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Environmental Protection Agency certification is required for all individuals who open enclosed refrigerant containers. This certification is obtained through the EPA 608 examination, which is given in four parts. There is a core competency section, along with three levels of testing for specific appliances. Each part contains 25 questions. With the right preparation, you can pass the exam and earn your EPA 608.
The core section of the exam focuses on general refrigeration knowledge. Ozone depletion, as well as EPA Section 608 regulations, are tested during this part of the exam. Questions in the core section may include, "What is an ozone molecule made of?" Test takers may also be asked to list the effects of ozone depletion. Another sample core question is, "What must be done before scrapping a refrigerant container?" Safety and shipping techniques are also covered. In addition, testers may have to answer questions about the proper way to safely ship cylinders.
Level I Testing
Level I testing focuses on small appliances. According to the EPA, appliances containing five pounds or less of refrigerant are considered small appliances. These products are charged and hermetically sealed within a factory location. American Trainco is an industrial training company that provides a certification study guide for the 608 exam. According to Trainco, sample questions may include, "What is the difference between a self-contained recovery tank and a system-dependent recovery tank?" Test takers may also be asked to list the correct temperature for checking excess air inside of a cylinder.
Level II Testing
High pressure refrigerant is the subject of Level II testing. According to American Trainco, this exam covers household air conditioners as well as supermarket refrigeration units. Sample questions in this section will ask how to determine refrigerant types in system. Testers may also be asked to explain the liquid line and explain what Hg means.
Level III Testing
The Level III testing level is for low-pressure refrigerant appliances, which operate below atmospheric pressure to allow air and moisture into the refrigeration system. A sample question for this section is, "What are three visible ways to check for leaks in a low pressure system?" Another question may be, "What parts of the system should be drained of water before recovering refrigerant?" Test takers may also be asked to list the steps for low pressure systems that idly sit.
Preparing For Certification
Numerous resources are available to help you prepare for the EPA 608 certification examination, including books and websites. While you'll have to purchase some of these study resources, many of them are free. The EPA provides an informational sheet on its website (http://www.epa.gov/Ozone/title6/608/technicians/certoutl.html). In preparing for the exam, certification candidates should read and study the relevant EPA regulations. Taking sample tests is also a good method of preparation.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.