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Refridgerant low question?

Could someone tell me if the "bubbles in the line" indication is the ONLY thing you need to be concerned with when evaluating whether your refridgerant is low because I don't see them in the glass (whatever that is) BUT my system seems to be not as cold as it once was and I believe I have a small leak....question is: do I wait to see bubbles before going to the expense of a service call to refill/top off or should I set a gage over a duct and see what the temp is AND what should that be? I have a very old "Space-pak" (cooling only) system I'm living with until I can figure out a better plan of R&R...it's paired with a outdoor 5 ton unit that allthough has been replaced is still rather outdated and has a low SEER I'm sure....biggest problem with the whole system is they mounted it in the basement ceiling so the only return air is being pulled from the cool basement...unbelieveable and not easily changable because of the design of the house so blowing the coldest air possible and running the fan continusley while operating is a must!Thanks for any reply/advice someone might have time to make.

Re: Refridgerant low question?

Check your supply temp, it should be around 62 degrees Also check the temp drop across the evap. coil. To do that you should drill a 1/8 hole in the supply plenum and one in the return plenum, the drop should be between 15 and 20 degrees. If that's what your getting your OK, but you shouldn't be pulling return out of the cellar if that's not being conditioned. You should have returns in the spaces that have the supplies. You also should see no bubbles in the site glass. Also if your doing this yourself you shouldn't be using a site glass if you have a cap tube or piston for a metering device. A site glass should only be used with a TXV

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