• SkillCat Team

Section 608 Regulations

Updated: 7 days ago

EPA 608 Core Chapter 9 (Take full course for free)


In this module, we will walk through the specific regulations of Section 608. Skip to quiz!


1. Main Regulatory Requirements


Recall that this set of regulations is regulated by the EPA and subject to change. As a technician, it is your responsibility to be up to date on the latest EPA regulation changes. There likely are additional state and local regulations on refrigerant use that you’ll have to know.

In order to protect the ozone layer, Section 608 regulates the following:

1. Equipment Requirements

2. Sales Restrictions

3. Major Recordkeeping Requirements

4. Safe Disposal

5. Reclamation Specifications

6. Service Requirements


These Section 608 regulations apply to all ozone depleting refrigerants and their substitutes. This includes CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs.


2.1 Equipment Requirements


Any equipment used to service systems with ozone-depleting refrigerants must be certified by an EPA-approved testing organization. Equipment must be up to EPA standards to eliminate the risk of accidentally releasing refrigerant.


Let’s say you are servicing a system containing R-22 refrigerant. All the equipment you are using to service the system must be certified by an EPA-approved testing organization. For example, this includes your recovery device.


Currently, the EPA has approved two bodies to certify such equipment: the AHRI (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories).


2.2 Sales Restrictions

Only certified technicians can purchase ozone-depleting refrigerants or their substitutes.


If you are selling refrigerants, you must check that the buyer has Section 608 Certification or employs a technician that is Section 608 certified.



2.3 Recordkeeping Requirements


The following people need to maintain proper records of refrigerants:

- Service technicians

- Owners and operators of large refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment

- Refrigerant wholesalers, and

- EPA-certified refrigerant reclaimers

All responsible parties must keep records documenting:

- Dates

- Refrigerant type

- Refrigerant charge amounts (quantity), and

- Related information for equipment servicing and disposal


The purpose of these recordkeeping requirements is to keep track of the amount and type of refrigerant in the cylinder.


Refrigerant charge, for example, is need on records because it indicates how much refrigerant is in the cylinder. The refrigerant type also needs to be indicated because technicians cannot mix different refrigerants together.


2.4 Safe Disposal

Before disposing of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, you must make sure that all refrigerant has been removed from the appliance. The final person in the disposal chain is responsible for making sure this happens.











2.5 Reclamation

Recall that reclamation refers to the reprocessing of refrigerant to at least the purity level specified in the AHRI Standard 700-2016.


If refrigerant changes ownership, it must be reclaimed to virgin specifications per AHRI Standard 700. This process of reprocessing must be done by a reclaimer that meets EPA certification requirements.






2.6 Service Requirements

And finally, technicians need to evacuate air conditioning equipment to established vacuum levels during servicing and disposal.


Recall that evacuating refers to removing unwanted substances from the system. Doing this prevents premature failures of the equipment that can release refrigerant into the atmosphere.









3. Other Violations


If refrigerant is released during theft or vandalism, this is also a violation of Section 608. All offenders will be subject to the same penalties for Clean Air Act violations as previously discussed.

Something else to keep in mind is that if we are working on a system with Refrigerant A, we cannot top off the system with any other refrigerant. If we are working with a system that runs on R-22, for example, we cannot top off with R-410a or any other refrigerant except for R-22.


If you top off with a different refrigerant than what is in the system, then the mixture cannot be used. The mixture may now be impossible to reclaim and may have to be disposed of. If you send this mixture to a reclaimer, they may refuse to accept it and destroy the refrigerant at the owner’s expense.


If you discover that you have accidentally mixed two refrigerants, you must recover the mixture in a separate recovery cylinder for disposal. You need a separate recovery cylinder because you don’t want this mixture to contaminate the contents of other cylinders.


4. Conclusion


Section 608 lays out a framework of regulatory requirements. The purpose of these requirements is to set restrictions on the use of refrigerants that are harmful to humans and the environment.


All violations of Section 608 are violations of the Clean Air Act. We previously discussed the fines and legal consequences for such violations. That is why it’s important that technicians are aware and up to date on these regulations, in addition to any state and local laws.


Question #1: Equipment has to be certified to EPA standards in order to recover which of the following refrigerants? (Select all that apply)

  1. CFCs

  2. HCFCs

  3. HFCs

  4. All refrigerants

Scroll down for the answer...











All equipments with ozone depleting refrigerants or their substitutes needs to be up to EPA standards. “ozone depleting refrigerants and their substitutes” include CFCs, HCFCs, and HFOs.


Question #2: Which organization can test your recovery equipment used to service a system with R-12?

  1. UL

  2. AHRI

  3. EPA

  4. Both (1) and (2)

Scroll down for the answer...











Both UL and AHRI are approved by the EPA to do testing of devices used to service equipment containing R-12. The EPA itself does not do testing of devices.


Question #3: You must have a Section 608 certification in order to purchase which of the following? (Select all that apply)

  1. CFCs

  2. HCFCs

  3. HFLs

  4. HFCs

Scroll down for the answer...











The sales restriction in Section 608 limits sale of all ozone-depleting refrigerants and their substitutes. Only technicians who are Section 608 certified may purchase these refrigerants. These refrigerants include CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs.


Question #4: Which of the following do you not need Section 608 certification to purchase?

  1. Nitrogen

  2. HFCs

  3. CFCs

  4. HCFCs

Scroll down for the answer...











You do not need EPA Section 608 certification to purchase nitrogen. The sales restriction under Section 608 only applies to ozone depleting refrigerants and their substitutes. Nitrogen is a natural refrigerant and is not included in this category.


Question #5: If you are selling R-22 refrigerant, who can you sell to? (Select all that apply)

  1. An environmentalist

  2. An EPA official

  3. A technician with Section 608 certification

  4. A business that employs a technician with Section 608 certification

Scroll down for the answer...











The sales restriction in Section 608 limits sale of all ozone-depleting refrigerants and their substitutes to technicians with certification or their employers. R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant, so it falls in this category.


Question #6: Who does not need to maintain proper records of refrigerants?

  1. Wholesalers

  2. The EPA

  3. Reclaimers

  4. Owners and technicians

Scroll down for the answer...











The EPA is not responsible for maintaining records of refrigerants.


Question #7: Records of which of the following must be kept for R-22? (Select all that apply)

  1. Type of refrigerant

  2. Dates

  3. Quantity of refrigerant

  4. Model of appliance

Scroll down for the answer...











Record must show all of these details except for 4. Model or serial number of the appliance is not required for records.


Question #8: What needs to be done before disposing of equipment that contains CFCs, HCFCs, or their substitutes?

  1. Recover the refrigerant

  2. Reclaim the refrigerant

  3. Clean the equipment

  4. Remove chlorine from the refrigerants

Scroll down for the answer...











Section 608 dictates that all CFCs, HCFCs, and their substitutes must be recovered before disposing of equipment that contains them.


Question #9: Under Section 608 Regulations, who is responsible for ensuring that all refrigerant is removed before disposing of equipment that contains refrigerant?

  1. The owner or technician

  2. The person coordinating with the EPA

  3. The EPA branch staff

  4. The final person in the disposal chain

Scroll down for the answer...











Section 608 dictates that the final person in the disposal chain must make sure that all refrigerant is removed from equipment before disposal. In practice, this would be the scrap metal recycler or the landfill owner.


Question #10: What must you do if you discover that you have added a Refrigerant B to a system that contained Refrigerant A? Consider that Refrigerant A is ozone depleting.

  1. Vent the refrigerant

  2. Recover the mixture in a separate recovery cylinder

  3. Add more of Refrigerant B

  4. Add more of Refrigerant A

Scroll down for the answer...











If you accidentally mix two refrigerants, you must recover the mixture in a separate recovery cylinder. You need a separate recovery cylinder because you don’t want this mixture to contaminate the contents of other cylinders.

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