Can I safely cut a fridge compressors copper pipes if it uses r600a gas. I've read of people taking out fridge compressors but I want to check whether it's safe to cut the pipes like this?

  • r600a gas is flammable according to google, ISO-butane, so any sparks not good. I think, but I am not the one doing it, a hand tubing cutter will not cause sparks. Will not hurt to have pipe under water.
    – crip659
    Mar 23, 2021 at 0:05
  • I was going to comment that doing so might be illegal, depending on your location. But checking myself first, I see that venting r600a is actually allowed in the US. It seems it has little ozone depleting affect, breaks down in the atmosphere, and is in a group that are more efficient, which itself helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here's a search phrase if you're in the US: "Following an evaluation of comments to a public consultation in 2013, the EPA has decided to lift the venting prohibition for isobutane (R600a)"
    – Tim B
    Mar 23, 2021 at 5:13

1 Answer 1


Venting a flammable gas may be safe as long as there are no sources of ignition in the area and the gas has time to dissipate. Kind of like having a propane or LP gas cylinder filled once the cylinder is full they vent the gas between the pipe and fill valve. Outside away from ignition sources this is considered safe so I would expect the same to be true with the isobutane.

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