Air handler hanging from access panel

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Old 08-25-15, 07:23 PM
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Air handler hanging from access panel

Hi Folks-

I have just started trying to work on our HVAC system. It's an attic unit, horizontally mounted with a furnace, evaporator coils, and a duct box in that order from the return downstream.

It has a number of issues the most obvious of which is the rusted out auxiliary drain pan. I've got a new drain pan on order, but I also want to clean the coils and seal the box up while I'm working on it.

My problem is that I'm not sure how to safely remove the access panel to get at the coils to clean them. The unit is hung from the rafters by metal straps, and one of the straps is screwed into the coil access panel. In another area I can see that the frame of the unit doesn't extend as far down as where the strap is screwed in to the panel; I believe the strap is attached *only* to the panel and not through into the frame (see last picture).

Can I remove this strap and open the panel while I clean the coils without being in danger of damaging the unit or, worse, having the whole thing come crashing down? If not, any suggestions on how to support it while I remove this panel to work on it?

Here's a schematic showing a top-down view of the layout.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]55148[/ATTACH]

Here's a photo from the furnace end forward, showing the strap locations.


Here's a photo from the left side of the unit showing the overall access panel and the problem strap.


Here's a closer photo of the access panel.


Here's a closeup of the problem strap.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-25-15, 09:55 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You're going to leave the unit suspended while you change out the overflow pan.

After the pan is changed you could probably block up that corner so you could remove the strap. I can't believe they drilled a hole in the access door when there was a screw an inch away.

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You could possibly move the strap to the end of the air handler where the yellow lines are.
 
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Old 08-27-15, 06:29 AM
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It is fairly common to see installers more concerned with straight hanging straps than serviceability.

I would add a strap on the end of the coil as posted by PJ and then remove the strap that the installers blocked access with.
 
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Old 08-27-15, 06:33 AM
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WOW!! I can't believe that. Well I could because we see stuff like that everyday.
 
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Old 07-30-16, 09:24 PM
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Omg... I have the same problem the nut is located even lower in the middle of the panel! So what did you end up doing to access the coil? Can you open the top?
 
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Old 07-30-16, 09:28 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

This thread is a year old and you may not get an answer from the original poster.

Usually the sides are removable.... not the top.
Not sure what your question is.
 
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Old 07-31-16, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for reply. Anyway to bolt towards the bottom where the black foam tubing is...? On my unit pass the yellow line per your suggestion in an earlier post won't work since its soft duct work.Name:  image.jpg
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Old 07-31-16, 08:36 AM
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I would cut the duct mastic on the end of the evaporator and screw the new strap there with a couple of 1/2" sheet metal screws. If the panel rolls around that corner you might have to open the panel there a bit first and notch the panel before putting it back.

I don't remember if Trane panels roll around that corner but I don't think so.
 
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