On Friday, September 26, 2014 8:10:57 PM UTC-4, Cheryl wrote:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
And even if there is some rust, unless it's structurally compromised, I don
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.....
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
condenser coil myself, basically just hosing it down. Correctly
installed lower grade system may perform better poorly installed more
expensive higher grade unit.
On Friday, September 26, 2014 9:41:29 PM UTC-4, Tony Hwang wrote:
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
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
how much I saved.
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.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
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.
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.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
On Saturday, September 27, 2014 7:48:24 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.