WaterFurnace refrigerant leak

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by mlawrence17, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. mlawrence17

    mlawrence17 New Member

    Our 3 ton envision series wasn't heating so I called our dealer and he determined that we were low on refrigerant. He filled it up and put an electronic leak tester on it but couldn't find anything. He said it probably wouldn't leak in the future.....but how can that be. It had to leak from somewhere and I certainly don't want to pay for another diagnosis fee in 10-12 months if it does. Any thoughts. How far should I push them to find the leak?? The unit is only 2 years old and I have the 10 year warranty.
  2. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How did the failure unfold?

    Did it produce progressively less heat until you called for help or did it lockout on "low flow" (which is really low refrigerant suction temperature)

    I've heard of one or two similar issues this season and I'm trying to see what, if any pattern connects them.

    Leaks do not fix themselves.

    Another user in a similar situation reported that service port caps depressed schrader valve pins such as to cause a slow leak out the service ports. Different service port caps supposedly fixed that one. It would be a hard leak to find because in a typical service situation the caps would be off.
  3. mlawrence17

    mlawrence17 New Member


    It didn't lock out on "Low flow" but the comfort alert had a flash code 3 which I think is "short Cycling" (compressor run time of less than 3 minutes or 4 consecutive cycles).
  4. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Why are you made to pay for a diagnosis fee when the unit is still under warranty? CM today provides 5 or 10 year labor allowance with the units. Did you buy yours under different terms?

    Although unlikely, I could have a low charge to begin with.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  5. mlawrence17

    mlawrence17 New Member


    I'm not sure what CM is but I have a WaterFurnace and from I understand, the warranty is a 10 year parts with Labor allowance. So the parts are free and WaterFurnace pays certain amounts for the labor to replace the part.

    However your dealer may charge more than what WaterFurnace gives. Which leaves the consumer on the line for the difference, which I think is B.S but hey that's another thread.
  6. ncgeo

    ncgeo Member

    I appear to be having the same issue with leaking schrader valves on a 3 year old 3 ton WF package unit. When I unscrew the cap on the compressor discharge I sometimes get a slight hiss and can detect refigerant with a sniffer. Not sure if the cap or schrader core itself is to blame. The system appears to be low on refrigerant, although I'm waiting for my RSA to arrive so I can check it out more thoroughly.

    A related q, can someone tell me how to remove and replace these schrader valve cores? They have about a 1/2" long spring-loaded pin extending from the threaded body, and my core removal tool (CD 3930) will not fit over the pin head nor reach the cross in the body. I see there is a special tool for R410a systems (CD 3956) but is noted for a 5/16 flare. That may not mate with the fitting on since the standard 1/4" hoses connect easily.

    What am I missing here? I'm still training in the trade so if this q seems like a "duh" moment please bear with me!
  7. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Water Furnace has a special tool for the job. It's not just the valve stem that is removed, it's an assembly that comes off. The tool is expensive though...See if you can borrow one from your rep.

  8. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    In another thread I posted using a Yellow Jacket p/n 18975 for swapping out cores, but I haven't had to do it on a WF...apparently their cores or assemblies are different?!?!

    My bad!
  9. ncgeo

    ncgeo Member

    Mysteriously I had refrigerant leaks on 2 separate WF units within 3 years after installation. The first unit was a split and the leak was never found. The unit sits disconnected in my basement, as I ended up upgrading to a dual-speed unit for little cost after rebates and tax credits. I blamed it on a marginal installation but now with a leak on the package unit also I'm not so sure ... maybe its marginal factory assembly.
  10. bdbsenji

    bdbsenji New Member

    I had a similar event. Loss of heat, low refrigerant, couldn't find a leak. Had tech. come back less than a year later, same problem. Tech then called in a Waterfurnace rep and between him and calling Waterfurnace tech department they DID find a leak. The factory tech. had the on site techs disconnect the blower which causes the pressure in the system to increase and making it easier to find the leak. The electronics will not allow the unit to run very long in this condition due to the overpressure switch, but it was long enough to EASILY find the leak. The leak was in the air coil which Waterfurnace replaced under warranty. Good luck!

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