Advice Needed


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Old 02-22-08, 07:18 PM
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Unhappy Advice Needed

The A/C froze up completely today and the our "slumlord" won't help us. (I live in FL with 3 kids) I need to know what I am dealing with and I don't have the funds to call for a repair. What would cause the coils to freeze up? I took off the front panels and found there wasn't an airfilter. I'm guessing that the unit is full of gunk causing a blockage. If I'm right, how do I clean it out? Any help and advise would be great! Thanks! Christina
 
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Old 02-23-08, 06:07 AM
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Clean it!

You may also want to flush or vacuum out the drainage line as well. This is usually a white or black pipe that will be sticking up out of the ground next to the outside condenser unit. Attaching a wet/dry vac to the end of it for a minute or two usually does the trick.
 
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Old 02-23-08, 06:14 AM
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Clean it!

Normally only two things cause a freeze up: Poor airflow or low refrigerant levels. Since you stated there is no filter I would assume that it is poor airflow due to a dirty or impacted evaporator coil. If it is severely impacted the coil may have to be removed to be cleaned regardless of cleaning it "in place". However, you can try cleaning it in place if you use a little care. First you'll need a good coil cleaner (if you use a heavy acid based cleaner be very careful AND prepared to thouroughly rinse it when done). You can get cleaners at the Depot or Lowes. You may also try an A/C supply house like Johnstone supply if you need the "acid" based cleaners (if the coil is really dirty). Make sure it is safe for EVAPORATOR COILS (the label will say). Do not use household cleaner/solvents/or bleach as they can irreversibly damage your equipment. Shut off the main breaker to the air handler and/or A/C unit before opening the panels up. 240 volts + coil cleaner + water =
Once the power is off, remove the panels to find the evaporator coil. Spray it with the cleaner per the directions on the bottle. USE GLOVES AND GLASSES FOR THIS PROCESS!!! You may need to use a soft bristle brush to help work the cleaner in/brush the dirt out. Take care not to damage the coil fins OR push dirt further into the coil if using a brush. Rinse the coil with water SLOWLY to give the runoff water time to drain properly vs running all over the floor. I (very carefully) use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to rinse and work the dirt loose (use short bursts to avoid water overflow). A wet dry vac can be used to assist in this process. You may need to clean the coil several times to get most of the dirt out. When the coil looks clean (it should have a dull to shiney silver/aluminum appearance to it) do a final rinse and reassemble the panels. Then install a filter. No filter will cause your operating costs to go up exponentially (just ask any A/C guy on this site). A good rule of thumb is to replace the filter every time you pay the electric bill as a clean filter = lower bills!!! I then recomend running the unit for 30 min. -1 hour to allow the coil to sweat and rinse any remaining cleaner. I hope this works for you, good luck!
-B
 
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Old 02-23-08, 07:39 AM
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I find it quite common when there is no filter that the dirt tends to pile up on the surface of the coil like a thin mat.

To see if this is so you would need to get at the coil by somehow opening up the sheet metal where it is located.

Then if you look at the upstream side of the coil and it is blocked you might see a thin layer of dirt.
It the upstream side happens to be the inside of an A shaped coil there should be a triangular piece of metal to remove to expose the coil.

Wipe this dirt with a brush that will fit in there in the direction of the fins and it will remove what is on the surface.
You can then shine a flashlight on the fins to see if you can look through the coil to know it is still plugged.

This is provided it is dirt causing the freeze up or low refrigerant or even a blocked duct or bad fan motor.

If you need more info a picture posted to a free site like Photo Bucket and a link to it would be helpful.
 
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Old 02-23-08, 08:19 AM
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AC Repair

You say you took off the panels and did not see a filter you need to make sure you don't have a filter anywhere else then follow cleaning instructions, you can't even tell if it is properly charged until you know it's clean
 
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Old 02-23-08, 09:54 AM
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Wink

Most of the units in a home down there in Florida. Use and have filter grills. So check out the cold air return on this unit. Is there a filter and is it good.There in the home Also like said if the coil is or has like a mat of hair and dirt on it . Home depot down there did sell a coil comb. This works real good on the coil before you wash or spray stuff on it to wash it out. After all that you can be low on freon and need a tech.
 
 

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