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Thread: Fixing leaks

  1. #14
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    those aluminum tubes you see are Not aluminum tubes , its actually just a thin layer of aluminum covering the copper pipe. With needle nose or dikes you can grab the alum fins and rip them off easily. Be careful because the copper isn't very thick and your pliers can poke a hole.

    Then when you braze , use a small tip , and you hold your flame back a little so it doesn't get TOO red hot , remember , its thin pipe.

    If you accidently blow a hole in tube , take a piece of copper wire and wrap it around the pipe , then braze it well.

    Oh you're gonna have fun ....

    Sometimes its kinda easy and goes well , then other times you do a lot of cussing

    If the hole is on bottom row , throw it away , because that row is full of oil .

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  3. #15
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    On the condenser face side, use your utility knife to cut the fins parallel to the tubing. Us needlenose pliers to pull aluminum out. Saw off tube on both sides of bulkhead wall, removing old swedge at header. Use unibit with extension to drill out bulkhead wall big enough for new swedge. Build new swedged coupling by using 1st part of next bigger swedge on 1 end of coupling to fit over pigged tubing. Coupling must be an exact length and centred on both ends of sawed off condenser tubing, then braze away.

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  5. #16
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    Sorry I see no leaks in the U bends or where the tube come through the tube sheet. I just see bubles that are not indicative of a leak

  6. #17
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Answer-Man View Post
    Sorry I see no leaks in the U bends or where the tube come through the tube sheet. I just see bubles that are not indicative of a leak
    The leak is not pictured. The picture is for reference on what I am explaining. The leak is on the liquid line right where the bend meets the steel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #18
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    Thread Starter
    These are great tips and I really do appreciate it. We are not in the replacing game so everything gets repaired.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #19
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    if its directly under sheet metal, you may not have to remove any aluminum , I just did one recently where I was able to cut away the tin , bent it out the way , got my torch tip in there and just left a pile of braze on the crack. Done deal.

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  10. #20
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    Name:  0819161759b.jpg
Views: 299
Size:  61.4 KB

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  12. #21
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    The pic above it not what it looks like after i get done making that repair, normally there is such a large hole i press a little aluminum foil into the spot to make sure that too much air doesn't go through my hole i just melted and rob the rest of the condenser of air flow.

    the aluminum is very easy to melt back with a torch while managing heat. steel can also be warmed into being moved. I have had luck with cutting the tube on both sides with a pair of dikes this will pinch the tube shut then allow you to drill out the steel with a larger drill bit, then re-open the pipe with a pocket screw driver slide in new tube and braze in new section. This repair is usually the i burnt a section that can't be fixed fall back.

  13. #22
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    I have made a torch repair in this type of location before and there is no way around not doing damage to some of the aluminun. Back in my early days I made thousands of coils for a manufacturer. When failed coils came back, there may have been only one through wall leak, but there were a whole lot more on the verge of leaking. Whenever I find a leak in the coil I tell the owner it is a best effort repair and they should be concidering a replacement. Maybe a replacement coil or maybe a replacement unit whatever makes sense with respect to what is there.

    If you can get the oil cleaned from the leak area I have also had luck with epoxy sealant not just any epoxy you need to use the more liquid semi-flowable stuff. Remember the older GE and Carrier condensing units that had the aluminum coil tube that were glued and crimped to the liquid and suction lines. I had several tubes of that epoxy used for replacement coils. Put just a little vacuum on the unit appled the glue, released the vacuum and let cure overnight. Typicaly was still holding when the next leaker showed up.

    Last torch repair I did about 18 months ago was for a large industrial customer, they need the machine back in service, 3 year old, Txxxe, air cooled process chiller. Found a leak at the center coil support, 2 rows deep. Ended up with about a 2" diameter hole dug into the condensing coil. After the unit was back in service they asked about a warranty. I told them tail light warranty. (it will work as long as you can see my tail lights on the truck) The coil will be replaced this spring during the normal maintence window but still holding

  14. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircusEnvy View Post
    I wouldn't try to repair a residential coil. Once you touch it, you own it and if it leaks there, it's likely to leak elsewhere in a short period of time. Just make sure you tell the customer there's a risk that if it doesn't go well, they'll need a new coil. The tubing on those U-bends are easy to burn a hole through. Also quote to replace R22 with something else to bring down the cost.
    X2, not worth the hassle of doing all that labor on an R22 unit. It is actually a lot easier to install a new unit than trying to fix that leak.

  15. #24
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    I once found a bad coil that i replaced with a new condenser entirely when the customer said to replace the coil. The new condenser was cheaper and i knew the customer. When he got home from work and came around back I said how do like the new coil. He laughed
    Do it right or do it thrice. you choose.

  16. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    Name:  0819161759b.jpg
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    how in the world did you do that?

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  18. #26
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    If you are talking about the leaks that begin the take place where the copper tube meets the steel it's usually just a matter of time before others start. It seems I have found that more with evap coils though.

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