aluminum ac coil repair
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    32

    aluminum ac coil repair

    my dad found a pin hole in a small diameter (maybe 3/8") home air conditioning coil. Would the aluminum stuff you use with a propane torch work well? Would tig be ok to repair the line? The inside of the line is not able to be cleaned so I guess it could easily contaminate the weld.
    Thermal Arc 185TSW

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    4,422

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    All the ac tech's I know (a lot) use Oxy Acetylene to braze them. But it may work, I can't say that it won't.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & NKJV Bible

    Danny

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Georgia on the GA/AL line
    Posts
    2,136

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    I can't remember the name, but esab had a paste designed for bonding aluminum. It was sort of a welding/brazing paste. I used to have some I used to patch thin wall aluminum irrigation pipes. you could clean the material put the paste on it, and an aluminum patch covering the hole and take a torch and heat it and it would bond like crazy. I haven't used it in a long time, but it did come in handy to keep around.
    I'm a Lover, Fighter, Wild horse Rider, and a pretty good welding man......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Davenport, Iowa
    Posts
    1,537

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    JB Weld........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Cal., Shasta County
    Posts
    7,083

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    Depends some on which side of the system the hole is on. There can be some pretty high pressures with AC. Better check with an AC guy on this one.

    I always wonder, how'd that pin hole get there? Corrosion?? Thin spot??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    10

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    I have repaired ally ac pipes on vehicles by tig welding. They usually corrode under one of their mounting brackets. The repairs are never pretty but as I remind myself every morning when I look in the mirror, you dont have to be pretty to work.
    Regards from sunny Cornwall
    __________________
    www.iancarey.co.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    10

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    It depends.

    Most of the AC coils out there are copper with aluminum fins, but there are all aluminum coils. If you want to repair the coil and maintain some kind of efficiency, damage as few fins as possible. Oh, most leaks I have found are at the ends where the tubing goes through the steel plates.

    The problem is that this leak is probably just the beginning. There is a type of corrosion ( called formicary corrosion, http://www.edwin-fine.com/air_con/fo...formicary.html) that will not stop, no matter what is done, outside of replacing the coil.

    You can get a 'coated' coil that is less likely to leak in the future, but they are expensive and not easy to find. Most techs have no idea they are available.

    For what it's worth, AC systems, which include heat pumps, have a life expectancy (according the manufacturers) of about 15 years. Furnaces have an expectancy of 20 years. House hold water heaters, the standard gas and electric ones, have a life expectancy of 12-14 years.

    Hope this helps.





    Second post, back to lurk mode.
    Last edited by heatman; 08-06-2007 at 08:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Back in HB, close to my boys!!
    Posts
    4,677

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    Excellent post, Heatman. You nailed it 100%. I used to do A/C for a living, I remember cleaning off the aluminum coating from the copper, patching it... and having another leak in a few months. No fun.
    I think she is Bi-polar. She is a bear sometimes. Does this make her a BiPolar bear????

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cassville, Missouri
    Posts
    2,116

    Re: aluminum ac coil repair

    Quote Originally Posted by TEK
    JB Weld........
    In an emergency,110* weather and no A/C, I fixed an A/C line in a pick-up with JB weld. It worked for a month.

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