A/C pressure relief


Old 08-27-03, 08:36 AM
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A/C pressure relief

I'm down here in Texas and my central a/c unit is rebelling.
The unit is 6 years old and the compressor started making grinding/squealing noises recently. A/C tech said compressor is going out, but unit started blowing cold again when he relieved pressure from the unit--initially we assumed it was low on freon, because I've had to have a small amount of freon added every other summer--but his readings came back indicating that the pressure was way too high and he ended up letting freon escape, which worked as a temporary fix.
This was 3 weeks ago and unit is doing same thing again--compressor tries to come on but won't engage. I'm not sure (surprise) if the compressor is completely fried or if i would last a few more weeks by releiving the pressure again. I can't afford another service call and my house is HOT...so my question is: Is it possible to safely relieve the pressure at the outside unit without
blowing myself up? If so, can I use a screwdriver at the valve or do I need something a little more advanced? (I have a set of hoses with connections for adding freon to my car around here somewhere.)
I know this is just a temp fix but money is tight and it's hot down here. Thanks for any help,
C ([email protected])
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Old 08-27-03, 08:50 AM
Jay11J's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Please don't tell me that this guy just let the Ref out of the system into the air!?!?!

And for you to relief the pressure out of the system is a BIG NO NO.. If you both were caught doing this mighty big fine and time.

Anyway, it could be very possible that the system was over charged, and with the recent heat wave the system is running higher head pressure, and cause the compressor to work under high head pressure. Thus will cause it to go out on you early.

You know if the past dealers who "added" more to the system every other year found a leak? You have papers on it? I'd go back to the dealer who did this, and ask them to replace the system since they over charged the system. and cause the compressor to go out early (6 years is pretty young)..
Old 08-27-03, 09:59 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
High head

If he said high head here and let freon out ???? How is the air filter and inside coil, are they clean? That can give you high head. Also the hose set you have for the car no you cant use them if your not EPA and they would have 12 or 134a in them and that would screw up the R 22 in you AC unit if you didnt clean them out. Did you ring out the compressor or how is the amp draw on it ED
Old 08-30-03, 10:22 PM
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call a real tech. you can get hurt.
Old 08-31-03, 06:52 AM
hvac4u's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: NW atlanta
Posts: 3,147

the condenser coil with acid, this could be one of the problems
Old 08-31-03, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,815
temp relief

lightly mist water on the outdoor coil and if the AC starts to cool again....you need to wash the outdoor coil...if you try do it yourself use simple green. Buy a gallon of it at Home depot and an insect sprayer. shut the outdoor unit off and spray the coil down for about 15 minutes and rinse well. Start it up again and it should do much better. If not, you might have non condensables in the coil. Call in a pro. The fine for releasing R22 is up to $27,000 for each occurance. If you rat him out theres a $10,000 reward.you might pursuade (blackmail) him to fix it right if you actually witnessed it yourself.

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