why is refrigerant not used for a standing pressure test
Ok, here s the real skinny. In a standing pressure test you pressurize the system to a particular pressure and watch to see if the pressure decreases over time. If you were to use refrigerant for this it could give you a false positive for a leak because of its pressure/temperature properties. Nitrogen is the proper gas to be used for this purpose not air as the first answer states.
It has been determined that pressurizing a sealed system containing oil and air can cause an explosion. And for the record the EPA states that a trace amount of refrigerant can be added to nitrogen in a refrigeration system for the purposes of leak detection with an electronic leak detector and can then be vented to the atmosphere because the refrigerant is now contaminated.
Also if pure refrigerant is used for leak detection in a system that has been properly evacuated, the refrigerant can then be recovered with a recovery machine. So it is NOT illegal to leak check with refrigerant. I really wish people would get the facts before answering questions here.
USA It is too expensive compared to compressed air or nitrogen.
Also, as stated, the test is to find leaks in the system. If there are leaks, you will. USA It is too expensive compared to compressed air or nitrogen. Also, as stated, the test is to find leaks in the system. If there are leaks, you will allow refrigerant to escape into the atmosphere, which is against the law.
After a test with air, the air can be blown off. If refrigerant were used for the test, it has to be pumped down and re-captured. If you pressurize the refrigerant, it heats up faster and to a higher temp than air. You will then have to remove the heat for the duration of the test. It is a lot faster, easier and less expensive to use air for the pressure testing.
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