I have a manifold set and 30lb can of R-22 refrigerant and need to top
off my home AC system that seems to need a recharge every 3-4 years.
Is there a do-it-yourself guide that shows how to locate the low
pressure recharge point and steps a repair person through it? I've
googled the subject and not found anything! I really do not want to
pay a repair man $100 to add one pound of refrigerant into the system,
when I own the coolant and tools. Thanks in advance.
The leak should be fixed.
You need far more than a manifold gage to accurately charge an air
Read and learn what you need in instruments and know-how. - udarrell -
After you know what to ask a service tech, call and get the leak located
and fixed, ask the tech to use your R-22.
Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
I would start buy Finding the leak, the refrigerant must be going
somewhere. These days $100 dollars isn't a lot to pay for experience and
convenience. Plus if you need special tools, Gauges, hoses, regulator, buy
the time you chase all that down what do you really save? There's a real
fine line between saving money and Cheap stupidity.
the low pressure port is on the side with the larger tube.Make sure the can
is upright with the hose out the top when putting refrigerant in the low
side.Add a little at a time with the system running till the system runs
BE AWARE you may be breaking the law...it would be best to bite the bullet
and get this system fixed right as the tech may spot something that will
save you from total replacement later.Talk to the tech about trading the
refrigerant you have to him for a discount??
It will be simpler if there is a charging chart, such as should be pasted
inside the cabinet, or in documents that came with the unit.
If you don't know this procedure already, then how can you know it needs a
top-up? How do you know it has a leak? I wouldn't necessarily trust the
diagnosis that has been performed in the past by someone else.
I would agree with the other posters that if the refrigerant is getting
out, there is a leak, and you should fix the leak in conjunction with
refilling the refrigerant. You will regret doing this yourself, and it
is best advised to hire a trusted professional to do it for you.
I like the idea of having a professional use my freon. I trust the guy
that did it before, and he said that a slow leak like mine will take
some time to find, and will cost me more than $100 for showing up and
finding and fixing the leak. I went with the cheap route and he agreed
that topping it off every few years would be the cheapest approach.
This will be my third top-off in 8-9 years; I don't consider that to be
excessive given the cost of a proper fix. The last time he "fixed" the
system, it took him less than 15 minutes after removing the AC case
(that took 15 minutes in itself!) The original AC system is 12 yrs
old. Does anyone have a web site or book recommendation? I'm certain
I can learn the know how and get it running again in short order.
While I go along with the posters who say: 1) FIX the leak first; and 2)
hire a professional.
If you want to try, you will often find instructions inside the unit on how
to charge it. In addition to the gauges, you will need a fairly accurate
thermometer. You will also have to educate yourself on the meanings of the
technical terms: "Super Heat" and "Super Cooling."
If you play nice there is a very slight chance that the "pros" on alt.hvac
will give you WAGS on "typical values" but be prepared for some very nasty
replies if you venture there.
Don't waste your time on alt.hvac, it's just a social club for paranoid
union type coil cleaners to try and boost their egos by attacking anyone
who dares venture into what they think is "their" turf. If anything it
may convince you to avoid all the "pros" including the few who are
actually competent and professional (hint - the competent and
professional ones don't do residential work).
Lack of cooling can be one of several problems. While you've had freon
leak in the past, the problem may easily be something different this
I got my freon certificate from the government in 1994. Been working
for a friend of mine part time, installing furnace and AC. Not a lot
of experience with service and repair, though I have done some. One of
the many things I have learned, is that adding freon is not a
cure-all. Plenty other things can go wrong. go wrong. go wrong.
One of the things you (should) get from the $100 AC guy is to check
the several other things which might make a system stop cooling.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
You should be able to serach the internet and find instructions on how
to add freon. That's actually easy enough to do. I've done it planty
of times to automotive A/C and have watched other people do it on home
A/C once ot twice. The difference being that on a car A/C I was uaully
just adding increments in terms of the number of cans until I got cold
air out of the vents. With a house A/C, you could concieveably do the
same thing, however, with a house A/C you really need to know
information about the compressor, and figure in things like the outside
temperature to get the right amount. The difference being that for a
house A/C you want the optimal amount because too little and your A/C
is inefficient and too much causes problems as well. I'm not saying
that you can't do it yourself, I'm saying that if you really want it
done right, you need to do a lot of reasearch first.
And as for all the people saying fix the leak, they have a point too,
but I'd use it as an excuse to upgrade if your old unit is less than 10
SEER and you use it a lot. You didn't say where you live. I live in
Baltimore, and if I had a problematic unit that was less than 10 SEER,
I'd trash it. If you live in Canada or someplace else where you don't
use much A/C, then maybe even 8 SEER would still be OK.
I was actually considering doign a recharge on a smaller unit (Carrier
International Series.. mfg date Dec '89). It sits in my kitchen
The unit requires 23.5 Oz of R-22.
I opened up the unit and all looks very basic. There is a condenser,
compressor, a few relays, and some control circuit. The unit even has a
schematic printed on a sticker in the unit (which is nice since I don't
have the manual).
Now, A question for all the A/C buffs-- I moved into this house in '94 and
haven't done a recharge to date. My A/C finally gave out last summer.. Is
this typical for a good unit? How often do "leaky" units get recharged?
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.