Code of Practice to eliminate halocarbon emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning systems: chapter 3

3.0 Installation

The term “cooling” is used throughout the document and refers to both refrigeration and air conditioning.

3.1 Siting

Siting can have a significant impact on the performance of cooling systems, including reducing the potential for refrigerant releases.

Factors to consider when installing a cooling system:

3.2 Compatibility

In order to prolong the system's life, enhance its efficiency, prevent leaks and ensure a safe environment, all system components need to be compatible. For example, mineral oil can't generally be used with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); explosion-proof electrical components may be needed when using a refrigerant that is flammable.

Factors to consider when installing or servicing a system are the following:

3.3 Selection of a Cooling System and its Components

The selection of a system can make a difference on the overall environmental performance. Certain components are integrated at the design phase, while others are installed on site. In addition to considering the cooling needs of the facility and the requirements in the applicable jurisdiction, contemplate choosing a system with the following components or adding them at the time of installation or service:

3.4 Performance

System components should be installed and serviced while considering the manufacturers' recommendations and complying with the requirements of the applicable jurisdiction; this will prolong the system's life, enhance its performance and prevent harmful effects on the environment.

A clean and dry system is essential for prolonged system effectiveness.

Factors to consider when installing or servicing a system, in order to prevent refrigerant leak and avoid equipment failure are the following:

Piping, tubing, fittings and connections

Each connection represents a potential for leak. Each connection method is unique in that each is intended for specific applications or circumstances. Technical information regarding the applications and limitations of each method can be found in the literature.

Here is a summary of the terms used in this code:

Compression fittings are especially useful in installations that may require occasional disassembly or partial removal for maintenance since these joints can be broken and remade without affecting the integrity of the joint. They could be used in applications where the fitting will not be subject to flexing or bending.

Compression fittings are relatively quick to install and easy to use; however, they may be bulkier than, and not as robust as, soldered fittings.

Soldering is a process in which two or more metal components are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, the filler having a lower melting point than the work piece. There are several forms of soldering, each requiring a different temperature. Higher temperatures produce a stronger joint. A soldered joint is highly tolerant of flexing and bending, such as when pipes shake from sudden pressure changes.

Brazing is similar to soldering but requires a higher temperature due to the melting point of the filler material. Brazing is usually the preferred method of joining pipe to fittings, valves and other components. In both soldering and brazing, the pipe and the fitting are heated to the melting temperature of the filler material, but they do not melt.

Welding differs from soldering and brazing in that the connection is made without adding a material to complete a joint. Instead, the material of the pipe itself is partially melted and the fitting and pipe are directly fused together. Generally this requires that the piping and the fitting be made of the same or closely compatible material. Welded joints are robust, very reliable and long lasting; however, they are usually restricted to high-performance applications.

Manufacturers can also provide support. The following represents some basic information regarding the different ways of connecting the various system components, as well as some factors to consider and best practices:


A valve is a pipe fitting that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening, closing or partially obstructing various passageways. Technical information regarding each category of valve can be found in the literature. The following is a summary of the terms used in this code:

The following are best practices:

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