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Thread: Possible causes of Freon Leak?
09-11-2007, 03:51 PM #1Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
Possible causes of Freon Leak?
I have an Amana 3 ton unit that is just about 2 years old. A couple of days ago I noticed I no longer am getting cool air from my system.
I called a technician and he hooked up the gauges and he said I was almost empty on Freon. Obviously he also said this is not normal and there's a problem. He filled it up with I think 4 lbs (yep...that's 4 lbs) of freon. He proceeded to test for possible leaks on the lines. He used soap water to try to see if it was leaking on the joints where the copper was brazed, etc. Nothing. He said pressures were fine after the fill-up, etc.
He mentioned something about if the lines were in any way compromised (i.e. debris, moisture) then that might be a problem. Well, that rang a bell b/c I know that when I was builing the house we had the condensers in one location and we had to move them. I am pretty sure they just moved it and didn't do any kind of vacuuming of the lines now that I recall.
I'm wondering if that kind of oversight would cause the unit to lose this much freon.
The technician said he wanted to install some "side glass" (he explained to me that this is something to install on the line itself to check for moisture etc. in the line to see if it needs to be cleaned out), rebraze some of the shoddy braze work (it's not leaking, but they were shoddy...) etc.
Otherwise he said he is stumped.
Does any of this make sense? Can dirty lines cause Freon to disappear like this?
09-11-2007, 03:56 PM #2
No, dirty lines will not cause a refrigerant leak.
If the system was fine before the condensers were moved, then the problem is most likely related to the work that was done at that time.
Of course, it is also possible that the leak is a new development.
Most leaks can be easily found, but maybe not pinpointed exactly, with an electronic sniffer. Common areas are the caps on the service ports the tech connects the gauges to, and the caps on the valves on the unit.
09-11-2007, 05:06 PM #3
If he is going to go through the trouble of installing a sight glass to check for moisture then he might as well pump it down, replace the dryer and recharge the system and forget the sight glass. When he has it empty he can do a nitrogen check with a little 22 and find the leak and repair at that time. As said above an electronic leak detector should be able to find the leak.
Good luckIts a good Life!
09-11-2007, 05:15 PM #4"The problem is the average person isn’t tuned in to lifelong learning, or going to seminars and so forth. If the information is not on television, and it’s not in the movies they watch, and it’s not in the few books that they buy, they don’t get it" - Jack Canfield
09-11-2007, 05:26 PM #5
Shop for a better tech. I fail to see how installing a site glass will enable him to find the leak.
A good tech. will have some likely places to start looking based on his experience and he'll use a combination of methods ranging from electronic sniffer, halide torch, high pressure nitrogen, looking for oil residue, UV dye and of course there's everyon'e favorite (ie Mr. Bubbles). The tech. can deploy any and all of them depending on where the trail leads. If all else fails he may also try the isolation technique.
It could be as simple as a loose or missing schrader valve caps.
09-11-2007, 06:03 PM #6
The tech probably knows that the loss of refrigerant can only be a leak....... sounds like he is worried about the condition of the refrigerant because he probably heard the no vacuum story also, or he is seeing something on his numbers that makes him wonder. Just a thought.___________________________________________
09-11-2007, 06:33 PM #7Professional Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- North Carolina
I also believe that you should question their abilities.
Which is a shame because you need someone to find the leak, fix the leak, replace the filter drier, leak test system again using nitrogen and a tracer of R-22 and an electronic leak detector, evacuate properly and recharge.
dont let them waste your time with the dye.
no need for a sight glass on a residential system.
Acid and moisture test kits are available to test the system.
Moisture is not causing u to loose ref.
If you do not address this properly it will take years off the life of the system.
If it is a leak in the equipment it may be covered under warranty.
If it is a leak in the refrigerant line set then it was (more than likely)left there at install.
I do like to give people a chance to correct mistakes and maybe you should in this case at least discuss this with the owner of the company.
If you are correct in saying that they did not do it properly I would advise you not try and chase them for warranty.
Pay some one else to do it correctly.
You need this to be done correctly- dont pay to have it done wrong twice
Its not VooDoo
Its not Magic
It is an exact science mixed with a desire to do thing right and a little artistic ability
Just my opinion. you know what they say about opinions?
09-11-2007, 06:43 PM #8
I'm not going to throw the tech under the bus.....maybe he wants the sight glass for a txv and a moisture indicator,don't know I'm not there.One thing sounds like it's a sure bet....you had a half-a$$ move the condenser. Personally, i'd recover all of the refrigerant, install a new drier, pump it up with nitro, check/fix leaks, recharge with virgin refrigerant. Just me though.If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.
09-11-2007, 06:55 PM #9
09-11-2007, 07:22 PM #10
Is this the unit in the attic? Maybe a drywall screw through a line?
09-11-2007, 08:25 PM #11
09-11-2007, 08:41 PM #12Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
The thing probly takes 5 or more lbs.
A leak happens cause there is a way for gas to escape.
An electronic detector will find that leak with the gas in it before recovering much easier in my opinion.
Your tech sounds like he's doing good, a sight glass can only save time and money down the road. and remove a lot of questions.
As long as he's opening the system recover all after locating leak, install new drier (evac of course) and new refrigerant as long as a question exists. Or plan on replacing drier again in a few days.
09-11-2007, 09:19 PM #13
Site glass's tend to be used (by less than knowledgeable Techs) to gage the amount of refrigerant in a system. A LOT of tech's will walk up to a system with a site glass on a 72° day and see "bubbles" and assume the system is low on refrigerant and "fill-r-up" till the bubbles go away. The next day the outdoor air temp goes to 95°, guess what, now the system is over charged.....by a mile.
Never, ever put a site glass on a residential system, JMHOGOVERNMENT
The only parasite dumb enough to kill it's host