Shyster, or New unit due to missing coil fins?

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  #1  
Old 09-13-18, 09:37 PM
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Shyster, or New unit due to missing coil fins?

A/C guy came by to repair a leak and test/refill R-22. He did his repair then began the leak test. He hooked up, then started fiddling with his knobs for a good 45 seconds. With a look of concern he exclaims, "we may have a bigger problem here."

He stands upright walks around to the opposite corner and bends down to look at an area on the corner of the coil a few inches off the ground. "You're gonna need a new one", he says. I go around, bend over, **** my head, and see a 4" long row of missing fins. "You can almost feel it", he says. I feel nothing. We end the afternoon, and our conversation, with him explaining the benefit of a new system for around $3500. ... and of course, him taking some of my money. "That includes installation," he says as he's headed out the gate.

So, taking a closer look, I don't see evidence of a leak, but what do I know? There are no signs of oil, but who knows. right? I do find, however, many little, tiny, broken fins lying suspiciously at the base of the unit all mixed in amongst the numerous foxtails, and dirt clods.

So what do you all think? Appreciate any help, or suggestions on what I might do to nail this down one way, or the other.
 

Last edited by Darrell W; 09-13-18 at 10:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-18, 10:41 PM
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Pretty hard to comment when we can't see what you are seeing. It sounds like the condenser coil may have been too bad to fix. Are those fins missing where he was trying to braze a leak ? The fins aren't the problem..... the leak is.
 
  #3  
Old 09-13-18, 10:49 PM
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The leak was in the line run, nowhere near the condenser. He pointed out the fins as evidence of a problem. Do fins spontaneously explode? Would a leak in the condenser cause them to?
 
  #4  
Old 09-13-18, 11:16 PM
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The missing fins are not a cause of concern so I'm not sure why he pointed them out
unless that line has holes where they are missing.

How old is the system ?
 
  #5  
Old 09-13-18, 11:50 PM
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We purchased the unit new approx. 9 years ago. Is it possible to add pictures?
 
  #6  
Old 09-14-18, 12:01 AM
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Sorry 'bout the Shyster comment. I don't mean to offend. It was a bad attempt at tryin' to be funny. I don't know how to edit it.
 
  #7  
Old 09-14-18, 04:33 AM
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Missing fins aren't a big issue. especially only a 4in area. Fins fall off are get bent all the time and units run years and years with out them. Leaks need to be fixed. Fins not so much. Can you call the company back and tell them to come fix the unit? Call his boss.
 
  #8  
Old 09-14-18, 06:13 AM
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The fins inprove the efficiency of heat transfer, just like the fins on a car radiator.

A few missing fins wont make any difference to the units cooling capacity.

So not to say that all AC reparimen are "shysters" but my Mom has a 5 year old AC system that has been refilled for the last 2 years due to dirty filters, cotton wood fuzzies in the coil and new EPA regulations by Obama, his words, not mine!

Well once I got involved we got another company to come out, found a faulty coil, got it repaired under warranty and all is well.

Now I get the fun of taking this idiot to court to recover the $700 he charged my Mom for 2 unnecessary recharges!

Shyster, you better believe they are out there!
 
  #9  
Old 09-14-18, 10:17 AM
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Last edited by PJmax; 09-14-18 at 05:21 PM. Reason: added last labeled/modified picture
  #10  
Old 09-14-18, 10:43 AM
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You will gain more by cleaning that unit than you will ever loose by the few missing fins!

Shut off the power, take the top and surrounding grill off, vacuum, blow, hose off!

Clean up the area around the unit and put down stones, something that wont blow into the coils!
 
  #11  
Old 09-14-18, 11:59 AM
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Glad to hear the missing fins won't be too big of an issue, and I'll definitely get it all cleaned up adding some stones as well.
I'm still trying to figure out the "leak" portion of this conundrum. Does the Freon actually run inside those horizontal slats in the coil, or are there hidden lines that I just can't see? I can't imagine something as flimsy looking as that whole setup is designed to securely contain the Freon. Just looks like asking for trouble.
 

Last edited by Darrell W; 09-14-18 at 12:59 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-14-18, 05:24 PM
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Those horizontal tubes are where the refrigerant is contained.

Look at the last enlarged picture I added to your pictures. That is your picture #5 heavily enlarged. It looks like a hole where the arrow is pointing. It also looks like a small blob of solder there too.
 
  #13  
Old 09-14-18, 05:55 PM
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Looks to me like the missing fins rusted off. More fins might fall out just by your touching them.
Whether the mostly horizontal tubing that zig zags through the fins also rusted out in a few spots is unknown so far.
 
  #14  
Old 09-14-18, 07:04 PM
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Thanks. I'll have a look at that when I clean it up.

I got a hit on a google search about this unit that mentioned something about a service bulletin issued at one point in time concerning the coil. Have any of you heard such a thing? The more I look at it, and find out about it, the wonkier the whole setup seems to me. I think I'm gonna pay a little extra for a second opinion.
 

Last edited by Darrell W; 09-14-18 at 07:27 PM.
  #15  
Old 09-15-18, 04:20 AM
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That’s microchannel, and it appears a dog has been using that unit frequently.
Microchannel is difficult to repair should a leak develop.
 
  #16  
Old 09-15-18, 09:14 AM
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I agree with roughneck, there's a dog involved here.
 
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