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Question DetailsAsked on 4/21/2017

How much to find a leak and repair or replace the coil in a 2005 Trane AC unit? Repairman charges 80.00 per hour.

How much to find a leak and repair or replace the coil in a 2005 Trane AC unit?

Lexington Cooling & Heating charges 80.00 per hour for labor. The repairman says he needs to find the leak in the coil and then replace the coil as it cannot be repaired. So why find the leak? Seems like more labor for no reason.

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1 Answer


Like he says - could be very quick, could be up to a couple of hours - I can't see spending 5 hours on diagnosis/tracking a leak though. If it is taking that long he needs to use a different method - ultrasonic or dye detection for instance.

Like you say - why would he say the coil needs replacing if he has not found the leak - though an AWFUL lot of HVAC companies just jump in and do that right off the bat (a big money maker for them), then if the problem persists say "oh, there must have been a second leak too". Granted, that is a common leak location - especially in older units like yours, but I would not be assuming that is where the leak is without some proof. And if the coil IS leaking, one would normally install the replacement first, then pressure test the system for other leaks (typically using nitrogne gas) before recharging it with the expensive refrigerant.

You can find a lot of previous similar questions with answers, including some discussions of how to detect leaks, in the Home > HVAC link under Browse Projects, at lower left. A couple are provided below:

Of course, with a 12 year old unit, you are pretty much at the normal life of an A/C these days - with cheap construction the days of 20-40 year lives are about gone, so you will be needing to evaluate whether a repair (especially with an indeterminate leak detection cost plus if ti has leaked out probably $500 range gas replacement to boot, versus the cost of a new unit which would also come with a new warranty.

I would guess, unless a simple fitting leak (as opposed to a leak in a coil or compressor, which would almost certainly have to be replaced), that the repair is going to cost more than the unit is worth - though if tight on $, sometimes keeping a unit going with a repair is the better solution for some people than a new unit, just because of the several thousand or more $ out of pocket for the new unit.

In the Home > HVAC link under Browse Projects you can find a number of previous responses which discuss the economic issues - that of sinking $ into an aging unit versus a lot more $ to get a new unit, the possible efficiency improvement and resultant energy savings (especially if in heavy use A/C area), etc.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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