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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    4

    What is the best fix for condenser unit leak?

    My "residential" 7 ton system (both ac and heating) is newly replaced about 2.5 years ago with Ruud units. The outside unit (condensor) is 7 ton that is matched with two (2) 3.5 ton inside units. The line iced up all the way to the outside condenser recently. Called in my ac guy who said all is well except that there are leak(s) in the outside condensor copper lines. We saw oil-like patches and spills near the base and close to the compressor... Any how, he offered 3 options and I need to know which is the best fix (assuming he is right about the leak being the cause):
    1. Use a "No Leak" chemical to seal the leak
    2. Finding and soldering the leak(s) in the condenser]
    3. replace the whole condenser unit

    It is 3 weeks without the AC, and AC huy just kept on delaying the fix...

    Thank you so much for any input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    67
    Keep the leak sealer as far away from your unit as possible. Solder the copper lines ? Did he mean braze because I wouldn't use solder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    NO CHEMICALS, NONE.
    The condenser coil could be under warranty. It's worth looking into.
    That's if I'm understanding this post.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    nashville, TN
    Posts
    18
    the unit should be under warranty. If the leak is at the condenser, try to look for it and maybe it could be repaired. if you use "NO leak" chem. it will void the manufacturer's warranty. Have a leak search done to know where the leak is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    4
    I do not not know the difference between braze or solder. But, AC contractor used the word "solder" perhaps just to inform me of the nature of the repair process.

    AC guy says Rudd's warranty is ONLY 1 year for the condenser, 5 year for the compressor..... So NO warranty here.

    So, does solder/braze USUALLY fix the "leak" in condenser permanently?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pan Handle, Fl
    Posts
    599
    I agree, don't use leak sealer. I've tried it on about 10 units this season and have been called back on all but 2. I don't use the stuff any more, invested in a better leak detector Lol. I think there should be an option 4- wty covers condensor except maybe labor. I would ask the tech about the wty, check your paperwork or even the Ruud web site. Most Rheem and Ruud have 5 year wtys and some have 10 on compressor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    853
    Fire the hack and hire a pro because the correct answer is "none of the above".

    Don't use leak sealer concoctions, don't use solder and no need to replace the condensor. (why would he even recommend replacing the condensor if the leaks are in the "outside" copper lines??)

    The correct method is to recover the remaining refrigerant, pinpoint the leak, fix/braze the leak using silphos or a silver alloy based brazing rod under a flow of nitrogen, replace filter drier, leak test the unit, evacuate, recharge and start writing out the bill.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    167
    "The outside unit (condensor) is 7 ton that is matched with two (2) 3.5 ton inside units..."

    am i missing something here? one condensor and two evaps?

    regarding the leak, i'd want them to find it a little better than just pointing to what might be oil. shouldn't take more than a moment with a sniffer if there's really oil patches in the coil.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasIsHot View Post

    AC guy says Rudd's warranty is ONLY 1 year for the condenser, 5 year for the compressor..... So NO warranty here.


    Thanks.
    Just to keep honest people honest, double check on the warranty. What could it hurt?

    I guess, if the condenser is considered a commercial unit, it could be a one year warranty.
    Last edited by the dangling wrangler; 07-09-2009 at 12:10 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    Quote Originally Posted by fenian View Post
    "The outside unit (condensor) is 7 ton that is matched with two (2) 3.5 ton inside units..."

    am i missing something here? one condensor and two evaps?
    Sure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kamloops B.C.
    Posts
    31
    Finding the leak "brazing" it and test with nitrogen is the best option in my opinion once it holds pressure recharge and good for quit a few more years. Do you have animails ? If so posibly fence the area as dog urine is very bad for the condenser. A new condenser could be very costly and leak chemical(never)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    216
    agreed...double check on warranty then see about brazing the leaks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    853
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasIsHot View Post
    there are leak(s) in the outside condensor copper lines. We saw oil-like patches and spills near the base and close to the compressor...
    P.S. What you describe could also be a leaky schrader valves at the service ports that the installer forgot to put caps on. Quite common and relatively low cost to repair.

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