Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    19
    Post Likes

    York YK centrifugal oil return valve leaking

    (I really should change my username, since I'm no longer an HVAC teacher in Pittsburgh...I run the engineering dept of a data center)

    Anyway, we've got 3 York YK chillers at my data center and since the first year (they're 7 years old now) we've had problems with the oil return valve at the bottom of the evap barrel leaking refrigerant/oil. At first they fixed them under warranty, but NOW...latest quote was ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, since they need to pull the 2 tons of refrigerant out, since they don't trust the isolation valves.

    We've had a leaking valve about once every 1-2 years. The leak occurs where the valve threads into the fitting that's in the barrel. The seal is an O-ring, not NPT. Don't know if the O-ring shrinks or what, but I'm getting tired of JCI making five figures off me every time one of their 5-cent O-rings decides to go south.

    My question is...is anyone else having these problems? It's happened on all three of my YK's, so I can't imagine it's only MY problem. This is ridiculous, and I'm wondering if anyone's gotten up in JCI's face about this and gotten any resolution.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,661
    Post Likes
    Other companies can work on York's too, you know! Unless they are throwing in generic o-rings from the plumbing aisle at HD, I would say the issue lies in their practice/procedures. Are they using any lubricant? Is that lubricant actually the culprit in the o-ring failures? There's many different things that could be happening. I personally haven't seen any issues.
    New o-ring dry on a dry fitting then smear some Loctite 515 on it and don't look back.
    -----Stop, step back, relax and have another go at it.-----

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    The Deep South
    Posts
    374
    Post Likes
    I have quite a few accounts with YK's that I take care of and have none with this issue. I've also never heard of it from other chiller mechanics. I agree with Benny that it sounds like a technique or procedural issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    272
    Post Likes
    I'd agree with Benny on this one, whatever Loctite works for you, maybe even a bit of teflon tape too and check the bag that the new O ring comes in to make sure it's sealed and has a York part number on it, maybe the valve itself was damaged originally so maybe change the valve too and compare old and new. They should also inspect the socket and threads for any damage too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    6,893
    Post Likes
    No issues here. I would also change the valves...perhaps there is a defect in the groove. I wonder how big of a leak it really is?
    "Right" is not the same as "Wise".

    Don't step on my favorite part of the Constitution just to point out your favorite part.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    19
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    No issues here. I would also change the valves...perhaps there is a defect in the groove. I wonder how big of a leak it really is?
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Actually, this has happened to all three of my chillers over the past seven years. One has actually had the failure twice. The very first time, the tech pulled the charge, yanked the valve, replaced the o-ring, put the valve back, put the charge back and....it still leaked. So another 2 days pulling the charge, after which he replaced the entire valve and o-ring. Thankfully, that's when the chiller was still under warranty...

    So now, they always change the valve WITH the o-ring.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    6,893
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Pgh HVAC Teache View Post
    ...The very first time, the tech pulled the charge, yanked the valve, replaced the o-ring, put the valve back, put the charge back and....it still leaked. So another 2 days pulling the charge...
    wait...put the charge back in and it still leaked? What about the leak check after the repair?
    "Right" is not the same as "Wise".

    Don't step on my favorite part of the Constitution just to point out your favorite part.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    19
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    wait...put the charge back in and it still leaked? What about the leak check after the repair?
    That's a very good question. It was six years ago and my memory might be fuzzy, but I distinctly remember the tech telling me, with great frustration, that the joint was leaking and he had to pull the charge again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    435
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Pgh HVAC Teache View Post
    That's a very good question. It was six years ago and my memory might be fuzzy, but I distinctly remember the tech telling me, with great frustration, that the joint was leaking and he had to pull the charge again.
    Scrap the POS and buy a Trane

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    19
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by triggerhappy View Post
    Scrap the POS and buy a Trane
    As unhelpful as this comment is, it's ironically apt...we've got an air-cooled York chiller that does our comfort cooling that's been a POS since day one. 3 years in, it was found to have lost 80% of the charge in one system and 30% of the charge in the other. It eats condensing fan motors like candy out of a Pez dispenser and it's needed a TXV and the replacement of the gasket that isolates the two systems from each other in the chiller barrel. After that repair, I told the tech to put dye in...a month later I went out at night with a UV flashlight and the thing lit up like the sun. It showed dye at EVERY.SINGLE threaded joint. Again, all in 7 years.

    We've decided to scrap it and are accepting bids for its replacement currently, and the probable winner looks to be a Trane.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,661
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Pgh HVAC Teache View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Actually, this has happened to all three of my chillers over the past seven years. One has actually had the failure twice. The very first time, the tech pulled the charge, yanked the valve, replaced the o-ring, put the valve back, put the charge back and....it still leaked. So another 2 days pulling the charge, after which he replaced the entire valve and o-ring. Thankfully, that's when the chiller was still under warranty...

    So now, they always change the valve WITH the o-ring.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the chiller fitting have a chamfer where the o-ring seals against? I'm wondering if it was a manufacturing defect where the chamfer is too deep and there isn't enough crush on the o-ring? Look at the old o-ring and see if it's still fairly round or triangular. Also check to see if it still somewhat pliable or brittle.
    Just taking a stab here, when the new valve goes in, you should have at least a half turn after the o-ring hits. I'm thinking that the o-ring may need to be sized up one in the cross section... or a ton of 515! Lol
    -----Stop, step back, relax and have another go at it.-----

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    992
    Post Likes
    It’s a shame one branch can’t take care of the chillers that they need.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    272
    Post Likes
    Pgh , small question, was the chiller you were having trouble with an air-cooled heat pump ? YLPA ?
    Secondly, I had a call yesterday, leaking O ring, tech had replaced, did a pressure test, ok, vacuum, ok , re-charge and after an hour started leaking again, advised he change the valve , inspect the threads and the seat etc , add Loctite and maybe some teflon tape.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •