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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
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    two people have detected a leak and all of them have noted the system is low on refrigerant, so it does have a leak. location of leak is typical for an older coil.

    I've found dozens of leaks on evap coils, that is almost always where a system low (but not empty) of refrigerant is going to have a leak. That is why they stopped looking after confirmed what they suspected already- evap coil leak.

    Have seen numerous coils (Trane and others) leak at bottom where water drips off. A lot of newer ones would leak in middle part of coil, w/ poe oil you could see oil streaks and knew before stuck the sniffer in there where the leaks would be. The mineral oil on your system would not likely leave streaks on coils, but larger leaks would leave oily spots on leaking joints/piping.

    Most systems in my area are heat pumps, so many times I cut off indoor fan and cycle heat for a minute to drive up pressures, this makes detection easier. W/the oil streaked coils, its simply confirmation, not leak search. This may explain why you could hear the guy talking during testing.

    I tell customers they have a leak, cannot quantify leak rate since it varies w/ cool or heat mode. Most people find the evap coils leaks in spring- coil pressures are higher in winter so leaks down faster, and elec backup masks the reduced output of system until spring.

    A sudden drop in pressure would point to a good sized leak. 1-2 lb/yr added you could get by on. 3+ lbs and you'll be low by end of summer most likely. A large leak would not have so much confidence leak sealer would help.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    2,532
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    Well you have confirmed the coil leaks. Options now are do nothing and live like most people did not too long ago without AC, replace the coil and refill with R22, replace the coil and have the system converted to another refrigerant like 407c or replace the whole system.

    Keep in mind that running low on refrigerant is hard on a compressor and could have taken years off its life. It might last another 5 years or die in the hottest part of this summer. Your money so no wrong answer but I'd suggest replacing the whole thing if funds are available.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    164
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the feedback. Just seeing the coil didn't give me a warm fuzzy like 'it looks good and could last a few more years'. Maybe it looks typical for it's age. You guys see a lot more of these than I do obviously.

    Quote Originally Posted by billygoat22 View Post
    A sudden drop in pressure would point to a good sized leak. 1-2 lb/yr added you could get by on. 3+ lbs and you'll be low by end of summer most likely. A large leak would not have so much confidence leak sealer would help.
    The consensus from the contractors so far is it is probably about 4lbs down. I went back to my service records for past psi reading on invoices. Here is what I could decipher from the handwriting:

    April 15, 2015 - 75psi suction/200psi head
    March 4, 2016 - 70psi suction/190psi head
    March 16, 2017 - 70psi suction/200psi head
    May 1, 2017 - 50psi suction/170psi head
    May 20, 2017 - 30psi suction/150 psi head.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
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    164
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    Thread Starter
    While getting a quote from another contractor today, they told me about their leak stop service. They charge a set fee for labor and leak stop and then by the pound for RS-70 (cheaper than R22). Then if the leak is bad and I decide to just replace, they will credit me the fee for labor/leak stop towards the new system. That helps reduce my $ risk to just the refrigerant which helps.

    Apparently RS-70 is a drop in for R22. When I called around to get R22 refill quotes, no one else offered me RS-70. Is it a suitable, cheaper alternative to R22?

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    6,639
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    There are several variants to 22 now. Keep in mind ALL the r22 must be removed by law... the rs70 is NOT added to the 22!!!

    You will need a COMPLETE recharge with alternate refrigerants.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

    Find a HVAC-Talk Contractor by clicking here

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  6. Likes vin lashon liked this post
  7. #32
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    There are several variants to 22 now. Keep in mind ALL the r22 must be removed by law... the rs70 is NOT added to the 22!!!

    You will need a COMPLETE recharge with alternate refrigerants.
    Uh-oh, this guy said they drop it in with the R22 and don't need to remove it. Sounds like he was dead wrong. A complete recharge would cost me 2-3 times what I was expecting.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    There are several variants to 22 now. Keep in mind ALL the r22 must be removed by law... the rs70 is NOT added to the 22!!!

    You will need a COMPLETE recharge with alternate refrigerants.
    My mistake. It is called RS-44. I called the company to clarify. I asked if the R22 is removed and the whole system refilled with RS-44 and they said no they can drop it in with the RS-44. Are they wrong?

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    18,654
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Damn good chance that coil is shot.

    A real tech could tell
    And the valve.....
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". -Vernon Law-

    "Skilled Labor Isn't Cheap, Cheap Labor Isn't Skilled" - Unknown


  10. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    195
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefisch View Post
    My mistake. It is called RS-44. I called the company to clarify. I asked if the R22 is removed and the whole system refilled with RS-44 and they said no they can drop it in with the RS-44. Are they wrong?
    Yes they are wrong. Not only is It a violation to mix refrigerants it also costs the next contractor money to dispose of the blend.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  11. Likes vin lashon liked this post
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