What to do with those bottles of old 22? Our esteemed blogger has a few suggestions
As you are all aware the R22 phase out is now in full swing. By the end of this year the use of new or so-called virgin R22 will be banned and R22 won’t be available from 2015 at all.
While looking into this in detail I learnt something interesting. When the ban on selling R22 equipment was introduced in 2005 it was still okay to sell the units as long as they had been imported before the deadline. So, strictly speaking, if I had an old R22 unit in the warehouse, which had been there since 2004, I could still sell it today.
However, this is not the case with the refrigerant. If you have a bottle of R22, which is new, you have to use it all up by New Year’s Eve, if you don’t you have to take it in for recycling. Weirdly, if you have a bottle of reclaimed R22 it’s okay to keep it and use it until 2015.
Now here’s the crunch: somewhere in the back of the shed lurks an old bottle of R22 that’s been there since 1995; it’s never been in any system and so it is technically ‘virgin’. What am I going to do with it? The options are…
- Option 1 - send it back to a supplier and pay them to recycle it so I can buy it back again as used gas
- Option 2 - scratch the bottle up a bit and claim it is old gas
- Option 3 - purge the whole lot off to atmosphere
- Option 4 - find someone who has an R22 machine still in use who is willing to let me put all my new gas in, run it for 10 minutes, filter it and then recover into the same bottle again so that I can keep using it for 5 more years
- Option 5 - just sell it on eBay as recycled refrigerant.
No one is seriously going to do option 1; who would pay to recycle gas when people will buy it on eBay? If you don’t believe me search today for ‘refrigerant’ - it’s already on there.
Option 2 is what will really happen because there’s no chance of getting caught, while Option 3 will be used if people think they are going to get an inspection. And option 4 is a ridiculous solution.
What a fiasco!