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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185

    Defective copper elbow?

    I was looking for a leak on a rooftop condenser and the leak was in what appeared to be a hairline crack in the elbow next to the compressor. I brazed the crack and filled the system with the nitrogen left in the bottle to about 20 lbs. then proceeded to pull a vacuum and the low side pulled down to about -15 lbs PSIG. I obviously should have been better prepared but I figured all was well so I charged the system with R22 and the elbow split on a completely different spot than the original leak. I proceeded to close the king valves and by the grace of god I lost hardly any refrigerant. Anyway, has anyone else experienced any factory defective copper fittings or could it have been something else?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,149
    Quote Originally Posted by WMG View Post
    I was looking for a leak on a rooftop condenser and the leak was in what appeared to be a hairline crack in the elbow next to the compressor. I brazed the crack and filled the system with the nitrogen left in the bottle to about 20 lbs. then proceeded to pull a vacuum and the low side pulled down to about -15 lbs PSIG. I obviously should have been better prepared but I figured all was well so I charged the system with R22 and the elbow split on a completely different spot than the original leak. I proceeded to close the king valves and by the grace of god I lost hardly any refrigerant. Anyway, has anyone else experienced any factory defective copper fittings or could it have been something else?
    Yes it happens, had it a few time's now (probably will get more common..... china)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185
    Quote Originally Posted by garychance View Post
    Yes it happens, had it a few time's now (probably will get more common..... china)
    And to think how making all this cheap crap from overseas is going to hit Americans where it hurts. In the pocketbook.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    117
    china yes sirs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    117
    or vietnam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    1,347
    I've seen quite a few. I have not had luck welding crack (it always leaks again). I just replace elbow now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,046
    Quote Originally Posted by socotech View Post
    I've seen quite a few. I have not had luck welding crack (it always leaks again). I just replace elbow now.
    X2, any crack needs to be cut out and replaced with a new fitting or piece of copper. The crack just keeps on moving.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    484
    Quote Originally Posted by socotech View Post
    I've seen quite a few. I have not had luck welding crack (it always leaks again). I just replace elbow now.
    Agreed.

    We had a ruud crack on the heat port 4 times. always completely out of gas on a Friday after hours and tech did not know the whole history. I was there once before i got sent back to replace it and i was able to get it to pull down to 550 microns. So called it good. Talked to ruud tech support he said once it cracks replace it because the line is stressed and will continue to crack down the line. Replace it.
    Then a two weeks later leak on the four way valve. replaced four way valve. Haven't been over to that house since (a month) thank god. Talked to ruud they are going to give the customer a new unit. But we have to install it free of charge.

    Not a big fan of a Ruud A Dudd

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Maybe a cheap tech used ordinary plumbing fittings instead of the stuff that is actually designed for the pressure?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,149
    Quote Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
    Maybe a cheap tech used ordinary plumbing fittings instead of the stuff that is actually designed for the pressure?
    its the same stuff, just dif in long or short sweep, the wall thickness is the same (type L)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    3,324
    I will agree on the cracked component having to be replaced but "puncture" wounds can usually be repaired.
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    X2, any crack needs to be cut out and replaced with a new fitting or piece of copper. The crack just keeps on moving.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,308
    It was a fitting and not bend in pipe?

    I've seen several Westinghouse w/cracks in bent tubing off comp. Believe combination of stress from manufacture and vibration from comp. I make the loop longer when fix that.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Quote Originally Posted by garychance View Post
    its the same stuff, just dif in long or short sweep, the wall thickness is the same (type L)
    Isn't part of the reason for rounding it out more is to spread out the stress so it withstands pressure better?

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