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Unit 8: Leak Detection, System Evacuation, and System Clean-up

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 8: Leak Detection, System Evacuation, and System Clean-up"— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 8: Leak Detection, System Evacuation, and System Clean-up
Section 2: Safety, Tools and Equipment, and Shop Practices Unit 8: Leak Detection, System Evacuation, and System Clean-up

2 Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe a standing pressure test Describe the six classes of leaks Explain the test procedures for evaporator and condenser leaks Explain the test procedures for suction and liquid leaks

3 Objectives (cont’d.) Explain the test procedures for temperature, pressure and vibration dependent leaks Choose a leak detector for a particular type of leak Describe a deep vacuum Describe two different types of evacuation Describe two different types of vacuum measuring instruments

4 Objectives (cont’d.) Choose a proper high-vacuum pump
List some of the proper evacuation practices Describe a deep-vacuum single evacuation Describe a triple evacuation Explain the process involved with cleaning a system after a hermetic motor burn-up

5 Leaks and Leak Checking
All sealed systems leak “Flaws" exist at every joint fitting, seam, or weld May be too small to detect but given time, vibration, temperature, and environmental stress, these flaws become larger detectable leaks

6 Exposing the Leak Sight
Vapor can flow under layers of paint, flux, rust, slag, and pipe insulation Important to clean the leak site by removing loose paint, slag, flux, rust, or insulation

7 Six Classes of Leaks Standing leaks Pressure dependent leaks
Detected while the unit is at rest or off The most common of all leaks Pressure dependent leaks Detected as the system pressure increases Temperature dependent leaks Associated with the heat of expansion

8 Six Classes of Leaks (cont’d.)
Vibration dependent leaks Occur during unit operation Combination dependent leaks Require two or more conditions to leak Cumulative micro-leaks All the individual leaks that are too small to detect with standard tools

9 Basic Leak Detection Spotting refrigerant oil residue for standing leaks Testing for evaporator section leaks Testing for condensing section leaks Suction and liquid line leak test

10 Advanced Leak Detection
Testing for pressure dependent leaks Testing for temperature dependent leaks Testing for vibration dependent leaks Testing for combination dependent leaks

11 Standing Pressure Test
Visually inspect the newly assembled system Solder joints should have no gaps Flanged and threaded connections should be tight Control valves should be installed properly All service valve covers should be in place

12 Standing Pressure Test (cont’d.)
Figure 8–12 Isolating the compressor to pressurize the condenser and evaporator

13 Standing Pressure Test (cont’d.)
Performing a standing pressure test: Pressurize the system with dry nitrogen to a pressure no higher than the lowest system test pressure Allow the system to rest for five minutes Mark the needle positions on the gauge manifold Monitor gauge needle position

14 Leak Detecting Methods
Audible leaks are large and relatively easy to locate Halide leak detector Ultrasonic leak detector Ultraviolet leak detectors Electronic leak detectors

15 Leak Detecting Methods (cont’d.)
Figure 8–13 Listen for leaks

16 Leak Detecting Methods (cont’d.)
Figure 8-14 When using a pressure gauge for a standing leak test, tap it lightly to make sure the needle is free, then mark the gauge

17 Leak Detecting Tips The system must be evacuated to required vacuum levels Visual inspection for oil and dirt spots Leaks can be caused by vibration or temperature Leak check gauge ports prior to gauge installation

18 Repairing Leaks Per EPA, these do not require repair:
Systems with less than 50 lbs of refrigerant Some industrial/commercial systems with more than 50 lbs of refrigerant and a leak rate less than 35% per year Comfort cooling chillers with a leak rate of less than 15% per year Most residential systems

19 Purpose of System Evacuation
Air contains oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, water vapor Nitrogen is a non-condensable gas Non-condensables will cause a rise in the system’s operating head pressure Oxygen, hydrogen, and water vapor cause chemical reactions in the system Produces acids that deteriorate system components and can cause copper plating

20 Purpose of System Evacuation (cont’d.)
Chemical combinations create hydrofluoric or hydrochloric acids Evacuation = degassing + dehydration Moisture + acid + oil = sludge Sludge can cause system components to become plugged Proper evacuation can eliminate the formation of acid and sludge

21 Theory Involved with Evacuation
Pulling a vacuum lowers the pressure in a system below atmospheric Atmospheric pressure = psia Psia = atmospheric pressure + gauge pressure (psig) Degassing the system removes non-condensable gases Systems should be evacuated from the high and low pressure sides of the system

22 Measuring the Vacuum Tips
1 micron = 1/1,000 of a millimeter ; 1,000 microns = 1 mm; 1 micron = 1/25,400 in. Best methods to measure Electronic (thermistor) vacuum gage Analog, digital, or light-emitting diode (LED) U-tube manometer Should reach at least 250 microns if there are no leaks in the system

23 Measuring the Vacuum (cont’d.)
Figure 8-24 (A) A modern, hand-held, digital electronic micron gauge (B) Modern electronic vacuum gauges for measuring a deep vacuum Courtesy Ferris State University Photo by John Tomczyk

24 Recovering Refrigerant
If there is or has been refrigerant in that system, the technician must remove the refrigerant Must be done with EPA-approved recovery equipment

25 The Vacuum Pump Two-stage vacuum pumps produce the lowest vacuum
EPA mandates systems reach at least 500 microns during evacuation Very low vacuums cause moisture inside a sealed system to boil to a vapor, which is then removed by the pump and released to the atmosphere

26 Deep Vacuums Measured in the 250- to 500-micron range
Once proper micron levels are reached, the vacuum pump is valved off When system pressure is reduced to the required vacuum level and remains constant, no noncondensable gas or moisture is left in the system

27 Multiple Evacuation Accomplished by:
Evacuating a system to a low vacuum, about 1,500 microns Allowing a small amount of dry nitrogen to bleed into the system The nitrogen then blown to the atmosphere System is then evacuated until the vacuum is again reduced to 1,500 microns

28 Leak Detection While in a Vacuum
Checking for a leak by watching to see if the pressure rises on a vacuum gauge is not recommended If there is a leak during the problem, air is allowed to enter the system This method only proves that the system will not leak under a pressure difference of (atmospheric pressure)

29 Removing Moisture with a Vacuum
Figure 8–42 When a system has moisture in it and is being evacuated, heat may be applied to the system. This will cause the water to turn to vapor, and the vacuum pump will remove it

30 General Evacuation Procedures
Cold trap Do not start a hermetic compressor while it is in a deep vacuum Apply heat to the compressor to assist in removing water trapped under the oil Gauge manifolds with large valve ports and hoses help speed evacuation Schrader stem depressors can be removed

31 Systems with Schrader Valves
Take longer to evacuate than systems with service valves Field service valves are used to replace Schrader valve stems while the system is under pressure Schrader valve caps should be put back on the valve after service

32 Gauge Manifold Hoses and System Valves
Hoses can have pinhole leaks and slow down the evacuation process Using copper tubing for the gage lines will help eliminate evacuation problems Check system valves to verify they are open before evacuation Closed valves can trap air in the system

33 Using Dry Nitrogen Tips Sweeping dry nitrogen through a sealed system
Helps keep the atmosphere out of the system Helps clean the piping of the system Do not pressurize with pressures above the system’s test pressures Never start a system that is pressurized with nitrogen

34 Cleaning a Dirty System
Formation of acid, soot, and sludge Created by heat that causes refrigerant and oil to break down Cannot be removed from a system with a vacuum pump Fumes can be toxic Safety goggles and gloves should be worn

35 Summary Common leak detection methods: include the halide torch, ultrasonic leak detector, electronic leak detector, and the ultraviolet leak detector System evacuation removes moisture from the system prior to putting the system into operation

36 Summary (cont’d.) Evacuation reduces the formation of acid and sludge, and removes system noncondensables Vacuums can be measured with micron gauges Evacuation = Dehydrating + Degassing

37 Summary (cont’d.) Systems should not be leak checked in a vacuum
Removing Schrader valves and pin depressors will help to speed the evacuation process

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