heat exchanger drips water from fins


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Old 08-31-08, 04:53 PM
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heat exchanger drips water from fins

My air conditioner heat exchanger has water running off the fins, soaking the filter and the floor below. I have removed the side, cleaned the fins with detergent and water, then used a fine wire brush to remove the remaining deposits (by hand).
When I operate the unit, I can observe more water dripping off the fins than makes it to the drain tray.
I have placed a square against the side and it is off vertical by about 3 to 5 degrees to the side. This places the top end of the exchanger slightly lower.
Would this be enough to cause the problem?
My unit is a Carrier FK4CNF003.
It almost looks as though the entire heat exchanger and drain tray could be slightly shimmed and rotated, if the mounting brackets were altered.
Is there a fix short of remounting the entire air handler?
Thanks,
Tubba2
 
  #2  
Old 09-01-08, 06:02 AM
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How is the unit set up? In the attic or closet?

Can you take a photo of your set up? Also, this issue just started?
 
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Old 09-01-08, 06:56 AM
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this must have been ongoing

The house is eight years old and I think it has taken me this long to discover the problem. Half of the year humidity is low and this half the humidity is extremely high. (East Coast Florida.)
I don't see any signs that the A/C has recently shifted, so it must have been installed tilted.
The unit is installed in the garage on a concrete floor. The leaking water seems to have confined itself to the plenum beneath the A/C.
I remember thinking that I had a wet smell in the garage multiple times over the years.
I have photos, but am somewhat lame in figuring how to attach the photos to this reply.
Thank You,
Tubba2
 
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Old 09-02-08, 05:53 AM
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It seems like what you need here is some special attention to the correct installation specs. If coil's clean with the right "lean"
it should do fine. Maybe even bump up the angle of water fall a tad for added flow if you easily can.
 
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Old 09-02-08, 02:21 PM
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angle of tilt not the problem

I tried to adjust the angle with shims between the wall and the top of the unit. Even with a tilt 5 deg to the opposite side, water still dripped onto the filter, more hitting the filter than making it to the drain tray.
Gave up and called the A/C man.
He found that the unit had never been set up properly. This unit has a variable speed motor. By increasing the run speed of the motor, and adding 2 lbs of freon, the problem disappeared.
Thanks,
Tubba2
 
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Old 09-05-08, 01:03 PM
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not quite fixed

The day after the AC service tech was here, I checked the filter and it was wet. Not nearly as wet as before, but still significant.

Another service call, this time with nothing done. Got a call from the owner who said that Carrier recommends putting electrosol on the evaporator fins. I guess that the surface tension of my condensate is too low. I can only find electrosol in a cube that has presoak, detergent and a rinse agent.
I am going to try to separate the rinse agent, dissolve it and soak the evaporator with it
Sounds like a real poor solution but better than nothing.
 
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Old 09-05-08, 05:04 PM
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Hummm... I don't know what to say about that... Guess worth a try??
 
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Old 09-11-08, 07:45 AM
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filter still a bit wet

I tried spraying electrosol on the evaporator. It is not clear if it helps.
The amount of water on the filter is significantly reduced. The house no longer has a humid aroma. However, any water dripping off the fins is unacceptable.
The only change that I made prior to discovering the problem was changing the thermostat fan control from "on" to "auto".
For probably the first 4 years, I had set the fan running all the time. The fan would run at a reduced speed when the A/C was not active, then increase speed on demand for A/C.
Is it possible that not having the fan on all the time may have contributed to the problem?
 
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Old 09-11-08, 08:02 AM
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It still shouldn't be dripping with fan on Auto or On..

Are you able take a photo of your system set up for us to see if something is not right?
 
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Old 09-11-08, 08:43 AM
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Why don't you try 'fan on' for a while to see if that really fix your problem, and go from there.
 
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Old 10-07-08, 01:54 PM
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Angry ran with fan on, still drips from evaporator fins

I've tried running with the fan on all the time, but the unit still drips onto the filter.
I tried to contact Carrier, but they won't help me, they only work with dealers.
My service company claims that Carrier has been non-responsive in the past and he doesn't even want to try to work with them.
Guess next time I will have a Trane installed.
Still Frustrated,
Tubba2
 
  #12  
Old 10-07-08, 05:50 PM
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Water Water everywhere

How old is this unit? sometimes overtime if there are the right amount of chemicals in the air the very thin aluminum fins become pitted and the water starts dropping off of slanted or A or N type coils before the moisture can make it to the pan. Usually when we see that if it is a large commercial system we give the customer the option of expanding the pan to accept the altered drainage. In a residential system you cannot do that as it will block airflow and cause more problems than it solves(freeze ups, no cooling).
If this thing is less than 5 years old you need to get it replace under warranty, if it is out of warranty replace the coil, that is if you cleaned it and I believe that you did.
 
 

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