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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    41,894
    Post Likes
    IR camera (the FLIR)...
    And some 'juice' that is legal to vent...

    You will find it in a jiffy...

    Then the issue will be finding someone to repair the sheetrock and re-paint...
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Well, I found it! In a corner between the floors where it went from horizontally running along a joist to go vertical again up another wall to the attic. It's also at an elbow, AND it's a 7/8 coming from the attic and 3/4 leaving the elbow to go horizontal to the garage ceiling. The repair access is through a big hole I cut in a downstairs bedroom closet. The other holes to patch are in the ceiling of the laundry room next to this closet, and the ceiling of the garage on the other side of the laundry room.

    The ultrasonic detector didn't help. The FLIR didn't help, and actually was fortunately misleading. I THOUGHT it was seeing it in the vicinity of a ceiling-mounted camera in the garage along the expected pipe path. So that was where I cut the first hole. Then I went sideways toward where i knew it went vertical to go to the attic. From the laundry room, I could hear the leak and knew I'd find it from the bedroom closet.

    Without the FLIR misleading me, I'd have probably started at the vertical on the garage wall, and maybe started the garage ceiling on the other side of that camera. I'd have one or two more patches when I'm done.

    I had to come back to the shop to grab my good Stay-Clean flux cleaner and I'm on the way back to finish the repair. Thought I'd update you while I was at it. I'll see if I can attach the pics later.

  3. Likes Achso017, jbhenergy, heatingman liked this post
  4. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    On the outside view, you knew it was taking a convoluted path to get from that machine and then it entered the attic just to the right of the bathroom window upstairs.

    The garage just inside is where we hoped to find it, but it was just the beginning of the search, two ceilings later, we found it.

    I didn't even add more solder to the repair. Just fluxed it well with both Stay-Clean liquid and Stay-Silv paste fluxes. Then I heated it with the standard tip and watched the existing solder flow pretty well.

    Thanks for the brainstorming, fellas.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Piney Flats, Tn.
    Posts
    1,975
    Post Likes
    was this like plumbing solder? or was it like 15% brazing rod? And if it was like plumbing solder will it hold up to R-410a pressures?

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    ND
    Posts
    65
    Post Likes
    Ultrasonic cannot hear through walls. A wall will block the sound. I use ultrasound for air leaks (40khz) at my current job. A simple clipboard will shield the sound. I recently cut 4 holes in a ceiling to track down a leak between floors in one of our buildings. The ultrasound pointed me in the right direction until the air leak was found. My boss was impressed I found the leak. The carpenter however was not.

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