I had my Central A/C tuned up at the beginning of June. It has been
working nicely, I still am getting cooling. My unit is a 4 ton
Carrier system. It is an older system that uses R22.
Today, I happened to take a peak through the top of the condenser
unit, and noticed that there is a crack in the metal case of light
grey colored cylindrical part.
Here are links to 2 photos:
What part is this? Does the crack in the metal case mean failure will
soon happen...if so how soon? What is the brown stuff I see on the
side of this part below the crack...is this oil? Do I have a freon
Nobody mentioned this during my tune-up. From the looks of it, it's
hard to believe the crack didn't exist at the beginning of the month
at all, and they didn't need to add any freon because pressure was
fine, and I'm still getting adequate cooling as far as I can tell.
Does anything need to be done?
We would not be having this conversation if I had not noticed what is
shown in the photos. Do the photos reveal that something is seriously
wrong with the part or is it just a crack in the paint as someone else
The part is a suction line accumulator which was / is prevalent in Carrier's
product line during the 1980's 38TH------301 comes to mind. Aluminum coil,
MD Carlyle compressor....
The accumulator has sweated so much [from being overcharge with refrigerant]
that the paint, has let go and rust is setting in. [Steel vessel]. Soon,
it will start leaking refrigerant.
Your best bet? Call your local HVAC contractor [licensed and insured] and
get a bid for replacement of the complete system. Upgrading will cut your
electrical use [when the air conditioning is on] comparatively in half. The
EER of those earlier units was in the 9.5's - the newer stuff to day is much
I am guessing that the light-colored cylindrical part you have photographed
is a large electrolytic capacitor, typically used to start the outdoor
condensing unit. It is very difficult to tell from the photo you provided.
It could be a receiver/drier, a low ambient kit, or other refrigerant part,
but I doubt it.
It is very unlikely that you are leaking freon based on your comment that
cooling is adequate. My advice would also be to not worry about this item.
If and when it does fail, you will need to deal with it then, most likely
with a complaint that your outdoor condensing unit does not appear to be
Maybe some of the "experts" on this newsgroup can offer better advice. Based
on my participation on Usenet and Arpanet dating back to the 1980's, I must
say that I have never seen a more pathetic collection of people than I have
encountered here. Many questions are answered with snide, sarcastic remarks
by people have sniffed far too many chlorinated and fluorinated
hydrocarbons. Some questions are ignored altogether. You might consider
posing your question at alt.home.repair or one of the HVAC forums on the
Internet. This newsgroup is about as dysfunctional as any I have every seen.
Large electrolytic? Hmm. You have a good imagination. Would that be about
I'd say receiver. Since we're all snide, I need to write "you blind hack!"
We're not disfunctional, we're cantankerous.
I will not venture an opinion on what the item is in the original post,
but I WILL agree that this newsgroup is unlike any other I have read.
The general view by most, is that a question is posted so that the
poster can avoid hiring a HVAC pro. Having read many replies to
questions posted, I can understand why someone would want to avoid such
an action. They probably fear that one they would hire might turn out
to be one of the sarcastic "Pros." Not only have many of the replies
been not helpful, many have suggested actions that would make the
situation worse. It is one thing to refuse to give an opinion or help,
but quite another to suggest an action that would damage the unit or
cost needless money.
The poster in this thread never suggested for a minute that he was
about to fix the unit himself, he simply was trying to ascertain if he
had a serious problem and if it needed immediate attention. Most often
the recommendation is that a poster hire a pro when he posts a question.
That is probably good advice in MOST situations. But even when a
poster reports on a job that a pro had done and whose results were poor,
the poster is criticized for having chosen the wrong pro. In other
words: Don't do anything yourself, hire a pro. But if the pro did
lousy work, it is YOUR fault for having chosen the wrong pro. I cannot
understand how a person who learned a trade, and presumably is proud of
his trade, can ignore bad work by others in that trade.
In recognition to the few in this newsgroup who have replied with civil
replies, your comments are duly recognized. To those who post to
mislead or cause harm, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Now have at it and post your vulgarities and wise remarks, as it
appears that many of you have few customers to service. I wonder why???
Yes, there is something peculiar about some (thankfully not all) of the
regulars of alt.hvac that is not seen in other technically oriented groups
or web-based forums. In others if you ask for advice about something that
hints that you are in over your head or creating a danger for yourself or
others they'll certainly tell you so, but nowhere else is there such a
level of condesention and resentment for anyone not part of the high
priesthood asking pretty much anything, even merely, as in this case,
whether or not professional attention is required. It's like they resent
that customers even exist.
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