Found crack in cylindrical part inside A/C condenser unit

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I had my Central A/C tuned up at the beginning of June. It has been working nicely, I still am getting cooling. My unit is a 4 ton Carrier system. It is an older system that uses R22.
Today, I happened to take a peak through the top of the condenser unit, and noticed that there is a crack in the metal case of light grey colored cylindrical part.
Here are links to 2 photos:
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeofpch/cracked_ac.jpg
and
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeofpch/cracked_ac2.jpg
What part is this? Does the crack in the metal case mean failure will soon happen...if so how soon? What is the brown stuff I see on the side of this part below the crack...is this oil? Do I have a freon leak?
Nobody mentioned this during my tune-up. From the looks of it, it's hard to believe the crack didn't exist at the beginning of the month at all, and they didn't need to add any freon because pressure was fine, and I'm still getting adequate cooling as far as I can tell.
Does anything need to be done?
Thanks,
Jay
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Accumulator. Possibly, do you have a crystal ball? Do you have a picture of the "brown stuff"?

Pressures??? How about superheat and subcooling???

Can't see or test it through my computer screen... and my crystal ball is in for repair.
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We would not be having this conversation if I had not noticed what is shown in the photos. Do the photos reveal that something is seriously wrong with the part or is it just a crack in the paint as someone else had suggested?
Thanks,
J.
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Yes.
--


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More than likely just a crack in the paint... unless the "brown stuff" looks oily.
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JayN wrote:

JayN;
The part is a suction line accumulator which was / is prevalent in Carrier's product line during the 1980's 38TH------301 comes to mind. Aluminum coil, MD Carlyle compressor....
The accumulator has sweated so much [from being overcharge with refrigerant] that the paint, has let go and rust is setting in. [Steel vessel]. Soon, it will start leaking refrigerant.
Your best bet? Call your local HVAC contractor [licensed and insured] and get a bid for replacement of the complete system. Upgrading will cut your electrical use [when the air conditioning is on] comparatively in half. The EER of those earlier units was in the 9.5's - the newer stuff to day is much more efficient.
--
Zyp



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Cumulator? Neat! I guess that would make sense. After all, receiver needs a high torque comp. And the comp we see has a round shape to it, suggesting it's a piston model.
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Christopher A. Young
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I don't think it's a crack in the paint. To me, it looks like enamel, or possibly plastic. More likely plastic. Call your AC guy if you want, but I am not going to worry any about it.
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Christopher A. Young
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Seriously!
Paul
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Jay,
I am guessing that the light-colored cylindrical part you have photographed is a large electrolytic capacitor, typically used to start the outdoor condensing unit. It is very difficult to tell from the photo you provided. It could be a receiver/drier, a low ambient kit, or other refrigerant part, but I doubt it.
It is very unlikely that you are leaking freon based on your comment that cooling is adequate. My advice would also be to not worry about this item. If and when it does fail, you will need to deal with it then, most likely with a complaint that your outdoor condensing unit does not appear to be operating.
Maybe some of the "experts" on this newsgroup can offer better advice. Based on my participation on Usenet and Arpanet dating back to the 1980's, I must say that I have never seen a more pathetic collection of people than I have encountered here. Many questions are answered with snide, sarcastic remarks by people have sniffed far too many chlorinated and fluorinated hydrocarbons. Some questions are ignored altogether. You might consider posing your question at alt.home.repair or one of the HVAC forums on the Internet. This newsgroup is about as dysfunctional as any I have every seen.
Smarty
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Large electrolytic? Hmm. You have a good imagination. Would that be about 4,000,000 milifarads?
I'd say receiver. Since we're all snide, I need to write "you blind hack!" We're not disfunctional, we're cantankerous.
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Especially, since you *think* it's an electrolytic capacitor. LMAO
Don't you *think* that'd be in the electrical compartment?
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Good!!! Bye-Bye!!!
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Smarty wrote:

An electrolytic capacitor the size of a quart (maybe gallon) paint can?
You're thinking of a Leyden Jar, last used by Ben Franklin in his famous kite experiment.
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HeyBub wrote:

That of course was right after he got frizzy hair holding the string. ;-p

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Smarty wrote:

    I will not venture an opinion on what the item is in the original post, but I WILL agree that this newsgroup is unlike any other I have read. The general view by most, is that a question is posted so that the poster can avoid hiring a HVAC pro. Having read many replies to questions posted, I can understand why someone would want to avoid such an action. They probably fear that one they would hire might turn out to be one of the sarcastic "Pros." Not only have many of the replies been not helpful, many have suggested actions that would make the situation worse. It is one thing to refuse to give an opinion or help, but quite another to suggest an action that would damage the unit or cost needless money.
    The poster in this thread never suggested for a minute that he was about to fix the unit himself, he simply was trying to ascertain if he had a serious problem and if it needed immediate attention. Most often the recommendation is that a poster hire a pro when he posts a question. That is probably good advice in MOST situations. But even when a poster reports on a job that a pro had done and whose results were poor, the poster is criticized for having chosen the wrong pro. In other words: Don't do anything yourself, hire a pro. But if the pro did lousy work, it is YOUR fault for having chosen the wrong pro. I cannot understand how a person who learned a trade, and presumably is proud of his trade, can ignore bad work by others in that trade.
    In recognition to the few in this newsgroup who have replied with civil replies, your comments are duly recognized. To those who post to mislead or cause harm, you should be ashamed of yourself.
    Now have at it and post your vulgarities and wise remarks, as it appears that many of you have few customers to service. I wonder why???
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Oh boy, another asshole who *thinks* everybody deserves FREE advice on everything and *if* they don't get that, we should be condemed. Hey Putz, I have a question, are you Stormy's long lost brother?
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Yes, there is something peculiar about some (thankfully not all) of the regulars of alt.hvac that is not seen in other technically oriented groups or web-based forums. In others if you ask for advice about something that hints that you are in over your head or creating a danger for yourself or others they'll certainly tell you so, but nowhere else is there such a level of condesention and resentment for anyone not part of the high priesthood asking pretty much anything, even merely, as in this case, whether or not professional attention is required. It's like they resent that customers even exist.
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Your screen name... Big Giant Head...
You forgot DICK or is it, you have your Big Giant Head up your ASS?
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Um...it was a character on Third Rock From the Sun.
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