It is not uncommon to find commercial and industrial air conditioning and refrigeration systems that leak. There are even cases of systems leaking up to 30% of a charge during a year. These leaks waste time and money, and you can do something to make sure your systems are running well. Utilizing leak testing and repair can help to maintain your systems.
Leaks matter and you should do something to find/fix them. Let’s discuss leaking refrigerant. These leaks reduce systems efficiency, it increases its power consumption, and it also increases CO2 emissions (this is at the powering station). A system that is leaking refrigerant will also have increased effect on global climate change. All these problems lead to an increase in costs: service to machine, replacing refrigerant, use of electricity, and downtime.
There are three main methods of finding refrigerant leaks. There are more ways, but these three seem to be the most effective.
Use soapy water or leak detection spray: This method will help to pinpoint a leak or multiple leaks and it is a method that is approved by the F Gas Regulations.
Electronic leak detector: If you have your machine calibrated to detect the specific type of refrigerant you are using, you can easily detect refrigerant leaks. You must get a machine that has a sensitivity of at least 5 g/year. The machines are sensitive, and they should be professionally inspected once a year. If the machine is not maintained correctly then it will not work well. It is also allowed under the F Gas Regulations.
Fluorescent additive: This testing is done by injecting oil into the system and monitoring it with ultra violet lights. If you are looking for a quick and easy test, this is your method. It can, however, be rather messy. Oil does not go into the pipes of your machine, and this is due to something called coalescent oil separators. Before using this method, you must make sure it is an okay method to use from the manufacturer of the system. Not all machines can handle the fluorescent additive test. This is also okay from the F Gas Regulations.
As you can see from above, it is important to annually check your systems for leaks. Doing leaking testing is possible, but it can be rather difficult. Trust professionals when it comes to doing the best and most effective leak testing.