New 2 ton install making me sick

Old 05-10-14, 07:55 PM
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New 2 ton install making me sick

So I hired a licensed ac man to install a new 2 ton system, with duct work. (No ac before.)
He got it running today. It's cooling the house down right now. However....

1) The air handler is mounted on a stand with a 1/2" plywood top, about 20" x 32", with 2x4 legs. He enclosed the bottom of the stand to make a plenum. The 4 sides of the plenum, are 1/2" plywood, sealed (somewhat) with mastic. With the system running, the plywood front edge, is very wet. Guess that isn't sealed that good.

I think the plenum will rot out fast. I'm in FL and very humid.

2) The ductboard ducts are something else! He v grooved for the corners, but had a butt joint where it closed. Taped up, with no staples, which I understand is the way mfg's say to do it.
He had to make a box, off the supply plenum, and all sides, bottom, and top, are separate pieces butt jointed and just taped.
Mastic over all taped joints.

I could live with the joints on the duct work, if they would hold up. What say?
The wet wood return plenum, I don't think I like. Do codes specify joint staples?

3) Where he mounted the air handler, one side of it is 1/4" from the plywood wall. The supply ductboard plenum, is also 1/4" - 1/2" from the wall.
With the unit running, there is very cold air blowing out from between the air handler sides and the wall, as well as from between the supply plenum and the wall.

4) I can feel air leaking out of the return trunk, where it meets the plywood plenum.

What should I expect this guy to do? Does a wood return plenum meet code?
Yeah, I know, that's what I get for going with a low price.
But what to do? I feel I should give him a chance to make it right.

He had a lot of work making weird boxes, because if it being such a strange house. He has spent twice as much time on the job, than he expected, and he has to come back again to finish, on Monday. He lives 50 miles away.
He's not making a lot on this job. I've paid for materials, but no labor yet.
Also, is it unreasonable to ask him to show me the static pressure? How about he doesn't have a manometer?

This is very stressful. I thought retirement was supposed to be stress free!

Any thoughts would be appreciated. What's the right thing to do?

Do I have a right to make him make ann new plenums and duct work?
There is about 18' of duct work.

Last edited by pirate; 05-10-14 at 08:15 PM.
Old 05-11-14, 12:19 AM
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A wood plenum.... for A/C

I don't like the sound of that. I'm guessing since you live in Florida that this duct work is for A/C only.... no heat. Can you shoot us a few pictures ?
Old 05-11-14, 04:04 AM
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Ok think about it even in a fine elite home the furnace closet. What's it's constructed of? Plywood and Sheetrock. So yes wood platform is standard base. However the moisture is a major concern. Do you have faith the guy piped the correct drain line hole. As there are 2. 1 sits a little higher than the other. The higher 1 would be the correct line and or did he put a p- trap in the drain. If the coil is ahead of fan drain has to be trapped good practice even if not. The air loss your feeling these joints need metal tape to seal. Duct board is out of code in my area due to louisianas humid summers which moisten it then heating cycle breaks it down and allows the fibers to travel with air flow. It's life expectancy in your area I give 3 years before you see tell tell signs. He should have went .22gauge sheet metal plenum wrapped in duct wrap with taps from it and your longest duct run come off a 90 degree radius and 8 in flex duct. It should be taped tie strapped and duct taped again at boots or ceiling boxes. Boxes need securing between joist and registers mounted and vent directed at exterior walls. I'm hoping you haven't completely paid the guy but if so be really nice and try to get work out of him. If he's not a legit guy unfortunately you may be screwed. The damn law will not go after these guys. Main reason they file bankruptcy or go out of business. There was a time over my inlaws had dirty contractor. They are peaceful quiet people. I took a war to suckers door and what you know very next day he and crew were at ready and getting it. Bad contractors should be beaten at the knees with ball bats. I only hope there's a special room in HELL for the ones who screw old people over. Something else to ponder is equipment is only as good as it's initial installer and installation. I put units in 18 years ago when I was a kid 3 heil units that are still in operation and cool great and low op cost even that old. 15 - 17 years about the life and efficiency you can expect from a proper maintained unit. Get guy back over voice your concerns but your at his mercy. Feel him out see what he will do. If he proves bad I recommend academy sports half way down outdoor sport ball isle you will find a solid hickory Louis ville slugger. God bless..
Old 05-11-14, 05:31 AM
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I understand the closet can be wood, sheetrock, as well as the stand. But the return plenum is plywood.
Should any water be in the return plenum?

The drain pipe I see seems ok. It's a temp. drain, he said he will replace when he comes back.

Another weird (to me) is he ran the 220 wire, up thru holes in top and bottom of the plywood return plenum.

Here is a picture.

Cold air comes out between the unit and the wall on it's right side.
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