609 EPA-certified technicians certified to service the air conditioners in cars can purchase small cans of 20 pounds or less of R-12 but cannot purchase larger containers of the refrigerant. Section 609 technicians cannot purchase R-22 in any size container.

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