Ruud AC Unit Not Cooling

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"cybercat" wrote in message

I'm in the same boat. Mine is 1988 stuff and though well maintained, it cant last much longer. It's also not very energy efficient compared to more modern units.
The heat portion of it was replaced about 1995 and works fine. The rest is the origional still. Looking about, the life cycle of this type of unit, was for 15 years so we are on borrowed time <grin>.

And Steve explianed I used the wrong term. Sorry, it's refridgerant. Apparently still in production but all I can say is I get warned each time that mine is getting hard to obtain in my area. This from repair guys, not ones who make money selling new systems. There are also parts issues with my older unit but so far they have been able to get what is needed.
The AC unit is one of the things my husband deals with so I'm not totally up on it.

Waiting patiently and hoping for good news! With your unit being only 12 years old, you may be lucky like me and be able to keep it running another 8 or more. If it helps any, ours is an upper end Sears unit and as part of the purchase contract had annual maintenance for the first 10 years I believe. Unfortunately that didnt transfer to us when we bought the house so we've had to use various contractors.
We don't know if it had refridgerant added while we were away overseas, but we had it done once when when we bought the house and again about 6 years later just before we left. That would mean if it doesnt cool well this year, it's time for another addition most likely (will have been 7 years).
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The AC guy just left. As soon as he saw the unit, he said, "I can tell you what the problem is, it is out of freon." I said, "Oh, good, then you can just fill it up!" He said, "No, that's not good, because I can fill it up but it will just leak out again."
He could not tell me how long it would take to leak out again. He could tell me that a new system, with new ductwork is going to run something like $7K to 9K.
I told him we would have to take our chances and hope the freon would last for a while.
He sold me on a $150 per year maintenance plan for both heating and cooling, with one check in the spring that includes coil cleaning every year. Then a check of the furnace etc. for winter. With this maintenance plan, we got a small discount on freon.
Here is what the invoice looks like:
Qty and Service Non HSP HSP
Diagnostic: $99.00 $47.00 HSP agreement $0 $149.00 Gas surcharge $10.00 $0 1 lb R-22 (1st pound) $ 91.00 $77.00 4 Additional lbs R-22 $108.00 $88.00 2 Cleaning coils $162.00 $0 Total $470.00 $361.00
So we paid $361 and this includes a heating check next fall.
Under Work Performed:
Performed service. cool check on system checked volts, amps, coils, motors, filter, T-stat, Electrical, Refrigerant, Capacitors, superheat, temperature drop, Diagnostic system, very low refrigerant. Added 5.04 lbs of R.-22. Diagnose no other problems at this time.
Technician recommends: System upgrade due to age and efficiency. Very highly recommend replacing system. Leak search test $35 per 1/4 hour."
Hmmm. Anybody know what the leak search results mean? Did I just pay $361 for a week of cool air?
By the way, the unit is beautiful now, he did a great job cleaning it inside and out. It looks new.
What say you experts?
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"cybercat" wrote

Grin, see where my 'freon' comment came in?

New duct work shouldnt be needed I would assume.

Good call. Looking below you arent out much money with that route if it doesnt work and may be like me, 6 years later you need it again <g>

If it starts failing in 2 weeks, try that?

Dunno! I'm not an expert here on this one!
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Yes, I noted that! :)

He thinks so, and this house is old. I think the duct work runs 4K or so.

Hey, I missed that! You added freon (R-22) and did not need it again for six years???

I want to know what that Leak search test result means. If we had to fill this thing once or twice a year that might be okay, but more is not.
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"cybercat" wrote

I figured it out. Freon is generic name for the refridgerant R-22. Must come in other types.
Steve, (since you read the thread figure you will see this) is there an older version of this which is phased out now? I know you listed ones still in production, just was wondering if my system uses something older that really is gone. Then again, could be some city ordinance or something I'm tripping over here? (Norfolk VA area).

I had to have duct work done when the subfloor ducting went wonkers on us and had to be backfilled. Since I had some overhead anyways, it was more a rewrap and extend it sort of job. I think 2,000$ or so worth?

Yup. We cant say for sure if it was refilled while we were away. I suspect not, but not sure.

Call them and ask for the results? Or are they just still pending? You may (like me) have a small slow leak. Good policy you got there I might add!
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ACTUALLY "freon" was a brand name registered by dupont for r-12.
And no, i have no idea about discontinued products before r-12. But it does seem they experimented with some ammonia type products on automotive applications.
steve

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S. Barker wrote:

Read the (condensed) history here: http://refrigerants.dupont.com/Suva/en_US/about/history/index.html
Jim

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Freon is DuPont's trade name for its odorless, colorless, nonflammable, and noncorrosive chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, which are used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. (lifted fro Wiki)
Many people call any R-22 Freon much like any Vacuum cleaner is a Hoover or any refrigerator is a Frigidaire.

R-12 was used in cars and was discontinued back around 94. It is still pretty readily available although it is expensive (about $30 per can) There are other refrigerants out there for really really old stuff and specialized stuff but the majority of home A/C systems made in the last forty years or so use R-22.
The price of R-22 is going crazy these days but it isn't hard to get. Much like car gas I guess. I think you are either hearing paranoia or someone wanting to sell you a new system.
Steve B.
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wrote:

Well I am far far far away from an expert but...
The contract is worth its weight in Gold when the system konks out on July 4th and it's 100 degrees outside. Instead of going to the back of the line with the other 100 people with no air you go to the express lane with the contract people. Excellent brownie points with SWMBO when the house is cool again.
The leak is hard to say... You could have a slow leak that has been leaking for years and just got to the point that the system wouldn't cool anymore. Could be you have developed a big hairy leak and it will all be gone again in a week. Cross your fingers, toes and anything else that will cross and hope for the best.
Pricing looks like a bargain to me.
Steve B.
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i say even if you need a new outdoor unit, refrigerant lines, and the inside coil, You DON't need new ducts. And the three items imentioned should run you about 3k installed. Been there, done that 4 times.
s
wrote

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wrote

As far as the ductwork, it could be a soaking and it could be necessary. If it was a poorly designed airflow (turbulence, turns causing air friction, back pressure) it could indeed benefit a lot in the form of higher effeciency/less unit work.
How do you know? Someone you have an established relationship with and trust and/or multiple opinions and/or take a chance with the old ductwork. For some they skip duct suggestion and it works out just fine. I guess the ones that it doesn't work out for don't advertise it much.
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The Unit has an Auto re-set Low presure control and loss of refrigerant charge would cause it to continually stop and start or short cycle. It also has a manual re-set High pressure control and loss of the condenser fan would cause this to stop and lock out the Unit. The Unit is 12 years old and if you think of it as a car is it worth replacing defective parts or is a new model a better investment. Older models use Refrigerant R22 which is due to be phased out. New models use Puron ( R410A ). It's a matter of paying your money and making your Choice

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Thanks, very good information. I know we need a new one, I would just like to put off the expense for a little bit.
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wrote:

At this point no-one here has any clue what the actual problem is. Could be as simple as a bad contactor. Could be as complex as a dead compressor. If you aren't comfortable with what the A/C repair guy says it is post back here and let us know what he said and maybe someone can point you in the right direction. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if the repair costs seems out of line.
Also realize that your system isn't a spring chicken. If something major has gone wrong this would be a good time to look at replacing it.
Steve B.
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Thank you, Steve. Will do.
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"Steve B." wrote

Same here, and thanks for the clarification on the terms. I just know I get warned that the older stuff my unit has, is phasing out and getting hard to get.
If it helps, my unit I gather shouldnt run at all now. It's 20 years old. 1988 unit install of a older style unit (kinda like buying a 2007 car right now off a dealer). It's had decent maintenance and repair but is I gather older than most units of it's generation lasted.
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