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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Oct 11, 2017

James from Rectorseal talks about the IMC codes relating to tamper-resistant caps and why you may consider installing them now.

Tamper-resistant caps, also known as locking refrigerant caps, fit on refrigerant ports to prevent unauthorized access. Even though these caps can RESIST attempts to tamper with the equipment, they are not (and cannot be) fully tamper-proof.

Many new construction companies used to put the caps on ONLY to pass inspection; they then take the caps off to reuse them several times. That's an inhalant abuse risk, and it's also a liability issue for other contractors who service the equipment. So, the IMC requires locking-type, caps to be fastened to the equipment after charging or recovery. Unfortunately, it's impossible to enforce the code, even as it currently stands.

Moreover, many technicians want manufacturers to make their equipment easier to service. Components like tamper-resistant caps make it harder to service equipment. Almost no standard tools can remove those caps, and you will need special tools for tamper-resistant cap removal. The code, however, does not define what a "tamper-resistant" cap is; a key could fall under that umbrella.

However, tamper-resistant caps are still worth considering because they prevent inhalant abuse. Inhaling refrigerants is a gateway for harder drugs, including heroin. Even though tamper-resistant caps may not stop adolescents from doing drugs at all, we remove our industry from that controversial subject. It is also a good idea to give your system caps that make it harder for people to steal refrigerant, especially as refrigerant prices rise.

James also discusses:

  • The purpose of code commentary
  • Inhalant abuse prevention
  • Code compliance
  • Built-in vs. added components required by code
  • IMC vs. AHD
  • Explaining tamper-resistant caps to customers

Check out Rectorseal's Novent refrigerant caps HERE.

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