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What Is the Difference Between Direct and Indirect Leak Checking for F-Gas Inspections?

February 23rd, 2022

Last updated: May 31st, 2023

“F-Gas regulation” is a term that is given to new regulation EC517/2014, first adopted in 2014.

EU F-Gas regulation sets out the correct requirements for checking and maintaining refrigeration systems, air conditioning, and other heat pump technology. The laws were introduced to control emissions stemming from fluorinated greenhouse gases.

F-Gases can be damaging ozone depleting substances, so the F-Gas inspection regulations are important to control global warming. This is something that must be considered by commercial building owners and operators.

Within the documentation is a set of leakage checking requirements for SRACHP equipment.

Current F-Gas regulation outlines the fact that all systems require a leak test regularly. How often you need to perform these checks depends on the system charge and size, as well as whether fixed leak detection systems are installed. More information about F-Gas inspection frequency can be found below.

Let’s explore the difference between certain types of leak detection for F-Gas Inspections.

Indirect F-Gas Checking

What is indirect F-Gas checking? Indirect checks are those that analyse the following systems and components:

  • The pressure of the system.
  • The temperature of the system.
  • The run current of the compressor.
  • Liquid levels.
  • A visual inspection for leaks and stains that have come from leaks.
  • Recharge volumes (not required for every system).
  • Checking for any noise, vibrations or even ice forming in areas of the system.

Direct F-Gas Checking

Direct checking of the air conditioning or refrigeration systems includes:

  • Checking the circuitry and any components within the system which can potentially leak gas.
  • Handheld leak detector devices that can detect compromises in the system.
  • Using UV detection fluid or dye in circuitry to see if any leaks are occurring.
  • Bubble solution methods of checking leaks.
  • Using nitrogen without oxygen, due to the molecular structure of nitrogen atoms, to put pressure within the circuit and detect leaks.

Fixed Systems

As well as direct and indirect F-Gas checks, there are fixed leak detection systems you can install. This equipment detects any leaks within your system and can alert operators or companies you employ to service your gas equipment. This is a great way to manage your building and ensure compliance.

Under F-Gas regulations, air conditioning systems, refrigeration systems and heat pump equipment containing 500 tonnes CO2e or more of HFC refrigerant legally require a detection system for leaks to be installed. This is a way to monitor and ensure safety at all times, and that you can take action if you should have a leak.

F-Gas Inspection Frequency

The F-Gas inspection frequency depends on the type of system you have. Equipment containing over 2.14kg (5 Tonnes CO2) of an F gas refrigerant need to be checked at the very least once a year. If the system contains more than 24kg (50 Tonnes CO2) they need to be checked every six months. Remember that the inspection must be carried out by a competent professional certified to work with F gases.

Implementing Regulations

Robinsons Facilities Services can create a risk assessment and help to keep your business compliant with all the regulations regarding F-Gases.

Our planned maintenance contracts can help you to build a maintenance schedule. This gives you peace of mind that your business is always compliant and that regular F-Gas inspections are carried out.

If you require a maintenance schedule, or repairs for your air conditioning, heat pump, or refrigerator systems, we can help. Call 01423 226578 to discuss your facility’s maintenance schedule.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North YorkshireWest YorkshireEast Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all plannedreactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.

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