Refrigerator Freon Removal Guide

A man working on the back of a refrigerator.
  • 4-8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 600-6,000
What You'll Need
Sight glass
Recovery system
Recovery cylinder

Freon removal is a cumbersome process, especially in the light of the discovery that Freon actually causes considerable harm to the environment. This is why you’ll be heavily penalized if you decide to cut off the Freon pipes of your refrigerator and let the Freon escape into the atmosphere. However, if you let someone else do the removal for you, the whole procedure is going to cost you, which is why you should just do it yourself.

Step 1 – Set up the Recovery System

There are really strict laws as to evacuating Freon from your refrigerator. As such, you cannot just cut open the tubes and allow the gas to flow into the atmosphere. You have to follow a strict set up when it comes to removing Freon. Using the diagram of your refrigerator, connect the red line to the sight glass via a yellow tube and the blue line to the recovery system. The yellow tube should be connected to the recovery cylinder and the recovery cylinder to the recovery system.

Step 2 – Vacuum the Recovery Cylinder

Your recovery cylinder is an integral part in the set up which is why you have to make sure that it’s set up so that it can perform in its optimum. If the recovery cylinder in your set up is empty, you will have to vacuum it out. There are two ways of doing this: using the recovery unit and the vacuum pump through the manifold gauges. The latter option is more preferable than the former.

Step 3 – Equalize the Pressure

You will have to equalize the pressure by opening both valves of the recovery cylinder and that of the disable unit. This will allow gas or liquid to enter into the cylinder. This mechanism will stop only when the whole set up has reached equilibrium in the pressure.

Step 4 – Start the Recovery Process

As long as the pressure is now balanced, you can go on with the rest of the recovery process. To do so, simply open the recovery unit valves. The purpose of the recovery unit is to gather vapor from the recovery cylinder and then exert pressure so that the vapor enters the refrigerator. This will in turn force the evacuation of the Freon from the inside of the refrigerator to the recovery cylinder.

Step 5 – Monitor the Entire Recovery Process

Because you’re going to be working with gas, you won’t be able to find out when the entire process has reached its end. The sight glass will allow you to do just this. It will allow you to visually determine if the recovery process in still in session or not. Through the sight glass, you will be able to see the flow of Freon. Once you can no longer see this, the recovery process has stopped.

Step 6 – End the Recovery Process

When you’re finally done with the removal of Freon from the refrigerator, you dismantle the system by closing the valves located in the recovery unit.

Removing the Freon from your refrigerator is not too complicated a task for the average DIY guru. Now you can save by doing it yourself!