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June 2, 2024

How to Properly Operate a Self Contained Recovery Device

When using a self contained recovery device, technicians must follow the operating instructions for that equipment. The technician should ensure that the tank inlet valve is open and that the recovery tank does not contain excessive noncondensables (such as air).

All equipment must be equipped with low loss fittings that can be manually closed or close automatically when hoses are disconnected to minimize refrigerant losses. A system pressure gauge must be used to ensure the correct evacuation rate of the systems. If the vacuum gauge reads 0 psig, this indicates that the system is fully evacuated and the recovery procedure may be begun.

During the dehydration process, the vacuum gauge must be checked to make sure it has achieved and maintained the required finished vacuum of 500 microns. If the vacuum cannot be achieved, the system must be opened and a leak check performed.

The EPA does not require all leaks to be repaired when working on small appliances, but a system with a leak of 5 lbs. or less of refrigerant can be deemed a small appliance by the EPA. System dependent (passive) recovery devices may only be used on appliances that are charged and hermetically sealed in the factory.