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Technicians can use several methods to find these leaks. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Some work well to locate a leak in one system but not as well in another.
A technician should know how to use more than one leak detection method. If one method isn't working, he can switch to an alternate one. Sometimes it is even beneficial to employ two methods while searching for a leak: one to locate the general area of the suspected leak and the other to pinpoint it.
Leak Detection MethodsHere are various ways to search for a refrigerant leak:
This method works well in those cases where a technician can visually inspect all of the piping with ease. This is not always possible. Often it is very difficult, or even impossible, to visually inspect all areas of a system.
It is normally best to use a soapy solution purchased from a supply house. However, some technicians make their own solutions. Homemade solutions work well as long as they do not corrode or freeze onto the tubing or fittings.
There is one basic rule you must follow while searching for a leak: have patience. At times, this process can be a very tedious and frustrating procedure. A little patience goes a long way.
Joe Marchese is owner of Coldtronics, Pittsburgh. He can be reached at 412-734-4433, www.coldtronics.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 12/06/2004