2 Stage Cooling System

Old 09-29-09, 10:03 PM
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2 Stage Cooling System

Got a two stage cooling system that runs two condensers. Turns out the 1st stage condenser has a freon leak. The 2nd stage condenser is in good shape, no issues. In effort to minimize the load on the condenser with the freon leak (thus minimizing lost freon), I'm wondering if I could simply switch the Y1 and Y2 wires on my thermostat so that the good condition condenser takes the lion's share of run time. Is it as simple as switching the Y1 / Y2 wires to reverse which condenser fires on first stage call?
Old 09-30-09, 05:14 AM
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It should be that simple. Give it a shot and see what happens.
Old 10-01-09, 08:38 AM
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Yes that will work but if both stages are not the same tonnage you may not have the same amount of cooling on 1st stage (make sure the blower comes on after you try this). Also depending on where the leak is in the system it may actually leak faster on the off cycle.

I assume you are trying to get by until next summer to get the system repaired which may be a bad idea since refrigerant R-22 is being phased out and getting more expensive. The sooner you get the repair made the more money you will save!
Old 10-02-09, 09:05 AM
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You've got a dual stage R-22 system?
Hmmm..... that's pretty neat.

What about getting the 1st Stage unit leak checked and repaired?
It depends on where the leak is as to how much refrigerant is lost under run or off conditions.

If it leaks on the 'LOW' side then it will leak less when it's running.
If it leaks on the HIGH side it will leak less when it's NOT running.

The BEST thing to do is get the leak fixed and use the system as it was designed to run.
Doesn't the system uses a common refrigerant circuit?
If so, if the refrigerant is low on one stage it will be low on the second stage as well.
That's not good for your compressor.
You may end up damaging a compressor by trying to limp by without getting the proper repairs.
If that happens you are going to strongly feel 'penny wise and pound foolish' to coin an English phrase.
It will likely be much cheaper to just get it repaired properly now rather than try the "bailing wire and tape technique."
Old 10-02-09, 07:36 PM
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If you have a split slab type, horizontal evaporator coil that was using the lower half for stage 1 and the upper half for stage 2 you can create a water problem by switching stages.

As the water runs over the lower dry section of the evaporator coil it will blow off of the coil and into the duct.

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