Hello AHR folks, it's been a while since I've asked you helpful folks
I have a heat pump with an indoor air handler, purchased in 2002. I
found water standing on my basement floor and after drying it with the
dehumidifier I attempted to find out the source. I then found more
water coming from directly under the air handler, so called in for repair.
Guy opened the panel and the coils were rusted, and the water in the
condensation drain pan and circulating pipe was orangeish and was
clearly the reason why condensation wasn't draining and instead leaking
onto the floor.
The unit (a 2 ton Bryant) was purchased in 2002. Why would coils rust
so quickly and how can you prevent it after replacing the unit for many
$$$? My heat pump uses R22 freon and apparently it is banned for new
units but could be ordered for repairs, but to replace the coils would
be nearly as expensive for the whole job as it would be to replace both
the heat pump and the air handler. The replacement unit I'm looking at
has stainless steel coils; is that going to last longer, and how to
prevent this problem after replacement?
I have, thank you for asking and replying! But apparently not 2x per
year to drain and clean the coils as they tech I just got said you're
supposed to do. I had no idea! I've had like every other year PM and no
one told me 2x per year. So is this how to save the coils? 2x per year
draining and cleaning? Does this mean draining the coolant, whatever
replaced freon? Preon or whatever he told me is used now?
This is to make sure drain hose/pipe is not plugged up by algae growth
or dirt so
pan is always empty rather than water stays in there all the time.
Moisture is cause
for rust most of time. R22 is still available for sure. There are many
ma y old systems
still running on R22.
On Friday, September 26, 2014 12:18:10 AM UTC-4, Cheryl wrote:
IDK how you're supposed to drain and clean the coils. Every system around
here that I've seen, including brand new ones, just installed, have no
provision for access to clean. Take a look at the cased coils sold by
major HVAC manufacturers, and they are sealed. And draining makes no sense
there is nothing to drain unless it's plugged and overflows. Otherwise wat
er drips into the pan from the coils and water runs out.
Are you sure you even need a new unit? IDK what kind of coils rust, typica
they are made of aluminum. The pan under is typically plastic. Even if som
metal there is rusting, a you sure it's so bad that it needs to be replaced
? If it's so shot that there is a hole in it where the water is leaking ou
then I can see it. But if the drain hole, drain line etc just got plugged
with some rust, crud, whatever, the unit could still have life left in it.
There are a lot of companies out there that want to sell a new system, even
when there is a minor problem, or no problem at all.
CY: Cleaning coils is something I've often done.
Draining is when the drain tube is clogged, and
needs to be cleared. I've done that now and again.
Every system around
CY: Every system I've seen around here (including
the brand new ones I've helped install) has a
cover that comes off for cleaning. Take a look
at the cased coils sold by HVAC companies, they
have a side that comes off.
And draining makes no sense,
overflows. Otherwise water drips into the pan from
the coils and water runs out.
CY: Ideally, yes, it drains by gravity.
CY: Pan either plastic or some times steel.
Even if some
CY: Might be able to dry they system out, and plug the
hole with (for example) epoxy cement.
On Friday, September 26, 2014 8:46:50 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:
It's been a few years since I worked on mine, and I guess you're
right that they have a panel that comes off, so I'm wrong about them
being sealed. But even with the panel
off, I don't see how you're going to clean much on a typical
modern coil. Here's a pic of a typical Rheem, similar to what I have:
With the cover off, you aren't going to clean much of it. You have
no access at all to the side of the coils that receive the incoming
air. With no access from above, I guess you might get your arm in there,
to try to clean two faces of the coils and you have very limited access
to just a part of one other face. That means you can maybe clean 2 1/2
sides out of 6 sides of the coils. And you can't get to the sides that
receive the incoming air at all, where presumably most of the dirt would be.
Ideally, the system has a good air filter, and dust
isn't an issue. But, in the real world people pull
the filters out and let the system run unprotected.
It's often necessary to pump out the refrigerant,
and cut the coil out. Wet clean it with chemicals
and put it back. Bit of work, for sure
Cheaper than replacing a thousand dollar coil.
With the cover off, it's possible to spray in some
diluted Clorox bleach, and also to blow out the
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
On Friday, September 26, 2014 9:46:21 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Well, that's kind of where I was coming from. It may not be
"sealed", but to get at it to really clean it, isn't typically
possible by just removing a panel. I'll bet only a small percentage
of the evap coils out there are ever cleaned.
I agree with the part about the filter. When I replaced mine
after 28 years, the coils were still clean. And all I'd used in
that one were the cheap 1" thick filters. Of course it also depends
on the environment. If you have a dirty, dusty house, 3 dogs, etc,
then the incoming air is probably a lot dirtier.
On Friday, September 26, 2014 10:35:37 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:
The purpose of the filter is to protect the coils from dust buildup, as wel
l as the fan and anything else in there.
It is not to protect human health. A filter that could do that would have
to trap much finer particles, therefore it would have much more air resista
nce and would require a much more powerful fan, etc.
As the filter gets dirty, it probably gets more effective at trapping dust,
but it also increases the resistance to air flow. Eventually it will prob
ably tear and let air through untreated. We want to change filters at regu
lar intervals but doing it more often is probably not better.
On Friday, September 26, 2014 10:52:04 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
I think that depends on what kind of filter you have. Many typical
HVAC filters will collect dust, pollen, etc that are detrimental to
health. It doesn't have to be able to stop a virus to have a positive
effect on health.
I am very careful about making sure to replace the filter every 90 days
as specified by the manufacturer of the filter, it's never run without
one. The filter has never even looked like it needed changing when I do.
I've read your other post about whether it really needs replacing or
not, and I don't know how to respond to it just yet. Thanks for the info!
Filters need replacing when dirty. The number of days is designed to
sell you four filters a year, needed or not. In a mild climate where
the air handler is hardly run, 180 days or more may be OK. If you live
in the shadow of a coal burning steel plant, maybe every few weeks is
CY: A good tech with experience in heat pumps can catch a lot of
problems while they are small.
So is this how to save the coils? 2x per year
CY: In theory, the water that collects on the coils
should run down into the pan and then down the drain,
by gravity. Some times, things don't work as well.
The coil might shift and be sloped the wrong way.
Algae and dust builds up, and drains clog. A skilled
tech would catch this kind of problem early.
Does this mean draining the coolant, whatever
CY: Unless you're doing major repairs like replacing
a coil, you generally don't need to remove the
refrigerant. The name Puron is a brand name for one
brand of R410a. Just like Freon is one brand of
refrigerants, which might include Freon 12, Freon 22,
Freon 500, Freon 502.
I live in the Washington DC area where it's always humid in the summer.
I run my AC starting in probably June through October sometimes. Being a
heat pump, the unit itself runs nearly year round, with a few weeks in
the spring and maybe a month in the fall where I don't need heat or cooling.
I don't totally know that twice a year is essential.
Can't hurt, if you have a reputable company. I'm a
hypocrite, in some regards. I installed HVAC for
six plus years, and I do nearly no maint on my own
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
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