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The emergence of a new preferred refrigerant (R-410A), as fluorocarbons have been phased out, requires up-to-date tools and expertise. Because it operates at a higher pressure than other refrigerants, finding and eliminating leaks in R-410A systems is important. Industry sources have been reporting that leaks are becoming more frequent.

Service technicians can employ a variety of proper leak-detection methods.  These techniques are not new, but because of the potential difficulty in detecting leaks they all have value. Five of the most common techniques, all employed by DG Service Company are:

Visual checks
– A first visual inspection for clues, such as dirt build-up around fittings or unusual colored markings.Soap Bubble Test

Soap-bubble test
– Concentrated soap used to ‘bubble-up’ at a leak site is a proven method, employed since the beginnings of refrigeration technology.  It is fast and leaks can be easily pinpointed.

Nitrogen pressurization
–Pressurizing the system with nitrogen at 150 psi. This test takes a bit of time and can detect small, large or multiple leaks. A leak may not become apparent until the system operates; a disadvantage.

Electronic leak test
– While system is nitrogen charged, a small charge of (leaking) refrigerant can be detected with electronic leak instruments.

UV-dye injection- Employed after other methods fail to find a leak. UV-dye is injected into the system.  This method can detect continuous and/or intermittent leaks over days or months.

The causes of leaks can vary widely but need to be dealt with in a timely fashion to alleviate further damage to the entire refrigeration or air conditioning system.  DG Service Company prides itself on our expertise in refrigerant technology.