Weights & Measures

Mobile Air Conditioning

 

ATCP 136, Wis. Adm. Code, regulate repair practices, product sales, acceptable refrigerant recovery and recycling equipment. These rules complement federal regulations adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and are aimed at reducing the emission of refrigerants which contribute to depletion of the earth's stratospheric ozone and global warming.

Important Changes -- Mobile Air Conditioning Requirements
 
The Wisconsin Legislature approved AB 695, a bill repealing the licensing requirement for businesses that perform mobile air conditioning work.  This change is effective as of April 18, 2014.
 
The bill makes the following changes to mobile air requirements:
 
  • Mobile air businesses would not register with DATCP.
  • Persons servicing a motor vehicle would not be trained and certified by DATCP.  Instead, persons servicing a motor vehicle would be required to meet EPA standards for training and certification. This means the appropriate 608 or 609 federal EPA certification.*
  • Persons that buy refrigerant would not register with DATCP.  Instead, these businesses would be required to meet EPA standards for training and certification.*
This means people buying or selling refrigerants no longer need DATCP mobile air license or training course certificates. Instead, they need to meet EPA certification requirements. Links to EPA requirements are listed below.  EPA requirements include:
 
  • Purchasers of R-134a do not require any training certification
  • Purchasers of ozone depleting refrigerants such as R-12 for vehicles or R-22 for trailers require EPA 608 (trailers) or 609 (vehicles) training and certification.
  • Persons that sell or transfer refrigerant that was removed from a mobile air conditioner but has not been reclaimed would not register with DATCP.  Instead, the bill would require that “all of the recovered refrigerant is conveyed in a safe and timely manner to a refrigerant reclamation facility that is recognized by the department or to a person who is properly trained and certified as specified by the federal environmental protection agency.*
Link to EPA-Certified refrigerant reclamation facilities: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/reclamation/reclist.html
 
* For more information to find approved EPA programs for training and certification click on the links below:
 
Federal EPA Section 608 Technician Training and Certification
For a list of currently authorized Section 608 Technician Training and Certification programs (install or service any trailer refrigeration equipment), go to their website: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/technicians/608certs.html
 
Federal EPA 609 Technician Training and Certification
For a list of currently authorized Section 609 Technician Training and Certification programs, go to their website: http://www.epa.gov/Ozone/title6/609/technicians/609certs.html
 
Some of the classes and exams can be taken on-line.
 
The bill would change registration requirements, but other requirements in Wisconsin law pertaining to repair practices and acceptable refrigerant recovery and recycling equipment, would remain in place. If you have questions, e-mail us at: datcpweightsandmeasures@wi.gov

Mobile Air Conditioning Program Links

WI 2014 Mobile Air Conditioning Law Changes: Frequently Asked Questions
MVAC Leak Testing & Repair (1 page PDF)
Mobile Air Conditioners Law: Wisconsin Statute Section 100.45

Repairing Leaks

Wisconsin law requires technicians to inspect for leaks and, if necessary, repair vehicle air conditioning and trailer refrigeration systems before adding refrigerant to the systems. The "topping off" of leaky systems in prohibited.

Sometimes, refrigerant must be added to a system to test for leaks. If a refrigerant leak is found and the customer refuses to authorize repairs, the technician is only required to recover the refrigerant that was added to the system.

Using Refrigerant Substitutes

Technicians who service vehicles with any refrigerant not originally used in those vehicles must do the following:

  • Completely remove any remaining refrigerant from the motor vehicle air conditioning system prior to recharging with refrigerant substitute.
  • Affix proper labels identifying the name of the refrigerant substitute, date of installation, and name of the business and technician who serviced the vehicle.
  • Install unique and permanent factory-made fittings on all mobile air conditioner service ports, refrigerant and subsequent damage to systems and equipment.
  • Install compressor shut-off switches in those systems originally equipped with refrigerant pressure relief valves.
  • Comply with other applicable EPA regulations under the federal SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) program.

Prohibited Repair Practices

State regulations governing repair and servicing of vehicle air conditioning and trailer refrigeration systems prohibit the following practices:

  • The intentional or negligent release of refrigerant into the environment.
  • Failure to properly recover and recycle refrigerant prior to reuse of the refrigerant in any motor vehicle air conditioning system.
  • Failure to use approved refrigerant recovery and recycling equipment and EPA-certified technicians to remove refrigerant from vehicle air conditioning and trailer refrigeration systems.
  • Failure to keep proper records of repair and service transactions.

Lastly, ATCP 136 prohibits misrepresentations in the sale or marketing of refrigerants. If a seller claims that a substitute refrigerant may be used as a replacement for an ozone-depleting substance, then that seller is also required to disclose any special use restrictions under state and federal law.

Links to Outside Websites

Under Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulations, anyone salvaging vehicles with air conditioning or refrigeration systems must check them and recover any remaining refrigerants using approved recovery equipment and qualified equipment operators. The company performing this recovery must be registered with the DNR, keep records and comply with other requirements. Contact DNR program staff at (608) 264-6049 or go to http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AirQuality/Refrigerants.html for more information.

Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for listing of approved recovery/recycling equipment
EPA Ozone Layer Protection: Regulatory Programs
EPA document on handling contaminated refrigerants
EPA-Certified Refrigerant Reclaimers

Other Resources

DATCP's mobile air conditioning program is administered in the Bureau of Weights & Measures in the Division of Trade & Consumer Protection. For more information call (608) 224-4942 or datcpweightsandmeasures@wisconsin.gov for further information.

For more information on federal regulations and responsibilities under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, visit EPA's Ozone Depletion website or contact the EPA Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline at 1-800-296-1996.


2014 Mobile Air Conditioning Law Changes: Frequently Asked Questions