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Thread: Does GloSeal AC Sealant work?

  1. #1
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    Does GloSeal AC Sealant work?

    My 15yr old Carrier Heat Pump is clearly on its last legs, with a small refrigerant leak somewhere. I've had to have it topped up 3 times in the last couple of years. The last couple of HVAC guys who I asked about doing a pressure test to find the leak were extremely reticent about it; would take them too long and in the end would cost too much.

    In the meantime, I just came across a product called GloSeal by Spectroline (https://spectroline.com/product/glo-seal/) which promises to seal all small leaks and pinpoint via fluorescent dye where larger leaks occur. Apparently, it is a product that can be injected into a fully charged system by the low pressure port and can remain within the system.

    Has anyone used this product or something similar? Does it work well? In my mind, I see this product similar to the "instant tire inflation" cans that can be used if you are stuck with a small leak in your tire. But if you ask any good tire mechanic, they warn you to stay away from that product as it permanently gums up/damages the tire.

    Is it safe to ask a pro to add this to my system before recharging it again?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  2. #2
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    If you are currently ready to upgrade your system go for it !

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  4. #3
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    Maybe an ac. Maybe. But no way on earth in a heat pump. I have tried it 2 times each time on a package unit (self contained) and it did not work either time.

  5. #4
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    In regard to tires:

    Fix-A-Flat is an emergency 'just get me to the shop' type product. It injects a plastic-y goo which hardens and also inflates the tire at least sufficiently for low speed driving. The hardened plastic-y lump seems to badly unbalance the tire in my experience.

    Water based sealants such as Slime and Puncture Proof are both preventative type products. I use them in all motorcycle, bicycle, and lawn equipment tires - as those vehicles have no spare tire. I also keep Slime in all my truck tires so that I never have to change a tire in the cold rain at midnight. In my NJ truck I originally had some concern for the water based Slime freezing in the tire and so perhaps causing a vibration - but that has never happened so far.

    In regard to your heat pump:

    When the refrigerant sealant products first became available I tried them and had about a 50% success rate. Although that may be disproportionately low because all applications were all 'hail mary' type actions on failing-anyway equipment.

    After a few years I stopped trying to use the refrigerant sealants.

    The products may well have improved in the decades since then.

    Your leak rate is small, and is likely to be a number of Really small leaks producing the cumulative refrigerant loss rate. Your heat pump is fairly well aged-out and so perhaps a 'hail-mary' approach using a good leak sealant is your best option. If it works - you're golden. If it doesn't work - you are not out a lot of money. If it damages your system - what the hell; it was almost ready to be replaced anyway.

    I have no experience with the sealant you mentioned. Although I do have many many years experience with Spectroline and have nothing but good things to say about them.

    PHM
    ---------


    Quote Originally Posted by benze View Post
    My 15yr old Carrier Heat Pump is clearly on its last legs, with a small refrigerant leak somewhere. I've had to have it topped up 3 times in the last couple of years. The last couple of HVAC guys who I asked about doing a pressure test to find the leak were extremely reticent about it; would take them too long and in the end would cost too much.

    In the meantime, I just came across a product called GloSeal by Spectroline (https://spectroline.com/product/glo-seal/) which promises to seal all small leaks and pinpoint via fluorescent dye where larger leaks occur. Apparently, it is a product that can be injected into a fully charged system by the low pressure port and can remain within the system.

    Has anyone used this product or something similar? Does it work well? In my mind, I see this product similar to the "instant tire inflation" cans that can be used if you are stuck with a small leak in your tire. But if you ask any good tire mechanic, they warn you to stay away from that product as it permanently gums up/damages the tire.

    Is it safe to ask a pro to add this to my system before recharging it again?

    Thanks,

    Eric
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

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  7. #5
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    Use it.

    You’re getting a new system Sooner

    Now including a new line set!

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  9. #6
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    I will not hook my gauges, recovery machine or any other tool to a system that has that crap in it. Any intelligent tech that cares about his tools and equipment would feel the same way.

    So, even if it works, what are you gonna do come time for replacement?

    Also, distributors will not accept recovered refrigerant if they know it has that in it.

    There's no such thing as a mechanic in a can.

    As far as leak detection goes: 98% of the time, I can find the leak on a residential system in 20 minutes or less. Most of the time, much less. Find a good tech instead of a cheap substitute for a repair that's gonna cause more problems in the long run.
    Bob Boan


    ​You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.

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  11. #7
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    I've been to a lot of calls that claim the last guy used it. Needless to say, I was following up the call finding either a low refrigerant charge or bad compressor. I used it once with a customer of mine who agreed to replace the refrigerant tubing with the new system installation. I use my old crap gauges when connecting to this equipment. It is also labeled with the leak stop sticker. PLEASE have this sticker installed near the service ports so the next poor tech sees it before connecting his expensive digital gauges.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobboan View Post
    I will not hook my gauges, recovery machine or any other tool to a system that has that crap in it. Any intelligent tech that cares about his tools and equipment would feel the same way.

    As far as leak detection goes: 98% of the time, I can find the leak on a residential system in 20 minutes or less. Most of the time, much less. Find a good tech instead of a cheap substitute for a repair that's gonna cause more problems in the long run.
    The last guy I had to come look at my system and refill the refrigerant opened up the ductwork around the heat exchanger to show me the evaporator coil and pointed to all the "semi-circle loops" at the end of radiator row (not sure of the technical term), and warned me that he was going to find multiple micro leaks all over the place there, and a replacement evaporator would cost me > 1K. So not worth looking for the leak; better off just replacing the system altogether.

    I don't know if he is accurate or not, or if there is any value in trying to patch the system in the meantime, hence the desire for a temporary patch. I am planning renos (expansion) on the house in the next 12 months, and ideally would wait until the renos to replace the unit, once I have a better grasp of square footage, etc.

    If you can typically find a leak in a residential system in 20mins, what kind of skillset should I be asking for? The contractors I have spoken to in the past have spoken about needing to purge the system, pressurising it somehow and then inspecting to find where it is leaking. Have indicated that it was an expensive approach, easily 4+h all told (invistigation + fix, etc).

    Thanks,

    Eric

  13. #9
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    Electronic leak detector

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  15. #10
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    ^ ^ ^ ^ This.

    Plus the skill in knowing how to use it and where to look.
    Bob Boan


    ​You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.

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