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Question DetailsAsked on 10/6/2016

If testing negative for a leak, isn't it abnormal to use 4-l/2 lbs. of Freeon in a 10 mo. period?

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1 Answer


You have a leak for certain - an A/C system techincally should not leak at all (assuming it has a sealed compressor and motor like almost all current ones do), but generally there is some leakage at fittings and through seals and such, so a system is normally considered acceptably "gas tight" as long as it does not leak off more than a pound or two every 3-5 years or so - though I have seen ones that ran 20-30 years without any maintenance (other than cleaning) or needing any gas added.

Either his test method was not sensitive enough to detect your leak over that long a timframe (like maybe he used an electronic "sniffer" or ultraviolet gas detector which may not reliably detect very slow leaks), or he did not (or could not due to being in walls) check all possible leak locations. For that leak rate I would suggest probably a tracer dye injected into the refrigerant, then a return trip a few weeks or more later (or when you see the colored dye appear) to look for the leak location. Or testing at full lineset test overpressure with an audible or ultrasonic detector to hear the point of leakage.

I would talk to the tech, if you have confidence in him, about alternative test methods - otherwise, if you lack confidence in him or he does not seem to know that there are several ways to detect leaks in A/C systems (at least 5 I can think of offhand), look around for another well-rated and reviewed A/C company to try their hand at finding the leak. Most would probably go with dye as the simplest - but if you can't see the point the dye is coming out (like in a lineset leak in a wall) you can't find the leak, which is why some prefer increasing the pressure (to acceptable test limit) and listening with sensitive equipment for the sound of the gas escaping.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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