Basic Methods for Refrigerant Leak Detection

In air conditioners and refrigerators, any service technician who is environmentally conscious must know ways and methods to search for leaks. Rising prices for refrigerants, global warming and ozone depletion have resulted in improved leak detectors for technicians. If you’re looking for more tips, San Bernardino Plumber Association has it for you.

In all sealed systems, leakage can occur. This is because at any weld, seam or joint fitting, defects are present. Even the best leak detection equipment can fail to detect extremely small flaws. But even these weaknesses become observable provided environmental stress , temperature, vibration and time. This article will shed light on certain forms and methods in refrigerators to detect leaks.

Coolant vapours are capable of flowing under layers of pipe insulation, slag, rust, flux, and paint. The leak site is often away from the point where the refrigerant gas occurs. This is the explanation for the significance of removing rust, flux, slag and loose paint to clean the site of the leak. Grease and oil should also be extracted from the leak site, as they can contaminate the very sensitive tips of electronic detectors.

It is easy to diagnose a refrigerant leak problem, but it is difficult to locate the leak source. There are many techniques for detecting these leaks that can be used by technicians. Each methodology has its own pros and cons. Some strategies may work well in certain situations at the location of a leak, but may not work well in completely different circumstances in another method.

There are some times that it is useful to use more than one form of leak detection while looking for the leak-one to find the general leakage area and the other to determine the exact location of the leak.

Below are several techniques for detecting refrigerant leaks.

  1. Visual checking:

In a device, the refrigeration oil often leaks when the refrigerant leaks. This oil stains the area around the site of the leak. Visually checking the fittings and lines for signs of oil is an easy way to detect a leak. It can offer a general idea of the leak field.

  1. Using Bubbles with Soap:

A typical approach is to use a soap solution for finding leaks in a system. In the event a leak is present, the solution will start bubbling. If there is sufficient pressure in the device or if the region where the leak is present is known, this approach is useful. The use of a soapy solution that is obtained from a supply house is optimal. It is also possible to use homemade solutions. They will operate as long as the fittings or tubing do not freeze and they do not cause corrosion.

  1. Detectors in electronic form:

Many electronic detectors detect leaks adequately. The technician must check the operation of such detectors prior to their use. After a certain duration of use, there are several detectors whose sensors must be modified. Their job must be regularly checked so that the technician does not waste his time looking for the leak using a defective detector.

  1. Refrigerant colourants:

By injecting them into the device, such dyes can be used to detect refrigerant leaks. The dye is combined with the refrigerant oil and a dye stain forms at the leakage stage. By searching for the dye stained region, the leak area can be found. Fluorescent and red dyes are commonly used.

  1. Detectors for Ultrasonic:

If there is a refrigerant leak, a sound that has a frequency slightly higher than average is emitted. With the assistance of ultrasonic detectors, these sound waves can be observed. This technique produces precise results as long as no other sources within the device region emit sound waves of the same frequency.