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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    371

    Hot water leak check????

    O.K. I already have my own opinion about pressurizing low pressure chillers with hot water but want to hear from other experienced techs in the industry about the practice. As for me, I am done with it due to causing leaks and the frustration of not being able to find the leaks. AM I THE ONLY ONE?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    in a tree looking in your window
    Posts
    1,162
    Sounds like you are doing something wrong, I have been using hot water to heat up machines for the last 18 years and have never had a problem.

    So I guess to answer your question, you're the only one I know.
    If you dont stand behind our troops, please feel free...........to stand in front of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    971
    To test Boilers use cold water. What's the science behind hot water?

    Duh...

    My bad... after reading next two posts realized I just had a brain fart.

    Dumass I be, ha ha!
    Last edited by Snoring Beagle; 09-05-2008 at 10:59 AM.


    Expect nothing, yet expect the unexpected.
    Press on Regardless, Endeavor to Persevere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ATL
    Posts
    56
    You should not even take out the detector until youget to at least 5 psig I feel your pain its a long wait and check that your valves are not leaking by.I opened a thread here about ultra sonic leakdetectors but the company i work for wants us to see bubbles after useing the h-10. But we get paid by the hour at 8 psig you should find everything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,321
    It has pretty much become the standard for testing low pressure chillers over the last fifteen years or so. Most companies that service any amount of low pressure machines have their own rigs setup to do this process. Don't know why you dislike it because it makes your life easier. Work smarter not harder. just be aware of your pressure so you don't pop her open at the disk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    388
    I have never had issues w/ our leak testing rig.

    http://www.mechanicalingenuity.com/prevacportable.ivnu

    They make one that gets installed in-place as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Great country of Texas
    Posts
    429
    We modified Tankless hot water heaters on to carts. Been using them since 1994. I have found leaks at less than 5 psig and not found them more than 8 psig. Saying that, there is no exact science. I use a H-10G, halite torch and soap bubbles (if possible) before I condemn it. Some places, you have to remove the gas, and nitrogen/R-22 leak test.
    "I'm from Texas, what country are you from?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    I am unsure myself
    Posts
    1,116
    We also have a modified hot water heater on a cart and as soon as I get positive I start leak checking at 1 pound intervals. My theory what the heck else is there to do if you are there to leak check. I do take it up to 5 lbs minimum unless I find something very obvoius like a bellows or something.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    371
    O.K, I see now. That was my first post but not my first rodeo! I have been leak checking chillers for 24 years so I dont need advice on how but was more interested in hearing what problems others have had with hot H20 lk chk. Here are a few of my past experiences.
    1. Leak chk w/ hot h2o on a machine with no pumpout time on purge then after heating the gaskets the machine starts purging go back and find leaks at term board economizer gaskets and oyher flat gasket locations. Experienced this on many machines many times.

    2. CVHB 155 with 6psi hot h2o pressure looking for "big leak" (FOUR STINKING DAYS) Suction ell not showing and leak with H-10, halide or soap. Pulled gas pressurized with nitrogen and found blower at suc ell within seconds. (hot gkt material expaned stopping leak)

    Heres the real questions:
    1. If we induce air into the purge and prove that it works properley and we have no history of pumpout time why do we need to leak check low side? We can run machine to leak check high side or if the machine is off allot will the purge not tell the story?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    371
    O.K, I see now. That was my first post but not my first rodeo! I have been leak checking chillers for 24 years so I dont need advice on how but was more interested in hearing what problems others have had with hot H20 lk chk. Here are a few of my past experiences.
    1. Leak chk w/ hot h2o on a machine with no pumpout time on purge then after heating the gaskets the machine starts purging go back and find leaks at term board economizer gaskets and oyher flat gasket locations. Experienced this on many machines many times.

    2. CVHB 155 with 6psi hot h2o pressure looking for "big leak" (FOUR STINKING DAYS) Suction ell not showing and leak with H-10, halide or soap. Pulled gas pressurized with nitrogen and found blower at suc ell within seconds. (hot gkt material expaned stopping leak)

    Heres the real questions:
    1. If we induce air into the purge and prove that it works properley and we have no history of pumpout time why do we need to leak check low side? We can run machine to leak check high side or if the machine is off allot will the purge not tell the story? Why leak check a machine that has no leaks?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    371
    O.K, I see now. That was my first post but not my first rodeo! I have been leak checking chillers for 24 years so I dont need advice on how but was more interested in hearing what problems others have had with hot H20 lk chk. Here are a few of my past experiences.
    1. Leak chk w/ hot h2o on a machine with no pumpout time on purge then after heating the gaskets the machine starts purging go back and find leaks at term board economizer gaskets and oyher flat gasket locations. Experienced this on many machines many times.

    2. CVHB 155 with 6psi hot h2o pressure looking for "big leak" (FOUR STINKING DAYS) Suction ell not showing and leak with H-10, halide or soap. Pulled gas pressurized with nitrogen and found blower at suc ell within seconds. (hot gkt material expaned stopping leak)

    Heres the real questions:
    1. If we induce air into the purge and prove that it works properley and we have no history of pumpout time why do we need to leak check low side? We can run machine to leak check high side or if the machine is off allot will the purge not tell the story?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    I am unsure myself
    Posts
    1,116
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptJackSparrow View Post
    O.K, I see now. That was my first post but not my first rodeo! I have been leak checking chillers for 24 years so I dont need advice on how but was more interested in hearing what problems others have had with hot H20 lk chk. Here are a few of my past experiences.
    1. Leak chk w/ hot h2o on a machine with no pumpout time on purge then after heating the gaskets the machine starts purging go back and find leaks at term board economizer gaskets and oyher flat gasket locations. Experienced this on many machines many times.

    2. CVHB 155 with 6psi hot h2o pressure looking for "big leak" (FOUR STINKING DAYS) Suction ell not showing and leak with H-10, halide or soap. Pulled gas pressurized with nitrogen and found blower at suc ell within seconds. (hot gkt material expaned stopping leak)

    Heres the real questions:
    1. If we induce air into the purge and prove that it works properley and we have no history of pumpout time why do we need to leak check low side? We can run machine to leak check high side or if the machine is off allot will the purge not tell the story? Why leak check a machine that has no leaks?
    I see know reason to leak check a chiller not purging except for the high side as stated. If a machine starts picking up minutes I leak check the high side first which I also do a couple of times a year anyways but if I find nothing and the purge is working its time to boil it up. That being said I have had this debate with other people on this site and I personally have never had any problems boiling up a chiller to leak test it but I do not do it unless I suspect there is a problem. Its not a routine leak search thing to do imo.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    North Florida/South Georgia
    Posts
    988

    The only method that works

    As far as I know.

    One thing you may want to consider is getting a gas fired rig, they're much faster than the electric & easier to hook up.

    One thing you may want to try when looking for a leak on a flange wether its o-ring or gasket is to tape the outside of the flange with duct tape & poke a few holes so that the refrigerant is contained a little so you can find the leak.

    I agree that some leaks are hard to find.

    I also know many of us have wondered about leaks that can leak in but they don't leak out. (urban myth? who knows...)

    Certain machines (I won't mention Trane) are known for leaking at certain points & in some cases you would have to repair them every year. Thats when its time to decide what your tolerance level is.

    A few more things to consider when looking for that "impossible to find" leak:

    Be sure to pay close attention the vane arm seal. They don't always leak in the closed position. Its good to stroke the vanes fully open then closed while checking for a leak the whole time.

    Purge unit, purge unit, purge unit. I can't say it enough. I've had those guys trick me more than once over the years.

    Back to the water heater rigs: If you have iso valves that leak by a little, sometimes you can over come this by creating an open loop when you circulate the hot water. A large trash can will work, discharge water from hot water generator to the cooler, from the cooler to the trash can, from the can to the hot water generator. Obviously you can't leave this unsupervised.

    Don't over look weld joints & purge drums!

    Hope this helps.
    All my leon freaked out!

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