Rant: Fuggin' A/C system

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Wayne Ernst, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Today, I get a call from my wife. She tells me that she smells something with a smell like new electronics and was wondering if I had made any new computer or home theater purchases. Regretfully, I had to say no. I then had her turn the computer off - in the event something was messing up with the components in the PC.

    As I'm driving home, she tells me to check things out when I get home because she still smells the smell.

    I get home, look in the furnace area and my A/C has the coils all frozen up. The copper pipe that carries the freon is ice crystals on it and the outside coil has ice on it, too.

    Looks like it's going to be a damn, hot night tonight while I wait for the coils to thaw. Hopefully, thawing things out will allow it to run again - and I'm not looking at a $3K repair bill. [​IMG]

    However, the unit is now 12.5 years old and I've faithfully maintained it.

    Thanks for hearing out my rant.

    Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aam !!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Update: service tech checked out my system late this afternoon. The fan would only spin at about 10% its normal rate, then stop after 2 minutes. The motor for the fan was quite warm at this point.

    Since the fan was seizing up, the evaporator coil would just sit there and accumulate frost instead of having the cold air blown through the house.

    Needless to say, the parts center for the tech was closed, so we can't get a new fan motor until tomorrow and then he'll also install a new capacitor. The price shouldn't be too bad at all. The tech thought the rest of my system was in pretty good shape. [​IMG]

    Final Update: New fan motor arrived today. The wiring colors changed a bit with this newer motor and the person at the parts depot yesterday didn't tell the tech that 3 brackets were needed to hold the motor into the housing, so this created for one extra night of no A/C.

    If anyone's familiar with the D.C. area, you'd realize that no A/C is quite painful. The first time the motor was wired up, the fan was not spinning fast enough and the coils started to ice up again. The unit was then wired properly by the tech. Plus, he added a bit more freon (I haven't had any added in 12.5 years) and now the air coming out of the vents is 48F.

    My final price for this work was: $400. My neighbor with the same exact furnace/A-C had their fan motor replaced two days ago for $800. The company that replaced their motor was the company that was going to come out before I found this other guy to do the work. I just had a better feeling about the guy that did my work, and I saved $400 along the way. [​IMG]
     
  2. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Today, I get a call from my wife. She tells me that she smells something with a smell like new electronics and was wondering if I had made any new computer or home theater purchases. Regretfully, I had to say no. I then had her turn the computer off - in the event something was messing up with the components in the PC.

    As I'm driving home, she tells me to check things out when I get home because she still smells the smell.

    I get home, look in the furnace area and my A/C has the coils all frozen up. The copper pipe that carries the freon is ice crystals on it and the outside coil has ice on it, too.

    Looks like it's going to be a damn, hot night tonight while I wait for the coils to thaw. Hopefully, thawing things out will allow it to run again - and I'm not looking at a $3K repair bill. [​IMG]

    However, the unit is now 12.5 years old and I've faithfully maintained it.

    Thanks for hearing out my rant.

    Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aam !!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Update: service tech checked out my system late this afternoon. The fan would only spin at about 10% its normal rate, then stop after 2 minutes. The motor for the fan was quite warm at this point.

    Since the fan was seizing up, the evaporator coil would just sit there and accumulate frost instead of having the cold air blown through the house.

    Needless to say, the parts center for the tech was closed, so we can't get a new fan motor until tomorrow and then he'll also install a new capacitor. The price shouldn't be too bad at all. The tech thought the rest of my system was in pretty good shape. [​IMG]

    Final Update: New fan motor arrived today. The wiring colors changed a bit with this newer motor and the person at the parts depot yesterday didn't tell the tech that 3 brackets were needed to hold the motor into the housing, so this created for one extra night of no A/C.

    If anyone's familiar with the D.C. area, you'd realize that no A/C is quite painful. The first time the motor was wired up, the fan was not spinning fast enough and the coils started to ice up again. The unit was then wired properly by the tech. Plus, he added a bit more freon (I haven't had any added in 12.5 years) and now the air coming out of the vents is 48F.

    My final price for this work was: $400. My neighbor with the same exact furnace/A-C had their fan motor replaced two days ago for $800. The company that replaced their motor was the company that was going to come out before I found this other guy to do the work. I just had a better feeling about the guy that did my work, and I saved $400 along the way. [​IMG]
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    you are likely very, very low on refrigerant. Call a service tech [​IMG]
    If you pull the panels off your furnace and look up or down towards the AC coil it's probably iced up as well.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    you are likely very, very low on refrigerant. Call a service tech [​IMG]
    If you pull the panels off your furnace and look up or down towards the AC coil it's probably iced up as well.
     
  5. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Low charge is possible, but more likely it's a dirty filter or a dirty evap coil. Keep in mind that high humidity levels and low outdoor temperatures (at night especially) can cause the evaporator to freeze up.
     
  6. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Low charge is possible, but more likely it's a dirty filter or a dirty evap coil. Keep in mind that high humidity levels and low outdoor temperatures (at night especially) can cause the evaporator to freeze up.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    with that much ice? I've never walked up to a unit that iced the valves that wasn't low. The coil, perhaps, never the valves.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    with that much ice? I've never walked up to a unit that iced the valves that wasn't low. The coil, perhaps, never the valves.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I hope thats for a replacement. Our AC unit was replaced including the furnace for $3k just over a year ago. The unit was a Trane.

    Either way I hope this situation works itself out on the cost effective side.
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I hope thats for a replacement. Our AC unit was replaced including the furnace for $3k just over a year ago. The unit was a Trane.

    Either way I hope this situation works itself out on the cost effective side.
     
  11. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    If you do get a new unit amke sure you check the SEER ratings. It may cost more at the start but will save you money over time.
     
  12. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    If you do get a new unit amke sure you check the SEER ratings. It may cost more at the start but will save you money over time.
     
  13. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Update: service tech checked out my system late this afternoon. The fan would only spin at about 10% its normal rate, then stop after 2 minutes. The motor for the fan was quite warm at this point.

    Since the fan was seizing up, the evaporator coil would just sit there and accumulate frost instead of having the cold air blown through the house.

    Needless to say, the parts center for the tech was closed, so we can't get a new fan motor until tomorrow and then he'll also install a new capacitor. The price shouldn't be too bad at all. The tech thought the rest of my system was in pretty good shape. [​IMG]
     
  14. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Update: service tech checked out my system late this afternoon. The fan would only spin at about 10% its normal rate, then stop after 2 minutes. The motor for the fan was quite warm at this point.

    Since the fan was seizing up, the evaporator coil would just sit there and accumulate frost instead of having the cold air blown through the house.

    Needless to say, the parts center for the tech was closed, so we can't get a new fan motor until tomorrow and then he'll also install a new capacitor. The price shouldn't be too bad at all. The tech thought the rest of my system was in pretty good shape. [​IMG]
     
  15. aaron campbell

    aaron campbell Second Unit

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    Motor should run you no more than $90.00, capacitor $5.00-$10.00

    Aaron
     
  16. aaron campbell

    aaron campbell Second Unit

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    Motor should run you no more than $90.00, capacitor $5.00-$10.00

    Aaron
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    good to hear!
     
  18. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Speaking of A/C, does anyone know of a site that lists how much extra energy is required to cool a house x degrees cooler? Reason I ask is that my wife and I bought our first home a year ago and just adjusted the AC to what was comfortable without really considering cost. Well, that turned out to be around 71 degrees F. In talking to some guys at work, they thought 75 was perfectly fine and lots cheaper to maintain.... any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    -Brett.

    PS - Wayne, if this is a thread hijack I apologize and I'll move it to a new topic if you ask.
     
  19. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    Has anyone here ever gone through what's required to work on A/C systems just to be able to work on their own (and family members/friends) and save money?

    I've thought about it.
     
  20. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Scott,
    Generally the cost of the tools required by the EPA, state and local agencies makes it damn expensive to just do-it once in a while. Improper storage and handling of refrigerants can get you nailed with a $25,000 fine per occurance by the EPA. Accessing a refrigeration system without the proper tools on-site gets you another $25,000 fine. Improper documentation of refrigerant usage (paper trail) and your out another $25,000.

    Finding a wholesale supply house that will sell you the required equipment and refrigerant will be difficult. Most will only sell to licensed contractors.

    Your going to have to spend a heck of a lot of money to learn the trade and get all of the equipment together.

    Don't forget that there are liability issues to contend with as well.
     

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