condenser problem replace or switch to R410


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Old 08-31-09, 03:17 PM
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condenser problem replace or switch to R410

Ok first let me say hi to all the forum members. This is my first of what will probably be many posts.

I have a house with three AC zones. zone 3 is a 1 ton unit with air handler in attic and condensor on a concrete pad behind the house. I have been told the unit is 22 years old (the age of the house) and the compressor is "frozen" and needs to be replaced.

It is hard to tell how healthy the air handler is. I have head 3 separate AC repair people come out and no one has offered any method of evaluating the health of the zone 3 air handler that works with the failed condenser/compressor.

The failed condenser is a Trane model BWd712a100b
serial B09256895.

Suggestions have ranged from replacing the condenser to replacing the whole system and switching over to the new R410 refrigerant.

This system is very lightly used since we usually do not run the AC in this zone very much since we mostly live and work downstairs. I just moved one of my sons upstairs but as usual he is a mommas boy and wants to sleep with his mother instead (downstairs).

I would like to get away with just changing the one ton condenser downstairs and just got an estimate of 2800 dollars for the condenser replacement I was also given an estimate of 5500 to change out the air handler and the condenser and switch to the R410 for zone 3. As usual I asked a few questions and some of the replys were disappointing. WHen I asked the repair AC person would he be changing out the lines with the new R410 condenser/airhandler, his reply was, "we blow out, clean out the lines and dont change them... it is not necessary"

My thought was why would I pay you 5500$ to do that kind of work and not perform it properly only to have it fail in a short period of time. Does that kind of estimate sound high, average, or low?

How about the replacement of the condenser itself. I saw a few 1 ton units on line for 750 to 1000$? Can a replacement condenser remove and replace labor actually be $2000

At that price maybe I need to quit doctoring on people and get into AC repair?Beer 4U2

Thanks for any input and look for my next post on air handler blower vibration
 
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Old 08-31-09, 05:14 PM
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At 22 years old I would replace the system. The lines can be blown out but if the compressor had a burn out Id replace the lines as well. Get several prices from different dealers. Remember that the es vans will have thousands and thousands of dollars of equipment on them to do your job.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 05:35 PM
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clarification

Airman thanks for the info/response. I just want to clarify the cleaning of the lines. I do not mind paying people to do honest conscientous technical hardwork.

I have read when switching to the new refrigerant that the lines had to be replaced, and that it was a big no non to just flush the lines since there is residucal material that will harm the new R410 system. The failures and malfunctions can happeen months to years later long after any labor warrantly has expired.

Is it your or anyone elses experience here on the forum that the lines are reuseable in a 22 year system when switching from R22 to R410?

Thanks for all the info.

Sam
 
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Old 08-31-09, 07:00 PM
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Hear are both sides.The flushout or replacement is due to the different oils.R-22 oil is not compatable with 410 oil.It will cause problems.We like to replace but not all companies do.Also sometimes line sizes change.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 07:01 PM
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If flushed per the manufactures procedures there should not be an issue. If the line you have now is not the right sizes for the new system it should be replaced. If you had a burn out it should be replaced. If money is not an option I would replace it.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 08:06 PM
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line flush

so each AC unit manufacturer will have specifications for the line and reccomendations on how to prepare the lines. I assume if this is not done properly that warranty may be voided?

Good information and thanks for sharing. I just want it done right so that ionce it is done and we can maintain and enjoy the new system.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 09:46 PM
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If I were you, I keep the old r-22 system. Even soon they don't make the R-22 system anymore, but the system parts and r-22 freon will be available for many many years. To convert to 410a, you should change all the lines even your line size can handle the 410, simply because it is 22 years old, it may not be strong enough to handle the higher (410a)pressure. About $2800, or $5500, that depends on who you deal with, I used to charge people $1100-$1200 to put a 1 ton condenser in. But the big A/C company that I worked for before, their on going price was $3000 for the same unit. So, shop around, you should be able to get a better deal. but remember, install it right is very very important. don't get some one without license or has very little A/C experience. Good luck to you.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 05:27 AM
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line pressure

I was thinking about the same thing regarding the line pressure. The copper lines are 22 years old. If you have a freon leak the AC repair person will usually come in and reccomend some kind of dye leak study? why? to look for leaks in the lines, air handler, condenser etc?
These units remind me alot of people. As they get older they start having problems with their "lines" arterys, veins, lymphatics etc...
The question in my mind when I evaluate a quote or bid on a project is how much time will this take? ANd what are the hourly labor charges.

Does anyone have an estimate how much time it takes to install a 1 ton condenser without changing the lines. I have been told this is a relatively straighforward part of AC work.

Thanks

Sam
 
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Old 09-01-09, 07:07 AM
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One A/C tech and one helper. Takes about 3 to 4 hours to remove the old one, put new one in, and get it up and running(include all freon work).
 
 

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