Home HVAC repair needed

Discussion in 'DIY Section' started by Lager, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    My R-22 central air unit compressor needs to be replaced because it must be locked up and blows the circuit breaker. I have an estimate to replace the unit with the upgraded Freon, but since I'm just looking to sell the house ? Was wondering if any HVAC repair guys had a cheaper option,like replace this compressor with another, just so it passes inspection, and work of course. I live in the Salisbury area and any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Call me at 704-433-9586 or respond here.
     
  2. MurphyLong

    MurphyLong Platinum Member Club Subscribed

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    Sorry for the late response, but I recently went through the same scenario, but I found someone who came out and replaced the compressor and recharged with R-22. Total bill was right at $1k.
     
  3. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Hey MurphyLong,, that's pretty much in line with the estimate I was given of $1200 from a local company. But mine was for the new style compressor and the new freon that might or might not pair well with the tubing and eve unit due to its increased pressures. I know that the R-22 Freon is expensive, but my question is ? If the system is still full of Freon, why am I paying for more? Why not discharge what's in there, replace the compressor and recharge with what you took out. I do it all the time with automobiles that I work on.
    Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Club Subscribed

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    Call D&L parts company and see what a new unit would cost you. They are wholesalein the r22 systems they have leftover then get someone to install it. And if the old compressor is locked then it is burnt inside and the freon is probably acidic from the burnout and can be reused.
     
  5. #1Gunnah

    #1Gunnah Member

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    I hate to be Debbie Downer but that is a fineable violation of EPA guidelines.

    R-22 is no longer available in modern machines. That is why its more expensive then newer refrigerant. When you replace a compressor that is locked up or bunt up it burns the refrigerant also. So you have to replace it. Its also good practice to replace it when you change the compressor. Would you put used oil in a new motor?

    I would strongly suggest paying a professional service technician to come out and look at your system. It may end up saving you money.

    Things that would make your breaker trip or cause machine to lock out: Bad T-stat, open pressure switch, Bad contactor, Bad transformer. Does the Compressor have good airflow? Does the out door fan work?

    Don't go pokin around if you don't know what you are doing. You'll blow your weiner off.


    Also. Freon is/was a brand of refrigerant. In our world no one calls it Freon. Its like Clip's to Magazines. It's Refrigerant not freon.
     
  6. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advise,, will look into that. Appreciate your response.
     
  7. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Now this was interesting. Yes I understand that R-22 is no longer available in modern machines. These "machines:" you are talking about, I assume is the complete unit or just the compressor ? I apologize, just never heard of a house HVAC unit being considered a machine? But, I'm getting an education from a professional so I'm willing to listen. I just want to make sure I get all the correct terms right.
    So if the compressor fails, it burns the in the Freon in the process? If its a fineable violation of EPA guidelines to discharge the gas to the atmosphere, what do you with it?
    I did pay a professional service tech to take a look at my system and he gave me my options. I was just hoping I could find a member here that was in in the business and I could send my money their way. Kinda like helping out one of our members.
    I agree with your comment about " poking around" and I sure don't want to blow my weiner off.
    Hell, you now have so scared to even get near the outside compressor/condenser unit now.
    Thanks for the advise about the Freon/ refrigerant clarification, I'm going to sound a Lot more professional now when I talk to the repair man.
    Appreciate your response.
     
  8. Cold1

    Cold1 Registered Member

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    There is no cheap route to go if you have to pay someone to do this. DO NOT let the idiot that said he would replace the compressor with a new style and new type of refrigerant touch your stuff. You cannot substitute R410A for R22. R410A runs about 3 times the pressure that R22 does. Your old system will not handle the pressure.

    Technically you can recover the old refrigerant and put it back into the same unit. Its not good practice as that bad stuff from the damaged system can be put right back in to a new system. I doubt you will find anyone that will be willing to do this. Since you say that you do it on autos at work, I assume that you are actually using a reclamation machine instead of just a recovery machine. I reclamation machine has filters and such to clean the refrigerant and separate it out from the oil.

    You havent said if you have a split unit (separate air handler in the house and condensing unit outside) or a package unit (both units in one housing with just duct work in the house).
     
  9. MurphyLong

    MurphyLong Platinum Member Club Subscribed

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    There are special procedures for refrigerant disposal, which is one of the reasons you have to be licensed to purchase it.

    R-22 is still available for service/maintenance, but it's no longer sold in new units.

    When a compressor fails, it's a general statement. Mechanical internal failures severely contaminate the system, and need to be flushed, and it's recommended that even in s simple failure (bad winding on the RUN side for example) it's still important to flush with nitrogen to remove any moisture from the system. If you were quoted near $1,000 by someone reputable, go for it, 'cause every quote I got was over $3k, except for 2 smaller companies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  10. MurphyLong

    MurphyLong Platinum Member Club Subscribed

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    Also, Is your system less than 10 years old? A lot of initial (new) installations come with a 10 year warranty on the compressor. I learned that mine was under warranty after paying to get it replaced.
     
  11. bubajoe

    bubajoe Registered Member

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    Can the existing line set be used from the old R22 system when upgrading to 410?
     
  12. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply, The company that recommended using the new R410A did tell me that the pressures were going to be slightly higher but in his experience it didn't create any problems. He did tell me that it was real important to flush out any of the R22 oil because of incompatibility between the two and the possibility of system failure. He claims he's converted many systems and had no problems yet, but he was still selling his company and his services.
    Concerning your question about the auto industry and its reclamation process, lets just say that in the past 40 years Ive been in the business. Ive never seen or heard of any repair facility actually conforming to EPA guidelines or mandates concerning contaminated freon or refrigerant.
    Yes, this is a split system, the air handler/evap unit is in the attic. The Compressor/condenser is outside in the back yard.
    Even tho, I'm just looking at getting this system fixed to pass house inspection for the new buyer since I'm selling the house in the next couple of weeks ? I'm thinking about pushing the AC company to replace the out door unit with another R22 , even tho its going to cost me more just for my own satisfaction.
    But then again, I am buying a home warranty for the new owner that will cover the cost of a new HVAC unit if the upgraded compressor fails.... Decision time here.
     
  13. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Hate it when that happens, this system is 12 years old..
    Thanks for your reply....
     
  14. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Club Subscribed

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    Nope the line sets are bigger.
     
  15. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Club Subscribed

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    Good luck with that. The r22 condensers are very few and far between.
     
  16. Cold1

    Cold1 Registered Member

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    OH thats funny!
    R22 @ evap temp of 45F = 76psi
    R22 @ cond temp of 90f = 168 psi
    R22@ cond temp of 130F = 292psi

    R410a @ evap temp of 45F = 130psi
    R410a @ cond temp of 90F= 278psi
    R410a @ cond remp of 130F = 480psi

    Can a R22 system handle it, yep for a short time.

    We cannot use anything designed for R22 systems (Manifold gauges, recovery tanks) on a R410a system because of the risk of them rupturing from the increased pressures.

    R22 systems were regularly soft soldered together. R410A systems are brazed due to the higher pressures.

    Not only will the comp have to be changed out but the expansion device on the evap coil will also. The evap coil and condensing coil will not be sized correctly for the new refrigerant flow rate so nothing is going to work right.

    PS. 130F condensor temp can regularly be reached on our 100+ degree days especially if the sun is shinning on the condensing unit. I have seen as as high as 150F on roof top units.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  17. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Cold1, that was interesting to say the least. It was the most informative bit of info Ive even seen and will not only help me, but I'm sure many others.
    Thank you very much !
     
  18. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Here is another situation, the house right next to me, built at the same time just got bought. It was house inspected for the lender and the owner and the HVAC unit was checked out ok. Today the new owner turned on the AC and it did not work. He is not all that concerned because his house came with a home warranty with a $75 deductible and the HVAC unit is covered. I am offering a home warranty also, should I be concerned about the HVAC unit working as it should? Can I hope to have the same house inspector come my house?
    I really don't have the money to spend to fix this unit, but need to sell to get out of the high $ payment that I cant make anymore due to old age and health problems.
    Do I feel lucky ?
    Your thoughts?
     
  19. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Club Subscribed

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    I would be concerned. The inspector has no idea what he's looking at. I would never sell one that wasn't right. That's just me being honest and not sticking it to a home warranty company. My morals outweigh a dollar
     
  20. Cold1

    Cold1 Registered Member

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    I talked with a friend of mine that is an HVAC contractor (I am refrigeration). He told me that the Dry nitrogen systems I told you about were no longer manufactured. There may still be 1 or 2 in a warehouse some where but getting one would be very difficult. Your best bet for an economical repair would be to get the compressor changed out. If it were me doing it ( I change comps out a lot) it would still be $1800-$2500 depending on the price of the comp. That would include flushing out of all the old oil that is in the system, change the filter dryer, deep vacuum, leak test, and new R22 in the system. A jug of R22 wholesale price is $800/30lbs. This is not an "estimate" or quote from me, this is just to give you an idea of how much it would cost and why.
     
  21. GazEngine

    GazEngine Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    What about finding a used outdoor unit on Craigslist or somewhere and paying someone to install it?You would still have to remove/dispose of the old R22, but your inside unit would still be ok.
     
  22. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Did a lil bit of research on line and found quite a number of 2 ton R-22 compressors/ dry charged out there for about $500-600 and that was just new units. GazEngine suggested a used unit and there are even more of those available locally on my Craigslist, so his idea is an option. Just had another HVAC company come out to take a look, hes supposed to give me a call tomorrow with an estimate to replace the R-22 compressor and another to convert to 410. Now, he tells me he has a butt load of R-22 in stock and is selling it cheap, but who knows? He also tells me hes converted many to 410 with no troubles in the past two years, but, who knows about that also ?
    Tomorrow I will get my answer. What I have found out is this, Cold air isn't cheep.
     
  23. Lager

    Lager Registered Member

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    Got my estimates, the man tells me there are no more R-22 units available here in my area.
    He suggested going with either just a new R-410 compressor in the old outside unit box and using the old coil for $1200, which is the same price I got last October.
    Replace the complete outer unit, new R-410 compressor and matching condenser /coil installed for $1700. It includes a 5 year warranty parts and labor and he assured me that it would correctly with the air handler unit in the attic and he has installed many of these conversions over the years without any problems.
    Since, I'm just looking at getting a working AC unit for home inspection time since I'm selling the house.
    Decided to replace the entire unit outside even tho its going to cost me more,useing money I cant afford to spend.
    But I think its the right thing to do for the new owner.
    Really appreciate everyone's response and suggestions. Ive learned a lot about house HVAC systems from all of you and all I can say is Thank You.
     

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