This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  bnc54 2 weeks ago.

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  • #3666


    Hello guys and gals.
    I’m brand new to scrapping and wanted to get started as a form of supplemental income and a hobby. Conveniently, I have a large scrap yard a mile away from my house so it makes runs very convenient and cost-effective. My question is, my yard requires that I have a company come and remove Freon from any refrigerant items that I may have. My question is, is there a cost-effective way to remove Freon to where it would still be worth my time to pick up refrigerators? Or is this something I should pass up? Thanks in advance

  • #3670


    brandonhamilton94, Cost effective and refrigerant removal (it’s actually called reclaiming) are two phrases that can not be used in the same sentence, it becomes and oxymoron when you do.

    I owned a Mechanical Contracting Company for many years and have a Master Mechanical license, Class A Mechanical Contractors license and a Universal Certification issued by the REPA, Inc. (Refrigeration Environmental Protection Association, Inc.).

    Being Universally Certified means I am trained and able to work with and purchase any and all refrigerates that exist, including Refrigerant grade anhydrous ammonia which is 99.95% pure ammonia which is very hard to work with and extremely dangerous!

    Universal Certifications are very hard to get and there are not very many who are Universal Certified. I’m not sure if they even issue Universal Certifications anymore. Anyway, I tell you this so you know that when I talk refrigerants there’s no hip, just plain, pure fact.

    Prior to 1992 anybody and anyone could purchase and/or work with any refrigerant they so wanted. Certification did not exist nor was it required prior to ’92. Not only that but there was no regulations and/or codes or over site as far as refrigerants were concerned. Back then when we were replacing and/or removing any equipment that used a refrigerant, we would cut both the liquid and suction lines and let the refrigerant vent from the system. Once the system bled down we would continue with the removal/replacement project and go to the next one. I gotta say, life was so much simpler then.

    Then, Al Gore got this stupid idea in his head that us HVAC Techs just had life too easy and decided to complicate things for us. He invented one of the worlds greatest lies and named it Global Warming. He contended that all of the refrigerants we were releasing into the atmosphere were at the heart of the problem and that by the lack of regulation and over site of the refrigeration industry all of the HVAC Techs were slowly but surly destroying our world. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!

    To fix this problem he helped create the REPA. There purpose was to over see, regulate, license, test and certify anyone who wanted to work with and/or purchase refrigerant of any kind.

    The HVAC Tech always required many expensive specialty tools to perform their job but before the creation of the REPA there was limitations to what was required (which I will not get into in this post). After the REPA came into existence everything changed. No longer could the Tech get by with a couple of gauges, a vacuum pump, a micron gauge, a assortment of hoses and a few other hand tools. Now they needed a different gauge setup for each and every different refrigerant they worked with, No longer could one set of gauges handle many different refrigerants, no longer allowed. Every different refrigerant required a different set of gauges.

    Also a tech MUST always have a reclaim machine on their truck at all times. Get caught without one and kiss a few paychecks worth of fines good by. Additionally you now had to purchase a specialty scale to weigh and record any refrigerants you came in contact with …. and the paperwork! New forms seemed to come out weekly and you had to have and fill them all out. There was so much new paperwork that is you tried to do it during work hours you had no time to do any work! Needless to say a lot of the paperwork ended up getting done at night on the Techs time when they were off the clock.

    What use to be a very enjoyable an fun profession to be involved in had suddenly turned into a regulatory, expensive, complicated nightmare!


    One more point I will make, the global warming danger was never a real problem. It did not exist, that is not until Al Gore and a few select, very rich, business men all got together. You see the problem was they did not think they were getting rich enough, fast enough. Because R-12 and R-22 were the dominating refrigerants used in the industry the Tech was able to get by without spending a fortune in new specialty tools. What they owned tended to last them for several years before they had to replace them. The filthy rich manufactures and suppliers were not happy with this at all.

    They needed a way to change the industry so that the money would start flowing freely into their pockets once more. They accomplished this by creating a non existent threat they called global warming. To combat global warming they created agency after agency and regulation after regulation to re-create the refrigeration industry in such a way that new refrigerants were being introduced in the market regularly. Each new refrigerant would require new, specialty and expensive tools to work with.

    They would also require a new, expensive system of training to be initiated, ending with another expensive certification for those so involved in that industry.

    Thanks to Al Gore and the unquenchable greed of these manufactures and suppliers, they had found and created a way to keep changing the industry in such a way that the money would never stop flowing into there greedy little hands again!

    There never was any global warming, it was and still is a very creative way for the rich and powerful to get richer and more powerful day after day, month after month.

    They get rich and we get screwed …. AGAIN!

  • #3674


    Good question and very nice reply to that question. But you never did answer the question about recovery? What does he have to do to recover the freon?
    Have a great day. Be safe, Be kind, Keep on scrapp’n

  • #3676


    >sctb, actually I did answer the question in my very first sentence, but I guess that got lost in the mix when I went off about the refrigeration industry and global warming.

    The short answer is this, unless you are certified to reclaim refrigerants or have a friend who is certified and will reclaim the refergirant for free, then the answer is NO!.

    Like I said in my first sentence, “Cost effective and refrigerant removal (it’s actually called reclaiming) are two phrases that can not be used in the same sentence, it becomes and oxymoron when you do.”

  • #3677

    Nancy L

    Well, what I got out of it is #1 he hates Al Gore. The second is you can’t do it yourself (legally) unless you become an HVAC Tech and buy all that expensive equipment etc etc. That takes care of a bunch of us. So from what our guy inferred and from what I’ve heard (heresay) we take it to a HVAC guy who will do it for us cause the R 12 either or/and/or 22 are worth money. I’ve not done so. I don’t personally do refrigerators just because I’m a little old lady. I still p/u AC’s because I sell them whole (very cheaply) to a guy until I also can figure this out. So ask a used appliance guy if he does it/free or otherwise and if he has a letter he can give you to give to the scrap yard stating he is a certified HVAC guy. I’ve heard in some states not even a letter will do…only certified techs themselves can bring them (appliances) in.

    • #3681


      Nancy L, I don’t like anyone who knowingly lies or is dishonest so they can profit at someone else expense! Al Gore is a liar, a crook and a pathetic thief (what I would classify as a career politician)! Now you also know what I think about all politicians!

      As far as R-12 and R-22 being worth money, when the requirement to reclaim all refrigerant first became mandatory you could take what you had reclaimed to your local HVAC supply house and they would buy it from you for processing. Unfortunately, this practice did not last long at all.

      Now any refrigerant you take to your local supply house they charge you a disposal and processing fee when you turn it in. It went from, “We’ll pay you for it” to “You have to pay us to take it” in the matter of a few short months!

      Guess they got to thinking they could make more money by charging the techs to dispose of it and then selling the refrigerant their self’s. That’s classically known as “making it on both ends”. Yeah. I know what they tried to tell all of us Techs the reason for the change in policy was because they never really knew what they were buying and how many contaminates it might contain, but that’s just another one of those many, many “lies” that became part of the industry.

      If you know someone who will reclaim the R-12 or R-22 for you for free that’s great! However, if they plan on reselling that reclaimed refrigerant then they are breaking the law and risk heavy penalties and fines, even jail time, if they get caught! The only system any reclaimed refrigerant can be put in is the same system it was removed from, period

      Before it can be resold for distribution it has to go through a lengthy process of removing any and all contaminates it might contain and an extensive filtering process. Then, and only then, it can be resold for distributions!

  • #3678


    Nancy L. Very well said. I do have the equipment. But do not recover freon. Most techs and repair people do not want the hassle of collecting and hauling into the scrap yards. I do buy scrap. I am in central Canada. Very competitive and confusing marketplace. Be safe, be kind, Happy scrapping.

  • #3682

    Nancy L

    It’s funny…my scrap yard told me any used appliance place will do it for free if you take several at a time in. Geesh. It just seemed like too much trouble so I passed. I’ll take my ac’s to my guy until he stops ( which may be sooner than later huh?) and then I’ll just pass them up too. I saw two guys get the bad news about the new brought in a huge roll of new shiny copper.. the other was a bunch of huge radiators. Didn’t stick around to see if they finally took them last I saw was very deep frowns.

  • #3683


    Nancy L, I can’t say yeah on nah to the appliance store statement. Obviously, I have no need for their services as far as reclaim goes.

    There are no absolutes in this world so there probably is someone, somewhere that will do the reclaim for little to nothing, I just don’t know the answer to that question. However considering the fact that even if they reclaim for you with no charge they still have to pay someone to take the reclaimed refrigerant and either dispose of it or process it to remove the contaminates so it can be resold at some point.

    Perhaps they have large amounts of reclaimed refrigerant they turn in at the same time and don’t believe the small amounts they reclaimed for you is going to make or break them and just absorb the cost, I don’t know the answer to that.

    I can tell you this though, the amount of refrigerant in a refrigerator is very small, not much at all, so they very well might do it for free.

    On the other hand the amount of refrigerant in an HVAC system can range anywhere from a few pounds to 10 of pounds. In a really large system it might even top 100 pounds. It just depends on the make of equipment, type of system and total tonnage needed to adequately cool the facility. Paying a disposal and processing for large amounts of reclaimed refrigerant can get very expensive, very fast.

    Personally, I don’t agree with the requirements many states have enacted that require proof that a certified tech or licensed contractor has reclaimed the refrigerant before they will accept any of the components associated with refrigerant.

    IMHO, that’s just another example of over aggressive, pushy, crooked politicians over steeping their boundaries as elected officials and making life more difficult than it need be on the voting public.

    You can bet that by enacting those requirements someone put money in their pockets. When it comes to passing any legislation the very first though in every politicians mind is, “What’s in it for me?”. No profit, no legislation!

  • #3684

    Nancy L

    Thanks Darksky1x for your indepth info. I don’t like the letter thing but I really think it’s crazy about only letting the techs bring the “reclaimed appliances ” in. They’re either not going to do it (unless they are your best friend!) or they’re gonna charge you. So which end do you want to pay? Crazy.

  • #3685


    Nancy L, you’re absolutely right, it is crazy!

    Our politicians and so called “leaders” constantly tell us, “recycle, go green, protect the environment and save the earth for future generations”. Then, they institute rules and adopt regulations that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the average scrapper to recycle certain items. In my mind that’s counterproductive!

    Adopting policies that require a third parties involvement with the scrapping of certain items is ridiculous. Obviously that third party is expected to perform a service or do something to the item being scrapped before it can be delivered to the scrap yard. Since the service the third party must perform is a specialty that only someone in their profession or someone who is properly certified or licensed can deliver, it stands to reason that there will be a cost associated with that service.

    When you take the cost for that service and compare it to what money a scrapper can expect to pocket from scrap metal sales of a refrigerator, in almost every case the scrapper will loose money. The cost of the reclaim service will almost always be more than the scrap value of a refrigerator. And if the cost of the reclaim service is not more than revenue from the recycling sales, it will eat into that revenue so deep that what’s left for the scrapper is so little that it’s just not worth their time and effort to recycle certain items

    That means that due to the politicians lack of foresight and mindless adoption of regulation after regulation, they end up discouraging the recycling of certain items.

    But now we come back to the bottom line, someone has determined that by pushing for a regulation that make it mandatory for third party involvement they will be in a position to profit. That someone then lobbies their local representative to push the new regulation through. It’s important to understand here that “lobbing” is just another word for “bribing”.

    So, that someone “bribes” their local representative to push through the regulation and now the stage is set! The politician asks the question, “What’s in it for me?”. That certain someone responds with cash, or lavish vacations, or expensive gifts and the politician pushes the regulation through. The politician is happy, they have what they wanted.

    The regulation is pushed through and becomes law, now that certain someone is also happy, the new law will make them rich, they have what they wanted.

    So what’s left? Only us, the poor suckers on the working end of that new regulation, the ones who loose. The politicians who we put in office get rich at our expense; the certain someone’s who get their new regulation get rich, at our expense and we, the voting public, pay for it all.

    Not many people are aware of this fact, but in 1997 Bill Clinton really put everything in perspective when he issued Executive Order #13037 Commission To Study Capital Budgeting. In that EO he clearly stated how the Federal Government viewed “We The People” and what our value was when he used the phrase, “physical capital and intangible or human capital”.

    That’s exactly how our politicians and all lobbyist think about us, “We The People”, just another source of “capital” they can tap into.

    Really makes my blood boil when I think about it!

  • #3690


    Well slavery never truly was abolished.

    Not many people are aware of this fact, but in 1997 Bill Clinton really put everything in perspective when he issued Executive Order #13037 Commission To Study Capital Budgeting. In that EO he clearly stated how the Federal Government viewed “We The People” and what our value was when he used the phrase, “physical capital and intangible or human capital”.

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