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Old 06-13-2008, 03:08 PM   #1
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replacing A/C coolant


This question may have been asked already (probably several times), but....

My home (and of course A/C) is about 6 years old. In this 6 years I've had the coolant replaced/charged/filled, is this normal? Or does my system have a leak in it?? Does it ever "run out", even if their is no leak??

Please help, the company that installed the system is tellin me that in just needs to be charged/filled from time to time, but everything I've read online suggests differently.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-13-2008, 05:36 PM   #2
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replacing A/C coolant


A perfectly sealed system should never need recharged. you have a small leak somewhere. most likely your losing some freon when the system sits idle over the winter and then needs recharged in spring. Ask your service company if the have any hvac superseal, Its a small can of sealant that you add to the system that finds these little leaks and seals them up permently. Ive used this stuff for the last couple of years and had great success with it.

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Old 06-14-2008, 06:55 AM   #3
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replacing A/C coolant


Recover, and weigh the refrigerant. Cross reference to system charge. Pressurize with nitrogen, or, nitrogen w/trace gas to locate the leak. Repair the leak (braze), or replace defective component. Braze in new filter drier, after removing the old one. Repressurize, hold pressure for 1/2-1hr.. Evacuate to 250 microns. Recharge w/ recovered refrigerant, add difference from cross reference (by weight), or weigh in fresh charge.

Start unit, record amperage voltage and, superheat at least twice in 1hr..

Anything less, is less than professional.

It aint cheap.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 06-14-2008 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
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replacing A/C coolant


f it has been the same service company grt them to do whats being adviced...recovery/reclaim ...nirto'd to 300 PSI with freon tracer...leak checked....revac'd to 250 MICRONS and hold for 4 hours.might balance off up to 1000 microns still tiht.recharged as spec'd,and all this work documented.the company is not allowed to just keep on topping off the freon to get it to cool...NO MATER what they say they fixed you have to pull thee exsisting charge and bring the unit to atmospheric to TORCH a FITTING or pipe rub out..this is all time$$$$$$$$.if it is the same company complain to the owner direct.all this freon adding and replacing is in the same mind sett as in how often do you change the air in your car tires.the first installed charge should be the only one and as the freon weeps out so does droplets of oil that travel the sytem when its running.your heading to a compressor burn out or failure to lack of oil with years of topping off.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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replacing A/C coolant


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
Recover, and weigh the refrigerant. Cross reference to system charge. Pressurize with nitrogen, or, nitrogen w/trace gas to locate the leak. Repair the leak (braze), or replace defective component. Braze in new filter drier, after removing the old one. Repressurize, hold pressure for 1/2-1hr.. Evacuate to 250 microns. Recharge w/ recovered refrigerant, add difference from cross reference (by weight), or weigh in fresh charge.

Start unit, record amperage voltage and, superheat at least twice in 1hr..

Anything less, is less than professional.

It aint cheap.

I agree with you 100% that is the proper, by the book the way to do it, and since 60 to 70 percent of the no A/C calls you might run in the spring and early summer usually require a system that might be a little low on charge. I am sure YOU take all these steps everytime to find and fix their little leak. But most people can not afford to pay anywhere from 300 to 600 dollars for your time and equipment to maybe or maybe not find there little pinhole leak somewhere, compared to a 80 dollar can of superseal which works wonders. Ive used this stuff in maybe 15 a/c systems in the last 2-3 years with no problems what so ever and customers that are happy that the are not getting there A/C's recharged everyyear. you have to give them the option of how they would like to go about finding and fixing it.http://www.cliplight.com/hvacr/produ...ID=62&catID=27

Last edited by HvacWiz; 06-14-2008 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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replacing A/C coolant


HVAC Wiz:
Have you had much success with superseal?...Havent used it yet...but am getting very tired of dealing with customers who dont like my bills, especially on those hard to find leaks. ever worry about it plugging up your orifice or cap tube? just asking, cuz if it can eliminate alot of those problems and NOT cause other problems in the system, then I may have to try it. Conventional wisdom tells me to never put anything but oil and refrigerant in a system, but I am up to trying new products if they work. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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Statman:

Like you I was a little skeptical at first thinking this stuff would plug up every cap tube and orfice it could find, but like I said this stuff has worked wonders I have never had any problems at all. I remember putting superseal in an old ladys unit that you could hear the leak coming from her evaporator coil, she didnt have the money to get a new coil so I put some superseal in it. checked back in 2 weeks and the charge in unit was still perfect. That was 2-3 years ago and when I go there every spring to do her pm the charge is right on the money. At this point I would highly recomend you give it a try, It will cut down on customer complaints about high bills because you are doing it "by the book" as stated in other post and it sure beats the heck out of crawling around peoples attic and crawlspaces looking for little pinholes that you know you probaly wont find.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:49 AM   #8
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replacing A/C coolant


This customer should have been given the respect of having this problem addressed the first time, and under warranty, if it needed gas within the first year. If the original installer is still doing a "gas and go", it reflects a lack of pride in workmanship and integrity.

I agree that a new customer should have options presented to them in order to make decisions, an honest tech will discuss these options with the customer, and follow thru with thier request. However... blatently lying to a customer in order to avoid the cost of a repair the installer may have to "eat"...just pisses me off.

What I described earlier is what this customer paid for when the system was installed, and is still entitled to. If a leak developed out of warranty, fixing it correctly should have been discussed.

I am aware of the product you descibed, and it does have its place, and when you take this customer from the original installer, I would hope it would be an option that would be presented.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 06-15-2008 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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replacing A/C coolant


From everything I read on the HVAC forums that leak seal will surely kill the compressor in a few years. I have not tried it myself, but might be worth a try on a very old unit.

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