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viper 07-29-2013 11:05 AM

Leak detection and gas options for residential system
So I realize now I have sprung a big leak somewhere in my system. I need to pressure up with something to find the leak. I do not have an N tank to use. Adding R-22 would be way to expensive.

At the risk of being flamed, I was curious if 1-2lb of 134a or propane would be reasonable without running the system? I really doubt I will need to run it to find the leak.

I know 134a would be safer but wondering if it would interact with the mineral oil on contact? I of course will have to vac the system and recharge with proper refer.

Marty S. 07-29-2013 11:46 AM

Welding supply shop if you want nitro. 134 without running the system will not hurt it.

Marty S. 07-29-2013 11:57 AM

Should be oil to point out the leak since it went so fast.

viper 07-29-2013 12:15 PM

Was raining all day of course so if leak is at condenser, I might not know it. I highly suspect the A coil in which you can't see most of it until until is pulled. I am hoping to fill with a little 134 and sniff it out. I know we had a small leak that was sealed at a charge port by the cap seal. That would be a nice find...

Unit is so old, I am nervous about the A coil. I am sure if there is a leak there, it is probably at the bottom from sitting in condensate and the whole thing is toast.... :thumbup:

viper 07-29-2013 02:48 PM

Found it! Happy to report that it seems the leak was the suction side isolation valve at the condenser. I knew it was a little leaky when we installed the system but we already had it charged and the cap was holding it.

Rebuilt and looks like no leak as of right now. I am letting it hold about 15psi of 134a right now. That is about 5-10oz of refer. it was a pretty good leak so I am hopeful that I got all of the problem.

I sniffed everything after and coming up good. I also sniffed the A coil best I could. I have a front cover on it and I pulled that back. I also have a vent installed right above the A coil specifically for testing and inspection. I reached in there and did not detect anything. I really wish I could do better on the A coil but you guys probably already know what a challenge that is.

viper 07-29-2013 04:38 PM

deleted, wrong thread.

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