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My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped #4479194
08/04/17 05:52 PM
08/04/17 05:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline OP
LoneRanger  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
Rheem gas furnace and central A/C, 2004 manufacture date, installed 2005 new construction house, put into service (started using) 2006 when we bought the place. I don't know the tonnage but house is typical 1.5 story 2250 sq ft, brick 1st story, siding for the upper 1/2 story. Dual zone by diverter in the supply plenum.

So the unit has been virtually trouble free and serviced every other year with me changing filters approx every 9 months (20x25x5 Honeywell). Has some kind of anti-bacterial ultravoilet light bulb thingy installed in the return plenum not sure what it's called, supposed to help against [censored] in your air I guess.

Anyhow, had the recent heat and humidity wave last week and week before, highs mid 90's high humidity w/ heat index (how hot it feels) in the 100-105 range. The unit did fine. Thermostat @ 77 lower zone 79 upper (no one upstairs anymore) during day, down to 74/79 evenings and overnight. Unit pulled the temp on lower zone to 74 without much trouble or excessive running through the heat wave.

But, over this past weekend, after a front came in and heat wave gone, temps more mild, the unit inexplicably took a dump and stopped cooling well, would run and run struggling to bring lower zone to 75 and wouldn't get it any lower. Air out of registers barely cool. And the kicker: when the unit was running I could hear the refrigerant in the lines where they enter the evap coil air handler box making the sounds they would normally only make at shut down when pressure is equalizing-- gurgling sound. To me, and I know only enough about HVAC to screw something up, that hinted at a low charge i.e. a leak. Next door neighbor changed cable providers and they marked underground lines recently in between our houses and my first thought was maybe they tripped and fell into my condensor unit and triggered a leak. But it looked undisturbed.

Called out the HVAC contractor. Now for the kicker: He used his electronic sniffer and had a time finding any significant leaks !! Said he got some really weak indications in the air handler at the evap coil, but found the unit real low on charge. forget the figures he said but said it was only producing a 10 degree drop on the coil it was so low. Charged it to get me going, but the bad news is the unit uses R22 and the materials charge alone for the amount he had to put in was $238. The invoice looks like it says R100 though, but he did say it was labeled for R22.

So it's cooling like a champ now (shouldn't have said that probably...) but we were both scratching our heads on how it could lose that much Freon in that short time span and not be indicating a larger leak somewhere.

Anyhow, he said the evap coil was clean but did show a level of corrosion expected on a unit in service almost 12 yrs. Said should consider just replacing the entire system since install of a new evap coil and the necessary capture of existing refrigerant plus the cost to recharge the entire system with the old stuff might represent sinking too much expense into an old system. Said he'd have their estimator give me a call.

I'll probably collect several estimates.

I do plan to sell the place soon, next year or so, so I suppose a new furnace and air cond system might help it on the market.

But [removed] anyhow... smile

Last edited by wwillson; 08/05/17 10:21 PM. Reason: bypassing censor
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479218
08/04/17 06:32 PM
08/04/17 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 601
texas
danez_yoda Offline
danez_yoda  Offline
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 601
texas
It depends on the cost of a new system.

I had a guy tell me the same thing when my R22 system had a leak and he offered a Heil (2nd tier) 4 ton unit as a replacement for $6600 installed. Reuse my air handler and lines and only replace the condenser and evaporator.

Sent him packing and found a place that would install a Carrier base unit for $3700.

A little secret about R22 vs R410. 410 runs at higher pressure so the evaporators have thicker walls to hold the pressure. You CAN run a 410 evaporator with R22 but you need to change either the TXV (if it has one) or the orifice tube to R22 specifications.

look at https://www.acwholesalers.com for prices for the basic parts. Question any outrageous markups.

Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479220
08/04/17 06:35 PM
08/04/17 06:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
I just bought a place with two new Trane units. One for each floor. I am glad they are new but in making a offer on the house I did not factor in new HVAC not a new septic.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479226
08/04/17 06:42 PM
08/04/17 06:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 968
TX, USA
JMJNet Offline
JMJNet  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 968
TX, USA
Get another tech and see what is going on.

Hopefully, he is smarter and more resourceful.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479234
08/04/17 06:46 PM
08/04/17 06:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,772
MD
AirgunSavant Offline
AirgunSavant  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,772
MD
I got a hybrid system last year and went middle of the road because all of the units are good for 10 years these days. I will however never get a hybrid system again. No problems but they are about useless here in the east. I run my system now as a dedicated AC unit and an oil heater. I dialed out the hybrid mode.

Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479238
08/04/17 06:56 PM
08/04/17 06:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,480
Soviet State of Washington
PimTac Online content
PimTac  Online Content
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,480
Soviet State of Washington
The cynical side of me is thinking that someone stole your refrigerant. It happens.


2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Valvoline Advanced Synthetic 0w20
Mobil 1 M108A EP filter

Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479255
08/04/17 07:20 PM
08/04/17 07:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 606
Washington for now
WhyMe Offline
WhyMe  Offline
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 606
Washington for now
i probably have the same system at my house. a few years ago i lost my charge slowly over the winter. when i started it up i heard a hissing in the line outside. there was very very small pinhole in the line close to the outsdie umit. had a guy come and braze the hole and recharge the system. Cost me $200 and its been running well since.

Check the lines between the compressor and evap

Last edited by WhyMe; 08/04/17 07:21 PM.
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479260
08/04/17 07:27 PM
08/04/17 07:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,716
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,716
Phoenix, AZ
Mine had trouble in June cooling the house, called out an A/C guy and he took a picture of the evaporator and showed me, 2 oily leaky spots.

He said it's probably just a slow leak and he'll recharge it and it should be fine for another year or two. Still running like a champ.

I guess if it's still cooling, that's good.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 84k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 230k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479283
08/04/17 07:51 PM
08/04/17 07:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,109
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,109
ME
You won't get 100% of your money back putting in new AC if you're dumping your house. "AC works", yes.

Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479308
08/04/17 08:16 PM
08/04/17 08:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,988
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,988
Cincinnati, OH, USA
He should have put some refrigerant dye in it-that way, the next time it runs low, it'll be obvious where the leak is. Evaporators (usually A-coils) do get leaky with age, though.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479313
08/04/17 08:20 PM
08/04/17 08:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,988
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,988
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Also, I would get a second opinion (unless you REALLY know the service tech & company well)-very many companies pay bonuses to their techs for selling new systems, and 12 years really isn't that old for an A/C system. Mine is now 20 years old, and other than a mechanical compressor failure & a couple of contactors & run capacitors, it's still chugging along just fine, although the condensing unit isn't going to win many beauty contests.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: LoneRanger] #4479314
08/04/17 08:21 PM
08/04/17 08:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,694
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,694
OH
Be careful when ordering a new system. Make sure that the delivery is to your door. With many of these new units the shipping company will contact you saying the truck won't be able to make it to your house. You then have to pick it up on the side of the highway while cars are whizzing by.

Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: SatinSilver] #4479321
08/04/17 08:27 PM
08/04/17 08:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline OP
LoneRanger  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
Be careful when ordering a new system. Make sure that the delivery is to your door. With many of these new units the shipping company will contact you saying the truck won't be able to make it to your house. You then have to pick it up on the side of the highway while cars are whizzing by.


There truly is one in every crowd . . . laugh



'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: PimTac] #4479325
08/04/17 08:30 PM
08/04/17 08:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,272
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,272
NJ
Originally Posted By: PimTac
The cynical side of me is thinking that someone stole your refrigerant. It happens.


I was going to write the same.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles
Re: My House Air Cond Took a Dump - Tech was Stumped [Re: PimTac] #4479326
08/04/17 08:30 PM
08/04/17 08:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline OP
LoneRanger  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,210
Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: PimTac
The cynical side of me is thinking that someone stole your refrigerant. It happens.


Hummmm . . .

Maybe I'll put some tamper-evident tape across the access panel.



'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)
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