DIY AC repair

On my way home Wednesday SWMBO called and told me she was outside and the AC started banging so she shut it off.
I got home and checked it out - other than dirty contacts everything looked OK but the compressor still wouldn't start. OHMed out the motor and it was OK and wasn't grounded out. Now I'm left with a bad capacitor or a shot compressor.
My meter won't test capacitors so Thursday morning I buy a capacitor and a 'super boost' hoping my compressor is just tired. $50 and ten minutes later I know I need a new unit...
After many phone calls I find a place that has the unit in stock that I need and didn't ask which company I worked for. So I pick up the new condenser, evaporator and line set and head home late Thursday. Didnt take too long to rip out the old stuff and luckily the new evaporator was very close in size to the old one so not a lot of duct changes needed to be done. Damn! I forgot to get the brazing sticks so another night w/o AC.
The high cost of metal might be good when you go the scrapyard but not when you need to buy brazing sticks - $140 for a pack of 28 sticks! I brazed in my new lines and did a quick check to see if it would hold a vacuum and it held. Good. Ran the evacuation pump for an hour while I made all the electrical connections.
Moment of truth, open the valves and turn it on No problems - got cold right away with 26deg air temp difference across the evaporator.
Yes I should have triple evacuated it with Argon and pressure tested it instead of just a vacuum test but that would have cost me another $300 for a tank of Argon with no gauges. I saved myself several thousand by doing it myself and I placed the new condenser in a more sensible location. Yes you can replace your own AC system. Two downsides are I had to settle for a 410 unit, and I have 26 brazing sticks that Ill probably never use.
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Limp Arbor wrote:

Yabut... Me thinks you are a lot handier than many in this group:-)) Congratulations on doing a hard job well.
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Limp Arbor wrote:

I'm spoiled, all the shops here in town sell consumable rods by the pound. GJ on fixing your system.
Jon
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On Aug 1, 10:02am, "Stormin Mormon"

Compression fittings drive me crazy! I don't even like that I have one on the back of my fridge.
I do keep a 3/4 and 1/2 shutoff compression valve in my plumbing box just in case...
Anyone try those 'shark bite' fittings? I was surprised to see them at a supply house the other day.
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On 08/02/11 09:46 am, Limp Arbor wrote:

I have just for the very first time used "Gator-bite" (same idea, different name -- from Lowe's) fittings on the copper plumbing for a shower remodel -- but only in accessible locations. They're supposed to be OK for PEX as well, but I decided to stick with copper.
Perce
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On Tue, 2 Aug 2011 06:46:03 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor

No good for refrigeration
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On Aug 1, 10:02am, "Stormin Mormon"

Hope he flowed nitrogen while brazing those lines. Since he talks about argon, I suspect not. In which case, good chance it won't last too long. Could have got a tank of nitrogen with gauges for $150.
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