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.
Didn’t 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 I’ll probably never use.