New plumbing standards for refrigeration safety

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Australia has adopted international standards for refrigeration safety with Standards Australia publishing a new series of technical Standards for refrigerating systems. 
The new standards supersede the AS/NZS 1677:1998 Refrigerating Systems series and introduce significant changes to refrigeration standards that reflect changing technology and Australia's commitment to reduce Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions by 85% by 2036.
AS/NZS 1677 is called up under Part 4 – Requirements for refrigerated air conditioning work, Schedule 2 of the Plumbing Regulations 2008. The new Standards are effective from the date of publication (19 October 2016) and apply to all plumbing practitioners carrying out this type of work.
The Table below outlines how the new publications replace the existing Standards.

Previous mandatory Standard New mandatory Standard
AS/NZS 1677.1:1998 - Refrigerating Systems – Refrigerant classification AS/NZS ISO 817:2016 : Refrigerants - Designation and safety classification
AS/NZS 1677.2:1998 - Refrigerating Systems – Safety Requirements for fixed applications AS/NZS 5149.1:2016 – Refrigerating Systems and Heat Pumps - Definitions, classification and selection criteria
 AS/NZS 5149.2:2016 – Refrigerating Systems and Heat Pumps - Design, construction, testing, marking and documentation
 AS/NZS 5149.3:2016 – Refrigerating Systems and Heat Pumps - Installation site
 AS/NZS 5149.4:2016 – Refrigerating Systems and Heat Pumps - Operation, maintenance, repair and recovery

Examples of changes in the new standards include a significantly expanded list of possible refrigerants designed to minimise environmental impact and the introduction of two new refrigerant safety classifications in addition to the existing five.

Copies of the revised Standards can be purchased from SAI Global.

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