Replacing 3 ton R 22 unit


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Old 06-08-13, 12:39 PM
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Replacing 3 ton R 22 unit

My apologies in advance for not having more information, I'm in NY, the unit is in AZ.

The house, built in 2006, has two 3 ton outside AC units, one for upstairs, one for downstairs. Heat is from gas furnace, not connected to AC units. One of the units has had a couple of leaks that have been sealed, I don't know the details, and now has a compressor gone bad.

The tech tells me that because it uses R 22 refrigerant, that I need to replace both the unit with the bad compressor, AND the gas furnace. Presumably because the new unit, which will not use R 22 will not be compatible with the heating unit. Although the other unit using R 22 would not need to be replaced. And that he wouldn't be able to replace the AC unit with one that uses R 22 because they are not available, and neither is R 22. Although the guy who fixed the leaks didn't seem to have any trouble finding R 22 in 10/12 or 5/13. And don't they have to capture what's in the system for recycling anyway?

Am I making any sense, and more importantly, is he making any sense?
 
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Old 06-08-13, 01:24 PM
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Theres a good chance that the sealant that was used is what killed your compressor. Being that a harmful sealing chemical is in the system and you have a bad compressor it would probably be best to get a whole new A/C system. I'm not sure why the existing furnace cant be used. R22 freon and substitutes for it are still readily available if needed. I wouldn't trust anyone who is telling you that R22 is not available. Get at least three quotes before you do anything.
 
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Old 06-08-13, 01:47 PM
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I did a little digging and the EPA website has a lot of info regarding R22, like it will continue to be manufactured and available till 2020. Also in the mean time I spoke with the guy who fixed the leak in 10/12. He says if there are reoccurring leaks, it's from the coil in the attic. He's been in the biz >40 years. Although I spoke with him before theapprentice responded, I think he would beg to differ regarding the sealant. Any thoughts about the coil assertion.

Would the system being down 4 lb. R22 affect the compressor?
 
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Old 06-08-13, 02:18 PM
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IF the person sealing the leaks used a sealant that is injected into the refrigerant system and circulates with the refrigerant then it could definitely be the cause of the compressor failure. On the other hand, if the leaks were properly identified and silver-soldered from the outside then it is unlikely the leak repair was the cause of the compressor failure.

Yes, under some circumstances being four pounds low on refrigerant could be a secondary cause of compressor failure. The lubricating oil for a compressor travels throughout the system via the refrigerant and too low a refrigerant charge could cause oil starvation at the compressor.

While a new coil for refrigerant R-410a could likely be installed in the existing furnace it could be like putting new soles on a worn-out pair of shoes. You need to evaluate the predicted life of the furnace BEFORE just tossing in a new coil. I'm sure you would be upset if you were charged $4,000 for a new A/C system and then a year later had to spend another $1,500 over and above the cost of a new furnace to transfer the coil to a new furnace.

Refrigerant R-22 will likely be available for many years but the cost will soon be prohibitive for anything but keeping an existing system limping along.
 
 

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