...Questions About Compressor Replacement"


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Old 10-21-14, 02:29 PM
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...Questions About Compressor Replacement"

Thanks guys for any help I can get for these questions!

I will ask my questions in a number form, so please answer all or whatever ones you know the answers to by numbers also. It will make things easier that way.

First I would like to say that it is a bummer that a compressor has a 10yr warranty, and then goes out in it's 11th year.

1.) Now that there is a phase out of R-22 HVAC system to R-410A will it be near impossible to get a local HVAC tech to replace my compressor running on R-22?

2.) If I am able to get a HVAC tech to just change out my compressor, what should is a ball park on what he should charge me, if I would buy the compressor on my own?

3.) I found a Copeland Model #ZR57K5E-PFV-800 which replaces my old Copeland Model #ZR57K3-PFV-250 at North American HVAC for $925 plus shipping, but they do not give you a warranty. Is this because of the phaze out, and if not why no warranty?
 
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Old 10-21-14, 02:38 PM
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Q 1. Shouldn't have a probably having the R22 compressor installed.
Q 3. $925 plus labor, I would think about replacing the whole unit.
 
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Old 10-21-14, 03:08 PM
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1. Although R-22 is being phased out this should have little impact on getting your unit serviced.
There are substitute refrigerants available that should make the phase out hardly noticeable.

2. If you ask a competent tech to install a customer supplied compressor he/she would probably refuse.
Nothing is free and if anything goes wrong or you need follow up adjustments there would be no cushion for him/her to honor any kind of warranty on their work.
Not to mention you would be out of pocket if the compressor was defective.

3. No warranty on compressor because they have no control of the competency of the tech and how it is installed.
 
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Old 10-21-14, 09:50 PM
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I can't see why a HVAC tech could not just replace the part that is bad. (the compressor in my case)

If I allow him to get the compressor himself, I know that the cost is about a 1k, because if I can get it for 1k, I am sure he could get it for that too. (I would no how honest he is as for as the part goes)

Why should there be much so much labor involved, as if memory serves me, all he needs to do is drain and evacuate the freon from the system and reinstall it back in after hooking the lines up from the compressor. This install appears to be a piece of cake just a little time consuming.

What makes sense to me would be to replace the only bad part. I bought this 11 year old home 8 years ago from the lady who now lives next door to me, and I can say that this unit has NEVER been service once it the entire 11 by any HVAC serviceman. It has NEVER leaked a bit of freon in 11 years, and until 2 months ago when my contactor went out nothing was ever changed on it. The unit I have is both a A/C and Heating combo, and to spite the fact that my home is fully electric, my 2,100 sq ft home only runs an electric bill from $60-$150 a month throughout the year even with an 18ft above ground pool and a water well. So you see I really like what I have right now.
 
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Old 10-21-14, 10:59 PM
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This install appears to be a piece of cake just a little time consuming.
It is what it is.

We've given you the information you asked for. Now you need to call service companies to get an estimate since we have absolutely no idea where you live.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 03:17 AM
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Compare the repair cost to the cost of a complete dry charge replacement condenser unit .

If it was a burn out , there is more to it than just changing out a compressor , either way you go .

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 10-22-14, 05:42 AM
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I agree with the above poster on the just changing the outside unit with what they call a dry or nitrogen unit. If the inside unit is not too old and in relatively good shape I do them all the time. The cost will vary depending on a few factors. It looks like you have the biggest residential unit available, a five ton unit. Ball park cost should be $1800 to $2200. I am doing a three ton tomorrow for $1500.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:28 AM
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First I want thank everyone for answering my 3 questions, and the adding of your comments. I will be meeting with a HVAC tech this evening and I hope you guys can answer a few more questions before I have to meet with him.

The reason I was wanting to just replace the compressor is because I could then keep my R-22 air conditioning system, and just reinstall my own R-22 freon currently located in my system, and not have to purchase all knew virgin R-410A. It is my belief from reading, that you can no long buy R-22 outside units, as complete new HVAC systems using R-22 was banned in the U.S. in 2010. Also, it is of my understanding that Converting an R-22 HVAC system to R-410A is a major undertaking, and a major project for HVAC professionals, and that sometimes the copper lines connecting the components also must be replaced. (read the article below my post about converting R-22 to R-410A)

PJmax I on the Northshore of New Orleans Louisiana, and Wyr it is with God's help that I am coping with this problem.

Here are a few more questions that I now have.

1.) Can an outside condensing unit be bought by itself when having to convert from R-22to R-410A, or do you have to replace the entire system? (I believe consisting of a evaporator coil along with the furnace, Heat Pump, Thermostat, Air Handler)

2.) If the outside unit can be bought by itself, does it have to be a Rheem unit or can a different name brand be bought as a replacement like Goodman or Diamond Air?

2.) What exactly are dry and nitrogen units, and what are their differences in them?

3.) If I did a complete dry charge replacement condenser unit from the R-22 to R-410 freon, why would I not have to replace the evaporator coil in the attic too since R-22 freon flows though it too?

4.) I always believed that the former home owner bought to large of a unit for this home. I have a 2,100 sq. ft home with 10ft ceilings.
What size ton unit would be recommended for this size home?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the article below I mentioned above:

"Converting central-air units to R-A is a project for HVAC professionals.

As of 2012, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is in the process of changing over from ozone-depleting R-22 refrigerant to environmentally-friendlier R-410A refrigerant. The manufacture and import of complete new HVAC systems using R-22 was banned in the U.S. in 2010, but parts for R-22 systems and the R-22 refrigerant itself remain available as of 2012 to HVAC contractors for repair work. Converting an R-22 HVAC system to R-410A is a major undertaking and is not a do-it-yourself project.

Major Changes

Converting an R-22 system to R-410A is like converting a diesel engine to run on gasoline; it can’t be done without making major changes to the entire system. In the case of HVAC systems, conversion requires replacing the R-22 compressor, evaporator and condenser with units designed to run with R-410A. Sometimes the copper lines connecting the components also must be replaced, but it may be possible to clean, flush and dry the lines if they can handle the higher pressures of R-410A.

Bone Dry

A crucial part of the conversion process is removing all moisture from the system and ensuring it is free of leaks before charging with the R-410A. The polyethylene-based lubricating oil breaks down in the presence of water. After the new R-410A mechanical components are installed and all line connections brazed, the installer must connect a vacuum pump to the system, draw it down to a vacuum of 500 microns, and hold it there for several hours, sucking out any traces of water vapor that boil out of the system in this hard vacuum. Leaks in the system make it impossible to hold the vacuum until they are found and fixed. Once the system is dry and tight, the technician can charge the system with R-410A.
 

Last edited by Satman858; 10-22-14 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 10-22-14, 04:01 PM
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You are over-thinking and over researching this.

You can not convert to 410A without replacing the line set and inside coil which would be a replacement, not a conversion.
You have an R-22 system.
You can replace either the compressor or the whole outdoor unit then have it recharged with an alternate refrigerant.
My preference is DuPont MO99 (R-438A) which in most cases requires no oil type change or other modifications.

This is something that you can not do yourself and you would do well to find a contractor that is familiar with what can be considered a service refrigerant.
A contractor or service person not familiar with this will be earning their money selling equipment, not servicing equipment!
 
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Old 10-22-14, 07:08 PM
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Okay guys I talked tonight to my cousin, who I have mixed feeling about do to my gut. My gut tells me that he may be one of those HVAC guys like GregH mentioned, that earn their money by selling equipment, not servicing equipment. I say this because the first thing he said was to wait a few months and save up our money for a new complete unit. When I asked about replacing just the outside unit, he said the my 11 year old Rheem was most likely a 10 sheer unit, and that a 14 or more sheer unit would blow out the evaporator in the attic. I asked him, what if we changed out the evaporate too, and he said an whole new system would be about the same money. He then told me that R-22 would become hard to get. But then since I seen 30lb R-22 virgin tanks being sold on Fleebay for about $250 to EPA certified techs like him I could give him the money to buy it, and we could stored away for future years. (After all he is my cousin, right! )

Okay here is the kicker. Never was anything ever suggested like GregH mentioned. (maybe he does not have knowledge of this option, I don't know for sure)

If anyone has an interest in checking out anything for me on the unit I have, and what replacement I can buy, it would be appreciated. My home is all electric. I have a Rheem Classic high efficiency air conditioner. The model number of my unit is RAMB-060-JAZ

In closing, he told me thinks the job would be somewhere about $10,000. At that time I mentioned to him that I seen a 5 ton Rheem 16 SEER A/C & Electric Furnace for about 3,200 on fleebay (linked below) and asked him if the labor would be about $6,800. He then kind of hesitated a few seconds, and said that he thought that it would be more than that price, and that if he bought it off of someone on ebay that it could not have a warranted. (from my understanding only if wholesalers sell to customers that are not HVAC license techs on fleebay, or anywhere online, that the manufacturer would not warrant the system.)

Here is the link to the unit I mentioned from a fleebay seller of the unit that is even less at $2,900:

5 Ton Rheem 15 SEER Air Conditioner Split System R410A | eBay
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:16 PM
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Could someone please answer these couple of questions.

1.) If I have an all electric home and want to purchase a Complete A/C System, is your only option a Heat Pump Split System?

2.) How important is the sheer number if you live in hot climates like south Louisiana?

3.) What sheer number would you guys recommend for where I live?
 
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Old 10-22-14, 10:29 PM
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1) You could purchase a regular central air system with an electric furnace. The air handler would contain electric heating coils that could supply all you heat. This is a very expensive use of electricity.

Sheer number ?? Do you mean Seer number ?

What are S.E.E.R Ratings......
The efficiency of every A/C unit on the market is measured by the Seer Rating on the label. Seer stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.” The higher the S.E.E.R rating the more efficient the unit will be. The Seer Ratings system was developed by the US Government and equipment manufacturer’s to make it easy for consumers to understand, and to compare the various units.

What does the Seer Rating tell you.......
A Seer rating of 6 found on older A/C units means the unit produces about 6 BTU/hr. per watt of electricity used. The Seer rating of 13 on newer units means the unit produces about 13 BTU/hr. per watt of electricity used. The annual estimated cost per ton for a Seer of 6 is $174.40. The annual estimated cost per ton for a Seer of 14 is $74.74.

The highest Seer rated unit results in a cost savings of approximately $100 per ton annually. The newer higher Seer Rating units produce over twice as much cool air per watt of electricity as the older units. This results in large savings on your electric bills.
 
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Old 10-23-14, 03:50 AM
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As I said , if the failure was a burn out , the acid formed would have to be " removed " / " flushed " / neutralized . A non-trivial procedure .

I do not think it would be practical to try to re-use your existing R22 , if it was a burn out .

A dry charge R22 unit does not contain any refrigerant . After it is installed in place of your old condenser unit & a leak check performed , it is connected to a vacuum pump and brought to a very " high " vacuum & left that way gor a period of time .

Then the R22 refrigerant is introduced into the system . Best done by weighing the amount installed .

The recommended procedure to convert from R22 to R410a involves either replacing the copper lines , or if that is not practical , flushing them to remove the " R22 oil " and any contaminates .

The R22 " A-Coil " ( inside the furnace ) is recommended to be replaced & an expansion valve ( for R410a ) installed .

All this is also a non trivial matter .

SEER number is a measure of the efficiency of the unit , in cooling . Kind of a ratio of the amount of cooling per the amount of electricity consumed . Think of miles per gallon for a car , as an analogy . In theory , the higher the SEER number , the less electricity you will use & the less it will cost you .

Current regulations require new equipment to be a minimum of 13 SEER . My existing 4 ton system is about 15 years old . It was high efficiency , at the time , 13 SEER . " Standard " was 10 SEER , at that time .

Considering purchase cost , there is a point of diminishing return , sas to the SEER number of equipment .

There is a different efficiency rating for heat pumps .

Were it me , I would seriously consider a dry charge R22 unit . Which would be 13 SEER . An entry / economy R410a system would also be 13 SEER .

I think you said you are in the New Orleans area ? You are probably going to use heat few days of the year ?

If you are all electric , the 2 simplest way to heat are 100% electric resistance heat or a heat pump . Often heat pump installs also include some electric resistance heat , to be used when out side air temperature drops too low for the heat pump to be cost effective . Also called emergency heat . It may also be used when the heat pump goes into defrost cycle .

Resistance heat only , is cheaper to buy , than a heat pump . A heat pump will be cheaper to operate , than 100% resistance heat .

Gog bless
Wyr
 
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Old 10-23-14, 02:06 PM
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PJmax and Wyr Twister,

First I want to say thanks and that you two guys are like angels following me here from my other thread.

You guys are right I meant SEER. I just read up on it late last night and realized the higher SEER number the less electric is used and less expensive my electric bill will be.

WyrTwister, A dry charge R22 unit does not contain any refrigerant . After it is installed in place of your old condenser unit & a leak check performed , it is connected to a vacuum pump and brought to a very " high " vacuum & left that way gor a period of time .

Then the R22 refrigerant is introduced into the system . Best done by weighing the amount installed .

The recommended procedure to convert from R22 to R410a involves either replacing the copper lines , or if that is not practical , flushing them to remove the " R22 oil " and any contaminates .

The R22 " A-Coil " ( inside the furnace ) is recommended to be replaced & an expansion valve ( for R410a ) installed.
Wyn, you also said if it was you, you would seriously consider a dry charge R22 unit. Which would be 13 SEER. But it is my understanding that techs are no longer able to purchase any type of condenser unit that runs of R-22, because of the 2010 ban law of R-22 units.
If this is so, how could you get a dry charge R22 unit and a new a-coil?

One other question. Is it true that the government will be raising the requirements of new units to be about 13 SEER next year?
 
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Old 10-23-14, 02:46 PM
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I believe 13 SEER is the minimum now.
 
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Old 10-23-14, 07:07 PM
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R-22 condenser units ARE available for replacement purposes only. R-22 units cannot be used for NEW installations.
 
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Old 10-23-14, 09:15 PM
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Furd

R-22 condenser units ARE available for replacement purposes only. R-22 units cannot be used for NEW installations.
This could be good news to me, but with that said I have a few questions:

Here is the first big question.
1.) If I can get a HVAC tech to find me a new Rheem replacement R-22 condenser unit, will Rheem give me a 10yr warranty like their other new units?

2.) Since R-22 condenser units are not being manufactured any longer by Rheem, where would a HVAC tech find a Rheem replacement for my Rheem "Classic" high efficiency unit?

3.) I do believe that my Rheem Classic high efficiency condensing unit model number RAMB-060-JAZ is a SEER 13 so the 2010 SEER guidelines should not be a problem for me. Is that correct, or does the new government requirements not matter on existing replacements?

4.) Does anyone know for sure if an older Rheem "Classic" high efficiency unit is 13 SHEER, or if not, where I can be directed in to finding this out?
 
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Old 10-23-14, 09:28 PM
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I really cannot answer your questions, I have been retired for almost ten years and I do not keep up with the industry. That stated, any replacement compressor or condensing unit is likely to be "new old stock", something that was made several years ago and is just sitting in a warehouse.

Really, the best course of action would be a total replacement with an R-410 system. If you replaced just the compressor or even the entire condensing unit it could be just weeks before something failed in the evaporator or air handler or furnace and you would be back to repairing an old and obsolete system.
 
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Old 10-24-14, 04:12 AM
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Traditionally , a " standard " split system comes with no refrigerant in any component , except the condenser unit . The condenser unit is shipped with a " standard " charge of refrigeration oil and a " standard " charge of refrigerant . This is sufficient for the compressor ( inside the condenser ) , the A-Coil ( evaporator coil ) and a specific length of copper refrigeration lines .

After the copper lines are connected & pressure tested with dry nitrogen , the nitrogen and residual air is vacuumed out , to a high vacuum . After an appropriate time and if all is well , the service valves are opened and the refrigerant released from inside the compressor .

The current regulations allow dry charge ( no refrigerant included ) R22 condensers to be sold for replacement application . This should be a 13 SEER unit .

They contain the refrigerant oil , I think , but no refrigerant . I believe they are charged with some dry nitrogen . This is removed when the system is vacuumed down . Then the tech charges the whole system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant .

I do not know what the warranty situation is ?

You never said what went wrong with your existing unit ? Or if you did , I did not catch it ?

What size ( ton rating ) is your system ?

If you wish , send me a private message or email and I can pass along some additional information .

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 10-24-14, 04:33 AM
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Wyr, his compressor burned out (open start winding).
 
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Old 10-24-14, 08:20 AM
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Thanks guys for all your information.

It is looking like I am going to have to go the route of and entirely new system, but with that said, it will present many more questions. Like I mentioned before we never had freon ever added, any parts ever replacements, or a lick of trouble with my current Rheem unit from the time the house was built 11 years ago. So I think I might want to go with Rheem again. Here are some questions I have:

1.) Has the quality of Rheem unit diminished over the past 10 or so years?

2.) Is Rheem's newer outside units as noisy as their older units like mine?

3.) If not Rheem, what would companies might you suggest that has systems that are economical in cost?

4.) I have done some reading, and I think I would like to go with a 2 stage unit instead of the 1 stage unit I currently have, however I want my system with electric resistance heat not with a heat pump. It seems all the 2 stage 5 tom units have heat pumps not electric resistance heat. With this said, do they make 2 stage split units with just electric resistance heat?
 
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Old 10-24-14, 10:24 AM
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Trust me, you don't want electric strips for your main source of heat. Most heat pump systems come with electric strips for back up heat.
 
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Old 10-24-14, 10:58 AM
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shaggsje,Trust me, you don't want electric strips for your main source of heat. Most heat pump systems come with electric strips for back up heat.
Then what type of unit is on my current unit, since it does not have heat pump, which has been very productive for the past 11 years?
 
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Old 10-24-14, 02:50 PM
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When my system goes bad I will do it all myself and fill it with propane. I have no clue why propane is not used in US. It works on lower pressure (less strain on your compressor) and is popular in Europe.
 
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Old 10-24-14, 03:11 PM
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What happens when you have a pin leak at the compressor and a loose connection there too?
 
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Old 10-24-14, 03:45 PM
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Propane alone does not make a reliable refrigerant.
It's properties do not promote oil return to the compressor and is why any commercial refrigerant substitute that contains propane is a blend of refrigerants for that purpose.
Propane has less capacity per lb of refrigerant than R-22 and is why propane blends are used as an R-12 replacement.

Propane that is sold for automotive or heating use has too many contaminants to be used as is.
Here, and I suspect in the US, for legal and insurance purposes you can not have a system with more than three pounds of a flammable substance.
 
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Old 10-25-14, 04:19 AM
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No idea about a Rheem .

My present system is a Goodman . Which is often frowned upon as the bottom of the line . I have been satisfied with it . I have had a few repairs , but nothing I have not been able to do myself .

My impression is a 2 stage system may be less $$$ to operate , but it is more $$$ to buy and more complex . I do not know if that means less reliable ?

Electric resistance heat is inexpensive to purchase and / or add . More $$$ to operate .

How many days a year do you need heat ? Do you live in a city or in the country ?

A heat pump is more $$$ to purchase but less $$$ to operate .

If this was a burn out , be sure to get a GOOD technician to do the work . If you re-use the A-Coil and lines , the acid from the burn out MUST be removed / neutralized .

Or , by new system , did you mean new furnace , coil , lines and condenser unit ?

I did not turn on my 4 ton A/C once this summer . We have window units in all the rooms we occupy except for a mini split in the living room / dining room .

We cool only the rooms we are using at any given time .

I love the mini split , but it would get $$$ to replace all the window units .

Check your local power company & see if they offer any incentives for high efficiency or heat pumps ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 10-25-14, 04:29 AM
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Refrigeration grade propane can be obtained . But I do not think I am going there .

Had not heard propane has problem with oil return . Is that true when the furnace / A-Coil is located higher than the condenser ? ( Gravity return . )

Would you use mineral oil with propane , or a synthetic ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 10-25-14, 10:39 PM
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Since there is absolutely no problems with my existing heating system, can I keep it and I just buy a R-410A A/C condenser unit to replace my faulty R-22 A/C condenser unit?

If so, would the evaporator coil for the new R-410A condenser unit need to be installed in my working furnace in place of my current evaporator coil that currently is holding R-22 refrigerant?

If I am able to do all of this will I need a separate thermostat installed for the new R-410 unit?

In replacing my current R-22 system to R-410A will the lines running from the outside condenser to
the evaporator in the attic need to be replaced, or can they drained completely of R-22 and be used for the R-410A?
 
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Old 10-26-14, 04:57 AM
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The experts say to replace the A-Coil & the copper lines . I am told the miner oil / refrigeration oil used with R22 are not compatable with the synthetic oil used with R410a . If it is not feasable to replace the lines , they must be flushed / cleaned ( inside the tubing ) VERY well .

They say the A-Coil for R22 is not rated for the higher pressure of R410a , although I have heard mixed stories about that ?

I am pretty sure an expansion valve , specified for the correct capacity of R410a must be used . Many R22 systems use an orifice / piston to meter the refrigerant & this is not suited for R410a .

This is why I would go back with a R22 system .

I think you or some one said tour existing compressor had a burned start winding ? How was this determined ? Are you sure you do not just have a bad capacitor ? A common occurrence ? Or a bad wire / terminal at the compressor ?

It seems some service people are more interested in selling equipment than repairing equipment ? :-(

But , if it is / was a burn out , the A-Coil and copper lines will still need to be flushed / cleaned very well and the acid fromed from the burn out " taken care of " . Even if you did go back with R22 .

God bless
Wyr
 
  #31  
Old 10-26-14, 05:06 AM
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Satman,

You already asked this and it has been answered.
There is a lot of information in these 30 posts and it must be confusing.

You need to change the line set and indoor coil if you want to go with R-410A which would be a whole new system

You can replace just the R-22 compressor or the outdoor unit and your tech would use an alternate refrigerant.
You would need to find a competent refrigeration mechanic who is familiar with repairing units, not just selling or installing new units.

There is no need to purchase a specific brand of unit to replace the compressor or outdoor unit.......it only needs to match the electrical and capacity specs of the old one.

Get on the phone and start getting competent mechanics over to see if any will do what would be best for you.

 
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Old 10-26-14, 10:04 AM
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For my information , why do you suggest an alternate refrigerant instead of R22 ? Other than R22 is expensive ?

On another topic , I would think some one should test the existing system for acid ?

Thanks ,
Wyr
God bless
 
  #33  
Old 10-26-14, 03:26 PM
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Here, replacement refrigerants are less than half the cost of R-22.
I do a bit of residential work but mainly medium to large commercial where systems can hold between thirty and one hundred pounds of refrigerant.
It is very economical to replace the R-22 with an alternate after a major leak repair and also because of the fact that the replacement will be around for much longer than R-22.

Normally when there is a burn out or a contaminated system there should be a suction line filter/drier installed before the compressor along with a new filter drier in the liquid line.
When a properly sized suction f/d is installed it is not usually necessary to test the oil.
This is usually only done on larger commercial systems where you don't have to unhook the compressor to turn it upside down to change the oil.
 
  #34  
Old 10-26-14, 04:25 PM
S
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GregH,
GregH,
You need to change the line set and indoor coil if you want to go with R-410A which would be a whole new system
I read these below statement from a website about a conversion from R-22 to R410A, and thought that maybe the old copper lines I currently have R-22 running in, could be drained cleaned out and savaged, even if I convert to R-410A. I know there is higher pressure with R-410a than R-22 but this statement says that is possible.

"In the case of HVAC systems, conversion requires replacing the R-22 compressor, evaporator and condenser with units designed to run with R-410A. Sometimes the copper lines connecting the components also must be replaced, but it may be possible to clean, flush and dry the lines if they can handle the higher pressures of R-410A."
 
  #35  
Old 10-26-14, 05:52 PM
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In the end it will not be your decision to make on what you use or re-use.
It will be the person you hire to do this for you.

You can make all the suggestions you like but it will be the responsibility of the contractor to use components and labor he would be willing to guarantee.

Honestly, we can offer any suggestions you want to hear but you will still need a contractor to make the final decision.
 
 

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