F Gas Inspection

Who does it apply to?

This document describes the requirements for owners and operators of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems. The information is taken directly from Regulation (EC) 842/2006 (F-Gas) and is a brief overview of the articles within it relevant to the above equipment which use F-Gas refrigerants.

When did it come into force?

4th July 2007

Are you the owner or operator?

The owner is responsible for the operator’s actions; the operator is the person responsible for ensuring that the equipment is compliant under the regulation.
In certain circumstances this responsibility could come under the remit of the maintaining contractor or the owner as they can be found to be equally responsible for complying with the regulation.

What is the regulation intended to control?

This particular legislation is aimed at the release of global warming gasses used in refrigeration and air conditioning by containment through regular leak checking (Also known as F-Gases for completeness and listed in the regulation).
Companies should have a system in place to carry out these checks and to monitor refrigerant usage. Ideally fixed leak detection equipment used for early detection.

How often do these checks need to be done in order to comply?

Only certified personnel can carry out these checks. The frequency is determined by the refrigerant charge in the system and also whether fixed leak detection has been installed. Please refer to the table below.

Refrigerant Charge in System

Number of checks per year without fixed leak detection

Number of checks per year with fixed leak detection

3 – 30kg

1

1

30 – 300kg

2

1

300kg +

4

2

Only the refrigerant charge in excess of 3kg qualifies for these checks but systems that have over 300kg must have fixed leak detection and this actually halves the number of checks required. This systems function must, however, be checked and recorded every 12 months and have an output that informs the user of alarms.

Please note that any leaks detected must be repaired and then checked within a month to ensure the repair was effective with all maintenance carried out recorded.

Does anything else have to be done to meet the requirements of this regulation?

1. Operators have to keep records of the quantity and type of refrigerant that is

  • Installed
  • Added and recovered during service & maintenance
  • Recovered during final disposal

2. The above information must be readily accessible for inspection by the relevant authority including the details of who is responsible for service and maintenance and dates of any leaks and checks of equipment containing F-Gas.

3. Proper recovery and disposal of gas must be undertaken. This has to be carried out by certified personnel to ensure recycling, reclamation or destruction of any cooling circuits.

4. When a refillable/non-refillable container is ready to be disposed of the person who last used it is responsible and must follow the appropriate procedure.

5. An operator must ensure that any purchased refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pump systems are clearly labeled as containing fluorinated gasses as well as the quantity using the industry categorisation.

What will the consequences be if these regulations are not complied with?

Penalties for not meeting the requirements of the legislation will be confirmed by 4th July 2008. The regulation states that these ‘shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive’. It is therefore recommended that steps are taken as early as possible to comply with the legislation to avoid any such penalties being enforced at a later date.

NB: These notes are designed as guidance to assist in compliance with the regulations, not as an alternative to reading them!