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Trane A/C Leak - Repair or Replace

I have a 1996 Trane XE1200 (TTP024C100A2) that has been diagnosed with a refrigerant leak.  My service company (who originally installed and continues to service the system) says the leak can not be repaired and that I must replace the unit (along with the evaporator coil in the inside air handler).  

<strong>QUESTION</strong>: Can such leaks (which the tech said is in the condenser coil) typically be repaired?  Is there a way for me (a pretty capable DIY guy) to locate the leak?  If so, any tips on suspect locations and methods would be helpful.

The unit is one of two identical units installed to handle cooling in the house and both have given great service over the years.  I'm hesitant to just throw one of them away if it can be repaired.

Thanks in advance.


  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    edited May 2012
    Cond coil

    Hi Jim. you have what is called a "situation" . The cost of the coil ,shipping ,labor ,freon, filter driers, etc,etc is about( ballpark) the cost a new cond unit.The old system is only 12SEER and has R-22 freon in it  and the unit is not made anymore. The R-22  freon is being phased out, as in going,going, gone! New units are a minimum of 13SEER ( soon to be 14SEER) and use R-410a freon. So another way of looking @ this is you will be buying a new airhandler.Now,it MIGHT, be possible to repair the leak,depending on a few factors. Out of curiosity, you can be shown the leak so that you can see it.Sometimes aluminum coils can be repaired,sometimes not.
  • Eugene Silberstein_2
    Eugene Silberstein_2 Member Posts: 349
    How bad is the leak?

    As an environmentally concerned individual, eliminating the leak by whatever means is the way to go. However, please be aware, that you are under no legal obligation to repair it. Is this a leak that requires the addition of a pound or so of refrigerant every year, or is it one of those leaks that allows refrigerant to escape as soon as it is added? If the leak is a small one, you can opt to have the system recharged. The Clean AIr Act of 1990 pertains to systems that contain 50 pounds of refrigerant or more. A typical residential split system holds less (often much less) than 10 pounds.

    For the most part, leaks in evaporator coils can be repaired. Locating the leak, however, can be a little more difficult. If your service company has determined that the leak is definitely in the condenser coil, they can introduce an ultraviolet solution into the system to pinpoint the leak with a UV light.

    As Techman said, some leaks in aluminum coils are very difficult to repair. But, there are new products on the market that make repairing the coils much easier.

    Alternatives to repairing the leak, such as replacing the entire system, are going to be very costly.

    Please let us know how you make out.
  • FitterFreds
    FitterFreds Member Posts: 15
    Easy Seal

    Nu Calgon makes a drop in sealant for such things. I normally don't suggest this type of product, but with the age of the unit why not try it? 
This discussion has been closed.