What Causes Copper Refrigerant Lines To Corrode, And How Do You Know If They're Leaking Due To Corrosion?

Copper is used for air conditioner refrigerant lines because it's more resistant to corrosion than other metals, so copper refrigerant lines normally last a long time. However, certain chemicals can still cause copper to corrode.

Corrosion causes tiny pinhole leaks in the refrigerant lines that will cause your AC system to slowly lose refrigerant. When your refrigerant gets low, the evaporator coils in your indoor AC unit will start to ice over, and your air conditioner won't work at all if you totally run out of refrigerant. If your air conditioner is showing signs that it has low refrigerant, read on to learn about what causes copper refrigerant lines to corrode and how you can tell if the lines in your AC system are leaking from corrosion.

What Causes Copper Refrigerant Lines to Corrode?

One common source of corrosion is chlorinated water. If you have a pool or hot tub in your yard and you use chlorine to keep algae from growing in the water, wind can blow some of the chlorinated water towards your outdoor AC unit. This will cause the condenser coils in the outdoor unit to start corroding and leaking.

Acetic acid and formic acid will also cause copper to corrode. These are sometimes found in household cleaning products since they're both weak acids that are good for cleaning surfaces. These acids can be released into the air when you use them in your home, and this can cause the copper evaporator coils in your indoor AC unit to corrode as they circulate throughout the air.

How Do You Know if Your Air Conditioner's Refrigerant Lines Are Leaking From Corrosion?

One way that you can check if your copper refrigerant lines have pinhole leaks from corrosion is to spray soapy water on them. If refrigerant is leaking out of the lines due to corrosion, it will agitate the soapy water and cause bubbles to appear.

You can also have an AC repair service perform a pressure test on your refrigerant lines. An air conditioner doesn't consume refrigerant as it runs, so the only way that refrigerant can leave the lines is through a leak. If the current pressure in the lines is lower than the pressure when it was first charged with refrigerant, it's a sign that there's a leak somewhere in the system.

How Do You Repair Corroded Air Conditioner Refrigerant Lines?

When copper refrigerant lines start to leak from corrosion, it's best to replace them all. Replacing all of your copper refrigerant lines at once is the best way to stop refrigerant from leaking out of your AC system.

Contact an air conditioning services provider to learn more. 

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heating and cooling a garage

My husband spends more time out in the garage than he does in the house. He had been begging for a heating and cooling system for the garage for a few years, but until now, we couldn't afford to make the investment. Now that we have the money to buy it, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the most efficient way to heat and cool a garage would be. Find out what I learned here on my blog. You will learn what kind of systems to choose and what you can do to improve the efficiency of your garage.