Yes, the leak is small, but it has been persistent. Long ago I lost count of the times I have made the connection at a brass globe valve in the pressure line running into the A/C heat exchanger. Last night I ended up with the tiniest leak and figured that it was small enough to live with, at least for awhile. Therefore, I opened all the other valves and turned on the A/C to the main part of the house. Aaah, the cool air was most welcome. A part of me was not trusting the system, so every 15 minutes or so, I’d go into the garage to check the leak. Not quite perfect, but it was a small leak that I could live with for a few days, at least. Actually, it was so small, that evaporation would have taken care of the leak, probably one drip every ten minutes. This lasted for hours! Just before turning in I had to check one more time and was struck by the number of leaks that had started. OK, I isolated the water supply and opened the breaker to the main heat pump.
This morning I AGAIN worked on the connection, which is the inlet to the A/C heat exchanger. That connection is the first one down stream of the new isolation valve I installed days ago. Since it’s all held together with union joints, I was able to get to a point where I could tighten up that connection a little more, wondering how much pressure I could put on the wrench before the PVC shattered. After another half turn, I reconnected the plumbing, opened the isolation valve and ,voila, I STILL had that same leak. Isolate again and take it apart. This time I used a little pipe dope (the BIG pipe dope is ME) and wrapped about 8 turns of teflon tape. I opened the isolation valve and …..NO LEAK. ..NO LEAK….NO LEAK.Then I opened the inlet valve and pressurized to the outlet valve. Aha….some small leakage. Close the valve, take another turn or two on the outlet valve and pressurize again. MORE SUCCESS!!!!!! Now for the final test, open the outlet valve and pressurize the system to the electric valve out in the yard. This is the valve that is controlled by the A/C system, opening when the system is running and closing when the system turns off. Oops, another leak. This time it’s a cemented fitting and will require a bit more work. Fortunately, I have more parts….oh do I have more parts. So, after finishing my coffee, I will go back out to the garage that I have become to hate and complete, (I hope), the job I started so casually several days ago. I hope I’ll have more of a success story later.