Would a leak in minisplit line set result in temp variations?
Hi there, we just replaced an old Fujitsu 2 ton that stopped working last year (due to a freon leak according to company we had look at it - they said the motor was also going and we may as well replace the whole system.) We purchased a 2 ton Panasonic cooling only wall system (it's about a 1200 sq ft area being cooled.)
Had a local HVAC company do the install, he told us we should just use the existing line set as "most leaks" are actually in the outdoor unit itself, which we were replacing. Ok, great. He installed, unit worked great - air coming out was about 40 degrees, instant cooling!
Two days later the air coming out was 72 degrees (same temp as outside that day). Ok, we figured the leak was in fact in the line set and asked him back out to replace...instead he spent 4 hours looking, testing, said he found a possible leak and cut it out of the line, we paid for the freon recharge and unit worked great again, 40 degrees air.
Today, two days later, air started out at 42 degrees but after running for 3 hours was at 60 degrees. We called the tech again, NOW he says we can replace the line set and pay for freon again. The system came precharged with freon so of course this would make the third time we're paying for freon in a week.
Looking at the outdoor unit, we notice the drain tube was completely backed up with water - it extends about 2 feet flat on the ground, so picked it up to let it hang straight down and water gushed out.
Well now the air coming out is 45.
I have no idea if the water back up is unrelated, though it's quite a coincidence the temp dropped like that.
My main question is - if there is a leak in the line, would that cause the temp to vary from 40 to 60 and back down to 40, or would you expect a leak to result in the temp plateauing at some higher temp, indicating it was no longer cooling the air?
We're thinking of getting a second opinion before giving the first tech anymore money, but I hoped to at least see if this strange temp variation is typical in a line leak?
Would not let that company back onto your property,
1. New system = New line set (different oils in the gas, possible contamination and reduction of lifespan of new unit)
2. The back up of water will sometimes activate on some models a float switch that switches the compressor off. (no compression = no air conditioning)
Btw that water is condesate and not actaully a leak at all.
3. If the pressures are all ok and the indirect checks work out now there is unlikely to be a leak.
In a nutshell get someone to come check the system that is not a con man
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Like Martin said, if the minisplit has a condensate overflow switch on it, the compressor wil stop working if the switch is activated for any reason.
Hindsight being as it is, replacing the lineset along with the minisplit would have been the prudent choice. That your tech charged you for refrigerant indicates to me he doesn't know how or believe in refrigerant recovery. He could have recovered the refrigerant in your system (in a clean container) and then restored it once the leak was repaired (if there really was a leak in the first place). This is legal under EPA regulations as long as the unit the refrigerant came from and is installed back into is owned by the same person.
Building Physics Rule #1: Hot flows to cold.
Building Physics Rule #2: Higher air pressure moves toward lower air pressure
Building Physics Rule #3: Higher moisture concentration moves toward lower moisture concentration.
Sounds like the guy that installed it is clueless. Personally if I install a new system and it leaks due to my error then I eat the cost of the refrigerant and fixing the leak. Line set should have been replaced at time of install. Condensate line was on the ground? That's not how the line is supposed to be run. The install manuals show how the condensate line is supposed to be run and last time I checked having them
laying on the ground was not ok.