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Effective January 1, 2020 all refrigerant cylinders will be off-white with refrigerants identified by the product number on the cylinder. Flammable refrigerants will have a red band. The purpose of the change is to reduce the confusion caused by some tanks having similar but not identical colours. Specifying the exact contents will be safer.

The new AHRI Guideline N, Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colours, was first announced on June 28, 2016. The previous system seemed simple when there were a half dozen refrigerants, but it became increasingly complicated as new refrigerants and blends were introduced, according to Plumbing & HVAC magazine, quoting Maureen Beatty, chair of the Guideline N Committee for the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). “(HVAC/R techs) really should not be relying on the colour of the cylinder to identify the refrigerant.”

More than 50 percent of refrigerant users reported confusion over colours in a survey. Fire fighters will now know at a glance that an off-white cylinder is refrigerant and if it has a red band it’s flammable.

Existing stocks of refrigerant in coloured cylinders will continue to be sold until those stocks are used up. Some manufacturers are already using the new cylinders. For more information or to download the new Guideline N, please visit www.ahrinet.org or http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/Guidelines/AHRI_Guideline_N_2016.pdf

Magazine link: http://plumbingandhvac.ca/uniform-refrigerant-cylinder-colours-adopted/