Your responsibilities to check equipment for fluorinated gas (F gas) leaks.
If you use the following equipment, you’re responsible for getting it checked for F gas leaks:
- stationary refrigeration equipment
- stationary air-conditioning equipment
- stationary heat pumps
- stationary fire protection equipment
- refrigeration units of refrigerated trucks and trailers
- electrical switchgear
- organic Rankine cycle
If you rent out equipment, you may be responsible for leak checks rather than the end user, depending on the rental agreement.
Responsibility for stopping leaks of F gas from equipment is shared between:
- users of equipment containing F gas
- service technicians who install, maintain or dispose of the equipment
How often you must check for F gas leaks
How often you must check for leaks depends on the:
- amount of F gas in the equipment
- global warming potential of the F gas (how much the F gas contributes to global warming)
Frequency of equipment leak checks for common HFCs
|Frequency of leak checks||Equivalent weight of carbon dioxide that the equipment contains (tonnes)||HFC 23 (kg)||HFC 227ea (kg)||HFC 404A (kg)||HFC 410a (kg)||HFC 134a (kg)|
|At least once every 12 months||5 to less than 50||0.3||1.6||1.3||2.4||3.5|
|At least once every 6 months||50 to less than 500||3.4||15.5||13||24||35|
|At least every 3 months||500 or more if contained in electrical switchgear or organic Rankine cycles, that were installed before 1 January 2017||34||155||127||240||350|
|With automatic leak detection||500 or more for all equipment other than electrical switchgear and organic Rankine cycles that were installed before 1 January 2017||34||155||127||240||350|
Find out how to calculate the weight of an F gas in carbon dioxide equivalent
There’s no maximum period of time between leak checks on:
- hermetically sealed refrigeration and air conditioning systems unless they contain F gas equivalent to 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide (that’s equal to 2.6kg of HFC404A or 7kg of HFC 134a)
- refrigeration systems in vehicles, except refrigerated trucks or trailers
If you install a system to automatically detect leaks, you can double the period of time allowed between leak checks. For example, with a leak detection system you must check a product that contains F gas equivalent to 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide every 2 years.
When to fit automatic leak detection
You must fit a leak detection system if your equipment contains F gas equivalent to 500 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide. This does not apply to electrical switchgear or organic Rankine cycles installed before 1 January 2017.
Mass of gases commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning or fire protection equivalent to 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide
|F gas||Mass of gas equivalent to 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (kg)|
The leak detection system must alert you, or a service company responsible for your equipment, if it detects a leak.
You must have your leak detection system checked:
- every 6 years on electrical switchgear
- every year on all other equipment containing F gas
If you find a leak
If you find a leak during a check, you must repair it as soon as possible and repeat the test within a month to check the repair worked.
You are breaking the law if you don’t have the right leak checks in place, or don’t fix leaks. You could receive a civil penalty. See the Environment Agency enforcement sanctions policy