new system leaking ?
I had a R-22 system replaced with a Puron system about 6 weeks ago.
System works ok, but my TIF RX-1A leak detector indicates a leak at the
condensate line T connection near the evaporator coil. When I called
the contractor a couple of weeks ago, he said that it was probably just
refrigerant oil residue in the drip tubes.
Does this sound likely? Could this just be residue from the old system,
which did have an evaporator leak?
If it is still alerting after 6 weeks, it isn't residue.
Does this indicate the evap coil is leaking or is there any other possible cause for the detector alerting only near the drip tube ?
What would be the best way to follow up with the contractor ? This is a brand new system under warranty.
Were you checking it with the system running, with air blowing out of the tee in the drain?
If so it may have been a false alarm, the type of leak detector you are using will go off if you stick the probe into a moving air stream, or if there is a change in the air temperature passing through the sensor.
The leak detector only alerts if the AC has been off for at least a few minutes. Then the detector will alert on
either the low sensitivity or the high sensitivity setting, when the detector is placed in the opening of the
drip tube connection. The detector then stops alerting after a few seconds. This is a corona suppression
detector, with a pump to pull air over the sensor. I assume that it clears out whatever it senses in a few
seconds, that is why it then stops alerting.
I have a coworker who has done ac installation and servicing in the past, and he told me it could
be insulation dust that the detector is picking up. The duct work is 20 years old, and I suppose the
install could have disturbed some insulation dust in the ducts, but I would have guessed that it
would blow out of the system in 6 weeks.
My coworker suggested that I just monitor the suction line temperature at the outdoor unit,
taking measurements only under similar conditions, and see if that goes up. Or just have
the installer check the pressures.
I know the detector is very sensitive, so the leak might be small. It irks me that I might have a leak on a brand new system.
With my luck, it won't effect the performance until just after the 2 year labor warranty.
Any more thoughts would be appreciated.
Just put the leak detector away ,on puron if you was detecting refrigerant at the drain line it would have quit cooling by now.
I think you're looking for issues with limited knowledge and a tool that can lead you astray. Would you think you have a leak if you didn't have that sensitive detector? If not, get rid of the detector and live your life. If there's a problem it will reveal itself all in good time. You reported your suspicions about a leak to the installing company within the warranty period. If a leak occurs shortly after the warranty expires, it would still be covered, having been reported within the warranty period. So stop worrying. If the unit stops cooling sufficiently and the company has to add refrigerant, then that's the time to get concerned. If the system was properly evacuated at the time of installation, it's very highly unlikely there is any leak, as it's almost impossible to have a leak at 500 microns. Of course, if they didn't use a micron gauge during evacuation to be able to state emphatically that they reached and held 500 microns, then that's their bad and they'll have to live with the potential consequences.
How is it, that you have a TIF RX-1A leak detector? Most home owners don't have a decent screwdriver, let alone specialized test equipment.
Check with bubbles, electronic leak detectors are finicky. If you do dont see physical evidence and have no other symptoms, I would not be concerned about it.