DATCP's mobile air conditioning program is administered in the Bureau of Weights & Measures.
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.
Under Wisconsin law, “Refrigerant" means any substance used, sold for use, or designed or intended for use in a mobile air conditioner or trailer refrigeration equipment to transfer heat out of the space being cooled. “Refrigerant" includes a class I substance as defined in 42 USC 7671(3), a class II substance as defined in 42
usc 7671(4), and any substance used, sold for use, or designed or intended for use as a substitute for a refrigerant. No person may buy, sell or consign refrigerant in a container holding less than 15 pounds of ozone-depleting refrigerant.
EPA requirements, only EPA certified technicians are allowed to purchase ozone-depleting substances used as refrigerants as well as most substitute refrigerants, including HFCs. Technicians may be certified under either the
Section 608 or
Section 609 technician certification programs.
As of April 18, 2014, AB 695 repealed the licensing requirement for businesses that perform mobile air conditioning work.
The bill made the following changes to mobile air requirements:
- Mobile air businesses do not register with DATCP.
- Persons servicing a motor vehicle are not required to be trained and certified by DATCP. Instead, persons servicing a motor vehicle are 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.
Purchase Records: Wisconsin law requires that a person who buys refrigerant or receives refrigerant on consignment must keep an accurate record of all of the following:
- The legal name and complete address of the person from whom that person purchased or received that refrigerant
- The type and amount of refrigerant purchased or received
- Whether, at the time of purchase or receipt, the refrigerant as new, reclaimed, recycled or recovered
A purchaser or consignee may use purchase or consignment invoices to comply with these requirements if the invoices contain all of the information required. These records must be kept for two years.
Sales Records: Wisconsin law requires a person who sells or consigns refrigerant to another person shall keep accurate records of all of the following:
- The legal name and complete address of the person to whom that the refrigerant was sold or consigned
- The type and amount of refrigerant sold or consigned
- Whether, at the time of sale or consignment, the refrigerant was new, reclaimed, recycled or recovered
- A copy of any written guarantee from the buyer or consignee
A seller or consigner may use sale or consignment invoices to comply with these requirements if the invoices contain all of the required information. These records must be kept for two years.
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.
(608) 224-4942, option 4