air conditioners

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I have a 6-yr. old Trane air conditioner. Last year I had a problem with it and spent over $1000 - replaceing the coolant in it. I think the same thing is happening again and I am reluctant to spend more money to fix it. One reason is that I read stories about the newer model air conditioners used a different kind of coolant that is much cheaper. Does anyone have any experience with this? What brand is best? Or does a lot depend on who installs it? I don't know if there has been anything recent in Consumer Reports -- would have to make a trip to the library and look because I don't take it. Appreciate any "been there, done that advice". this is a major expense ...
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IF the refrigerant was leaking, what was the cause? If it was a failed evaporator for example, I would think it would have been under warranty on a system only 6 years old....
I think the same thing is happening again and I am reluctant to spend more money to fix it. One reason is that I read stories about the newer model air conditioners used a different kind of coolant that is much cheaper.
New ones use R410, which may be cheaper. R12 is being phased out over time, but it's still available and any price differential isn't going to be the determining factor with your system.
Does anyone have any experience with this? What brand is best? Or does a lot depend on who installs it?
The cheapest eqpt installed by the best installer is going to be better than the best eqpt installed by a half-assed installer.
I don't know if there has been anything recent in Consumer Reports -- would have to make a trip to the library and look because I don't take it. Appreciate any "been there, done that advice". this is a major expense ...
I looked at this a couple years ago and concluded Rheem had reliability equal to or better than some systems that are perceived as higher end and at much lower cost. You need to get someone that knows what they are doing to look at your system. If it's a simple leak, it should be very cost effective to fix and recharge. If something major is shot, I'd look at the warranty.
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Where do you get your R-12? I run into boxes that use it, now and again. Havn't seen it for sale, in ten plus years.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
New ones use R410, which may be cheaper. R12 is being phased out over time, but it's still available and any price differential isn't going to be the determining factor with your system.
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He probably typoed it. R-22 is for the house and r-12 is for the cars. Or maybe I should have said was.
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Yes, my bad. I meant R-22. Essential point is that it's still available and if her system has a leak that is easily repairable there is no reason that it can't be fixed and re-charged. Could be as simple as a leaking schrader valve. On the other hand, if it's an evaporator that's shot you would think being only 6 years old that would still be under warranty....
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On 10/2/2012 6:43 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It does seem like you shouldn't have to junk a 6 yr old system.
Were they even making air conditioners with R-22 6 years ago?
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Yes, they were. I had a Train heat pump put in about 5 or 6 years ago.
I bought a house that was about 20 years old and after a year or two the heat pump quit, so I had a new system put in. I think it was a 14 sear unit. At that time I could have had either type of refregerant unit installed. I went with the r-22 as it runs under less pressuer. My thinking is the r-22 had been around a long time and the bugs should be worked out. Also under less presssure should mean the pump does not work as hard. I also had about 15 pounds of r-22 left over from when I lived in another house and had to charge the unit there about once every two years.
I would think if the system is only 6 years old and it needs replacing, it was either junk to start with or some repair or installer does not know what they are doing.
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I'll admit, I've not worked with the new 410A. But, I figure higher pressures mean more likely leaks, and harder working compressors. As such, I agree with you. I'll stick with the old stuff as long as possible. Eventually, the price of refrigerant will go up, and we'll have to change over. But, the old R-22 will be available for several more years.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Yes, they were. I had a Train heat pump put in about 5 or 6 years ago.
I bought a house that was about 20 years old and after a year or two the heat pump quit, so I had a new system put in. I think it was a 14 sear unit. At that time I could have had either type of refregerant unit installed. I went with the r-22 as it runs under less pressuer. My thinking is the r-22 had been around a long time and the bugs should be worked out. Also under less presssure should mean the pump does not work as hard. I also had about 15 pounds of r-22 left over from when I lived in another house and had to charge the unit there about once every two years.
I would think if the system is only 6 years old and it needs replacing, it was either junk to start with or some repair or installer does not know what they are doing.
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I do not work in that field, but from what I have read, I do not think you can buy a full r-22 system now.
I think there are some of the parts around and they can be pieced together. That I would not do. I much perfer just getting a matching system. That way if it fails under warrenty there is only one finger to point and that is at the person the system was bought from.
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I think the setup now, you can buy the full system without refrigerant. Used to be, the outdoor unit had a couple pounds of refrigerant already in it. "batteries sold separately".
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I do not work in that field, but from what I have read, I do not think you can buy a full r-22 system now.
I think there are some of the parts around and they can be pieced together. That I would not do. I much perfer just getting a matching system. That way if it fails under warrenty there is only one finger to point and that is at the person the system was bought from.
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wrote:

and spent over $1000 - replaceing the coolant in it. I think the same thing is happening again and I am reluctant to spend more money to fix it. One reason is that I read stories about the newer model air conditioners used a different kind of coolant that is much cheaper. Does anyone have any experience with this? What brand is best? Or does a lot depend on who installs it? I don't know if there has been anything recent in Consumer Reports -- would have to make a trip to the library and look because I don't take it. Appreciate any "been there, done that advice". this is a major expense ...
I just had an evaporator coil replaced so I'm guessing your's is the same. Mine cost $1800 with freon. I think they can change the type freon based on the evaporator coil but you need to confirm this as I'm not 100% sure on this. If you do replace the evaporator coil, make sure it's warranteed for 10 years unless you will not live in this house more than 5 years.
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I am guessing that this is a central air unit and not a window unit, but it would be nice to be more specific.
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So when you replaced your 6-yr old Trane unit did you "only replace the equipment outside" or did you replace the refrigerant lines and the coil inside as well ?
Your problems could have nothing to do with the outside equipment if you reused much older lines and coil inside to try and save money... Do you have any useful information about your problem other than your machine is 6-years-old and you spent $1,000 dealing with it last year ?
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On Tuesday, October 2, 2012 10:38:38 PM UTC-4, Evan wrote:

The Trane a/c was both the condenser which sits outside and the air handler which is inside the garage. It was installed 10/01/07. When I had problems earlier this year they said it needed a new part. In order to install the new part they had to drain the refrigerant and then put in new. It was awhile after that I heard a story on TV about how the old refrigerants cost so much now ... and I was wondering, if I should replace the unit and get a new one that uses cheaper and newer refrigerant. The repair in April was over $1000 and I sure don't want to repeat that.
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If there was any refrigerant in the system, they are suspose to have a machine to put it in and save it. There is a big fine if they just dump it into the air.
There should not be more than a few pounds in the system. I doubt there would have been over $ 100 worth. As "Trader" mentioned, the differance in the two kinds is not that much for the ammount used.
If you have a bill , I would check it to see what they charged for each thing they did and the parts used.
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OK - But what part was it that they replaced, and did they show you the defective part and the difference between the defective part and what they replaced it with? Next time remember to ask these questions so that you don't get "taken" because being a woman it is more likely to happen to you, unfortunately.
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If you have a chance, please tell us what was the part they replaced.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The Trane a/c was both the condenser which sits outside and the air handler which is inside the garage. It was installed 10/01/07. When I had problems earlier this year they said it needed a new part. In order to install the new part they had to drain the refrigerant and then put in new. It was awhile after that I heard a story on TV about how the old refrigerants cost so much now ... and I was wondering, if I should replace the unit and get a new one that uses cheaper and newer refrigerant. The repair in April was over $1000 and I sure don't want to repeat that.
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On Oct 3, 10:20pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I wouldn't be surprise to find out it was a TXV valve. And that it was caused by clogging from improper installation, eg not running nitrogen when brazing. And that they screwed it up a second time.
But just speculating, I agree it would be good to know what it was, if any of it was covered under warranty, etc. With a system just 6 years old you would hope that whatever is wrong it would either be a reasonable cost to fix or else covered under warranty.
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My guess was also TXV. They could have pumped the charge into the condensing unit, and put in the new TXV. Filter drier right before the TXV.
Calling it a TXV valve (thermostatic expansion valve valve) makes as much sense as asking for the VIN number of a vehicle (Vehicle identification number number). Or, the USPS service, the Unted States Postal Service Service.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

I wouldn't be surprise to find out it was a TXV valve. And that it was caused by clogging from improper installation, eg not running nitrogen when brazing. And that they screwed it up a second time.
But just speculating, I agree it would be good to know what it was, if any of it was covered under warranty, etc. With a system just 6 years old you would hope that whatever is wrong it would either be a reasonable cost to fix or else covered under warranty.
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A entire city block of land was given to the city by a wealthy woman many years ago, to be used as a park. Her name was Alice Keck Park. The correct name of the park is Alice Keck Park Park. But everyone just calls it Alice Keck Park.
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