r22 leaked out, How do I find leak

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Old 07-31-20, 12:54 PM
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r22 leaked out, How do I find leak

It's a central a/c system in a house that's been vacant for a while. The system was known to have a leak when last in use. Right now the compressor does not start and I traced the fault to a open pressure switch. There is a high and low pressure switch in series with the 24vac control voltage. I didn't isolate which switch is open, but It's a safe assumption that the r22 has leaked out enough to not close the low pressure switch. I've not put gauges on it yet. The compressor will run if I push in the contactor.
I'm selling the house and I'm not going to get a lot for it, I don't want to spend a much on it. I've got enough r22 to charge the system if it's not gonna leak out.
Is there any way to try to find the leak without putting some expensive r22 in it?
I see some leak seal products on Amazon. "Maximum Seal XL4 Direct Inject" is one example. Do these things work?
 

Last edited by johnd393; 07-31-20 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-31-20, 01:00 PM
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Hi, charge the system with dry nitrogen and use soap bubbles, look for oil around the piping, DO NOT push the contactor in manually, if that compressor was shorted it could cause you personal injury.
Geo
 
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Old 07-31-20, 08:20 PM
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Sealants will not stop a large leak like that.
Call it a lost cause and deduct it from the selling price.
 
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Old 07-31-20, 09:33 PM
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We don't really know how fast the leak is. It took years to leak down to where the low pressure switch opened. It's been a few years since the compressor stopped coming on. I finally took the time to troubleshoot it. The condenser fan didn't work at first either, I first checked to see it the fan motor was frozen. It spun free, It was rusty bad connection on a capacitor. Tapped on it and the fan took off. I plan to clean up that connection.

Normally we check the place every few weeks and when we get there we have to do yard work, mowing, snow clearing, leaf raking or some other repetitive task that keeps us from working on other things needed to get the place sold. I just contracted with a mowing service, So now I can go there and work on stuff. It's 30 miles away. Usually when wife gets her hair done over there, we use the trip also to check the house.

Somebody broke in and started stealing copper pipes.We were lucky to be there the next day before the basement filled up. I fixed the pipes. There still a little bit of other damage to a suspended ceiling. I leave outdoor lights on now. LED bulbs cost little to leave on.
 
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Old 08-01-20, 05:35 AM
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You can’t charge the system if it’s flat. It’ll have noncondensables in it which will cause major problems.
If the system is flat you’ll have to use nitrogen to trace the leak. Then fix it. Then nitrogen test for any more leaks and evacuate using a vacuum pump and micron gauge.
Leak seal products aren’t recommended. And they react with products in the atmosphere. So if you put it in a system that’s got air in it, it’ll react, harden and destroy the system past any hope of repair.
 
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Old 08-01-20, 11:56 AM
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New gauge set coming. Old one is shot. Next step has gotta be to determine what pressure, if any, is in it.
I have no problem having a pro come out and do that nitrogen leak test if I can find somebody to do it.
I'm gonna clean it up and get all the electrical stuff in order before I let anybody else look at it.
 
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Old 08-03-20, 03:24 PM
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Sealers don't work. And a "Pro" isn't going to fix this system. Either disclose the AC isn't working in the sales information or replace the system.
 
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Old 08-03-20, 06:26 PM
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We can't help you here with any charging questions but I can tell you since you'll have the gauges.... go to a welding supply shop and get a small tank of nitrogen. Anyone can buy it. Typically you'll pay for a rental on the tank.
 
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