freon leak, leak sealer used.

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  #1  
Old 07-13-10, 09:16 AM
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Post freon leak, leak sealer used.

We have a 2 year old Trane 19I unit (through Homedepot). It worked great for the past years but this year the unit was not blowing any cold air. An AC guy (through homedepot) came over and said I was about 1lb low on Freon. He said finding the leak would be costly and an alternative was to use a Leak Sealer in our system.

Since we didn't know anything about leak sealer we went ahead had had him do the procedure. After the fact I started reading up on leak sealer and all the negative posts... not to mention we might void our 10 year warranty on the unit, I'm hoping someone can give us advise or suggestions. Should be have em replace the lines and find the leak, or should we not worry to much and that this sealer might just work fine ...

Thanks
 
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Old 07-13-10, 10:21 AM
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Leak sealant isn't a good idea. But it's too late now to put the genie back into his bottle.

The correct procedure is always to locate the leak and fix it properly.

If your unit has a 10-yr warranty, I can't understand why it wasn't repaired correctly. If the man HD sent to repair the A/C (that you bought from HD used leak stop), then they should still be on the hook for the warranty, right?

I wonder if one-pound low would cause the A/C to quit cooling altogether?
 
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Old 07-13-10, 01:32 PM
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BIG mistake IMO. I would get in contact with Home Depot, Trane, the Pope, and raise Hell. What is the warranty for if this is what they are going to do? That stuff has killed more systems than its helped. It should only (maybe) be used as a last resource on a old system not a two year old warrantied system.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 02:02 PM
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Thanks for the feedback... yes we feel pretty stupid. We assumed the AC tech would give us the best solution not the easiest ( although he also suggested to just add freon every year...) And yes if homedepot send us this guy they better keep the warranty in place, we keep all paperwork if it ever comes to any issues.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 02:08 PM
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@ Mike Speed 30, the AC didn't quit is was still working but just barely and the second day the pipe 'froze'. I stopped the unit and turned it back a few hours later.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 04:28 PM
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Do you have a brother-in-law that's a lawyer? Think about having him write a letter (or do it yourself), laying out all the facts to HD and to HD's sub(s) that installed and repaired the unit. For your info, here are the EPA regs regarding refrigerant leaks: Complying With The Section 608 Refrigerant Recycling Rule | Ozone Depletion - Regulatory Programs | U.S. EPA

I'm really surprised that the serviceman suggested just adding a pound of refrigerant every year. The law requires that leaks be fixed if more than 15% of the full charge leaks each year. For one lb/yr, the total charge would have to be less than 6.7 lb, which I doubt.

Put HD on notice that the whole system should be replaced unless HD can produce a written letter from Trane approving the stop-leak repair.

Fall back proposal: extend the warranty to 20 years, parts and labor.

Does your A/C use R-22? With any reasonable luck, refrigerant should never have to be replaced, indefinitely. In 20 years, R-22, if it's available at all, may be $200-1000/lb.

If the refrigerant leaks again soon, or if you have other problems, then you'll be lucky! You can then demand the leak be repaired properly.
 

Last edited by Mike Speed 30; 07-13-10 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 07-13-10, 04:38 PM
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add freon every year lol lmao holy... the man home depot sent out was clearly not certified or trained in hvac, or probably had little experience. im confounded that they would send a guy who says that. cuz as mike speed says its basically illegal.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 07:46 PM
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[QUOTE=Mike Speed 30;1747128]

I'm really surprised that the serviceman suggested just adding a pound of refrigerant every year. The law requires that leaks be fixed if more than 15% of the full charge leaks each year. For one lb/yr, the total charge would have to be less than 6.7 lb, which I doubt.
QUOTE]

That law does not apply to residential systems. It for bigger commercial systems. You can legally add refrigerant to your residential unit whenever you want. But as I said earlier in this particular situation with the sealant added the OP needs to try and get things made right.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by theapprentice View Post
That law does not apply to residential systems. It for bigger commercial systems. You can legally add refrigerant to your residential unit whenever you want.
OK, thanks. I stand corrected.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 11:55 AM
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Thank you all for the suggestions, I feel much better knowing to have some options. I post any progress.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 12:02 PM
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btw, is there a way to convert the trane 19I to use R-410A?
 
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Old 07-14-10, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by soulburn View Post
btw, is there a way to convert the trane 19I to use R-410A?
The high-side pressure for R-410A is much higher than for R-22. So, a compressor and evaporator designed for R-22 won't be adequate.

R-22 presently sells for about $7 per pound in bulk cylinders, but will undoubtedly increase in the future with the EPA-mandated phase-down. R-410A is presently a bit higher per pound than R-22.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 01:08 PM
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After all the discussions here, Can I ask you, Did the leak sealer work ??
 
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Old 07-23-10, 10:52 AM
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As an FYI.

I had a 21 yo 3T York system that worked perfectly since new. Never added refrigerant. This spring during a heat wave it failed to cool. I immediately shut it down and had my heating contractor look at it and he added about 10# of R22. Said it was "red tagged" and he couldn't add anymore until it was fixed. His leak detector indicated it was the evaporator coil. He said it would be impossible to find a replacement and not cost effective. He never mentioned sealant as an option.

Another HVAC guy offered to try a sealant and add R22 if needed. Cost me $150 but the AC is still working. I just hope it gets through the summer because I will be replacing or adding ductless. The sealant was named Super Seal?? and was in one of those 16oz? freon type cans.
 
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Old 07-23-10, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tobee View Post
As an FYI.

I had a 21 yo 3T York system that worked perfectly since new. Never added refrigerant. This spring during a heat wave it failed to cool. I immediately shut it down and had my heating contractor look at it and he added about 10# of R22. Said it was "red tagged" and he couldn't add anymore until it was fixed. His leak detector indicated it was the evaporator coil. He said it would be impossible to find a replacement and not cost effective. He never mentioned sealant as an option.

Another HVAC guy offered to try a sealant and add R22 if needed. Cost me $150 but the AC is still working. I just hope it gets through the summer because I will be replacing or adding ductless. The sealant was named Super Seal?? and was in one of those 16oz? freon type cans.
The first contractor was less than truthful(lied) to you about the red tag BS and I would recommend staying away from him. I also doubt he really put in 10 pounds on a three ton unit. I would RED TAG him.
 
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Old 07-23-10, 07:26 PM
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That last poster (tobee) used the sealer in the proper manner. An OLD worn out 21 year old system. If it happens not to work well then NO great loss. No way it should be put into a less than 10 year old system and even then it should be used as a last resort. I can certainly understand the techs position on leak finding it can be a real time killer with a low success rate it is already frustrating enough dealing with the general public much less trying to perform a miracle everyday finding a tiny little leak........... I have used the sealer several times with good success rates, some units held their charges for many years after the sealer was used. The best scenario is to actually find the leak. If the parts are unavailable and it is the low pressure coil tubing of the evap coil it has the best chance of success. If you had a hole rubbed in the line on the high pressure side or a hole in the line close to the compressor where there is a lot of vibration then it will have the least chance of success. The unit should be tagged that sealer has been added I would be pretty mad if I recovered your refrigerant and your funky refrigerant ruined my 2k recovery machine.
 
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Old 07-25-10, 08:34 AM
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That's a good point on tagging it as "sealant added 4-2010" and I will do that as a reminder and warning for any HVAC techs.

Clarification please: My system has a long lineset run between the condenser and evaporator >60ft. (Does 10# sound unreasonable to add if the system had a leak and had not been run for 5 months. I was there when he was adding it. Will the AC purge themselves, if the compressor is run for 15-30 minutes (until I determined it wasn't working). Are these HVAC companies not required to red tag them if they have had a serious leak?
 
 

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