While some service contractors have not used them yet, a growing legion employ innovative ways of marketing locking caps to the public. Some do it as community goodwill, a profit maker or a combination of both.
The 2009 International Mechanical Code (IMC) initially introduced locking caps to inspectors and contractors when it mandated them on all newly installed units. The mandate aimed at reducing the troubling uptick of teen air-conditioning refrigerant-related huffing deaths in the last decade. The escalating price of R-22 during its current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phaseout and the resultant rash of stolen refrigerant appearing on the black market brought yet another reason to lock air-conditioning refrigerant ports.
Now, the 2015 IMC—which will be adopted into most state, county and city jurisdictions during the next few years—calls for a locking-cap installation on any system opened for servicing. San Antonio, TX is one of the first major metropolitan areas to apply the 2015 IMC.