Dealing with Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigeration Has a ‘Freeze’ Solution
What do a walk-in freezer and a college dorm refrigerator NOT have in common?
If a walk-in develops a refrigerant leak, a refrigeration service technician does all he can to stop the leak and keep that pricey piece of equipment with lots of pricey food inside up and running. If a dorm fridge springs a leak, the student takes the food stuff out, stores it in a friend’s fridge down the hall, and either begs campus housing to get him or her another refrigerator or buys a new cheap one at the local Big Box store.
But…hold on…not so fast.
In recent years, a new form of leak sealing has been developed that can deal with both leak issues as well as others, saving money for both the cost conscious walk-in equipment owner and the always cash strapped college student.
The product is called Leak Freeze (www.leakfreeze.com), a liquid that is inert until it mixes with a refrigerant. “It is activated by refrigerant escaping at the site of a leak — forming a permanent seal,” said Greg Tolker, vice president of sales for Universal Technologies, which provides the product to the industry. “It is compatible with all standard refrigerant gases, is polymer-free, and tested to be non-clogging to the compressor and recovery unit. It is a permanent fix.”
There is also a sister product called Leak Freeze with Magic Frost that seals leaks like Leak Freeze but also, according to Tolker, “extends compressor life and reduces noise, improves system lubrication and reduces friction.”
According to the company, the products can work with CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, and the HC R-600 (isobutene).
Installation, according to information supplied by the company, consists of:
1. Locating the low-pressure port of the system and unscrewing the service valve cap.
2. Unscrewing the cartridge cap of Leak Freeze.
3. Connecting the adapter to the Leak Freeze cartridge.
4. Connecting the cartridge to the low-pressure port of the system and injecting contents.
5. Disconnecting the cartridge from the system.
6. Charging the system.
7. Turning the system on at maximum power and letting it operate for 30 minutes.
It was also noted that the products work with a/c systems as well as refrigeration. Tolker further said the sealant will continue to seal additional leaks for up to one year that meet testing specifications.