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Ben Bartle-Ross looks at when it is appropriate or even necessary to pressure test an air conditioning system.

As a trainer covering our complete range of air conditioning products, I am amazed at how many engineers I see coming through my training courses who have been told by an (often) older colleague that when they are servicing air conditioning, they have to put a pressure gauge on a system to ‘test the pressures’.

No. No. No.

You simply don’t need to … and worse than this, you have now introduced moisture to the system that wasn’t there and will shorten the working life of the equipment.

Whilst this might have been best practice ‘back in the day’ it is simply not necessary with today’s modern air conditioning systems.

Checking pressure these days is much quicker and much more straightforward than it used to be

Ben Bartle-Ross Technical Trainer at Mitsubishi Electric

These are highly engineered to perform superbly and in the vast majority of cases will do so for years, reliably and efficiently, with an appropriate annual service and maintenance regime.

Yes, there will be occasions when you might want to check the pressure of an Aircon system but most manufacturers have now introduced ways of doing this without breaking into the system and introducing a new ‘hole’ that needs re-sealing.

In the case of equipment from Mitsubishi Electric, system pressures can be read via the dipswitch settings and request codes.

So, to reiterate, getting the right pressure is important to ensure that any system works as required when in heating or cooling but checking this these days is much quicker and much more straightforward than it used to be – and there is no longer any need to break the seal of the circuit.

If you’d like further advice or to discuss this further, feel free to email me or comment on the online article on the ACR Journal website.

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