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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Appleton, Wi.
    Posts
    32

    York with a mysterious leak

    Its an air cooled unit, not sure on the model. Three times in the last 5-6 years we have found the same circuit empty upon spring start up. After taking the proper steps each time (pressure check, leak check, standing vacuum) everything checks out fine. Unit runs fine all summer long and magically loses its charge during the winter. The maintenance guy at the school called york direct to try and get some answers. The york tech said that if the unit has barrel heaters they could be heating enough to bleed the charge out the relief valve. My boss thought about that, but didnt think it was very likely. But after the york tech brought it up it seems that it has happened to them before. My question is have any of you guys ran into this before? We are out of ideas. We even pulled a 300 micron vacuum on it yesterday, kinda hard to do with a leak in the system.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    in a tree looking in your window
    Posts
    1,165
    I got one just like it, mine is a 3 year old YCIV, found the machine low on gas, pulled what charge was left, found circuit 1 about 80 lbs low. Pressurized with R-22 and nitrogen could not find leak anywhere, checked evap barrell, reliefs,went over everything multiple times with different leak detectors, could not find a leak.

    Blew the R-22 and nitrogen out, pressurized to 150 psi with nitrogen and let the machine set for 3 weeks, never moved, evacuated machine to 1 mm, let stand another week, again never moved. Finally said screw it and recharged the circuit, it ran about a month and went off again, went thru the whole process again, never found the leak, so far its been running for about 8 months since the last go round.

    It makes me wonder if someone is stealing it or not.
    If you dont stand behind our troops, please feel free...........to stand in front of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,341
    Could be in the condenser circuit, when the system is running and hot, metal expands and refrigerant leaks out, when it is cool and contracted, nothing leaks out....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,610
    You won't bleed the system dry with the barrel heaters because even if you could heat it to the relief point, the valve would reseat once all the liquid was gone and the vapor bled down to the reset value, plus the bleed-thru of vapor to the condenser where it would condense and stack up. Sounds like you may have an O ring giving you grief.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    101
    Could hot water be circulating through chiller during heating season? Did someone leave the chw pump in manual for a weekend? I'm guessing this is not an open drive with a shaft seal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    48
    Check for a leak between circuits. I've had it happen on 2 ycav's. It has happened on quite a few through out the branch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Appleton, Wi.
    Posts
    32
    @ chiller dude We were starting to wonder about stealing or someone holding a grudge, cracking a valve and walking away
    @ trouble It only losses its charge during the winter months
    @klove I would think an o-ring problem wouldn't be that consistent, or inconsistent for that matter
    @ deltap I am not sure about the water piping side. I am assuming you are referring to an open drive shaft compressor, and the answer is no, the unit has screw compressors.
    @deno Explain to me a little more what you mean about leak between circuits. Leaking in the evap?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    48
    It doesn't sound like its your problem if your able to pull a 300 micron vacuum. Or you have a really big pump and a small leak. Although we have all been fooled before. What I mean is a breach in the gasket that seperates the circuits on the head of the barrel. The YCAV and early YCIV chillers had a bad design. There is a service bulletin about the updated gasket and the installation of it. When the circuits run individually the circuit that is running will over charge its self on the non running circuit. This makes the circuit that was off low on charge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by ibrac54 View Post
    @ chiller dude We were starting to wonder about stealing or someone holding a grudge, cracking a valve and walking away...
    This seems like the logical choice. Systems don't lose their refrigerant "magically".

    When the systems needed refrigerant, where they dead flat? Zero psig? Are the condensers accessible to the public? Are there valve ports accessible at the condensers? Is the condenser on the one that has the history of gas loss more accessible than the other one? Fencing might help
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Appleton, Wi.
    Posts
    32
    @ deno Thats what i thought you meant, breach in the evap. We haven't found the other circuit overcharged, but i'll mention it to my boss.

    The unit sits outside, next to the staff parking lot at a tech school, so everything is accessible. They had a camera pointed in the general area, but I think they pointed it in another direction.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Appleton, Wi.
    Posts
    32
    This time it wasnt completely empty, probably 30lbs left out of 210 total. I'm not positive about the previous times.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    14
    Leaky schraeder valve ports with worn or no cap O-rings? Leaks won't show with hoses connected but can leak slowly through off season.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Appleton, Wi.
    Posts
    32
    Well we went back on Friday. After 72 hours our vacuum stayed at 300 microns.
    Now what????

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