Rusting air handler coils

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On Friday, September 26, 2014 8:10:57 PM UTC-4, Cheryl wrote:

no


Getting 2x a year mainenance? That 28 year old AC I replaced got maintenance once, when it was 10 years old and started blowing fuses. That resulted in a hard-start kit and another 18 years of service. Other than that, I changed the filter about once a year.
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Stainless doesn't rust. Are they materially more costly?
One prevents the problem by assuring that the drip pan isn't holding water. It won't hold water if the drain line isn't plugged with debris or whatever. You can check either by looking at the drip pan or outboard end of the drain line (while unit is running) to see if water is dripping out.
In my opinion, PM every six months is primarily to enrich the company; ditto annual. We spring for it every 2-3 years.
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On 9/25/2014 11:50 PM, Cheryl wrote:

CY: 14 years ago.
I

CY: Sounds like the right thing to do.

CY: The coils I've seen have often been copper tubes and aluminum fins. I can believe corrosion, but rust only in the steel drain pan.
and the water in the

CY: Sounds like a rusty pan.
and was

CY: If the pan is rusted though, it will leak. Or, you might have a clogged drain, and the water is overflowing the edge. Or, the pan might not be properly tilted towards the drain.

CY: 12 years of being wet is "rusted quickly?" Huh?
and how can you prevent it after replacing the unit for many

CY: Sloped drain pan, clear drain, and possibly run the air handler fan now and again to give it a chance to dry up.
My heat pump uses R22 freon
CY: Freon is a brand name. R22 is also available in Isotron brand, or Genetron brand, or Forane brand.
and apparently it is banned for new

CY: Might want to get a couple more quotes. I have a hard time believing that replacing an indoor air handler costs as much as replacing both.
The replacement unit I'm looking at

CY: Probably, yes.
and how to

CY: Slope, clear drain, run the fan occasionally, clean the area with coil cleaner.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 9/26/2014 8:35 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Thank you! I haven't run the fan as much this past year as I usually do. This is good advice.
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On 9/26/2014 8:13 PM, Cheryl wrote:

Running the fan allows the coils and tray to dry.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On Thursday, September 25, 2014 11:50:36 PM UTC-4, Cheryl wrote:


This doesn't make sense. Coils are aluminum and won't rust. They have to be, they are wet all the time, that's how they work when cooling.
There should not be water in the condensate pan. It should be draining. B ut these clog all the time, partly because dust gets past the filters but m ostly because biological stuff grows in dark moist conditions.
When the condensate pan clogs, and they all do eventually, you have to snak e or blow the drain out - when it clogs, you still shouldn't get water on t he floor. There is supposed to be a secondary pan that catches it. Then t hat pan is supposed to have a float switch that shuts off the air handler s o you know you have to fix it.
There is no circulating pipe in this system, just a drain pipe. If there's water in the drain, it is clogged.
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On Friday, September 26, 2014 8:38:39 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:


o be, they are wet all the time, that's how they work when cooling.

But these clog all the time, partly because dust gets past the filters but mostly because biological stuff grows in dark moist conditions.

ake or blow the drain out - when it clogs, you still shouldn't get water on the floor. There is supposed to be a secondary pan that catches it. Then that pan is supposed to have a float switch that shuts off the air handler so you know you have to fix it.

's water in the drain, it is clogged.
+1
There are probably some metal parts in there that can rust, but not the coi ls themselves. The box for example that holds the coils, maybe some bracke ts, etc. And even if there is some rust, unless it's structurally compromised, I don 't see the compelling need to replace it. At least not for the customer.... These backup and leak water frequently, due to the drains getting clogged. Clean the drain, and keep on trucking.....
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trader_4 wrote:

Hi, I think the tech came was not really honest about the situation, may be trying to sell unnecessary high cost part(ie new coil) rather than repairing the issues and give the owner good run down on how to maintain it. Good honest techs are hard to ccome by but they are still out there. At least I can recognize it when I see one. One reason I turned DIY'er. I enrolled on a few night courses at local tech college to learn the basics.
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On 9/26/2014 11:15 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Absolutely. The coils are either copper tubes with aluminum fins or aluminum tubes and fins. They don't rust.
OTOH, they sit in a pan, often steel, that will rust, especially if the drain plugs up. All you need is a good cleaning.
The water comes from condensation of the evaporator coil. Clean the pan, clean the drain, then clean the coils with a spray made for that. You can do this yourself and should do it every year or so. At least check the drain.
Call the local VOC/Tech school and they may have a willing student to do the job.
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On Friday, September 26, 2014 2:47:02 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I recently replaced my 28 year old unit, the coils were never cleaned and they were still clean. The coils I've seen, there is no effective way to clean them anyway. For example, here's a pic of a Rheem:
https://www.theacoutlet.com/RCFLHM4821CC-4-Ton-Rheem-Ruud-Multi-Position-Cased-Coil.htm?gclid=CJe0t-D2_sACFVQV7AodoHoACg
There isn't much there that's accessible with the cover off. You still have very limited access and no access at all to the sides of the coils where the incoming air hits. And if you try to spray it down with say a hose, the water is going down into the furnace/air handler.
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On 9/26/2014 2:50 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Some times, a light spray of clorox diluted will cut down on mold and mildew.
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On 9/26/2014 2:50 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Mine doesn't look anything like that. If I get the chance, I'll take the panel off and take a picture.
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On 9/26/2014 2:47 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

This kind of thing is why I should be a renter. I should have asked in this group as soon as I found the water problem was the air handler! Instead I waited too long, and now I've already purchased and scheduled the replacement heat pump system. I had a feeling when I posted that rather than tell me how to prevent it in the future, that I'd be told I'm being swindled by the tech to sell me a new unit. I think you guys are all correct but if you'd seen what I see in there, you'd probably feel like it was now an unsafe bacteria and mold fest down there. lol
I'm not a do-it-yourselfer but I'm taking notes on everything said about cleaning and will refer to it as needed.
Thank you.
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On Friday, September 26, 2014 8:19:41 PM UTC-4, Cheryl wrote:


Well, on the other hand it was a 12 year old unit, and modern ones are more efficient. Your problem now is to be sure it is A) sized correctly and B) installed correctly. And get a good warranty.
Size is critical for heat pumps. Too big, and humidity control is lost. T oo small, and you get warm two days a year when it can't keep up. But too big is FAR more common than too small. Some modern units have variable out put built in but I'm not familiar with this in residential, haven't install ed any.
Installation. Often done very badly, that's why so many of them come prech arged. Ideally they'd pull a vacuum and meter in the charge measuring supe rheat, but few techs know how.
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TimR wrote:

Hi, My tech when the new system was installed, he evacuated Puron, weighed it on a scale topped it up and recharged. He said that was the correct way. He comes around every spring. gives quick check up. After 5 years still nothing needed except cleaning condenser coil myself, basically just hosing it down. Correctly installed lower grade system may perform better poorly installed more expensive higher grade unit.
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On Friday, September 26, 2014 9:41:29 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:

d

more efficient. Your problem now is to be sure it is A) sized correctly an d B) installed correctly. And get a good warranty.

. Too small, and you get warm two days a year when it can't keep up. But too big is FAR more common than too small. Some modern units have variable output built in but I'm not familiar with this in residential, haven't ins talled any.

recharged. Ideally they'd pull a vacuum and meter in the charge measuring superheat, but few techs know how.

I'll bet the manufacturer disagrees. Seems pretty dumb to ship the compressor pre-charged and then expect the tech to evacuate it and start all over as part of the install. Every one I've seen has procedures based on measuring temp and pressure to correctly complete the charge.
He comes around every


Does he evacuate it every year and weigh it again to make sure it has the right charge? I'm doing some math. 28 years x $100 a year = $2800. That 's how much I saved.
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On 9/27/2014 7:47 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Might be less savings than that, if the outdoor unit is clogged with dust, and not running efficient.
Most HVAC techs (as well as techs from other fields) have a favorite diagnosis. Mine is dust clogged condenser. Other guys love to add two pounds of that free-zon stuff.
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On 9/26/2014 8:36 PM, TimR wrote:

I don't know what a lot of that means, like precharged. I will have to look it up! :) I sort of wonder if the unit I have currently was just too big. The outside unit is much bigger than the one it replace. I've noticed that my neighbors on both sides of me still have the same units they had when I bought my house in 2000. I have bad luck.
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On 9/27/2014 12:18 AM, Cheryl wrote:

Precharged (in HVAC terminology) means that the outdoor unit comes with a couple pounds of refrigerant already in the unit. The installer solders or brazes the tubing onto the unit (tubing that goes to the indoor coil) and then opens the service valves.
What Tim suggests is that the installer vacuum pump the air out of the system, and put in "just the right" amount of refrigerant. Using temperature and pressure to know when it's got enough.
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On Saturday, September 27, 2014 7:48:24 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Yeah. There seem to be 3 ways to charge. In descending order of correctness, 1) use temperature and pressure to get it exactly right; 2) weigh the charge a nd put in the manufacturer's recommendation; 3) add charge until it feels a bout the same temperature as a cold beer can. You'd be surprised how often 3) is used.
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