Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 36

Thread: Dye Leak Test

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371

    Dye Leak Test

    Since I've been told I have a big leak somewhere (the contractor said the system was empty; the R-22 had leaked out apparently), the contractor is coming back to perform a dye leak test. I'd like to know any comments on the die leak test. I had a soap bubble test done and that came up with nothing except a leak at a shraeder valve. Is this going to be any better? I'm thinking there's a chance it's in the lineset. I think I've always had a leak for quite some time; perhaps it has continued getting bigger. I told him about an "electronic sniffer" test you guys had mentioned, and he didn't make much of a comment. We are using the emergency heat and will continue to until the dye is ordered and this is scheduled, but I will probably be pushed back since I have some kind of heat (understandable). Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,060
    A waste of your money!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    BENTON, KY 42025
    Posts
    339
    I've had some success with the dye, but the problem is it had to be dark when I went back and hit it with the light, and you can only check what you can shine the light at. I like the electronic leak detectors much better. They have improved them a ton in the last 10 years or so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,793
    If the leak is that big you definately don't need or want dye...tell your contractor to spend some money on troubleshooting tools!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    A waste of your money!
    What would you suggest if the leak can't be found? Since it is big and can't be found easily, maybe it's in the outdoor coil or lineset.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,793
    how can a "big" leak be hard to find?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,234
    I wouldn't EVER put dye into a system. If he can't find it with an electronic ( or doesn't use one) I would find another company. I don't know who you are using but inability always blames the equipment, or in this case the method of leak detection. Too many bad stories about dyes in systems.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Hell Hole Swamp
    Posts
    4,180
    Quote Originally Posted by air2spare View Post
    how can a "big" leak be hard to find?
    agreed

    a qualified tech with the proper tools can probably do so in a few minutes, I would send anyone wanting to use the dye method packing, just my $0.02

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    23
    Ray,
    I have been in this trade for 40 years. The only people I know who use dye for leak testing are auto mechanics and I don't know why they do that.

    When I was an apprentice all those years ago we were taught to use a mixture of dry nitrogen and refrigerant. We used a helige torch and bubbles to find the leaks. Today we use electronic leak detectors but I still think the old way is better.

    We were taught never stop at the first leak but check the whole system.

    If I were to respond to your place for a service call and found your system low of charge or out of charge I would ask you the history of your system.

    If you told me the system has been a problem from day one verses this is the first time it's ever happened it might make my original approach to my leak test vary from looking for the obvious to a more detailed test. but either way I would never stop at the first leak.

    By the way the repair of the leak test is just the beginning of your expense and this is were we always get criticized for the time we spend making the system right.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham,N.C.
    Posts
    117
    Ryan,best thing to do is call a different company or talk to their manager and insist on electronic leak detector if they value you as a customer they will perform the proper leak detection and its probably your indoor(evap coil)or/and condenser coil

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Well, that's good to know (sarcasm). I'm waiting for who knows how long with emergency heat knowing the dye test is a waste of time/money. Any more comments are appreciated. I think we've had a leak for a long time, as I do recall in the past several instances of us needing refrigerant. The Payne heat pump is SO LOUD that I'm not surprised it can't be heard easily if it is outside. I like the company I use and have a service agreement with them. Should I ask to speak with the service manager?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,060

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    What would you suggest if the leak can't be found? Since it is big and can't be found easily, maybe it's in the outdoor coil or lineset.
    Ultrasound, followed by eloctronic sniffer and pinpointed with bubbles.

    Isolate condenser, lineset, and coil.

    Technic! Pick a different service company, you are using UAT?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Yes I am. Second Opinion, since you live in my area, do you think you could send me an email so I can discuss contractor-related things (my email is in my profile). A little more background info: a company whom I no longer use with good reason installed the cheapest Lennox air handler (I didn't have an option on which one they were going to install by the way, which I regret; I wish I knew more back then. The company is owned by a friend of mine, too.) possible, the CB26UH-R (3.5 tons). Could this mismatch have caused a pressure problem which resulted in a leak? I wouldn't be surprised. I'm sure you guys can understand that I'm a bit weary with going with another contractor. I switched from one contractor to another to find better service (the current contractor is used by neighbors) and here I am currently. I also bought a service contract with them.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event