**Lennox A/C condenser help appreciated, please read...

I don't know much about HVAC so TIA for any help....
I have a 10 year old central A/C system, Lennox condenser for the A/c side and a Lennox gas furnace for the heat side. The cooling side is a two part system, the condenser outside and the coils inside the garage. I live in Florida and the unit is a 5 ton system. Yesterday I had a HVAC service company come by and do a checkup of the system. Even thought the system is old, it has been running fine. Within 5 minutes looking only at the condenser, I get the "bad news". The refrigerant pressure on the gas side is very high. Looks to me like it was off the high end of his gauge which tops out at about 350psi using his 3 color device. Outside temperature was ~92 degrees. He didn't get a pressure reading of the liquid side (low pressure side?). He also showed me that the compressor is pulling double the amount of amps vs. rated (A reading of both the red and the black wires combined). Then he told me that the compressor is going to die soon follow by a sales pitch for a complete upgrade of the A/C side. Later, on my own I noticed that the schreoder(sp?) valve on the liquid (low pressure) refrigerant side was leaking but the cap was keeping the leak under control. The whole thing struck me as being a little too neat but I do know my system is old.
So here are my questions:
(1) I guess the main question is if this guy is trying to game me?
(2) Is it normal to have a pressure release valve in such system?
(3) I think I see a flow adjustment dial on the copper line that is the gas refrigerant side. Could the high pressure reading come from closing down this dial and more importantly how do I adjust this dial to get the right amount of refrigerant flowing back to the condenser? The dial label reads something like "1/12 turn??". Sorry it is dark outside so I am going from memory.
(4) I know part of the answer is to get another tech in. But I just want to make sure that I do what I need to do between now and when the next guy comes thru. So let me ask anyway.. what should I do next?
(5) I notice that part of the outer rubber insulation on the liquid refrigerant line running to the garage is worn off. The inner rubber tubing is still fine. What is the best fix for this?
(6) Any other advices?
Thanks in advance!!
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Are you attracted to him? I guess this is a personal question only you can answer.

It might be normal.

I wouldn't mess with this dial if you don't know what you are doing. I'd hate to see you blow yourself up. Some of this shit is like Rocket Science and had "DANGER" written all over it. You need to know that manufacturers put this shit on their equipment and don't lock it down to keep it from being tampered with so that homeowners often play with it and then need very expensive service calls.

Why do you want to call another tech in? What is wrong with the first one? Do you not trust him?

The tech will know exactly what to do about this. You don't want to mess with it and cause even more problems and expense for yourself.

You probably need a thermostat upgrade too. Ask the tech to run a "Hewitt Test" on the old thermostat to see how well it is functioning.

You are welcome. Please keep us updated on how it goes, and let us know if you have anymore questions.
Have a nice weekend!
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Call a technician instead of a sales person
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Best summary I've heard in a while.
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Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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More text inserted inline.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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GREENHOLIDAY wrote:

it sure sounds like it to me. if the technician partially closed the high side (liquid) service valve, you would indeed have extremely high pressure, especially in 92 degree weather. did he wash or clean the condenser before taking any readings? No? Did he tell you his sales commission he would receive on selling you a new system?
compressor amps are taken by reading one wire at a time, not both at once. he was gaming you from the moment he set foot on your property.

the valve you are talking about is one of two service ports a tech can use to attach his guage set. The leaking shrader core is identical to the shrader cores in your car tires. Competent techs have a tool that can remove and replace this core without any loss of refrigerant. The tech probably loosened it, allowing freon to leak, resulting in further service calls. more gaming.

unless you know exactly what you're doing, dont touch or adjust a damn thing. the liquid service port should be wide open, as well as the suction service port.

do not let the first tech back on your property, however I WOULD call the service manger/owner of that company and complain to them that their tech was gaming you to purchase new equipment. Follow up with a complaint to the local BBB, the State Contractor License Board, and anybody else you can think of. Demand a refund from the first company or threaten legal action.

get some pipe insulation from homo depot and secure it with black electrical tape, taped so that no rubber is exposed to the air.

make sure you are present and watch every single thing the next tech does. A smart consumer will learn a few basics and know when he's being gamed.
With an 18 year old system, smart money would start budgeting for a new system. Replace it in the off season when prices are more favorable.

I do accept paypal.
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That in itself is only a symptom of something yet to be determined. Sounds like typical sales scare tactic.

Take a look at the 2nd page "How To Take Current Readings" http://www.amprobe.com/manuals/RS7A.pdf You called for a tech and got a crook. This is a crook who has been shown how to "make money" in the HVAC field.
> So here are my questions:

Call your chamber of commerce, ask your neighbors (find natives if it is a medium to small size town. They'll know who's who by their first names) let them know the name of the company you called and that you feel/know they are rip-offs and you need the name of a company that will perform honest repair work.
-zero
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