Leaky AC system? Pinpointing the source of the problem

Leaky AC system? Pinpointing the source of the problem

Talking about leakages might raise a snigger but when it comes to agri and construction machinery AC systems, they are common and no laughing matter. Operating with a reduced level of refrigerant not only compromises the effectiveness of your circuit but also risks damaging the components in it, so prompt detective work is the best course of action.

The first step is to determine whether the lack of refrigerant in a circuit has been caused by normal use, or if it is the result of a leak, for example the diffusion of R134a through rubber pipes and connections. This is best done by safely recovering all the refrigerant out of the system using an air conditioning service machine and then pressurizing the system with nitrogen.

Testing your circuit (connections, lines, compressor, condenser, evaporator, filter drier, pressure switch and expansion valve) is now easier than ever thanks to the wide range of products on the market. As a Primalec Partner we are proud to endorse the following products for taking the guesswork out of leak detection.

UV Dyes – These are easy to use and produce visible results providing you chose an appropriate tracer fluid for your R1234yf or R134a system. Conveniently packaged in moisture barrier dispensing containers and hermetic cartridges, Glo-Leak® UV by Primalec Glo-Leak® UV can be injected into a pressurised AC system, even while it is operating, or added via a service machine. Scanning external surfaces with a UV tracer lamp will reveal a fluorescent glow at the leak source.

Nitro Trace Pressure Leak Testing Kits – The use of OFN (Oxygen Free Nitrogen) is a well-established method of pressure testing air conditioning and refrigeration systems. A drop in pressure on a test gauge indicates a leak, which can then be pinpointed using a leak spray or an ultrasonic tester. Primalec, have taken this procedure a step further and also offer Nitro Trace, a blend of OFN with the electronically detectable hydrogen, which has the smallest atom of all gases and leaks through the tiniest of leak sources.     

Leaktronic Refrigerant Sensors – Battery operated, Primalec’s sensor leak detectors have a quick warm up time and give an instant response. A choice of models are available, capable of sniffing out refrigerants HFC, HFO, HCFC, HC and blends, and detecting Hydrogen and N2H tracer gases depending on specification.

We are a Primalec Partner and Europe’s leading supplier of air-conditioning parts for agricultural and construction vehicles. Search over 30,000 products by vehicle or part/OEM number and read other blogs on our website: www.apairltd.com

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AP Air Ltd.

Unit 9 & 10 Wisloe Business Park
Wisloe Road
Cambridge, Glos, GL2 7AF
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