Brand new a/c problems - dirt in line


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Old 04-22-07, 08:17 AM
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Exclamation Brand new a/c problems - dirt in line

I just had a 3 ton Lennox heat pump (XP13-036) and air handler (CBX27UH-042) installed yesterday. When everything was hooked up and turned on, the a/c didn't put out any cool air. Cold air was blowing out the top of the compressor unit and warm air from the supply ducts. The installer ended up calling a technician. When the tech arrived he said it was undercharged and put more puron in but it didn't help.

He thought there might be an obstruction in the liquid line (small pipe). He cut the pipe at the air handler and blew nitrogen (?) through the line to try to blow the line clear. When he did this, a HANDFUL of dirt came out of the line (out from the air handler side). The tech tried to clean the line by blowing additional nitrogen or puron (?) through the line and installed a dryer where the line was cut (just outside of the air handler). The system then seemed to be working correctly but the tech said the levels on his meter were not right and the reversing valve in the air handler would need to be replaced. (but can't get the part until Tues)

They HAVEN'T been paid yet and I know they will get the a/c working but my concern is, is there anything I should insist they do to ensure this problem is correctly and completely fixed. Could the dirt have gotten any further than the reversing valve? Should the line dryer in the unit and the additional one installed by the tech be replaced again? They did not replace the one that was preinstalled in the air compressor. Could this have caused any hidden damage to the unit in anyway?

This a/c co has lost my trust and I need as much advice as possible to protect myself. Thanks in advance for any help provided.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 08:34 AM
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You should insist on a new system (they will never do that) then settle for installation of a new reversing valve/liquid line and suction line dryers with liquid line dryer to be replaced and suction line dryer removed after a couple of weeks run time. Also insist upon them furnishing a ten year parts and labor extended warranty. Your other option if you have not paid yet would be to have them simply remove their junk and have a reputable contractor install a quality system.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 08:49 AM
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Mr Fixit,

I appreciate your detailed advice. I already have the 10 yr parts and labor warranty. Any idea what that cost? I'm thinking $1000.

Obviously, this is a very bad thing to happen to the equipment. How badly do you think it was damaged?
 
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Old 04-22-07, 09:00 AM
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Wink

Like said Dont pay anything here yet. Also I get a new tech to go over the whole thing.Best to start over with new system.

How badly do you think it was damaged?
Thats hard to say. I would call lennox company and talk to them. Ill bet they wont like this.
Id say the lines and all they have to recover the freon .It's old and bad ,cant be used at all. Then all of the system blowed out. new drierand then the systen vacuum down so you are sure no contaminate or noncondensables are in it . Before they put all new freon R410a in.
That 10 years is no cost for any parts with Trane
 
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Old 04-22-07, 09:13 AM
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If there was dirt in the system, then the dirt could already be in the compressor, unless there was a suction line dryer. and I doubt that as it is a heat pump. And that is not a good thing.

I would want the system replaced. Asking for a warranty does you no good as the unit will be going down a lot.

I would ask for the owner of the company to come down and explain the situation to him and see what he says. I know I for one would like to know HOW the dirt got into the inside unit.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 09:15 AM
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You can't imagine how furious I am about all this. I'll start with Lennox. I just found the # and will call tomorrow morning.

You wouldn't think somthing like this would happen working with a company that has been in business for over 60 yrs. Fortunately, it's not 90 degress out right now.

Thanks for your help. I think I'm going to need it.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 09:24 AM
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Starting with the owner is another very good idea. Thanks.

When the lines were replaced they were run through the wall at ground level and buried outside running to the compressor. (3 foot stretch) This was where the old lines were that were replaced. I remember seeing silver tape on at least one end of the large pipe but don't know if the small pipe was taped or not. The dirt probably got in the line right there by the compressor during the install. The tech said that it's not uncommon for this to happen. Luckily, I was there watching them when they were blowing out the line and saw what came out.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 11:32 AM
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Dirt in lineset = sloppy install. No excuse for this. The lines should have been capped before they were installed. We usually pinch closed and cover ends with lots of duct tape or pinch and braze the ends before pushing through walls, floors, attics, etc.

It would be reasonable to assume that some of the dirt made it to the compressor. Any remaining dirt will probably migrate to the expansion valve and new reversing valve.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 12:04 PM
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Jim,

It was a very sloppy install.

In your opinion, should I demand a new unit (inside and out)?
Do you think they'll do that?
What help can I get from Lennox?
Can the unit be completely cleaned like new?
 
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Old 04-22-07, 02:10 PM
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Wink

They ran it with the dirt in it. For sure Id go for all new inside ,outside and lines.

somthing like this would happen working with a company that has been in business for over 60 yrs.

If they have been there that long Ill bet they will make it right.
I know over the years .As we say I have had to eat a job that went bad.
 
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Old 04-22-07, 05:56 PM
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The lead tech called and said they want to fix the system and make things right. He said there is a filter in the system (evaporator coil) that would have caught all the dirt. He would replace that and flush the system with nitrogen as well as some freon.

From what i hear online, this is not enough and the unit needs to be replaced.

I'll call Lennox in the morning. Any late night thoughts?
 
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Old 04-22-07, 07:19 PM
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If dirt came out near the air handler then it would either have come out of the suction line which would mean it was in the evaperator or the liquid line which would mean that it would also be in the coil.
I am not intimately familiar with this particular model of system but I believe that there is only a mesh screen at the coil which could let the fine particles get by.

I would suggest that you contact Lennox in writing and get a response in writing.
If they have confidence in their dealer they may suggest a repair and you always have the ten year warranty to fall back on.
Just make sure that the extended warranty covers the sealed system and not just the compressor.
 
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Old 04-23-07, 01:16 PM
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Jeez

I'm amazed the guy actually had the stupidity to say to you it's not uncommon for dirt to get into the lineset? He admiited right there they are sloppy. Did you know that the copper tubing they buy is CLEANED, DEHYDRATED and SEALED at the factory where the tubing is made? It's called ACR tubing and you pay a lot extra for it than regular old plumbing tubing which is what they might be using. Like Jim said, if a lineset has to be pushed thru anywhere, the first thing to do is pinch off the copper tubing and braze it shut to keep it clean. You waste a little copper but so what? Sad to say but a company in business 60 years is only as good as today's employees. The quality of what's available these days for HVACR techs is awful. You will never trust this company, it's people, or the new system/s they put in your house. Frankly- I would call them, tell them to get their crap out of your house and then look for another contractor.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 06:59 PM
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Update - better late than never....

I should have posted this back in Apr '07 when the a/c install problems were resolved but never got around to it.

The a/c company took care of the problem by replacing both the air handler and compressor with new units.

They did everything I asked for to make things right including reducing the total bill by 20% to reimburse me for time lost from work and aggravation.

There were some issues with noise from the blower and they got a Lennox rep to come to the house. They weren't able to resolve that (something about a brake on the blower fan). Someone else with the same system told me they hear the same noise and you just get used to it.

Thanks for everyones input and advice.
 
 

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