How to find a small freon leak in central A/C


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Old 08-02-08, 03:33 PM
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How to find a small freon leak in central A/C

I have a 7 year old central A/C, Last year I had to add 2 pounds of freon into the system, now about 14 months later, I just add another 2 pounds of freon into the system. The technician spent about half hour try to find the leak, but he said the leak is too small, it is not easy to find and he left. My question is 'Is there anyway to find a small leak ? add 2 pounds of freon every 14 months is really a small leak ?' Thanks.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 04:05 PM
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Not a small leak.

2 pounds in 14 months is a lot. 2 pounds in 10 years maybe more like EPA "allowable leak rate".

Two things come to mind in your situation, with the thought in mind that there is a leak in this system, where the heck is it?

Many times you can't find the leak because you refrigeration gauges are attached to the system and sealing the leak. A hard and perhaps (in some cases) embarassing thing to learn.

Another possability and second likely place to look is the evap coil.
Bottom line: There comes a point where you are charging someone money to find a leak and you can't find it. The American in you says "I'm wasting this guys money, put DYE in the thing and come back when he needs another 2 pounds.

Costs you money for another service and freon, but the leak is now glowing bright yellow/green under UV light. Fix it and be done.

My 2 cents.
 

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Old 08-02-08, 04:07 PM
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If it takes 14 months to cause a problem that's not that big of a leak in my opinion. However, it does not make sense to keep adding freon over and over. There are many ways tech's can find a leak including using dye and special electronic sensors. My advice to you is to research a better company, even ask how they will go about leak detection, and go with them.
 
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Old 08-02-08, 05:47 PM
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Codyy, when You are the one paying to recharge your system every 14 months, let us know how it feels.
 
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Old 08-03-08, 03:04 PM
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Thank you folks, I guess DYE is the way to go. Not sure if I can add the DYE into the system myself, or I have to call a technician to do that.
 
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Old 08-03-08, 03:58 PM
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Oops

I should have mentioned that.

NO! You cannot add dye yourself. Must be EPA Cert Tech.
 
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Old 08-03-08, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarredsdad View Post
Codyy, when You are the one paying to recharge your system every 14 months, let us know how it feels.

I've been lucky with my system Jarredsdad, I certainly know I wouldn't want to pay for that expensive refrigerant once, never mind ever 14 months. I obviously underestimated the amount of refrigerant in systems. I did at least mention it didn't make sense to keep adding refrigerant over and over.
 
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Old 08-03-08, 06:42 PM
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Hey, didn't mean to tick you off Codyy. Just gets me that people put up with recharging systems without any serious effort in finding leaks.
 
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Old 08-03-08, 10:11 PM
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No offense taken, I'm here to learn too! From all the stories I've read here, I see how it could be frustrating for a hard working contractor to be reading about the guys who either throw parts at systems or throw refrigerant at them.
 
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Old 08-04-08, 02:50 PM
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You don't know the half of it. When I first got out of the Navy I did warranty work for my company mostly on FHP Gethermal systems. Some York but mostly FHP. 99.9% was incorrect install.

Yes, some jobs were "WHAT IN THE WORLD???!!!".

All in all though it was a very rewarding time personally. Poor Joe customer had had it paying and paying to get his system to work right, and a few were getting joked by nieghbors.

When I was given the name, address, and phone number of Poor Joe, I had a blank check. My orders were simple, This unit is here, Joe is threatening lawsuits, go fix it and make it go away.

Of course Joe would first ask (always) "Now, what is this going to cost me". A responce of Absolutely Nothing. actually took time to sink in in some cases. Even explained to Joe that I reresent the distributor of the product and have the manufacturers full support and have a blank check.

When I'm finished you will have the heat pump you ordered, the energy savings you were sold on, you will be happy, I will be happy, your heat pump will be happy, and until I'm happy you can put your checkbook away.

Moved up here and worked in residential for a few months. That was enough for me. Not bashing Residential companies but there are so out there I wouldn't advise people I don't like to call.

In commercial you do come accross stuff that makes you wonder who was thinking what also.

I keep coming here because some of the things I read, people being given false info. Like the guy last week who was told a drain pan was no longer available from Carrier. Six or eight clicks later and a cut n' paste, here's the part number if you don't want to spend $800 to have one made or change the system.

Long post, oh well.

Chris
 
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Old 08-04-08, 03:38 PM
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Yeah, before I came here I never realized exactly how much corruption and problems there are with some companies and areas. We haven't needed too many service calls luckily, but when we first moved into the place we are now, we had a ton of trouble with the furnace and thinking back, no one technician truly ever found the problem (a disturbing clicking noise akin to a card in a turning bicycle wheel), and in the end we just had the whole furnace replaced. At one point, one tech. cut our main trunk just after the plenum and installed a vent right there. Needless to say it was patched when the new furnace was installed lol.
 
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Old 08-04-08, 04:23 PM
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Then you get these people.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...59#post1408559

An electrician, troubleshooting a motor.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 08:17 PM
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They say patience is a virtue.
 
 

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