Thanks Clive and Bri.
In the vids they just keep testing to see if the rods will melt when they touch the aluminium, though I take your point about a thin pipe could be cool at the edges but quickly get too hot and melt where heated. I picture going up and down quite a length of the pipe heating quite an area around the leak while testing with rods to prevent overheating a small area. Yet to see if it'll work lol!
Couldn't slide anything like a pipe over the outer AC pipe because it's in sections with wide fittings at each end, couldn't cut it to slide anything from the cut side because it has the inner pipe. .
Usually less pressure on the low side of an AC pump when running than there is with AC system turned off?
Seems plenty firms will recharge AC but very few will get involved in fixing it. Years ago I had a problem with AC on a Grand Voyager, it failed the vac hold test at Charlie Browns. Staff there pointed me to a guy next door who they said could repair AC systems so I left it with him for the day expecting him to stick fluorescent dye in it and tell me exactly where the leak was. When I returned he hadn't found the leak or put any dye in it, he simply told me there was a leak somewhere on it. Heated argument and I wouldn't pay him... WTF did he think I'd gone to him for when Charlie Browns told me the same very basic info for free. Think he just thought he'd chance having my trousers down, no chance lol. I really have a problem with people who do that sort of thing, there are plenty like it in the field of LPG too.
Sounds very much like my experience of both of them round here - Hence why I tried what I did before resorting to replacing the condenser which would have been the next step (dryer on that is part of the same). The garage I usually use for MOT work will do aircon regas only anyway, so no chance of him doing anything more with it.
The local LPG fitter is/was of a similar manner, on asking about a uklpg register entry he said he'd have to inspect it (OK), rectify anything wrong (OK), Then inspect it again (surely part of the rectify step?) and then it still might fail (WTF?). Though having seen the state of one of his installs one of my neighbours had on a Toyota Hiace Van I can see why someone else might fail his workmanship as it didn't look good (Reducer mounter at 45 degree angle off the right way up along with other things)
Was wondering if you could get away with one of these things - https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/AGS-AKACRK-045C-0-62-0-75-Tube-Air-Conditioner-Repair-Splice-Lok-Kit/PRD1RUMX5XGSQO1 Though thats probably not relevant as i now can't find anyone here selling it at a sensible price (there were around £20 when i brought one, but the only ones now on eBay are in the US.) Would only work if you could take the outer off the inner line, which you can't by the sounds of things (I do wonder why its like that though?)