How to identify an AC leak

How To Identify An A/C Leak

Not sure if you have an air conditioner Freon leak? There are several ways one can identify an A/C leak depending on how big the leak is. Some leaks are easy to identify than others. For example, very high pressured leaks produce sound much like a hole in a tire. You can follow the sound to identify where the leak is coming from. However, some leaks are barely recognizable and you have to be very keen to notice where the leak is originating from.

You can identify an A/C leak using a leak detector. Also, there are other alternative ways that you can find leaks. In this article we are going to look at how you can use a leak detector to identify if your car’s A/C has a leak.

When To Use A Leak Detector

A leak detector is used when you suspect that your car’s A/C is leaking, but you cannot see any oil residue or hear a leak.  Leak detectors are very affordable and one can buy from an online store for less than $50.00. The detector comprises of a main body, sensitivity controls, on and off switch and batteries. The detector has a sniffer attached at the end which when turned on, pulls small amounts of air to check traces of refrigerant.

Testing The System For Leaks

Before testing the A/C system, ensure that the system is full of Freon. This is the only way the detector can be able to give accurate results after testing. If your system is very low or flat, the detector will not be able to pick or sniff anything. Also, ensure that your car’s engine is turned off and the car should be parked in a location with no breeze or wind. Any slight air movement like wind can blow the Freon away from the actual leaking spot giving a false read. You should note that the refrigerant is much heavier than air. For that reason, you should always test an object from the bottom for leaks.

When going through the system checking for leaks, avoid pointing the sniffer directly to dust and dirt. When the sniffer picks up dirt or dust, it will pick up that as a read giving you false results. In case the sniffer catches some dirt, simply blow into the tip of the sniffer to reset the detector.

How To Test The System For Leaks

To start testing, the detector should be turned on and the sensitivity should be adjusted to the lowest setting. While going through the system, the detector will indicate areas that are leaking by showing red lights while making the beeping sound. In case you go through the entire system and you find no leaks, adjust the sensitivity to a high setting and go through the same procedure as before. It is better to start testing the O ring seals since this where leaks occur mostly.

Other areas you should concentrate on when looking for leaks will be the condenser, the pressure sensor and the evaporator. Once you identify where the leak is coming from, you should have it repaired immediately. After, vacuum down the system and have it recharged.