Methyl chloride confirmed in Heatcraft recall
HEATCRAFT Australia has confirmed that the 'flammable and poisonous' counterfeit refrigerant responsible for the recall of certain models of Kirby packaged refrigeration units in Australia does have methyl chloride (R40) as one of its constituents. It has also been confirmed that the suspect units were manufactured and charged with the refrigerant at its own factory in China.
Kevin Lee, Heatcraft Worlwide Refrigeration's global technical director told ACR News that the units which were supposed to be charged with R134a actually contained a cocktail of R22, R142b and R40. The problem first came to light through the analysis of warranty return compressors.
The units affected are the Kirby 'Drop-in' refrigeration units KPC800-6, KPC1000-6, KPC1400-6, KPC1700-6, KSC2000-6, KSC2700-6, KSC3500-6, with serial numbers 1108xxxxxx to 1202xxxxxx. The units were sold between September 1 2011 and April 10 2012 and sales were restricted to Australia with a few in New Zealand.
Heatcraft customers in Australia have advised to contact their supplier or Heatcraft directly to have the unit replaced. Under no circumstances, says the company, are the units to have the refrigerant replaced by a service technician whilst in-situ.
It was a similar cocktail containing R40 and R22 which was implicated in the deaths of three people last year when refrigerated containers they were working on exploded.