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Thread: Dye Leak Test

  1. #14
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    May 2007
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    DC Metro Area (MD)
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    Back before I moved into a single family home I lived in a townhouse and used Cropp-Metcalfe. I was pleased with them. I stopped using them when my friend's plumbing company started doing HVAC (big nightmare for you HVAC techs - I know). I recall you saying they were good I believe, Second Opinion. I can think of other companies like B&B (I'm sure you know them) but I'm not sure how good they are.

  2. #15
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    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    AKA "Beltway Bandits"!!!

  3. #16
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    May 2007
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    I'm aware of that nickname they have. Is there a company you recommend (I don't care if you work for it)? I called Hoffacker's first but they didn't want to come out if my system was still under warranty by someone else (I think they misconstrued my situation as I wasn't aware I had any warranty).

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    birmingham, al
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    29
    i am not a big fan of the dye, my thinking is the only two items that belong in the system is refrigerant and oil. if someone did put dye in a system, they would have to let it circulate in the system before the dye could be detected. would seem easier to use electronic detector,i have had to cut line set and solder lines on one end- pressurize lines and see which one leaked down.

  5. #18
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    May 2007
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    I plan to give them a call tomorrow. I will share the thoughts about dye, find out what's going on, and let you guys know. I'd just like to thank everybody for their input; it really helps!

  6. #19
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    Aug 2007
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    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    Don is a good choice for your area call him back.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Califormia
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    If the leak has been persistent and has grown in size, as the others have said it should be easier to find. I too believe the only thing that should be in the system is refrigerant and oil.
    You mentioned the unit was LOUD. The size and duration of your leak has quite probably caused the compressor to be running low on oil. How much oil has been lost? That's why we should never just "top off" a unit that has a history of leaks. Good luck.
    "Surprised ?! If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised."
    Clark Griswold

  8. #21
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    May 2007
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    DC Metro Area (MD)
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    Lra that is some good advice, thank you. I had the same tech come out today. The service sheet says that he injected the system with die and the found the shraeder pins to be leaking again (2nd. or 3rd. time?). It says the pressure were 180psi/40psi (I think this is low. Shouldn't the low side pressure be around 55 on a 37 degree day?). It said he would be back tonight to check for leaks. Of course, that didn't happen. I guess he got busy or forgot. The offices are closed now according to their phone line. I'd like to know if anyone has any thoughts on the pins that seem to leak every time the tech comes, the dye staying in the system, the pressures, etc. Thanks in advance.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Florida's space coast
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    2,538
    Dye does not mix with the refrigerant, it resides in the compressor oil.
    If you can see the dye you should be able to see the oil.
    Just my 2 cents.
    We've been doing so much,for so long,with so little, that now we can do almost anything, with nothing at all.

  10. #23
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    May 2007
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    DC Metro Area (MD)
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    I didn't really look at it too much. I thought he was going to come back and use a UV device to find the leak(s), but I'm not sure.

  11. #24
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    Mar 2004
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    Grottoes VA
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    You got a black light? It is the same thing as a UV light. You can check it your self.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    444
    That would be quite embarassing to inject dye and then find out that it is something as simple a the schraeder ports. Why would the tech not check that first? Also, when disconnecting the injecting system, how did he keep from getting them on the schraeder valves? It may be residual from the injection process. Insist on a complete uv inspection of the system. I'm with most of the guys here, only refrigerant and oil in a system. With that being said, I do own dye and uv light. But it is a last resort. I use the electronic and bubbles 1st. Only on persistent leaks that I have spent considerable time on gets the dye on. That has been 1 system in the 4 years I had the dye. Actually it's the reason I bought the dye system. But other than that, the electronic finds the leak.
    Hvac Maniac

    "A negative attitude cancels out positive skills."

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    92

    Hard to find?

    Flare Nut had your best suggestion. Dry Nitro with R-22 Mixed. Isolate the outdoor unit and come back in a couple hours. Definitely shows the direction to head and if its really low and you can't find (or hear it) at the evap then the line set is the way to go looking. I use Dye tests but normally only for refrigeration equipment and it stays in the system always, when I do maintenance I run the light with me to get a heads up. Electronic is the preferred residential method.

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