How to Test for Leaks in Your AC System

How to Test for Leaks in Your AC System

Leaking refrigerant circuits are a common culprit behind air conditioning system malfunctions, resulting in decreased performance or even complete failure over time. Identifying and resolving leaks is crucial to ensure the optimal functioning of your AC system. In this blog post, we will explore three effective methods - vacuum pump with a visual inspection, electronic leak detectors, and nitrogen set tests - to help you accurately detect and repair any potential leaks in your AC system.

Method 1: Visual Inspection with Vacuum Pump

vacuum pump

A visual inspection accompanied by the use of a vacuum pump can help identify leaks in your AC system effectively.

  1. Begin by turning off the AC system and allowing it to cool down completely.
  2. Connect a vacuum pump to the low-side service valve on the suction line, near the evaporator coil.
  3. Use a gauge set and attach the yellow hose from the set to the vacuum pump and the other end to the service valve.
  4. Switch on the vacuum pump and let it run for approximately 15-30 minutes to create a vacuum within the AC system, eliminating moisture and contaminants.
  5. Conduct a thorough visual inspection of all visible components, including hoses, joints, condenser, compressor, evaporator coil, and any accessible areas. Look for signs of leakage such as oily residues or frosted parts.

Method 2: Electronic Leak Detectors

test for leaks

Using an electronic leak detector is an efficient method to sniff out leaks in your AC system.

  1. Turn off the vacuum pump and disconnect it from the service valve.
  2. Connect the electronic leak detector to the low-side service valve using the blue hose from the gauge set.
  3. Power on the leak detector and adjust it to the appropriate sensitivity level.
  4. Slowly move the leak detector around the AC system, focusing on areas prone to leaks such as fittings, seals, and connections.
  5. The electronic leak detector will emit an acoustic or visual signal, indicating the presence of a leak. Mark the affected area for repair.

Method 3: Nitrogen Set Leak Detection

A nitrogen set allows you to perform a thorough leak test on your AC system.

  1. Attach a filling adapter and a tube adapter to the service connection of the nitrogen set.
  2. Evacuate the air conditioning system and ensure it is free from refrigerant.
  3. Fill the system with nitrogen gas and monitor the pressure over a designated period.
  4. If there is a noticeable decrease in pressure or the presence of a "hissing" noise, it indicates a leak in your AC system.

Being proactive in leak detection is essential to maintain the performance and longevity of your air conditioning system. To assist you in this process, Orion Motor Tech offers high-quality leak detection products that seamlessly integrate with the recommended methods discussed. By utilizing their advanced tools such as visual inspection kits, electronic leak detectors, you can efficiently locate and address any leaks in your AC system. Remember, early detection and timely repair, paired with reliable tools from Orion Motor Tech, will ensure your AC system operates flawlessly, keeping you cool and comfortable all year round.