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Tricky Refrigerant Leak Requires Advanced Air Conditioning System Repair in Ladera Ranch, California

Ladera Ranch California AC Leak Repair Project

Ladera Ranch California AC Leak Repair Project

After a previous contractor had  failed to fix a problematic AC unit, which had been leaking refrigerant for two years, AC Cool was called in to offer their advanced expertise. Read and watch this story of a Ladera Ranch, California air conditioning system leak repair. 

Successful Residential AC Leak Repair Project in Ladera Ranch, California

At AC Cool, Inc., we always want our client’s air conditioning system to be working efficiently. This is why our HVAC team is always ready to provide repair services in and around the Orange County area 24/7. Recently, a homeowner in Ladera Ranch contacted us because they have been having a problem with their AC unit for the last two years.

The cause of the leak was difficult to locate. However, with our expertise and passion in this kind of repair, we were able to solve the problem, resulting in another happy client.

The Problem with the Client’s Air Conditioning System

The green discoloration was the refrigerant dye placed by the contractor to determine the leak

The green discoloration was the refrigerant dye placed by the contractor to determine the leak

When looking for a repair contractor for your AC, it is best to hire a reliable company to ensure that your AC unit will be running efficiently again.

The homeowner contacted us because they wanted to find a solution to their leaking AC unit. The system was losing refrigerant and had to be refilled every three to four months.

The previous contractor was unable to determine the problem and repair the source of the leak. What they did was to add a leak stop solution to the refrigerant. They used dye in the refrigerant to identify the leak, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt to repair the system.

After having a conversation with the homeowner about the problem, we found that about two years ago, when the leak started, the homeowner had a kitchen remodel done.

Leak Repair in Ladera Ranch, CA Home

How the AC Cool Team Located the Leak

Engine Scope

Using an Engine Scope to Listen to the Leak Through the Wall

There are different factors that cause the leakage of an air conditioner. There are also different ways to determine and locate the leak.

At AC Cool, Inc., we always do our best to help every client who has problems with their HVAC system. We have our complete set of tools for each type of service.

Determining the Leak Problems with Special Devices

On this air conditioning leak repair project in California, we used an engine scope, a device that allowed us to listen to the wall and helped us identify where the leak was.

We simply put the device against the lines and were able to locate the leak. We also brought with us a Ridgid inspection camera to look in the wall and access points of the attic.

Two Main Problems of the Refrigerant System

We cut the refrigerant line and welded it.

We cut the refrigerant line and welded it.

We found two problems with the refrigerant system: it was out of refrigerant and was already flat. The refrigerant plays a significant role in controlling the temperature of the air that is taken into the system.

Without it, the air that is pushed out through the vents will not be cool enough. Letting the AC unit run for a long time without refrigerant will result in serious problems, which may lead to bigger repairs and expense.

Using Pressure to Help Locate the Leak

Using Nitrogen to Pressurize the Refrigerant Lines

Using Nitrogen to Pressurize the Refrigerant Lines

The first thing we did was cut the refrigerant line in the attic. After cutting the line, we welded, closed, and pressurized it. Doing so would help us isolate the high-pressure and the low-pressure loops of the refrigerant line. This would make it easy for us identify where the leak was.

We used nitrogen to pressurize the lines to 300 pounds PSI and waited to see which side was losing pressure. With the lines pressurized, we used our engine scope and stuck it in the access port on the outside wall where the line sets penetrate into the wall.

We removed the elctrical box so we could insert our engine scope to locate the leak.

We removed the electrical box so we could insert our engine scope to locate the leak.

The refrigerant lines were behind the electrical box. Since the electrical box was off the wall, we were able to set our scope on the wall to listen to and look for the leak.

We went into their kitchen and noticed the drywall screw right about where the line set was in the wall. We cut a hole and opened it up to see if we could find the leak. Fortunately, the line set was to the right of that and had not been penetrated by the screw.

Cutting the Molding, Ladera AC Leak Repair

Cutting the Molding, Ladera AC Leak Repair


We also went to the attic and could hear the leak somewhere in the wall. Paul grabbed the refrigerant lines and shook them to see if he could hear any more leaking and the leak got bigger.

When they went into the homeowner’s master bedroom, the client noticed that a nail had popped out on one of the walls. We were pretty certain that the refrigerant leak was behind that wall and probably caused by the nail.

Finished Appearance of the Welded PIping

We took our isolating tool and carefully cut the molding. We used the utility knife to finish cutting the molding. We saw the nail hole and felt the nitrogen escaping from the hole from where we had pressurized the line set.

We then cut a hole in the wall and in the tape that was surrounding the AC. There was a green discoloration which was due to the refrigerant dye that the previous contractor had added to the system. Paul cut away the insulation from the pipe and saw where the nail had penetrated into the copper line. We located the leak successfully.

Welding the Hole

Welding the Hole on the Pipe

Welding the Hole on the Pipe

The hard part was repairing the leak. We had to weld the hole. Using a torch in such a confined area was a tough task. The approximate melting temperature of a welding rod is 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

We’ve got a really hot torch working in a very confined space. We wanted to make sure that there was no fire or damage to the home. We packed the area very well with rags for protection, and set them around the refrigerant piping and wall.

It took quite a while, and Paul had to be very careful with the molding that was close by. After working on it for about 10 minutes, and making sure that everything was nice and tight, Paul got it done. He cooled off the pipe by shutting the torch off and letting air blow up to it. The area welded was not pretty, but functional.

Running the Vacuum on the AC System and Charging It

Ladera California AC Leak Repair by AC Cool, Inc.

Ladera California AC Leak Repair by AC Cool, Inc.

After repairing the leak, we went downstairs and pulled the vacuum on the system. We pulled a 29.9-inch vacuum and pulled it down the 500 microns.

After running the vacuum, we attached the electrical box to the wall and charged the system with Puron refrigerant in liquid form.

Otherwise, the blends will not mix properly in the system. After charging the system, we put the piece of molding back temporarily.

The owner could hire a licensed carpenter who will take care of the repair in the molding. We tried to keep everything as clean as possible so that there would be a minimal amount of repair that needs to be done by the carpenter.

Total Amount of Time Spent From the Beginning Through to the Completion of the Repair

AC Cool, Inc. - One of the Most Trusted HVAC Services in California

AC Cool, Inc. – One of the Most Trusted HVAC Services in California

The total time involved in this repair was about 5 ½ to 6 hours. This includes finding the leak, repairing it, charging, replacing the molding, and getting everything done.

The homeowners have been dealing with this problem for a long time, and they were very grateful that we were able to find the leak and repair it!

Are You Looking for a Trusted Contractor for Your AC Repair?

To prevent a significant expense and serious damages to your AC unit, you must hire a company with extensive experience in air conditioning leak repair in Ladera Ranch, CA.

If you need help? Contact AC Cool, Inc., today at +1 (800) 940 7821!


More photos of this air conditioning leak repair project:


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