Central Heat/AC - No cold air


  #1  
Old 04-19-02, 12:35 PM
vraman
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Question Central Heat/AC - No cold air

Hi,

I have a Carrier 50QT series unit. Its fan and compresser are ok, and runs well, air comes out the vents in the house, but it is not cold. I had a contractor check it out, he looked into it and said there is no "gas" ( ) He "filled" gas and unit was working well, he charged me about $200. Not for long though, after couple days, it started blowing "unchilled" air. He came back said, there could be a leak somewhere, checked everything out said the unit needs to be taken apart and leak-checked using a special machinery or something, and that it would cost a lot of money to detect and fix the leak, and even if I did that it would only last for a couple of years or so. And he charged another $150. He recommended that I replace the unit altogether with a brand new one.

I have no idea what to do now. Anyone has any ideas? Do you know how much a new unit would cost? Is it a good idea to repair the current unit?

Thanks a million!

-V
 
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Old 04-19-02, 01:51 PM
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I wouldn't replace a unit just because there is a leak!

I think that your contractor is trying to rip you off. How old is the unit?

Before assuming that the leak is in condenser, why don't you take a look at the indoor coil and refrigerant lines?

A common place for a leak is at joints so that is a good place to start.

Even if it is the condenser, it is very possable that it is a joint in there. I doubt that to find a leak in the condenser, the entire unit must be taken apart, it may have to be opened up but not completely dismatled.

Another thing is, as far as I know, no special "machinery" to test for leaks. I think that they use some type of leak testing solution. You can even leak test the outer joints yourself, using a soap solution.
 
  #3  
Old 04-19-02, 02:38 PM
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I apologize

for some of the people and or companies that are freon pumpers.An electronic leak detector will locate your leak.Call the service company back and ask them if they have heard of the MONTREAL PROTOCOL of 1991---Say "Gee guys isn't illegal to dump hydroflorocarbons in the air.Come on guys there is a leak in the system.Come on guys I don't want the EPA coming to my house and asking questions."It appears,and I say appears the company figured---dump some freon in,collect the cash and hope it last them the summer.Call your BBB and ask about complaints about them.I have been using an electronic leak detector for 30 years.Hopefully you did not pay cash.If you paid with a check,stop payment on it.Once again I apologize for the grease monkeys or mechanics that give us "TECHNICIANS" a bad name."Yesterday I couldn't even spell mekcanic and today I are one."PDF
 
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Old 04-19-02, 02:52 PM
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I agree with PDF.

Some companies just care about making their wallets swell instead of the environment!!

It's a shame!!!

Well, if puron becomes the standard, then they could dump as much refrigerant into the system as they want.

This makes me feel lucky that I have never had a freon leak and without knowing, having a contractor dump more freon into it without fixing it!!

PDF, what is the penalty for illegally dumping more refrigerant into a system that is leaking??
 
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Old 04-19-02, 03:04 PM
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You get

to visit a REAL BIG guy at a Federal Prison(remember the EPA is involved) and as has happened in the past 250,000 dollar fine.Damn that's alot of overtime.PDF
 
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Old 04-19-02, 07:00 PM
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freon leaks

we charge for leak detection, on top of freon, and freon leaks are NOT WARRANTIED. leaks of up to a certain point are allowed to be recharged, i think 15%, and process cooling is higher. i am not going to nitpick where 15% comes in, if it is a "catastrophic" leak we find it and repair. we do not want to be the test case for the epa in this area, so cya is the rule. it is a good idea to have a box to check on the invoice stating that leaks are not warrantied, and additional charges apply for return visits, some customers think otherwise..................my 2 cents
 
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Old 04-20-02, 06:54 PM
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"leaks of up to a certain point are allowed to be recharged"

I don't believe that, websites and other people on this board say that any leak must be fixed BEFORE recharging.

Even if you can do that, it is still harmful to the ozone layer. Do you care about the earth in the first place, or do you just care about not breaking the law?
 
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Old 04-20-02, 07:23 PM
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just the facts

leaks falling within the parameters of the epa rule can be recharged without repair. of course i care about the environment,i was just stating fact. personally i would much rather replace a coil or do a repair when a low condition is found, but i have seen units with low conditions that i could not find the leak. i use a top of the line refrigerant detector, which i would not have spent the money on if i was a "freon pumper". after 20 years in this business, doing residential installs to rebuilding centrifigal chillers, which use r-11, which they quit making years ago,by the way....direct digital control programming, pnuematics, and certified test and balance, not to mention an engineering degree, i take offense at your insinuation that i am anything but a professional, i am sure you meant nothing by it, but have you never walked away from a unit after giving it a little gas, and not repaired a leak yourself? oh yes, by the way, if you did not inspect the condenser coil closely, some do have 2 or more layers, you know, and washed 5 out of 10 of them, did you not do a disservice to the customer? i recommend acid wash coil cleaning to every customer that needs freon, i will not be held liable when the terminals blow out in july due to high head.wait a minute, did you say there was no machinery to find leaks, "you think they use someleak testing solution" come on man, look on ebay, get yourself something nice
 
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Old 04-20-02, 07:41 PM
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back on track

how old is the unit? very possibly the evap coil is leaking. a test can be done by seperating the lines from the condenser and coil, then pressure testing them. dyes are sometimes used, used to be able to get r22 with red dye already in it, dytel i think. heard different things about its effect of the system halide torches are a thing of the past, but there is some great technology with black and flourescent lights. this will cost you, get the tech to open the evap and check in there first. also, i have seen lines rub against the compressor, king valves leaking, and god forbid the original installer burnt up the schraders. i recommend you get somebody out to go over the system and give you a break on the detection if you bought the equipment needed from him. also if theis unit was running in a vacuum, a drier is mandatory, you probably would have acid in your system. it does sound as if you should not call that tech back out if you are into it 350, and still no cool.
 
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Old 04-20-02, 07:56 PM
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Re: just the facts

Originally posted by hvac4u
leaks falling within the parameters of the epa rule can be recharged without repair. of course i care about the environment,i was just stating fact. personally i would much rather replace a coil or do a repair when a low condition is found, but i have seen units with low conditions that i could not find the leak. i use a top of the line refrigerant detector, which i would not have spent the money on if i was a "freon pumper". after 20 years in this business, doing residential installs to rebuilding centrifigal chillers, which use r-11, which they quit making years ago,by the way....direct digital control programming, pnuematics, and certified test and balance, not to mention an engineering degree, i take offense at your insinuation that i am anything but a professional, i am sure you meant nothing by it, but have you never walked away from a unit after giving it a little gas, and not repaired a leak yourself? oh yes, by the way, if you did not inspect the condenser coil closely, some do have 2 or more layers, you know, and washed 5 out of 10 of them, did you not do a disservice to the customer? i recommend acid wash coil cleaning to every customer that needs freon, i will not be held liable when the terminals blow out in july due to high head.wait a minute, did you say there was no machinery to find leaks, "you think they use someleak testing solution" come on man, look on ebay, get yourself something nice
1. If I did really offended you, I didn't meen it that way.

2. I didn't know that there is some high tech leak detector because I am not a pro. I thought that they use some leak testing solution because, I read an installation guide from coleman that says "Check joints for leaks using a solution after connecting refrigerant lines"(It said something like that, can't remember word for word off the top of my head). I should have thought other wize since that guide is from 1988.

3. I never once called you a "Freon pumper"
 
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Old 04-21-02, 05:32 AM
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Who do you

guys think will win the Stanley Cup?I am rooting for the Bruins.What happened to Detroit?
 
  #12  
Old 04-21-02, 07:38 PM
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Pretty heated discussion guys. But we still don't know how old this unit is if it is much over 10 years old replacement might be a good option, but if it was empty over ther winter and leaked enough to not operate in a few weaks the tech should be able to find that leak. I have had units that needed topped off only every 2 to 3 years, now that leak is hard to find. My leak detector will detect leaks of a few ounces of refrigerant a year.
As far as EPA regs go I can't quote the figures but if a unit leaks the contractor must repair it in a fairly short amount of time.
 
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Old 04-22-02, 01:41 PM
vraman
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Thank you all for your valuable inputs!!!

I checked with another company that has done a couple of works in our condo. They said that Carrier stopped making 50QT series more than 10 years ago. So, mine's that old for sure. They recommended replacing the unit instead and gave me a quote on a new magic-pak unit, for $4000+. Do you think that's reasonable?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 04-23-02, 12:28 PM
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my 2 cents

if they are qualified installers with good refrences (check with your neighbors) , and sell a unit with a good warranty, (not familiar with magicpak), the price does not seem too out of line for here in georgia. it sounds like a package unit, not a split system, get prices from other contractors, be sure a heat load calc is done, you will be glad to have the dependibility and efficiency of a new unit. see if you can get a digital tstat, and maybe a 1 yr maintenance agreement for free, i give them away all the time
 
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Old 06-04-08, 10:58 PM
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