Frozen coil ... again!


Old 08-04-04, 03:02 AM
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Frozen coil ... again!

Thanks for your comments....

I have a central air unit and the indoor fan stops running after (say) 5 hours. The coil was freezing up as well going in to the evaporator.

Service company puts a freon leak tester on the unit and says evaporator is leaking freon. Charges $177 to dispose of old coil and permit (warranty company paid the rest).

Next day... same problem. Fan off, snow on coil.

Now, question ... when these coils freeze -- do they *then* break? Is the fan relay likely to fail after some time running (5 hours) and then this causes things to freeze up ... and then the coil breaks?

Basically ... we thought the freon leak *was* the problem. Now I am wondering if it actually was a symptom of a different problem ... which has now recurred and broken another coil.

Help anyone?

Old 08-04-04, 04:34 AM
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Hi David:

First, let me say that if you had the cooling coil replaced and your total out of pocket was only $177, you got the deal of the century. That is a normally a very expensive repair. Freezing the coil does not break it so the new one is ok. It's possible that your coil may have been leaking refrigerant anyway.If the fan runs for 5 hours before stopping my best cyberspace guess is the fan motor probably has worn bearings and it takes a while for the motor to overheat and cut off on it's internal protector. However, the problem could also be the fan relay. I doubt that it is the capacitor because the motor would overheat much faster than 5 hours. It's one of those things where the technician would have to be there when it malfunctions, then he could quickly test the electrical circuits to see whether or not power is still going to the motor when it shuts off. One thing you could do is shut off the power to the unit, take the cover off the fan section and reach into the blower area to grasp the motor shaft and see if there is a lot of side to side play in the shaft. In this case, even a little is a lot. Does the motor make any unusual noises?
Old 08-04-04, 09:44 AM
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Deal of the century

Thanks BJ,

Yes, the warranty company (AHS) paid the rest but the $177 would have been harder to take if the problem that caused the first coil to fail also caused the second coil to fail (meaning, pay again to dispose of the new one). Glad to hear freezing it probably didn't break the new one. So... we pay nearly $500 for this warranty per year ... but so far, it has worked well for us across two houses.

Anyways, no unusual motor noises. One problem with the home warranty situation is that it is really tough to get someone out *when it is failing* since it
often takes a long time to get scheduled.

Anyways ... that's what we will try and do anyways. I suspect the fan relay as well.

Old 08-04-04, 10:59 AM
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It cracks me up that they charge $177.00 for disposal of the old coil and permit.

You know they take the coil to the scrap yard. Do they have to pull a permit for a coil replacement?
Old 08-05-04, 06:25 AM
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Freezing the evap coil won't cause it to leak unless someone tries to break the ice off with a pick. Usually a frozen coil is caused by poor air flow due to a dirty air filter. Low refrigerant levels can also cause a freeze-up and that's usually due to a leak somewhere in the system.

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