suspect refrigant leak from a/c

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Old 05-09-07, 03:05 PM
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suspect refrigant leak from a/c

New to the site and just frustrated consumer, so bear with me.
I purchased a new Carrier split system central a/c, SEER 14 installed in June2005. Then in about 11 1/2 months later in June 2206 noticed the unit not cooling; hence, a/c original installer tech returned to check the system to find it low on Puron R410a refrigerant for which he added 3#. As a consumer, I asked the usual question "what caused it? Is it a leak?"He used his leak detector unable to find any source so he sumised the unit may not have been fully charged. I accept that response since his leakdetector could not locate a leak. Hence, here we are now again 11 months later with the system not cooling (23 months since the purchase). New tech at the same purchase company was sent this time again noting low Puron refrigerant...so I insist he pursue searching for the leak which can not again be explained by not having a fully charged new installation. To my dissappointment, he too could not find the leak with the leak detector...but it only beeped for a few seconds momentarily when placed near the inside evaporator coil and since he could not reproduce that signal noise again stated it could be a false positive due to out side factors as other air pollant gases? Is that possible?
I asked about other methods to detect leaks..dye, old bubbles, nitrogen?
He did not seen interested to pursue.. are the other methods plausible or ineffective and expensive. So for now it's on stand still. Tech stated he would return next week after I shut to a/c down overnight to see if any lose of refrigerent concentrates overnight in the closed evaporation coil enough to detect with the leak eletric detector. What do you think? Is this just lingering the consumer longer so my 5yr manufacturer warranty expire?
 
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Old 05-09-07, 04:46 PM
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Not all refrigerant leaks are easy to locate. Keep in mind that you have lines that run from the outdoor condensing unit to the evaporator coil indoors, and back outside. These lines can run under concrete, through walls all kinds of places. Leak detection can become time-consuming, and costly even. It may be that your technician wants to try the most cost-effective method of locating the leak.

Since you didn't state in your post, I'm curious to know how old your home is, and if the lines were replaced when the new 410A system was installed.
 
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Old 05-09-07, 04:48 PM
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Man, I wish I could curse on this site

ms.m your are being screwed, blued, and tattoed!

Refrigerant does not just disappear! There is an allowable leak rate of 1/4 or 1/2 ounce per year.

The "Original Installer" comes back and says the unit may have been under charged during installation? What the F!

Since this reallt ticks me off ( and I hope your a Miss) for the following imagine I'm your HVAC savey husband in, say, Iraq.

Call the Service Manager for the install company, talk only to him/her or the owner. Explain what you said in your post. Then go on to explain that you know HVAC systems are not supposed to need charging every year. ANd that the original installer said He may not have charged the system correctly from the get go, but it worked fine for 11 months.

If he/she can not send a tech to find the leak electronically then advise that the company needs to go to the local Aireco or R. E. Michel or what ever supply company they use and get some dye. I use Spectroline GSE-3 for split systems and a UV blue light. Leaks show up bright green.

Bottom line is the system was not correctly installed. And you should be reimbursed for both service calls and not have to pay for any more service until the leak is found and rerpaired.

They didn't do the install correctly in the first place, so you shouldn't have to pay them to finish it.

Also report this to the BBB and the EPA!

Chris
 
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Old 05-09-07, 04:53 PM
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BEAUTIFULLY said, Chris!! 3 pounds of refrigerant is 54 oz...over HALF the charge in a 2 ton system, not allowing for line set length!

Bravo, Chris! You are my new hero!
 
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Old 05-09-07, 05:02 PM
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But your first reply indicates you didn't fully read her post

ghost, you brought a valid point about linesets. But the unit was installed in 2005 and has been recharged twice. Points right to the install. Man, I'm so happy to say I work Commercial and not Residential!

Chris
 
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Old 05-09-07, 07:03 PM
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Angry R410a (aka Puron)

I agree wholeheartedly with Chris. Call that company & read them the riot act.

When using R410a (Puron) & there is a leak the entire refrigerant charge must be pumped out & the system recharged with virgin refrigerant. Naturally, this is done after the leak is found & fixed. Simply adding refrigerant to a system, particularly an R410a system, is a major no-no.
 
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