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How to Detect a Refrigerant Leak in AC

Posted by [email protected] on October 1, 2020 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (66)

Detecting a leak on your AC is an easy task if you will follow proper procedures to help you find these leaks. Most homeowners would prefer to call right away a plumber to do the job and fix it once there's a problem in the unit. Detecting a leak is simple, and you may set the minimal occurrences in no time. As you know if the damage is severe, call the expert to solve the issue.

Steps in Finding a Leak

Use a Soap

Soap testing is a safe and quick method of detecting a refrigerant leak. However, this test is useful with a positive pressure gauge system when it has a higher pressure than the peripheral. Systems running under vacuum, can draw moisture, and cause contamination or component failure. We can use this test in current AC systems, using chlorine and fluorine-based refrigerants



• switch the system on with cooling, or heating mode,

• Make a soap solution by the use of a dishwashing liquid mix it with enough amount of water

• Set aside the mixture in an empty container with a mist spray

• Take the cover of the test area from wind,

• Pat dry the area with a cloth if it has a moisture

• Spray it with the soap solution and observe any bubble

• You may repeat the steps on suspected areas

• As you finally see any bubbling formation, it requires repair or replacement

• Pat the location and dry after the test

UV Light Detection

One phenomenon that usually occurs in cooling refrigerant leaks is the release of lubricating oil into the air. It's because the oil is well mixed in the refrigerant. Processed lubricating oil, will have ultraviolet (UV) substance in it. Air conditioner lubricating oil is not left out. This UV element detects by UV light, or popularly known as Black light. Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye, and therefore, we need a UV light, to reflect the UV element on a surface. That's what UV lights do. UV surfaces exposed to UV light will reflect this light, and it will be visible to our eyes.



• shade the test area

• direct the light to the test area of the AC system, and locate the fluorescent mark

• This method may detect minimal refrigerant leaks.

If you are not able to fix the leak yourself, you can call an expert plumber to help you. A highly trusted plumber like plumber in Fort Pierce, FL can help you fix your leaking refrigerator quickly, ensuring a quality of work.


Refrigerant Leak Detection Using An Electronic Device

Electronic leak detection is the most widely used and remarkably accurate refrigerant leak detection method. It is also popular as a halogen leak detector, as refrigerant used in AC with chlorine and fluorine-based material; these are halogen gases. It works as the leaking refrigerant draws in the unit of a small pump. The refrigerant passes through a proportional halogen detector and translates it into an electrical signal. This signal will amplify, and the readout will be given, along with the audible sound.



• switch on or open the unit

• be sure to cover the test site from the direct draft,

• carefully pass the detection probe near the test site and wait for audible and visible signals


• Wear protective gear and do not use bare hands to avoid frostbite

• Do the steps in a well-ventilated area

• if you smell the pungent odor, stay out of there

• Call a professional once you detect any pungent smell