Freon Leak, Replace Coil?

kateydJuly 13, 2009

I have 15 year old Rheem Ac . Freon was added in May and was advised had leaks in coil..cooled until last week. Had different repairman come so i could get another opinion..he had a tester for freon leak..a blue bulb looking thing with a long black neck, carried it around inside and said did not find inside freon so leak must be at unit outside. He replaced some little caps outside and added freon. This is my upstairs ac, four days later it is again 96 degrees in my upstairs and blowing hot air.

Repairman returned today with tester and now says I have leak in coil. Tester was making noise as he walked around inside house. I do not have quote for replacing coil yet. This is the first problem with this unit.

Should a coil replacement get me a few more years out of a system that doesn't seem to have any other problems???

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jake2007

Okay, this is exactly the kind of nonsense that I hate!

Please pick up the nearest blunt object and beat both "repair" men about the head and shoulders.

First. If they don't have a real leak detector and know how to use it, (there is only one leak detector that I know works) they have no business with a tank and gauges. Period. If they don't know how to charge using superheat they have no business with a tank or gauges either. Guys without these skills should be flipping hamburgers, not pretending to be AC repair techs.

Second, if a unit is low on coolant they need to find the leak, not just add some refrigerant and hope it will be good for a while.

Third, it's not possible to find a leak by walking around in a house with a leak detector. That's total crap.

Fourth, I understand that there may be some regional differences (salt air), but I think that guys are diagnosing "leaks in the coil" (evaporator coil) way too often - primarily because they don't have the right equipment or knowledge to really find a leak.

In this particular instance, the age of the unit would nudge the repair/replace decision towards "replace" - but I would find a reputable firm first.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 4:43PM
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kateyd

Thank you for the reply..The leak detector started high pitched beeping the minute he came in the door from the outside...I wasn't real sure freon that is leaking from the coil in the attic could be detected in the air downstairs. But he has put freon in 3 times in the last week so there is a problem somewhere.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 5:59PM
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golfer1512

If it was newer replace coil, but 15 yrs I would replace the whole system. I replaced an 8 yr old unit, leaking coil for a yr and the blower was going this May. My guy wanted $ 800 for a coil last yr, I'm glad I just limped along, It would have been a waste of $$$. Get a good brand name system and the $1500 tax credit.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 7:02PM
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jakethewonderdog

I agree, replace the entire unit. Fixing it would be a waste of money. Just don't use those guys to install the new one.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 9:32PM
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brickeyee

"The leak detector started high pitched beeping the minute he came in the door from the outside...I wasn't real sure freon that is leaking from the coil in the attic could be detected in the air downstairs."

If it leaking that fast it very well could pick it up on the first floor.

I have had mine go off on the roof of a building with the unit 30 feet away.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 10:02PM
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fluffybunnysui

Make the tech's show you the leak !!!!! I do that with all my customers... that way i feel 100% confident giving them options on what to do next. I always use my detector to get in the general area of the leak and then use soapy solution spray to pin point & show them the bubbles coming from the leak.

You cant just walk around the house waving a detector and expect to gain the homeowners trust. Thats kinda scarey anyways...

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 8:36AM
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jake2007

brickeyee,

Depending on how sensitive the unit is adjusted to, you might have it go off when you walk into the house - but is that a freon leak - and is it in the coil.

If I had mine go off when I entered a room, I'd ventilate the room, then try to locate the leak. Is the leak in the coil, the line set etc.

To walk in, have the leak detector go off, and conclude there is a leak in the coil isn't the right answer (even if that's what you suspect).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 8:44AM
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