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I changed my blower motor out and in the process a wire arced out on a small copper line and blew a hole in it. What leaked out? I have since soldered up the hole and have not run the unit. I fear that if it was freon that leaked out it would damage unit by running it. It wasn't a cold gas though cause I put electrical tape around the hole as it was leaking just to try and keep dirt and outside air from it. The big copper line with insulation around it is fine.


It wasn't liquid. I figured it was freon but it wasn't cool to touch. On the inside of my house at the air handler there are two copper pipes that run up to my coil. One is big and insulated the one right next to it also runs to coil but is only like a 1/4 inch in diameter more or less. This small one is the one I blew a hole in. It was some type of gas or air. I taped it as it was leaking out but like I said it wasn't cold. Here's my worse thought, if it was freon then I will have to pay to vacume and dry then recharge which is about 700.00 dollars. 70.00 x 5lbs of freon 90.00 for them to drive out rest is labor. Just was hoping it was not freon that leaked cause it would save some trouble. I can weld pipe and work metal but I don't do freon lol.

  • Was it a gas, or a liquid? – Tester101 Jun 22 '15 at 21:46
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    Sounds like you might be a bit lucky. If it was R-22, you'd likely be paying $100+ per pound. – Tester101 Jun 22 '15 at 22:49
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    Don't expose freon to open flame, it produces phosgene gas, one of the wonderful experimental weapons of WWI that damaged whichever side the wind blew towards. – Fiasco Labs Jun 22 '15 at 23:38
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If by "air handler" you mean heater/air conditioner/cooler unit, then yes you have punctured your refrigerant line. The big and small pipes are the in and out circuits, the gas will only be cold if it is on the appropriate side of the cycle and if the compressor is running.

This will be an expensive mistake. Your soldering job needs to be gastight, structural (won't pop off under pressure) and not introduce contaminants (like flux) into the system. Next time, disconnect the power.

If the unit is older (say > 10 years) you should consider replacement. If you are going to spend $700 on service it is well worth checking the cost of new units. If it is over 20 years old I would simply replace the thing.

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    +1 for "Next time disconnect the power". That is the obvious stupid thing was going on that allowed live wire to be present and swing by and short out/arc to the copper line. I'd say the OP gets off pretty good for $700. The alternative could just as easily have been an electrocuted dead OP. – Michael Karas Jun 23 '15 at 7:41
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Sounds like it was refrigerant to me. Though you were a bit vague as to where the pipe was, and any other details that might help us help you.

You'll have to contact an HVAC company to pressure test the lines, and recharge the system. Unless of course you have the tools and knowledge to do it yourself.


After reading your update, it's clear that it was definitely refrigerant.

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