nyhomeownerSeptember 6, 2011


Hi everyone! I am new to this forum. I bought a newly built house 4 years ago with central air. Recently the A/C stopped working so I hired an HVAC tech to come take a look into the issue. I was told that there was no freon so he helped me recharge the unit. Less then 2 weeks later the A/C was no longer working. I called the tech back and he said there is probably a leak and that he would need to put in dye with a sealant and recharge the system again.

I am uncomfortable doing this because I feel that the tech should do this procedure and follow the lines to see if there is a leak since the system is pressurized. However he told me to call him if this does not fix the issue. So before I get him to do this I followed the lines from the A/C unit on the outside all the way into the air hanger. I was hoping to find some oil left behind by the leaking freon. No luck there. However, I did notice that the metal threaded cap on top of the high side valve (where you attach the gauges to) to be loose enough where I can twist it off. Also the black cap that protects the valve is missing the o-ring on the inside of the cap. Will this cause the freon to leak? Do you know what that part is called? Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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To answer your question, the caps being loose would not cause the substantial loss of refrigerant you describe. Their main purpose is to protect the valve, keeping dirt and other contaminants out.

The technician may be "guessing" there is "probably" a leak and he should look for it. In fact, a leak that substantial, he is obligated to look for it.

I'm not a fan of adding any monkey snot leak sealer into a unit. It causes more problems than you want and doesn't really seal anything. I personally don't introduce anything into the refrigerant circuit except refrigerant. I agree with you, the technician should take a leak detector and look for the leak, it is a relatively easy process and a leak that size should only take a few minutes.

However, I'm assuming he just made a guess in response to your call and will check it out before introducing anything into the system. If you think you can convince him to use a leak detector instead of red die, try to do so. If it is a large leak in the evaporator coil, that stuff is going to blow all around inside the plenum where the coil sits.

The size leak, if indeed it is a leak that is your second problem, would leave traces of oil. If you didn't see any evidence on any of the lines or where they connect, then it could be in the evaporator coil or, somewhere in the condensing unit. It is a very fine oil so look closely.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:32PM
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Or the tech could do an isolation test Sealing each part inside from the outside pressurizing and waaiting to see which one leaks time consuming and cost money then after locating which component is leaking fix or replace as needed. As far as putting sealant in the system and dye he's just trying to ge0t another 3 or 4 hundred out of you cause that won't work.Call another tech.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:59AM
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We stopped adding refrigerant years ago. We can remove whatever had been in the system. We start with fresh refrigerant. We dont charge our customers 15, 20, 30 or 40 dollar a pound for refrigerant. We double our cost. period.
That a 200% mark up. We pressurize our systems with nitrogen,
and have a flat fee based on percentage of pressure used. We bring our systems to 500 microns..with a 3 minute creep upward to 600. We weigh in when we can the refrigerant. We have a labor rate of 125.00 per hour. If you come to a system with a leak. Fix it or get out of the business. We use bubbles, electronic leak detectors, glow in the dark :), human eyes, we even pressurize coils and put them in a tank of water...We STOP Leaks and fix the system. If you want to use a sealant, well try it. Am sure 10s of thousand have it in there systems today and are comfortable.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 12:27PM
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