inside frozen Air Conditioning unit

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE ONE AND HOW DO YOU FIND A LEAK?

An air conditioning or heat pump system is sealed. IT SHOULD NEVER BE LOW ON REFRIGERANT (FREON) UNLESS IT HAS A LEAK.

Here are some ways we can locate leaks:

  • Visual inspection for traces of oil leaking with the refrigerant.
  • Using a high viscosity bubble leak detector solution on joint and connection.
  • A halide (flame color change) leak detection tool.
  • Electronic leak detector instruments.
  • An injection of fluorescent dye and special light detection method.
  • Best way is nitrogen, High Pressure.

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

Some of the possible causes are:

  • Unit vibration over a period of time.
  • Abuse or damage from outside sources.
  • Copper/aluminum stress fractures due to age and /or vibrations.
  • Service valves become worn over time.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A LEAK LOCATED AND REPAIRED?

  • The system operates less efficiently with more power consumption when only ounces low on refrigerant.
  • Compressor life is shortened. Motor gets less cooling when low on charge.
  • Refrigerant and service calls are expensive-AND WILL KEEP LEAKING.
  • Acid and contamination damage your compressor, causing premature unit failure.

WHAT DO WE DO IN A REFRIGERANT LEAK REPAIR?

  • Remove and properly dispose of (or recondition) contaminated refrigerant, if necessary.
  • Mechanically repair the leak with tools or torch.
  • Install acid and/or moisture absorbing filter drier(s).
  • Thoroughly vacuum the system with a special high vacuum pump to remove all air and moisture.
  • Recharge the system with refrigerant and test run.

When severe contamination is present, other procedures can include:

  • After a prescribed run time, a pressure drop test across the suction drier is made.
  • If there is an excessive pressure drop:
    • The refrigerant is again removed.
    • The filter driers (or cartridges) are replaced.

A final pressure drop and/or acid test is run after a prescribed run-time