I maintain hvac units at a 250+ unit apartment complex. Most of the equipment consists of 20 year old Arcoair brand R-22 split systems, some with cap tubes and some with TXV's.
In recent years some of the evaporators have developed "micro leaks" and the unit requires recharging a couple of times during the summer.
Would this SuperSeal stuff I see advertised be a good candidate to try?
Short answer: no
Long answer: noooooooooooooooooooo
I'm with the crowd that chants the mantra: "nothing inside a refrigeration system but refrigerant and compressor oil".
Twenty year old evaps that leak, even a little, likely have other issues as well, such as drain pans on the verge of rusting out and/or air flow restrictions due to years of accumulated dirt. As you probably know, tenants aren't all that great about changing filters regularly.
I would press management to start budgeting for evap replacements rather than doing band-aids to old stuff. Is this the typical apartment arrangement of condenser coil of whatever brand coupled to a First Company air handler in a furdown ceiling in the bathroom?
Building Physics Rule #1: Hot flows to cold.
Building Physics Rule #2: Higher air pressure moves toward lower air pressure
Building Physics Rule #3: Higher moisture concentration moves toward lower moisture concentration.
no replace the leaking coils
Do a search on super seal on this site and read some of the past articals . Especially what it does to your equipment
NO NO NO.
If you have to add gas acouple of times a year, it isn't a micro leak either.
Replace the coils.
would never use it, the same reason you don't put fix a flat in your tires ,it trashes them,you don't get something for nothing.whatever the claim is.
micro leaks? How many microns diameter are the holes?
They should definately (already for years) be setting aside money for replacements.
questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated
I also believe that only refrigerant and oil should be circulating in a refrigeration system.
But eventually every system gets to a point where you are left with only one solution. And that is complete replacement.
The refrigerant sealant method gives you an alternative procedure which allows the customer a choice.
I've seen this personally in quite a few applications and the bottom line is that you extend the life of the unit and spare the environment from unnecessary release of refrigerant.
When it comes to leaks the combination of electronic and fluoresant dye is the most efficient method of finding 98% of the leaks.
Too many units out there are leaking and they are not getting repaired, just topped off annually and that just isn't right!
If you have gotten 20 years use out of Arcoaire equiptment you've done very well.
Start changing out systems, they are overdue.
We've been doing so much,for so long,with so little, that now we can do almost anything, with nothing at all.
The answer to the question concerning micron holes are, holes which are so small that you would need a high power microscope to see it.
A human hair is about 600 micron in diameter and we should be able to find those. Micron pores below 300 are very difficult to find but still are possible if you have a good electronic refrigerant detector accompanied by Dye/Uv light detection. When you start to approach 150 microns and down these tend to be intermittent and can have periods which range from minutes, hours to days where the leak is not occurring. Various metallic/contaminate particles including oil can display sealing characteristics.
Formicary corrosion is a microscopic porosity. The porosity is characteristic of tunnels which are similar to an ants nest pattern and they occur deep within the wall of the pipe horizontally. These tend to be difficult to find because of their size and can occur anywhere in the system. In some cases this type of corrosion has been taking place even before you have installed the system.
if the units need to be charged couple times a season fix the leak or replace the system
In reply to your message tinknocker service,
I absolutely agree that if the unit needs to be charged a couple times a season fix the leak or replace the system. Besides youre bypassing the environmental laws that govern the release of refrigerants to the atmosphere when you are charging a system without a complete repair being implemented.
When a unit becomes so deteriorated that leaks are continually occurring it is time to say good-bye to that component or unit that is failing.
Actually no. But except for that little slip I do appreciate your pragmatism deep vac. The never ending chorus of "buy, buy, buy" may actually be the best advice in this case. But apartment owners are notoriously cheap mofos. The odds of them being willing to plan the replacement of 250 units is next to zero. Ten years from now the vast majority of those 20 year old units will still be there.
Originally posted by deep vac
Besides youre bypassing the environmental laws that govern the release of refrigerants to the atmosphere when you are charging a system without a complete repair being implemented.
If they were willing to sign a document assuming liability for anything that goes wrong and if they wanted to try Super Seal then I'd give it a shot on a test system to see how it does over the summer. Of course that's purely hypothetical. Not many apartment owners are willing to pay my rates.