AC not blowing cold

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  #1  
Old 05-11-04, 05:57 PM
eric_k2001
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AC not blowing cold

Hello everyone, was hoping someone could help. I am a new homeowner and recently bought my first house (townhouse). The place is 10 years old and the old owner(s) never upgraded or maintained things. My problem is my Central AC unit is not blowing cold air. I have a RUUD Achiever 10 - high efficiency unit. I put the thermastat on (auto) and on (cold) but just cool air blows out of vents, not cold. I tried the circuit breaker off and on test but still nothing. I went outside and the fan is blowing cool air out. Could it be a dirty filter or somehting? Im not even sure how to open it up. I'm hoping it is something simple that I can replace or clean. Please help, thanks!

Eric-
 
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  #2  
Old 05-11-04, 06:14 PM
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look for a filter in the return vent or at the base of the air handiling unit. is this a heat pump?
 
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Old 05-11-04, 06:27 PM
eric_k2001
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No, I have a seperate gas furnace inside. This Ruud unit sits outside stand alone. Hope that helps.

Eric-
 
  #4  
Old 05-12-04, 05:54 AM
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Could be that the compressor is not running out side just the fan???? Is the big line there at the unit cold and wet??
Put in a new air filter like hvac4u said for sure. But I think you have to go into the outdoor unit for this. Wires off, capacitor bad , compressor bad , out of freon. Call a tech hvac and try and be there when they come. Go over the unit with him or her. So you know where and what you have there.

ED
 
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Old 05-12-04, 06:57 AM
eric_k2001
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Ed,

Thanks for the info. I would like to try and repair the unit myself but afraid of being fried by the capacitors. Tonight when I get home from work I will shut the unit off via fusebox and investigate to try and find the filter. I will also check the hose to see if it is cold while its running. Would I be able to replace a compressor without the fear of getting electrocuted? Where shouldnt I touch inside the unit? Thanks

Eric-
 
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Old 05-12-04, 08:42 AM
eric_k2001
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Ed,

Do you know of an online retailer where I can order parts for this?


Eric-
 
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Old 05-12-04, 08:59 AM
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Ok first: The air filter on the unit can be in the return grill or in the bottom part of the furnace on the side of it. That you can change. Like hvac4u said.Now on the out door unit About all you can do is look for a wire off ,a bad contactor or capacitor.The fan is running out there so its not the contactor. To go on you have to have a meter and a set of gauges. If its down in the compressor no you cant change it out or put freon in the unit. You have to be EPA to work with freon.


ED
 
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Old 05-12-04, 10:55 AM
eric_k2001
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Ed, what if I were to replace the relay capacity that runs the compressor? Would I risk being shocked? I know that they store energy.


Eric-
 
  #9  
Old 05-12-04, 11:26 AM
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You mean the capacitor yes it can get you. But is it bad ??or wires off, compressor bad, Low freon ? Dont buy parts till you know what is wrong. The contactor works cause the fan runs when you call for cool. Now thats all 220V inside the outdoor unit if you go into it. Also some units only kill 1 leg so its all hot 110 inside there on them. Dont forget

Call a tech hvac and try and be there when they come. Go over the unit with him or her. So you know where and what you have there.
ED
 
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Old 05-13-04, 05:32 AM
eric_k2001
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Ed,

I checked my system last night when I got home and the large hose running into house is not cold. The compressor is running as is everything else..i.e. fan. I called a service tech and they should be out Sat. I am assuming it needs freon. I will let you know the outcome. Thanks for your troubleshooting tips!

Eric-
 
  #11  
Old 05-13-04, 05:52 AM
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Eric,

You should make sure the tech spends the time to locate and repair the leak if that is what is wrong.
 
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Old 05-13-04, 09:34 AM
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Id turn the AC off for now, dont run it when its low on freon. You can just let the indoor blower run.

ED
 
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Old 05-13-04, 09:55 AM
eric_k2001
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Thanks Greg & Ed,

I did turn it off via the fusebox and will leave it off until tech comes Saturday. The freon shouldnt run out unless there is a leak correct? Or does freon burn out over time with no leak?

Eric-
 
  #14  
Old 05-13-04, 10:02 AM
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Freon lasts for ever. So if its out you have a leak. Make sure they fix it .


ED
 
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Old 05-15-04, 08:37 PM
eric_k2001
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Ed,

2 techs came today, and they hooked up gauge to my system and it only had 20lbs. of Freon. After charging it up, the AC worked fine. They told me to call them if it runs out but this should last me the rest of this season. They didnt want to find the leak and said they would come back another time if I wanted to trace lines to find it. I hot hit with $117 labor, $70 for freon charge + 11.80 for tax. FInal bill was $190 something......

Eric-
 
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Old 05-16-04, 11:26 AM
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Dont know where your at but d** thats high. First a 3 ton AC unit holds about 3 to 8 lb is all. You had a leak and they should have fixed it or try and find it. Boy freon at$70.00 that makes if you took 5 lb thats $14.00 a lb sure wish my guys could get that. I think Id call the company back and ask why it cost that much ,also call the BBB there and talk to them. Ill bet they where there about 45 min. is all to put the freon in.

ED
 
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Old 05-16-04, 11:37 AM
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i called all of my competitors recently to find out what they charged for R22. one was 30 for the first lb, 15 for every one after that. another was 25 for the first and 14 after that. i have been in this business 21 years and for the life of me i cannot figure out why the first pound costs more. my freon is 13/lb, and i am the cheapest in town
 
  #18  
Old 05-16-04, 11:52 AM
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Boy what do you think they will charge for R410a then later on.



ED
 
  #19  
Old 05-17-04, 06:27 AM
eric_k2001
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I'm from NJ...boy you guys are making me sick to my stomach by seeing what should have been a competitive price and from what I paid! I had no idea what the cost would be so I bit the bullet and paid what they charged me. I know that they charged me extra to come out on Saturday....

Eric-
 
  #20  
Old 05-17-04, 06:44 AM
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That does seem a little high for a gas-n-go. I don't know if I'd call them in the future. Any reputable company is not going to do a gas-n-go, they will take the time to find the leak. The $117.00 labor looks like 2 hours. Any good tech could find a leak in a residential system in no time.
 
  #21  
Old 05-19-04, 05:33 AM
eric_k2001
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Thanks for the advise, I will call someone else when I need the leak repaired.


ps- the 2 techs were there for 10 minutes.....it was basically a gas and go and they just made sure it was blowing cold inside and filter was clean.

Eric-
 
  #22  
Old 05-19-04, 07:02 AM
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We always put in the UV dye if it is a new account and we don't know what the leak rate is. It costs another $20 but when we return next year or whenever it needs a recharge, we can find the leak and repair it. I agree that with the cost of labor as high as it is, it doesn't pay to crawl around a system for 2 hours looking for a leak that may be 1/2 lb. per year. But when you put in 2 lbs. every year, that can (and should) be found and repaired. I can also see that my prices are on the low side and it may be time to wake up and adjust them.
 
  #23  
Old 05-20-04, 06:05 AM
eric_k2001
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What should my next steps be? Should I just wait until next year when I need more 22 added and have them repair it then? Thanks

Eric-
 
  #24  
Old 05-20-04, 08:21 AM
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Yes, just wait until the next service call and ask them to put in the dye. I'm not sure if all companies use it but I would not be without it.

Ken
 
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