Is this a fair price for fixing a leak in the central air unit?


Hello, I just had my central air unit recharged with refrigerant and a leak was found in a very accessible area, on the discharge tube. The repairman said he would fix the leak for $450. He said it would take some time because the refrigerant had to be pumped into the condenser before he could fix the leak and then the system would have to be restarted. Does $450 sound reasonable? Thanks
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Starting with the misinformation about 'pumping the refrigerant into the condenser' and the rather high price for a couple hours work, you ought to contact another AC firm for a quote on the job. IIRC, refrigerant is pumped into a recycling machine, repairs made, tests conducted, and then system refill and adjusting. Of course, my experience is in automotive, so I could be wrong.
Joe
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On home systems you can use the compressor to capture most of the refrigerant. You close the high side, trip the contactor, and watch the guages. You will hear the compressor start to load down as the suction pressure starts to drop. If the lines are fairly short you can get just about all the refrigerant back into the outside unit. Close the suction side and release the contactor. If you have some residual pressure outside the unit that will need to be recovered. Difficult to estimate this because there s not enough info to kow if the leak can be fixed by simply brazing the existing system or if something will need to be replaced. If it's done properly the tech will purge with nitrogen and keep a slow flow going wihile brazing. Then the rest of the system need to be vacuumed for a while. It would be easy to spend several hours on this doing it completely by the book so the estimate may be a little high but it's not extreme. I'd guess you migh get down into the 200's maybe with some more estimates. Some guys will skip the nitrogen part. Some guys might want to add a filter/desicator or relace the existing one if there is one. That could easily get you back into the $400 range.
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I had the same kind of leak. He replaced the tube, both brass fittings at the base of the unit, recharged it for $265.
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On 6/7/2010 10:31 AM, Joe J wrote:

That's more in line with what me and my friends would charge.
TDD
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Unused Classified wrote:

No but *nothing* sounds reasonable to me anymore.
--

dadiOH
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