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sneaky_pete 08-18-2008 03:31 PM

A Leak and Why No Condensation from AC?
Hi folks - a couple questions from a homeowner seeking knowledge!

Moved into a new house, and the central AC, a high-efficiency Rheem system, seems to be working well enough (so why then must I even question these things!), but I've noticed a slight leak near where the line set goes into the compressor. What tipped me off was the rocks directly under the line set had something on them, then I felt the foam covering over the line set, and felt an oily residue which I assume is the R-410. It's not like it's dripping continually or anything, but it must be dripping some to discolor the rocks below, and for me to feel the oil. I called the original installer, and he asked, "Is it working OK?" and when I said yes, he seemed reluctant to stop by and check it out - maybe I should have said "No, it's hardly working at all", but I guess I generally lead with honesty! Anyway, what do you think - is a very slight leak in that area something of concern?

Secondly, inside the basement where my condensate drain is, in every other home I've had, my ejector pit pump will cycle occasionally during the week, in the summertime with AC use, when there's enough condensation collected to pump out. In this house however, as soon as I turned the humidifier off for the summer, that ejector pit pump has not once cranked on. Does that sound weird? Additionally, I noticed some leakage around the bottom of the unit in the basement for a few days, but then it dried up and hasn't reappeared. Should I worry about nothing getting pumped out? Where is that condensation going???

Thanks for any ideas. I appreciate you guys.


biggles 08-18-2008 05:50 PM

that oil on the suction insulation is a small leak is it brazed there or a nut type that locks the copper into the condenser.take a empty spray bottle fantastic.....windex etc.... fill it half water and half dish sink soap...shake it up slightly and with the unit OFF spray the fittings going into the condenser.the reason i tell you to have it OFF the pressures equalize and that cold insulated line will see a higher pressure then when it runs and more chance for BUBBLES:eek: that minimal condensate might be the result of your charge not being max'd with that leak it may feel cool but might be runnig longer to reach setpoint as you lose your designed charge your tonnage starts to drop also costing you more to run it.QUICK temperature check to see if the charge is lacking you want a 10F rise from the air entering the condenser,and whats leaving INSIDE 18F return air and the discharge right above the unit before it goes up into the house.these temps aren't a death curse to the units ops just something a tech checks among the other 6 things.

sneaky_pete 08-19-2008 08:17 AM

biggles - thank you so much for your reply. I'm calling the installer back today and will have that charge checked out and I'll do the leak test too. I appreciate the pointers!

Sincerely, Pete

biggles 08-19-2008 05:55 PM

you want to get the contractors attention:furious::furious:...tell him you want the charge recovered and a 500LB nitrogen test installed and all the brazed connections and compression fittings checked(to verify a tight system)......THEN you want the nitro blown off and a VAC TEST performed down to 250 MICRONS and held for 2 hours.all this should be written on the work ticket and you retain a copy when all is done.the nirto test simulates the system running pressures,and the vac check is an industry standard proir to the charge being installed.these test will guarentee that the charge won't leak in normal operation and weather conditins over the years.QUESTION to keep in your back pocket when they find nothing and just add gas.....did you pull a true vacuum on the original install:whistling2:so how did the freon leak out.freon charges differ from house to house with the lenght of piping and the sizes of both ends of the system there is no stamp on the condenser unless the contractor wrote it the first time...good luck

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