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  1. #1

    Trane condenser leak

    Anybody ever fixed a leak on an aluminum condenser? I've got an old Trane heat pump I'm working on that has a crack in the aluminum tubing. The unit is old enough it ought to be replaced, but unfortunately I just put a new compressor in and would hate to be out the cost of that...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Western NC
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    Your asking for a whole lot of trouble. Call a pro. You can't fix a crack with the refrigerant in it. And you can't handle the refrigerant. Call a pro before you completely screw it up.

    I have repaired aluminum coils. Its extremely hard and usually doesn't last long.

    Replace the system. Chances are when the compressor went out you were told to replace the system. You didn't listen to the pros and now your stuck with the cons.
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    2,887
    How big is the crack is it in straight tubing or u bend what tubing size

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Houston, Texas
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    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by iraqveteran View Post
    Your asking for a whole lot of trouble. Call a pro. You can't fix a crack with the refrigerant in it. And you can't handle the refrigerant. Call a pro before you completely screw it up.

    I have repaired aluminum coils. Its extremely hard and usually doesn't last long.

    Replace the system. Chances are when the compressor went out you were told to replace the system. You didn't listen to the pros and now your stuck with the cons.
    Listen to this man .He's right .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.Y.C.
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    27
    only way i know of to really repair a crack in aluminum is to weld it. this requires a special welding machine,a skilled welder,all of the refrigerant to be removed/reclaimed,as well as all the oil-(heat and oil dont mix) this is why it simply isn't done. (not by me anyway) it's cracked-cut your losses,avoid potential fires,EPA fines,hospital E.R. visit, and damage to you and your children's atmosphere AND GET A QUALIFIED LOCAL CONTRACTOR TO INSTALL A NEW CONDENSER UNIT!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
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    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by iraqveteran View Post
    Your asking for a whole lot of trouble. Call a pro. You can't fix a crack with the refrigerant in it. And you can't handle the refrigerant. Call a pro before you completely screw it up.

    I have repaired aluminum coils. Its extremely hard and usually doesn't last long.

    Replace the system. Chances are when the compressor went out you were told to replace the system. You didn't listen to the pros and now your stuck with the cons.

    this is your only realistic chioce

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    At one time , Trane offered a repair kit for this . I don't know of anybody that had any luck with them . Not saying it can't be done , only that it's a gamble trying to make it work .

  8. #8
    Should have explained myself more fully initially. I do refrigeration service for a living, I'm not a DIYer trying to plug the leak with refrigerant still in there. I just don't do a lot of AC work and am trying to help out a family member. I've never encountered a leak on an aluminum condenser before, though we've tried JB Welding some evaporator coils with mixed results. Just thought I'd go fishing on here to see anybody had any tips to share.

    Anyways, its a 3/8 line, its on a straight piece just a few inches after where its attached to the copper. Pretty good sized crack. I know I'm probably pretty much screwed here, but if I could rig something up that might last through the summer it would be better than nothing.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
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    Flare ?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,423
    Its been many years since I have repaired one, but what I did was cut back the fins ( if needed) and with a couple of flare nuts did the repair. as I remember we would drill the flares out slightly as the tubing was not a common size. If you don't know what your doing call someone that does. your dealing with high pressure and all kinds of BAD things can happen. At the price of R22 you will quickly spend more money than you think your saving!

    Change the unit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Houston, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastian haff View Post
    Should have explained myself more fully initially. I do refrigeration service for a living
    Yes you should have , but we're still not supposed to discuss these technical things in the open section .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
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    Brazing aluminum is possible. I have done it. There is an art involved. You have to use extremely low heat and perform a sweeping motion back and forth to heat the aluminum slowly. One the aluminum is at just the right temp, maintain that temp and start brazing. Its been awile now but I believe you need a different brazing alloy and you need to dip to brazing rod in flux and apply it that way.

    If you want to make an emergency repair (and I have done this too), you can cut that perticular loop out of the circuit. Its a temp fix and should hold em over until you can get a new coil or new unit. I don't perfer this method but I have done it.

    Those are about your options.....but I still stick to what I said earlier. You should have replaced the system from the get go. Hindsight is 20/20. We make these recommendations all day long. Those that listen to us are pleased with their service. Those that don't listen to use always pay the consequences and want to blame their problems on us.

    I work in refrigeration too. If you know refrigeration, this HVAC stuff should be pretty easy for you. Its not nearly as involved and it has 90% the same components.
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    2,887
    If the crack is not to long buy two tap a lines throw away the two halfs with the needles make a clamp with remaining halfs and gaskit

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