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Question DetailsAsked on 6/22/2015

What is average lose of refrigent in AC Unit after 3 years

We are being told we have a major leak in are coil or lines to interior.
We lost 3 lbs of refrigent over the past 4 years.
Is there a average lost per year or is there really a possible leak???

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2 Answers


No average that I know of. If it is truly low on refrigerant ,their is a leak. If you trust them get it repaired if you don't call another companby. Unfortunately there are companies that will scam you, we just did a secdond opinion the other day, estimate for new coil $2900, double checked it ,no leak at all.


Answered 5 years ago by BayAreaAC


Like BayAreaAC said - hard to give an "average". Many units lose a pound or so every few years, some that much every decade or so - usually due to poorly done connections. At the Carrier factory course for commercial A/C service and installation, with almost all attendees being well-experienced HVAC techs, about 80% had one or more leaks in their test soldered connections (as I recall, the test was 5 joints in a loop) before retraining, and still about 10% after retraining - so leaks are COMMON.

I have seen 30 year old units with no noticeable leaks and zero refills in that time - also new units which leaked totally out (so 3-10 pounds) in hours to weeks after installation. Basically, assuming the pressure test is done under consistent test conditions and properly corrected for temperature effects, any "loss" is due to a leak somewhere - the amount of diffusion through the metal tubing and coils is basically unmeasureable - maybe a pound a decade or score of years or such, but not pounds worth in 4 years.

With a 3 pound loss in 4 years I would say that is far from a major leak - major to my mind would be draining the unit totally in weeks at most. I would guess you have a minor leak at a connection or the TXV control valve, possibly a minor leak in one of the many soldered joints in one of the two coils, or remotely posslby a leak from the compressor casing.

For that small a leak, I would be looking at an ultraviolet search for leaking oil (the lubricating oil for the compressor circulates around with the refrigerant gas, so appears at leaks), or have dye put into the unit when it is topped off to visibly (and with some brands strongly flouresces under ultravilet too) appear at the leak point. Other methods like ultrasonic, stethoscope, gas sniffer, etc I would not count on it being able to detect it.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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