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Need Help: My AC starts cooling fine but then stops. Making *hissing* sound when

Need Help: My AC starts cooling fine but then stops. Making *hissing* sound when


  #1  
Old 08-21-10, 12:06 AM
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Need Help: My AC starts cooling fine but then stops. Making *hissing* sound when

Need Help: My AC starts cooling fine but then stops. Making *hissing* sound when on..



Hello, I have a few problems with my AC. About 1 day ago my AC stopped working. It turns on perfectly and blows air (alittle). After noticeing that it wasnt working currently I turned it off and realized that the Filter was a little wet and the water pan? on the bottom of the unit had alittle water. Nothing much maybe about 2 cups worth. So I went ahead and open the door/hatch that I seent he leak was coming from and it was covered in ice (not much). I went ahead and let all the ice melt before I installed the new filter. Everything went well after that, I let the water dry and put everything back together. It was working perfect for about 2 hours untill the air coming from the vent was getting weaker and weaker. I let the unit run for about 5-6 hours and notice no water was coming from the Condensate Drain and I didnt feel the pipe was wet or cold, first time this has happen. I also notice a *hissing* sound coming from 1 of 2 pipes. Both are copper pipes but 1 has a black wrapping. I think the hissing was coming from the one with the black wrapping, sorry not sure what the proper name is. It was start *hissing* and stop on and off for the first few minutes but then it just started to hiss without stopping. The noise sounds like boiling water or a pipe with a hole in it under alittle water or like when a bike tire has a hole on it. I open the door/hatch that the copper lines go to and it was covered in ice (alot). I couldnt see anything but ice. Im not sure if all that ice was prevent air from flowomg. Right now as im typing im letting the ice melt. Any help would be awsome. Here is a list of problems with my AC. Sorry for this huge wall of text.



1. AC is not blowing enough air. Will work perfect for 2 hours and then seems to get weaker.

2. Hissing sound coming from a copper line with black wrapping.

3. Alot of ice inside the place the copper lines connect too. Maybe 1 inch of ice on everything.

4. Ice isnt melting WHEN ON. Normally the Condensate pipes drains the ice that melts but there is nothing melting. I turned off the unit and open the door. Its all ice

5. AC isnt cooling the house. Im stuck at 77 but I assume thats from the lack of airflow. Again, It works perfectly for the first 2 hours after I let all the ice melt.



Model:Bryant MODEL 310AAV/JAV



Another thing I think might be a problem.


I think the ice overload might be coming from a possible leak from the copper pipe (freon?) that is making the hissing/leaking sound. Maybe that might be the reason why its overloading with ice and preventing airflow? I put my AC on fan only and on ON and it seems to be cooling fine. Not sure is this helps
 
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Old 08-21-10, 12:58 AM
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The system is low on refrigerant. Have a tech come out and check the system for leaks (and fix any he finds) and recharge the system. Don't run your air conditioner as a low refrigerant charge can damage the compressor.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by jeggs
The system is low on refrigerant. Have a tech come out and check the system for leaks (and fix any he finds) and recharge the system. Don't run your air conditioner as a low refrigerant charge can damage the compressor.
Do you know if I can do this myself? I have a decently amount of experiance on these types of stuff. Also, If I cant how much do you think it would cost to have a repair guy come and do this? Thanks for your quick respond.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 01:58 AM
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You need a license to buy refrigerant and the tools and skills to find the leak (and repair it) and properly evacuate and recharge the system. Plus an oxy/acetylene torch and brazing skills on refrigerant lines if you have a fitting leaking. Not a job for your average DIYer.

Cost for a tech will depend on where the leak is and what it will take to fix it so it's hard to estimate a price.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 02:12 AM
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is there a reason why this happened? Lack of maintance? I've never had a issue with my old house and never had to maintance it since I lived there 20+ Years.

Also, I was wondering the price of it because I dont have enough money for a huge bill. If we are talking about 4-500.00+ that might be a problem. I guess I will have to call a local tech guy to come check it out. I hope there isnt a leak.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 02:27 AM
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If the air conditioner system is 20+ years old it is at the end of its expected service life and leaks are common on an old system.

You mentioned no maintenance. Do you change the filter for the air conditioner/heating system on a regular basis? (monthly when the system is in use). If the filter is plugged that could cause the system to freeze up. Check/change the filter before you call the tech.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 02:48 AM
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Oh yeah, Sorry. I do change the filter every month. Even when not in use, but aside from that its the only maintance I do. Also, This is a new house I live in (4 Years Old) that my AC is failing. I was refering to my old house I lived in that I've never had a problem with. I did let the ice melt before I started to run the AC again but it seems like the ice starts to built up and my guess is that air cannot go through? Also, This morning I put my AC on with the following settings:

Cool - Off - Heat - ON

Fan On - Auto


and it was working perfectly aside from the hissing noise. Not sure if this helps. Oh yeah, some of the ice that melted got on the Air Filter before I changed it. It was pretty wet so I thought that might have been the problem why my house wasn't heating. I havent had any other leaks since then.


Right now if I turn my AC on ON and Auto it will run fine but again, aside from the hissing sound. Thanks for the help btw
 
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Old 08-21-10, 02:54 AM
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OK. I'm sure it's low on refrigerant which can happen on any system. I wouldn't run it until you have it looked at by a tech. It's not worth the chance of causing damage to the compressor which would be very expensive to replace.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jeggs
OK. I'm sure it's low on refrigerant which can happen on any system. I wouldn't run it until you have it looked at by a tech. It's not worth the chance of causing damage to the compressor which would be very expensive to replace.
Will do. What exactly does the refrigerant do? I will not turn it on anymore. I had it on for about 5 hours. I hope this wasnt enough time to cause a larger issue. Thanks a TON!!
 
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Old 08-21-10, 03:19 AM
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The refrigerant or FREON is a gas under pressure in an air conditioner system that is pumped through the indoor coil (the part that is icing up) and the outdoor coil to remove the heat from the house. Under normal conditions the refrigerant pressure is regulated at the indoor coil to get cool but not so cold as to cause the buildup of ice. When the system gets low on refrigerant the system can no longer regulate the pressure or temperature of the indoor coil and it gets too cold and causes ice buildup.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jeggs
The refrigerant or FREON is a gas under pressure in an air conditioner system that is pumped through the indoor coil (the part that is icing up) and the outdoor coil to remove the heat from the house. Under normal conditions the refrigerant pressure is regulated at the indoor coil to get cool but not so cold as to cause the buildup of ice. When the system gets low on refrigerant the system can no longer regulate the pressure or temperature of the indoor coil and it gets too cold and causes ice buildup.
Well, To be honest that sounds like it is the problem. Everything you have explain happened. Ice build up and everything. I hope the hissing sound isnt something broken. I will call a tech first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks Thanks Thanks a million. You dont understand how much you have helped.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 08:16 AM
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A low refrigerant charge will cause hissing or gurgling sounds which will go away when the system is refilled to the proper level.
 
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Old 08-21-10, 10:27 AM
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the same thing happened to me when my system was 1.5 lbs low on refrigerant. This means that you could have a leak in the system. Maybe not, but if you do, hopefully it is small enough to get you thru the rest of the summer. good luck
 
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Old 08-24-10, 10:08 PM
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Okay, I went ahead and starting reading how much my freon might have gotten low. Do you guys think my freon could have gotten low due to the fact the air filter was not changed for long periods of time? Maybe dirty coils caused the ice build up?
 
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Old 08-24-10, 10:37 PM
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If the filter and the coil was really dirty it could cause the freeze up problem but it wouldn't cause a refrigerant leak.
 
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Old 08-24-10, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jeggs
If the filter and the coil was really dirty it could cause the freeze up problem but it wouldn't cause a refrigerant leak.
Dang, Im almost 100% sure its low on refrigerant.

The sound it is making sounds like this at the 2:00Minute Mark.
YouTube - A/C Liquid Line Noise (Hissing) - Goodman 3-ton (Part 2)

I really hope it isnt something to expensive at this point I wish I had the smallest bit of knowledge on these type of things.
 
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Old 08-24-10, 10:57 PM
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have a guy coming tomorrow to add freon to my system. Would he normally just add the freon and leave? or should he check for leaks in the system?
 
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Old 08-24-10, 11:10 PM
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He should find the leak and fix it. If he wants to just add refrigerant and leave find another tech.
 
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Old 08-24-10, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jeggs
He should find the leak and fix it. If he wants to just add refrigerant and leave find another tech.

Thank You, I will remember to ask him if he will search for the leak. If not I'll do what you said.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 12:29 AM
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Not sure if this will help but this is exactly what it looked like inside.

YouTube - Theresa's Moms System.AVI
 
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Old 08-25-10, 05:42 AM
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Well, if just add freon, may be $125, but to find the leak, and fix it, depends on where the leak is and how much time to fix it, that may cost a lot more money. So, many people hope their leak is small, and hope it will last for 2+ years, so they pay the $125 and done for now.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by clocert
Well, if just add freon, may be $125, but to find the leak, and fix it, depends on where the leak is and how much time to fix it, that may cost a lot more money. So, many people hope their leak is small, and hope it will last for 2+ years, so they pay the $125 and done for now.
Thank You for the information. I really do hope he can find the leak and fix it at a low cost. Its a local Heating and AC company that is charging me 1/2 the cost for the freon from Sears Heating and Cooling.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 06:50 AM
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You are a brave man/woman. Based on my experience, the freon leak was never in a good spot. Hope I am wrong this time. Good luck to you.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 08:09 AM
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normal jackleg tech response after the customer has thrown the cost issue out as priority#1.
Quote "lets gas it up and see how long it lasts that is the most economical thing to do at this point it might run for years or it might be back low in 2 weeks then we will know the severity of the leak CALL ME"
 
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Old 08-25-10, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Former Member
normal jackleg tech response after the customer has thrown the cost issue out as priority#1.
Quote "lets gas it up and see how long it lasts that is the most economical thing to do at this point it might run for years or it might be back low in 2 weeks then we will know the severity of the leak CALL ME"
Well, The guy can't come till Friday. What would be the best thing to do? Get a Full Maintance Service? Also, Would you happen to know the cost on that?
 
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Old 08-25-10, 08:39 AM
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That is a tough call. Gather all the information you can on the company friends/BBB etc do your due diligence. Typically there is a mom and pop operation around that does great customer service if you can just find them. Too many factors to say what you should do unless the tech finds the exact problem and is trustworthy enough to discuss all options with you and let you make an informed decision. I think the other posters are probably correct that you have a refrigerant level problem but keep in mind that there are other problems that could cause the coil to freeze also, including an intermittent blower fan/partially blocked ductwork or possibly a sticking contactor that runs the compressor when it should be off. You may want to observe the units operation closely to see how the blower fan and compressor run times are matching up, this could be a controls problem that would be a easy DIY fix. (doubt it though)
 
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Old 08-25-10, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Former Member
That is a tough call. Gather all the information you can on the company friends/BBB etc do your due diligence. Typically there is a mom and pop operation around that does great customer service if you can just find them. Too many factors to say what you should do unless the tech finds the exact problem and is trustworthy enough to discuss all options with you and let you make an informed decision. I think the other posters are probably correct that you have a refrigerant level problem but keep in mind that there are other problems that could cause the coil to freeze also, including an intermittent blower fan/partially blocked ductwork or possibly a sticking contactor that runs the compressor when it should be off. You may want to observe the units operation closely to see how the blower fan and compressor run times are matching up, this could be a controls problem that would be a easy DIY fix. (doubt it though)
Thanks for your imput FM.

Right now if I turn on my AC unit it will work fine. It will blow cold air and cool my house like it would normally do. But like I said, After maybe 2-3 Hours it will began to freeze. I havent used the AC or even turned it on for a few days. The Filter was dirty sadly enough my son didnt change the filter for 3 months since I was away altho I told him to change it . Not sure if a dirty filter could cause freon to build up but from what Ive been reading that isnt likely. Would you recommend turning the AC unit back on and see if it has the same problem? Maybe it just needed to cool down? hehe
 
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Old 08-25-10, 11:44 AM
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[QUOTE=missjsmith.11;1761446]Well, The guy can't come till Friday. What would be the best thing to do? Get a Full Maintance Service? Also, Would you happen to know the cost on that?[/QUOTE

If the system is indeed low on refrigerant, which I'm sure it is (hissing sounds, frozen evaporator coil) at least have the tech find the leak. This will be a pretty easy thing to do for an experienced tech with an electronic leak detector. Since the system is only 4 years old and you have changed the filter on a regular basis I doubt that it is a leaky evaporator or condenser coil. It could be as simple as a leaky schrader valve on the outside unit which costs about .50 cents and can be changed in about 1 minute without loss of refrigerant by a good tech. All he would have to do is fill the system back to spec with refrigerant and your good to go. It could also be a more serious problem such as a leaky joint on the copper refrigerant line. Have him find the leak and if it is going to be expensive to fix you can talk to him about the "topping it off" with refrigerant option depending how bad the leak is. With a 4 year old system I doubt it is too serious but the leak needs to be addressed before it ends up causing further damage to the system. Some shops will let you make payments on the bill if it's an expensive fix. Discuss the findings and the costs and payment options with the tech. If he spends 2 minutes looking at the system and immediately wants to sell you a new unit call another tech. If he says he can't find the leak call another tech.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 11:51 AM
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1 more thing, One of the copper pipes that connects to the indoor AC unit is warm/hot. The one without the black cover. Is that normal? When the AC is running that is.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by missjsmith.11
Thanks for your imput FM.

Right now if I turn on my AC unit it will work fine. It will blow cold air and cool my house like it would normally do. But like I said, After maybe 2-3 Hours it will began to freeze. I havent used the AC or even turned it on for a few days. The Filter was dirty sadly enough my son didnt change the filter for 3 months since I was away altho I told him to change it . Not sure if a dirty filter could cause freon to build up but from what Ive been reading that isnt likely. Would you recommend turning the AC unit back on and see if it has the same problem? Maybe it just needed to cool down? hehe
Well if the filter was really dirty as in you cant see light through it it could cause the freeze up problem. Let the system run with the new filter and keep an eye on it. If it fixes the problem call the tech before Friday to cancel the service call as they will still charge you if you don't cancel.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 12:01 PM
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Thank you Jeggs. Sorry for all postings. hehe. Its just one of those months when everything that could go wrong goes wrong. First my 1 month old washer gave out and it took the people from Sears a week to get here and fix it, Then my dryer vent was clogged and my thermofuse went out, Now my AC unit isn't working correctly...I had to pay the little money I had for my 4 children school books, supply, etc...and being a single parent crossing my fingers no more blind expensives come crawling out of no where. Its just a pain in the butt, Im sorry if I gave out to much info I just need to get this rant out. hehe. Again, Thank you guys very much for all the help. You dont understand how helpful this has been. Now time to go to work.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by missjsmith.11
1 more thing, One of the copper pipes that connects to the indoor AC unit is warm/hot. The one without the black cover. Is that normal? When the AC is running that is.
Yes that's normal. The small copper pipe should be hot/warm and the big one under the black cover should be cold.
 
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Old 08-25-10, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by missjsmith.11
Thank you Jeggs. Sorry for all postings. hehe. Its just one of those months when everything that could go wrong goes wrong. First my 1 month old washer gave out and it took the people from Sears a week to get here and fix it, Then my dryer vent was clogged and my thermofuse went out, Now my AC unit isn't working correctly...I had to pay the little money I had for my 4 children school books, supply, etc...and being a single parent crossing my fingers no more blind expensives come crawling out of no where. Its just a pain in the butt, Im sorry if I gave out to much info I just need to get this rant out. hehe. Again, Thank you guys very much for all the help. You dont understand how helpful this has been. Now time to go to work.
No need to apologize. Like they say, the only dumb question is the one you DON'T ask. Hope changing the dirty filter fixes the problem. Keep us posted.
 
 

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