Will a slow Freon leak damage my system?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-13-08, 09:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 17
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Will a slow Freon leak damage my system?

I seem to have a small leak in my a/c unit somewhere.

About 3 months ago my unit froze up outside, after calling in a claim to my home warranty they sent out a technician that added freon and "could not find a leak".
Now, 90 days later I have the same problem. I called the home warranty company again and they sent a technician that said freon is low but he could not add any because there is obviously a leak, however, he could not find the leak.
I then called back the home warranty company and they sent out a 2nd company, he came today and could not find a leak but added 3 lbs of freon.

My question is, if I have freon added 2 or 3 times a year, will it damage the rest of the unit? I would assume that when the freon runs low that my system is not working anywhere near optimal and at the very least I am running the unit longer then necessary.

I would like to call the home warranty company and force them to send out someone that can find the leak and make the repair. I just want to be educated when I call them, and be prepared if they tell me that adding freon is no big deal.

thanks for any suggestions.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-13-08, 09:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,462
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
3 lbs for 3 months is not a small leak. When the freon is low, not only you use more electricity, your unit also wore out faster. You need call them again to get it fixed. Don't know why they don't fix it, there are many ways to find the leak, 3 lbs for 3 months leak should not be hard to find. good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-08, 11:08 PM
Codyy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 477
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
clocert is absolutely right, that much freon loss in that period of time is unacceptable, and furthermore it is not a responsable company to simply keep adding freon over and over, and of course, isn't good for the homeowner's wallet.
The unit does suffer too, I'd be very worried about when it freezes more than anything.

So aside from being able to get a different company or giving them a boot to have them put some effort into finding the leak, try looking around your lineset for any oily residue, sounds, etc.

The company can use an electronic leak detector, add dye to the system, etc. to find this leak. It CAN be found.
 
  #4  
Old 08-14-08, 07:28 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,051
Received 18 Votes on 18 Posts
If this company can not find the leak you would do well to find someone else.

A compressor relies on cool refrigerant returning to the compressor to keep it cool.
You will have a condition where the refrigerant will leak enough to still cool your home but not have enough to cool the compressor.
Too much of this will kill the compressor.
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-08, 08:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 42
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I agree with all the others! Not only will a leak kill the compressor, it will kill your electric bill, the ozone, your wallet, and other components of your AC. Excess heat is the enemy as Greg alluded to.
 
  #6  
Old 08-27-08, 08:05 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 17
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I had another company come and take a look and he was not 100% confident with his diagnosis, but this is what he said.

Checked air found head press to high and low. Head press is at 320 PSI, Cold press at 65 PSI. Compressor could have bad valves. Could not find any freon leak. 3/8 dryer is to small. Dryer should be bigger. -- The tech's hand writing is a little hard to read so I may have not typed everything exactly has he wrote it.

Bottom line is he is going to suggest the home warranty company send a 2nd opinion.

What does he mean by Dryer is to small?
 
  #7  
Old 08-28-08, 05:12 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: south carolina usa
Posts: 180
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I am not a tech, so don't laugh. Is it possible that the leak could be on the low side and the low press cutout is not shutting down the system before it draws in air or moisture. Could non condensables be causing the high head?
Just learning so correct me if you please.
 
  #8  
Old 08-28-08, 05:52 PM
Jarredsdad's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Troy, VA
Posts: 1,532
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hate to say this, but...

Sounds like a Parade of Parts Changers.

Twice frozen coil, twice added gas, now 320 discharge and 65 suction.

If comp valves were bad, suction would be much higher.

I think you are now overcharged and "The Leak" can't be found because it is not there.

Frozen coil is caused by low gas, low airflow, perhapes a metering device problem.

Forget the warrenty company, it was wasted money in the first place, call a service company and give back ground.

Get a real tech in there.
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-08, 06:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 17
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lionsandwings View Post
3/8 dryer is to small. Dryer should be bigger.
What about the comment on the dryer size? What is it, and will it have any affect on the pressure/freon leak?
 
  #10  
Old 08-28-08, 06:38 PM
Jarredsdad's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Troy, VA
Posts: 1,532
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Catches any debris that was not removed at install, also absorbs any moisture in the system. Moisture will usually come from leaks or gauges being attached to the system.

Unless your system is 7 tons or Larger, 3/8 is good. Best way to tell is to look at it. If the copper line from the unit is the same size as the valve and is the same size as the drier, it's the right size.
 
  #11  
Old 08-28-08, 09:31 PM
user 10's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 2,008
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
Checked air found head press to high and low. Head press is at 320 PSI, Cold press at 65 PSI. Compressor could have bad valves. Could not find any freon leak. 3/8 dryer is to small. Dryer should be bigger. -- The tech's hand writing is a little hard to read so I may have not typed everything exactly has he wrote it.
Forget about the home warranty company and find a decent company yourself.

Based on that compression ratio, your compressor is fine.

Insufficient airflow can cause low suction pressure and freezing; did anyone bother to check the furnace/air handler? Is the filter clean? Is the blower speed set correctly?

You could also have a dirty evaporator coil or bad metering device if it's a TXV.

Anyone who doesn't check the above prior to putting gauges on a system is completely incompetent; anyone who charges only based on suction pressure has absolutely no business working on HVAC equipment.

You could have a liquid line restriction.

BTW I'm assuming that the system uses R22; if it's 410a, disregard this post.
 
  #12  
Old 08-29-08, 04:59 PM
Jarredsdad's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Troy, VA
Posts: 1,532
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Muggle going down the right road there.

Actually thinking like a true Tech.

Frozen coil, WHY?

Is it low on refrigerant? Prove it.

Is it low air flow? Prove it.

Is fan speed incorrect? Prove it.

HVAC systems work a certain way. There may be several things that can cause any operational problem such as a frozen coil.

What a Tech should do, and has to do, is to prove or disprove each of the probable causes of the malfunction. Once the cause is found you then treat the cause. Treat the cause not the symptom
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: