Refrigerant charging advice

Old 06-20-14, 06:48 AM
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Refrigerant charging advice

One of our two Goodman central AC systems has a slow refrigerant leak. Three times HVAC "professionals" have "repaired" the system but each following year the system is back to a marginal cooling condition. They do some diagnostics, find a problem (supposedly), fix that problem, and refill the system. Things are good for the remainder of that season but then the next year we repeat that cycle.

Since the pros haven't found the root cause of the problem I thought I'd take a crack at it. I asked the HVAC company if I could borrow their refrigerant sniffer. They said no. I see you can buy sniffers on eBay for $25 or so. I'm wondering if they'd likely be adequate for a slow leak. What kind of sniffer should I be looking for? Do I need to have the AC compressor running the whole time I'm looking for a leak? That's not a problem except for when I'm sniffing near the compressor unit.

Some additional info. We live in Massachusetts near the ocean so our AC season is not all that long. Problems found and supposedly fixed: loose fitting at evaporator unit, leaky Schraeder service valve, leaky suction line (section of line replaced). Unit is a Goodman CRT36-1A. System is about 7 years old. Any help much appreciated.
Old 06-20-14, 04:05 PM
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Don't waste your money on a $25 detector.
Old 06-20-14, 06:34 PM
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I don't even trust the $200 range.
$415 will get you a good Inficon Dtek Select.
Old 06-21-14, 06:50 AM
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Appears to be a 3-Ton either 10 or 12-SEER.

Should have around 1200-CFM airflow through the indoor coil before charging the system.

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