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Old 03-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


so last year my condenser pump would not kick on, the summer prior to that the A/C was not working too well. I called a guy out, my system was really low, so low it would not kick on. AC worked fine all summer, same thing, towards the end I could tell the AC was not working as well. Today the condenser won't kick on.

So , I know I have a leak.

The service guy told me that it would be cheaper to replace the outside unit and the evaporator coil than to find the leak. And that if they found it the part may no longer be for sale, since I have a 13 seer system. It's a comfort air system. Cheap builder grade stuff, only 6 years old.

So my question: Can I check for leaks on my own, or do you have to have a license to do that sort of die leak test?

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


At 6 years of age, parts are still available.

You can use soap to check for leaks. but not dye.

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


Find another company. You can find a coil for it, Plus who says it can be some were other then coil.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


I normally just pump the system full of nitrogen if theyre really low like that,its pretty easy to find most of the time with a couple hundred lbs of nitrogen in there.
shrader valves/tire valve core looking piece where the gauges screw on are a common spot most guys never seem to check for some reason,if it ran good most of the season id be checking for a smaller leak around the service valves or the service ports first
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:24 AM   #5
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


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I normally just pump the system full of nitrogen if theyre really low like that,its pretty easy to find most of the time with a couple hundred lbs of nitrogen in there.
shrader valves/tire valve core looking piece where the gauges screw on are a common spot most guys never seem to check for some reason,if it ran good most of the season id be checking for a smaller leak around the service valves or the service ports first

I don't think this home owner has his EPA cert.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


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Originally Posted by plummen View Post
I normally just pump the system full of nitrogen if theyre really low like that,its pretty easy to find most of the time with a couple hundred lbs of nitrogen in there.
shrader valves/tire valve core looking piece where the gauges screw on are a common spot most guys never seem to check for some reason,if it ran good most of the season id be checking for a smaller leak around the service valves or the service ports first
Many moons ago when I went to AC/R school the teacher used to freak out when the students left the caps off the service valves and he threatened to fail students for that. Wow, Guess who was always checking that area??. Not only on residential it flowed into everything I touched from a little 1/4HP condenser to a 1000 ton chiller.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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HVAC leak for Freon leak


might do a visual looking for oil residue on the condenser or the quick connects or brazed joints.it's like the AC in a car the road dirt builds up where it leaks...wet.just advice do not anybody just recharge it without doing a nitro test up to 300psi and a vac test to 250microns before adding the charge and adding oil (one coffee cup for good luck) when the freon leaks out fine oil droplets that trip around with the freon during a cycle also leak out.keep banging a charge in there and you will be going for a new condenser with compressor$$$.interesting what parts are obsolte looking for a leak.the condenser is the first source...then the inside..eye ball the coil ot oil ressidue in the condensate pan...the run of pipe can be inspected looking for that wet oil soaked black insulation..you might have one or none brazed connections from that air handler to the condenser...be careful get repair quotes techs are being told to push change outs for the company.the guy wanted to change the condenser with only a leak is a scam.... check this multi part video of a tech leak checking a system "call back" listen to his vac oil comments...not your problem at $100 an hour..if and when somebody comes in get a beach chair and sit out by the condenser as the guy looks and tests...a quick vac test will give the tech how bad the leak is...anything above 5000 on that digital vac guage is a leak below it is just moisture within boiling off...


Last edited by biggles; 03-11-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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