Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 168 Times in 165 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Re: Recharging refrigerant
Petar, i don't know what refrigerant your system uses but it will be stamped on a plate on the compressor. They are all available, although many techs have simply stopped dealing with R-12. With a street price around $50 per pound, even if your system took a full pound of it that would not be a stopper as long as you find a tech who deals with it.
More problematic is the "presealed" approach. IIRC the company evacuates both halves, prefills them, and then applies piercing seals in the connectors. A local tech will probably NOT have the tools to replace those, so it is a question of installing the system, assembling it, and THEN having it tested, evacuated, and refilled if necessary. Or of course you could take it into their shop and have them check it there.
This is not a DIY job, simply because the one-time purchase of a vacuum pump, gauges and pressure manifold set, all will quickly add up to the price of a technician, before you even ask about the legalities and buying the gas and possibly compressor oil.
The simplest way to test for leaks is to buy some bubblesoap. Swab it liberally over all the tubing and connections, see if the system blows bubbles anyplace when you are running it. If it does--that's the leak. There are more sophisticated ways to leak check, but that one is free, reliable, and simple.