Freon Leak??
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Thread: Freon Leak??

  1. #1

    Freon Leak??

    I have a 4 ton Trane unit (less than 5 years old). Every summer, we have had issues - being, will not reach desired temp and/or freezes up. The original contractor has been who we call and he typically adds freon. If we are regularly having to add freon, doesnt this indicate a leak and if so, shouldnt he be willing and able to find it? I am not looking for a reason to "throw him under the bus", but am considering getting a second opinion, at least. Any advice? thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    75
    Your system is a sealed system, meaning you should never have to add refrigerant. Your contractor cannot do what he is doing per EPA. Once a contractor knows there is a leak, he must repair it before adding refrigerant. When I go to a new customers home for the first time and i find the system low on refrigerant, I ask if anyone has ever serviced the unit before and if they added refrigerant. If the answer is yes, then i do a leak check. Leak checking can take a good amount of time to do and sometimes they may need to come back a 2nd time. My leak check consists of adding nitrogen and a trace amount of refrigerant to the system and using a sniffer or bubbles. Sometimes you find the leak right away and sometimes you have to let the trace refrigerant and nitrogen mix overnight and come back. If i leave it overnight, I isolate the condenser from the lineset/coil by closing the service valves before leaving the site on the first day. When i come back one or the other will have lost some pressure thus pointing me in the right direction. After finding and fixing the leak, i pull a vacuum and see if it holds for a specified amount of time in order to verify there are no more leaks. And lastely i add refrigerant and collect a large check for my services. Good Luck with your contractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern South Dakota
    Posts
    28
    Sounds like you definitely have a leak. He must be in denial that his system is leaking or he should have done a leak test the first time he added freon. I would contact another contractor and ask for a leak test. Has this been an issue since it was new? And if so are you being charged? sounds like a lazy contractor or he has a profit thing going on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,604
    If you are adding refrigerant every year it has a leak .the leak needs to be found and repaired while the unit is still in a parts warranty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Hammond,La.
    Posts
    1,176
    "EPA Leak Repair Requirements state that a system containing more than 50 lbs refrigerant
    must be repaired if
    :
    �� Leak rate exceeds 15% in comfort cooling appliances.
    �� Leak rate exceeds 35% in all commercial and industrial process refrigeration."

    You do not have 50+ pound system in your home so there is no EPA mandate to repair the leak by the contractor.

    You should have the leak found and repaired for the sake of your wallet and your equipment's functionality & life span. The leak checks can get a little expensive but you have to decide which will cost you more in the long run. I would say the pay a little now and fix the leak will be cheaper.

    BTW, repeated coil freezes can cause further damage and more severe leaks in the coil.
    "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
    Benjamin Franklin, 1766

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    75
    heres a real world situation. Today my first call was a leak, system was flat. Pumped up with nitrogen, found it repaired it, pulled vacuum and held. Added R410A and got paid. Went to a few more service calls. Last call, system had 120 standing pressure on a 410A system. Previously had another tech out that didnt find leak. I knew there was a leak. Couldnt find it and left with 2 sides isolated and pumped up to 200 with nitrogen and trace R41Oa. will be back again tomorrow to see which side dropped pressure and attempt to sniff it out. This is what your contractor should be doing for you and all his customers. Good Luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    586
    Quote Originally Posted by C Combs View Post
    Couldnt find it and left with 2 sides isolated and pumped up to 200 with nitrogen and trace R41Oa. will be back again tomorrow to see which side dropped pressure and attempt to sniff it out. Luck
    Curious, if you isolated evap. from cond. by shutting the valves? And how will you know which side has lost pressure if both valves are readings on the Evap.

    Wait, maybe I take that back. So you're saying if you know there is a leak and your pressure has dropped, you now know it is the line or evap. No drop and your leak is in the Cond.? Right?!

  8. #8
    Contractor is now saying that the water from my sprinkler system has caused damage. He says the water contains sulfur and he thinks that is what caused the damage. Not being real specific, but he says he thinks it is corroded the coils on outside unit. My water does contain sulfur and some salt, but I have had no problems with it. Do yall think this is baloney...or does his theory sound plausible?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern South Dakota
    Posts
    28
    I guess anything is possible but that sounds very far fetched. If you continue to use this contractor I would invest in a good pair of boots cause sounds like he is full of bull. If its corrosive enough to cause a problem as soon as the first couple seasons I would assume your grass would probably be dead as well. I'm throwing the B.S. Flag on this one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    VIRGINIA
    Posts
    37
    You have a leak guaranteed, one of posters said "Your system is a sealled system", at least at the begining wasn't charged properly, never should be added refrigerant, beside if its a king valve or not. You need to request a leak search, electronic or UV, somewhere your are lossing pressure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    VIRGINIA
    Posts
    37
    Water caused leak????? B.S.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,884
    Quote Originally Posted by mickychito_7 View Post
    Water caused leak????? B.S.
    Clearly, you haven't seen a rotted condenser coil.


    If you have high sulfur and or salt concentration in your water, and that chemical/salt is being sprayed on copper on a dailey basis, I would say it's a posssibility.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern South Dakota
    Posts
    28
    anymore condensors are never bare copper but usually galvanized or coated with something. Being that it is only 5 years old what does the condensor look like? If he knows the condensor is leaking have him show you where it is. I assume it is under warranty I would find out if he will warranty it and if not I would suggest a second opinion or go to trane themselves and see what they reccomend.

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