Freon is kept in your fridge in a contained and pressurised container – and should never need to be topped up. Can a refrigerator have a freon leak? This question can be answered simply with a yes. It probably won’t be dangerous – there aren’t enough refrigerants in most systems to pose a threat – unless you have an allergic reaction, or the fridge is in a really confined space. Freon is, however, damaging to the environment. The usual cause is a puncture due to attempted repairs or by ice being scraped away during defrosting.
Diagnosing Leaking Freon Issues
Fridge gas leak symptoms include the smell of chemicals, oil on the floor, or a continuously running motor. You can buy a leak detection kit if you want to be sure – there are many other electrical or mechanical problems that could be causing these things. Leak detector toolkits are small electronic devices that sense halogens – the group of gases that includes Freon.
Freon is mostly odourless but when leaking can emit a chemical smell. It’s also colourless so it won’t be noticeable. Why is my fridge leaking? This could be a by-product of a Freon leak and can be a distance from the leak itself, so you need to clean the bottom of the fridge and look for tell-tale residue. Then use a spray bottle and a soapy solution to spray the piping – Freon leaks will create small bubbles revealing tiny issues.
If your refrigerator is leaking Freon the motor will run consistently – a motor that stops and starts or stops altogether is indicative of an electrician fault. You should never attempt repairs that may open, puncture, or cut into your fridge pipes as this can break the seals and cause the Freon to leak.
Older Refrigerator Models
It’s worth bearing in mind that very old fridges and absorption type models – used in campers and where electricity is unreliable – use ammonia as a refrigerant, and this can be toxic and dangerous. Although this isn’t strictly Freon it’s often referred to as such. Absorption type fridges often use other gases as a power source and can be hazardous if leaked.
When some refrigerants come into contact with open flames – this can cause a reaction that forms poisonous gases. If you use gas hobs in your kitchen you should keep them turned off if you believe you have a Freon leak.
Freon will have an effect on your health over time – but is only dangerous in extremely high concentrations. It can make you dizzy, cause breathing problems, and has greater effects on those with heart conditions. As the leaking gas will stay in higher concentrations close to the ground this may also affect children and pets exposed in the area.
The Environment and Freon
Freon is very bad for the environment as it’s one of the most potent pollutants. When it gets into the atmosphere it damages the ozone layer that protects the earth from the sun’s radiation. The US Environment Protection Agency now regulates how much Freon can be brought into the country in any given year and is gradually phasing out the refrigerant.
With over 10 years experience in the appliance repair industry Mix Repairs, have a reputation for providing the highest level of customer care from skilled and professionally trained technicians. Fridge repairs will come without any hidden charges and with a six months guarantee. If you suspect a leaking fridge and the culprit is Freon the safest thing you can do is contact the specialists – a qualified expert will quickly determine if there’s a leak and do all the necessary repairs.