Freon will evaporate almost as soon as it hits the air. It will not leave
anything behind. The unit will have oil in it and you may find some oil
around where it leaks out.
If he added 8 pounds, the system must be empty or almost empty. He should
have checked for leaks to find out where the freon leaked out. If really
empty, he should have put a vacuum pump on it and sucked all the air and any
moistuer out of the system before it was refilled.
YOu are right, the system is a closed system and the freon should stay in it
unless there is a leak. Anytime freon is added, it means a leak somewhere
as it does not get used up.
If you want to know for sure, mix up some very concentrated dish soap with
a little water. Take a little paint brush and whip it up into a froth with
little tiny air bubbles in it. "Paint it" thickly all over the exposed
liquid line, sight glass & filter drier. Check it several times over a few
hours and see if the bubbles start to grow from a leak (especially at the
I'd think the guy shoulda put a vacuum pump out, and remove the air. And
then ought have checked for leaks. To lose the entire charge over the
winter, there's gotta be a leak.
Also, eight pounds? Must be a big system. Most central AC near me use five
to six pounds.
i had a similar problem , my sight glass was leaking on 15 YEAR
OLD SYSTEM. 5 companies were willing to add freon, suggested a new
system ,and were unwilling to repair the leak. i fixed it myself by
removing the sightglass and connected line without it.i vacumed it and
filled with r22 ...been working for 7 years. most companies now are
ripoff artists thanks to freon regulation.. lucas
What surprised me is that they found your system empty and they didn't
replace the liq. line drier.
If you find a system that low on refrigerant you would change the drier and
put the system in vacuum then charge the system plus making sure there is a
low pressure switch in the system so it will shut down if you run low again.
I paid $375 for 8lb and the service.
The guy told me that he can't look for the leak yet as he just put the
freon in and he can come back next week to look for it. After reading
some of your comments, I guess I'll call the company and ask them to
come and look for the leak at no charge since they didn't do it the
He should have been able to look for the leak as soon as he added the freon.
There are several kinds of detectors. One is like a propane torch with a
rubber hose on it that you move the hose around and if it picks up freon,
the flame will change colors. Very old way, been around for over 75 years.
There is an ultrasonic probe that will pick up the sound of the leak. Also
is an electronic probe that will indicate a leak sort of like the old torch
detector but uses an electronic element instead of a flame.
All of the detectors will operate just as soon as the freon is added and the
unit is started.
I don't think I would pay for another service call just for finding a leak
as it should have been done the first time.
On mine the tech checked the outside coils and fittings but said the evap
coil is a waste of time considering the system is so old. If there is an
inside leak the system should be replaced. I'm not defending it. That's what
he told me. Personally I feel a bit taken advantage of but I still don't
You have to remember what time of the day it is and what work load he has. I
know from experience that when you craw into an attic in the heat of the day
it can kill a technician also if he has allot of other customers he had to
worry about having the time to get to them.
I have also temporary fixed systems and came back at a better time to
completely finish the job.
I tell you that the labor is about the same it has been for a number of
years but not the parts. To give you an example a couple of years ago you
could find R-22 at the wholesale price of $40 and today you are looking at
around $200. So now you have to figure the cost of replacement and figure in
the loss plus what profit you need to stay in business.
What a laugh.
The guy will likely need to spend hours to check for ALL of the
leaks (Don't assume there is only one leak) and then there is the
repairs and replacements. Your Free service could and should cost you
a grand or more after he is finished.
On Sun, 6 Jul 2008 06:29:57 -0700 (PDT), JackpipE
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.