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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    3

    Confused Cause of refrigerant leak

    Good morning to all,
    My heat pump (Lennox XP15-048) was installed three years ago and I have had it serviced by the Co. that installed it. During the last service (June 2011) the technician said the refrigerant - (Freon 410A) needed to be topped up and he put in 12 ozs. After that I used the system for about a month and then it was shut off or unused over the next two months on account of vacation and no need for either cooling or heating. When I turned on the heating in October it did not work. The service technician checked the system and reported that most of the gas had leaked out. He found a leak at the "suction pressure switch" (thru a Freon detector and verified by bubbling of soap solution at valve). He said that no part was defective and that such leaks although infrequent or rare, could happen as part of "normal" operations e.g. vibration of machine. Subsequently, the 3 lbs of gas remaining was recuperated, the system was cleaned out with Nitrogen, vacuumed and refilled with 16 lbs of Freon 410A - all of this with 4 hrs of labour. Needless to say including the cost of the Freon at $$$$/lb I was presented with a large bill.
    My question is - if no part was found to be defective then how likely is it that such a leak could occur under normal conditions as opposed to improper sealing/tightening during the previous service call in June? I would appreciate your expert opinion and advice. Thanks.
    Last edited by Chris_Worthington; 11-20-2011 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Price Removed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,506
    Did he look for a leak last time he was out? I guess it could have somehow developed a more serious leak since June, or maybe after taking his gauges off during the June check, the valve core was leaking a little, these things do happen, who knows.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    3
    At the visit in June he did not check for a leak. I think it was assumed that a small amount of leak was normal for a system almost 3 years old.
    But since then there was a large leak (13 lbs over 3 months). I'm wondering if there can be another reason for it (i.e. just some chance occurrence) rather than some negligence during the service in June. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    4,168
    IMO he should have looked for a leak back in June if it was short, I know I always do.

    Do you have problems with huffers up there?
    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what will never be. (Thomas Jefferson 1816)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,661
    Quote Originally Posted by AnshuP View Post
    At the visit in June he did not check for a leak. I think it was assumed that a small amount of leak was normal for a system almost 3 years old.
    But since then there was a large leak (13 lbs over 3 months). I'm wondering if there can be another reason for it (i.e. just some chance occurrence) rather than some negligence during the service in June. Thanks.
    Probably the first time he added the refrigerant, he guessed that the installation tech didn't correctly charge it.

    I'd call BS on the part warranty issue. What actually leaked? If a gasket leaks, on a part, then the PART is failed.

    Personally, I think your getting hosed.

    Unless you don't have a labor warranty.
    "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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,978
    Simply put.

    Refrigerant does not leave a sealed system unless there is a leak.

    I always look for leaks if I have to add gas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,826
    Like many of the threads in this area of the site, you asked for opinions and that's what you're getting, as each of us has our own.

    Mine is that a 3-year old machine could easily suffer from a small amount of loss due to "dis minimum" or the refrigerant that's lost when a tech disconnects hoses during servicing. His hoses are charged with your units refrigerant when he's checking/testing and if he doesn't take pains to retain all but a very small amount in the system when disconnecting, a volume of refrigerant escapes, all perfectly legal. So losing 4-ounces over each of 3-years isn't a long stretch, in my OPINION.

    However, the weather in June fluctuates from hot to cold, depending on where you are in the USA on the particular day on which the tune-up was performed. The servicing tech may very well have had the opportunity on a hot day that prior years didn't extend to other techs, so he diagnosed a low charge and wrote it off as having been that way for some time but not an optimal charge. On the other hand, he could have been the first one to see the trend of refrigerant loss and after his visit the problem simply got worse. Or, there could have been a simple issue such as a lose schrader valve or loose or missing service cap with a leaking valve ending in the resultant refrigerant loss.

    You'll never really know the exact sequence of events and maybe you're paying for someone else's mistake or factory defect. And I can read from your post that you're not at all please with the situation so my recommendation would be to speak with the owner of the company and see if he/she is willing to give you some sort of allowance, given they put in the system and had serviced it in June with minimal/no use since. If they're a good and reputable company, I'm sure he/she will be willing to give some concession, though I wouldn't expect the bill to be totally eliminated. Each business person runs his/her business in a different manner. So try not to be argumentative or pointing fingers. Just explain your displeasure at being charged so much for a 3-year old system repair.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida
    Posts
    1,400
    DId I read this correctly? 4 ton system using 16 lbs of R410a?
    Doug

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,510
    if you dont get anwhere with the onwer then call lennox and see if they are willing to step up somewhat for you

    you have a part fale and it does happen
    cant say it is the companies fault nor see any reason they should eat the entire cost this is why i sugested lennox

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,661
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    DId I read this correctly? 4 ton system using 16 lbs of R410a?
    Whats odd about that?
    Thats about right.

    http://www.goodmanmfg.com/Portals/0/pdf/SS/SS-SSZ14.pdf
    "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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    DId I read this correctly? 4 ton system using 16 lbs of R410a?
    The Lennox HPX14-024, has a factory charge of 8 pounds.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida
    Posts
    1,400
    I'm just used to Tempstar systems using 10lbs with a 4 ton system including extra gas for the line sets.
    Doug

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    Like many of the threads in this area of the site, you asked for opinions and that's what you're getting, as each of us has our own.

    Mine is that a 3-year old machine could easily suffer from a small amount of loss due to "dis minimum" or the refrigerant that's lost when a tech disconnects hoses during servicing. His hoses are charged with your units refrigerant when he's checking/testing and if he doesn't take pains to retain all but a very small amount in the system when disconnecting, a volume of refrigerant escapes, all perfectly legal. So losing 4-ounces over each of 3-years isn't a long stretch, in my OPINION.

    However, the weather in June fluctuates from hot to cold, depending on where you are in the USA on the particular day on which the tune-up was performed. The servicing tech may very well have had the opportunity on a hot day that prior years didn't extend to other techs, so he diagnosed a low charge and wrote it off as having been that way for some time but not an optimal charge. On the other hand, he could have been the first one to see the trend of refrigerant loss and after his visit the problem simply got worse. Or, there could have been a simple issue such as a lose schrader valve or loose or missing service cap with a leaking valve ending in the resultant refrigerant loss.

    You'll never really know the exact sequence of events and maybe you're paying for someone else's mistake or factory defect. And I can read from your post that you're not at all please with the situation so my recommendation would be to speak with the owner of the company and see if he/she is willing to give you some sort of allowance, given they put in the system and had serviced it in June with minimal/no use since. If they're a good and reputable company, I'm sure he/she will be willing to give some concession, though I wouldn't expect the bill to be totally eliminated. Each business person runs his/her business in a different manner. So try not to be argumentative or pointing fingers. Just explain your displeasure at being charged so much for a 3-year old system repair.
    Thanks for the advice. btw the June visit was only the second visit as I got it serviced only once before that (bec it was a new system). So the top up of 12 ozs may or may not be excessive... as you pointed out there are many possibilities. 'guess I'll try to negotiate something with the service Co.

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