View Full Version : Please help- 3rd summer with problems
Help Help Help please. Live in a 2 story home built in 1998 in the mid-south. In the three summers we've been here we've had problems cooling upstairs every year. Year one, the upstairs coil broke- replaced. Year two- compressor rotted out (and downstairs unit, just out of warranty, replaced-- no complaints this year, works fine). This year, upstairs unit not cooling properly and very high humidity. All replacements have been with Ruud or Rheem products both upstairs (split system) and downstairs (package). Installer, when called this year, recommends installing an Aprilaire dehumidifier on the upstairs unit. Didn't sound right to me, so I called another company for comparison. The tech checked the freon level, said the freon was overcharged, probably because the coil and compressor are mismatched. Said his company no longer works with ruud/rheem because of their problems and won't do the repair (probably needs a new bulb meter valve thingy-- my technical term, not his). He says the problem is really the mismatch coil/compressor, not doing the whole job at once, and the poor rheem/ruud products as well as TXV. He recommmends replacement-- another chunk of change.
At this point, I probably agree that the problem lies in not replacing the whole unit at once so, what's the recommendation? Go ahead and replace? Do I have any recourse with the other installer who's now recommending a dehumidifier? Just eat the $$$$ we've already spent and finally get cool??? I can't believe the problems and the $$$ we're laying out every summer and I just want this nightmare over. Please advise.
07-18-2005, 06:42 PM
what are the model numbers?
i rarely run into problems with rheem/ruud, even when i encounter a mismatch.
sounds like a salesman, not a technician, to me.
07-18-2005, 07:04 PM
I have to agree with bill.
On a side note, if the unit (as with any brand) isn't installed properly, you will have problems.
Find a Rheem/Ruud dealer to solve your problem.
07-18-2005, 09:47 PM
A mismatch of coil and condensing unit will not cause your problem(s). I honestly cannot recall a totally matched system in the 15 units I've worked on this past month. Your system is not installed correctly or something is flatout wrong. A reputable HVAC technician will solve your problem(s).
07-19-2005, 09:35 AM
Before getting a dehumidifier, check for duct leakage and temperature drop across the a/c coiling coil. When these are right, you should be able to maintain <55%RH during high cooling loads(+12 hours per day). During cool evenings and rainy weather, expect %RH to rise. Also check your crawlspace for high %RH. Cover the soil with plastic and close the outside air vents to prevent moisture from migrating through floor into the home. With any of the above problems, a dehu will struggle to deliver <50%RH. In the end, you need whole house dehu to maintain <50%RH, with light/no cooling load. A whole house dehumidifier will take care of the high %RH with low cooling loads. The Ultra-Aire/Santa Fe dehus use 25% less electricity the Aprilaire and have been in use for 15 years.
07-19-2005, 09:57 AM
According to your post, it has worked in the past(yr 2 I believe). So you have something wrong with this system, not a replacement problem,or an add a dehumidifier problem. Call a competant company. Phone your local HVAC supply house and ask if they can recommend an ace contractor for you to properly diagnose your system.
07-19-2005, 04:13 PM
If I understand you correctly you have 2 systems? The upstairs is where you're having troubles keeping humity down as well as cooling?
So far this summer you have paid for 2 service calls neither of which got you fixed but basicly paid money for 'expert' advise? The last thing you want to do is write another check for advise. So how do you find that reputable dealer.
The suggestion in finding a Rudd/Rheem dealer is a good one. Try writting a letter adressed to the service manager explaining what you have had done already and the fact you have paid for 2 service calls from 2 different companies and got 2 different suggestions. Relate to him you would like to see if his company has a top tech with good diagnostic abilities. Give him time to read over your letter and consider scheduling one of his best tech instead of dispatch simply assigning you to the list of calls to the next tech free.
In the mean time somthing you could do is check what temp you have entering your system and what temp you have coming out the nearest supply grill. Rule of thumb should be capable of a difference of at least 15deg. but not over 20-22 degs. Does the AC cycle off too quickly (not long enough for your household air to pass across the coil and be conditioned properly) Is the air handler/furnace sitting on a platform(return air box) is return air drawn directly into that box or is it ducted or is the air handler in the attic.
Thank you everyone for your replies. My head is swimming from all the info I'm trying to digest. I spoke again to my original installer who previously suggested the dehumidifier. Despite evidence to the contrary, I do have some trust in this guy, think he's trying to make the problem better, but maybe he's just swamped. He pulled up my history and I was incorrect. The new coil he installed a couple years ago was a Gibson, not a rheem/ruud. The Condenser (not compressor, sorry) was a ruud. These were sized up from a 1.5 ton to 2 ton when installed. . At this point, I haven't been out any money. My original installer is coming again tomorrow-- at no charge-- to investigate the freon, check the attic temperature, and come up with a plan. We spoke about attic fans, but his thought is that it may just be the house.Is he giving me another runaround? He told me he has another customer whose house was the problem too. Crawl space is already covered in plastic. How can I test the RH in the upstairs so he'll know what it is in the evenings when it's really bad, not what it is in the morning when the system has recovered overnight? Yesterday's tech measured the attic temp at 115, air from vent temp at 67.
07-19-2005, 04:49 PM
is the duct work insulated.
do u have a attic fan.
did anyone check your duct work for leaks in the attic.
Note: you can not blame the person that installed the outside condensor for anything he just replaced what was bad.
07-20-2005, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by moco
We spoke about attic fans, but his thought is that it may just be the house.Is he giving me another runaround? He told me he has another customer whose house was the problem too. Crawl space is already covered in plastic. How can I test the RH in the upstairs so he'll know what it is in the evenings when it's really bad, not what it is in the morning when the system has recovered overnight? Yesterday's tech measured the attic temp at 115, air from vent temp at 67.
Radio Shack or Wal-mart has %RH meters with max/min. memory to track temp/%rh. Good news on the plastic, what about the closing the vents? Caution about the attic fans. They can suck a lot of moisture into the house.
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