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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    15

    R22 Condenser for never-used already installed coil

    We purchased a condominium in California built in 2005 that has a Weatherking furnace with a Rheem SEER10 coil installed. All of the piping, electrical, etc. has been installed to a second-floor deck area, but the condenser was never put in when the contractor apparently ran into some financial difficulties and needed to cut back expenses. Everything is sealed and in place.

    We recently asked for a quote to install a condenser (3-ton was recommended) and the quote was over $. The explanation was that the coil and condenser needed to be removed and replaced with SEER14 R410 equipment. Also, they would need to use a slimline condenser so they could carry it to the second floor. This is way more than we can afford to pay, so the option now is no A/C.

    This will not get a lot of use due to the temperate climate, but it will be needed a few weeks each year possibly. Every A/C unit is the vicinity is R22 and it seems pretty irresponsible to throw away brand-new equipment. Is there no other option? Is it no longer possible to put in an R22 condenser?

    BTW: We recently had an old furnace removed/hauled away in our home and replaced with a brand new high efficiency furnace, SEER14 3-ton A/C, stainless flue liner and digital humidifier for only $ more than the condo quote.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Last edited by beenthere; 09-07-2012 at 06:03 AM. Reason: prices

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,352
    U can still buy r22 condensers with no r22 in them for the time being. Get another contractor out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,010
    the pricing will get edited out soon, it's not allowed on this site.
    bottom line is the quote you got is for something you don't want to do. you will need to call for another quote from another contractor that can install a mismatched system to your coil. it can be done, it's not wise, but if the system is rarely used, unwise is better than not at all.
    there is no 10 seer equipment being sold anymore new, but 13Seer equipment still is. it's not a proper match to your coil, but it will work. heck, it's possible the coil may even match some equipment, have the contractor check the model numbers of the coil and see what it will match. possibly a 2 or 2.5 ton condenser will work for your 3 ton coil, it may not match the load of your house, but less is better for humidity control anyway, and it's STILL better than none at all.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    the pricing will get edited out soon, it's not allowed on this site.
    bottom line is the quote you got is for something you don't want to do. you will need to call for another quote from another contractor that can install a mismatched system to your coil. it can be done, it's not wise, but if the system is rarely used, unwise is better than not at all.
    there is no 10 seer equipment being sold anymore new, but 13Seer equipment still is. it's not a proper match to your coil, but it will work. heck, it's possible the coil may even match some equipment, have the contractor check the model numbers of the coil and see what it will match. possibly a 2 or 2.5 ton condenser will work for your 3 ton coil, it may not match the load of your house, but less is better for humidity control anyway, and it's STILL better than none at all.
    <<the pricing will get edited out soon, it's not allowed on this site.>>

    My apologies. I misunderstood about pricing...I thought I was not supposed to solicit prices. They are a good company, but compared to what we recently spent for a complete A/C INCLUDING furnace, humidifier, tearout and haul-off which aren't involved here, I thought it was very high.

    Thank you jtrammel and vstech for the information. If I'm understanding, it sounds like new R22 condensers are available, but the issue is that our coil is a 10SEER. We will try to obtain the coil model numbers and see if it will work. What are the negative ramifications of hooking up a 13SEER condenser to a 10SEER coil? Will it cause damage or create an unsafe condition? I have to obtain a building permit for this work, so will that not be passed?

    This is a 1425sf condo on three floors (LR on first, Utility Room & Guest BR/Bath on second and Master BR/Bath on third), so I do not know what tonnage is needed. The contractor quoted a 3-ton. Location is San Diego which is pretty moderate temperatures (rarely gets into the 90s) but it can be humid because it is close to the ocean. We also just heard again from the contractor about my query regarding a "dry charged" R22 condenser and they say they can't get a dry condenser because there are no "slimline" units available which they say is necessary to carry it up to the second floor. I don't know how big or heavy a condenser is, but the front door opening is 36" straight through to the flight of stairs to the second floor. The stairway is 34-1/2" wide. They are saying if they can't carry it up the steps, they need to rent a crane for the same price as the entire (high) installation price!

    We are kind of sick about not being able to do what we thought was a very simple install. We never dreamed HVAC had become so complex from a regulation standpoint. I wish Congress would think this stuff through a little more. Rules that require brand-new equipment to be landfilled are not very environmentally sound in their own right.

    I appreciate any responses and guidance,

    Jetlag

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,895
    You could have a Rheem/WeatherKing 13AJA installed. It is a dry unit waiting to be charged with R22. The existing coil is undersized for the 13 SEER so operation will be compromised. It would help if a Rheem TXV were added to it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,422
    Call another contractor, there are a LOT of dry R-22 units available that can be moved up a 34" hallway with a frig. dolly. Call someone else!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    15
    Wahoo,

    It sure seems like there would be a way to get a condenser up there with the clearances we have. I trust these guys, but they are a large contracting company and maybe are only interested in selling the whole system. From what others, including BaldLoonie above has said, we could put in a 13SEER R-22 Dry unit, but I am concerned that this "mismatch" between a new 13SEER condenser and the existing 10SEER Rheem coil could create a big problem. Is this a valid concern? I have to have a permit to do this work, so will this "mismatch" pass inspection?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,010
    the mismatch will pass inspection, unless energy efficiency standards are required. in that case, the 13 seer will likely rate down to 9 with a 10 seer coil, unless you install a TXV with the coil matched to the condenser.
    1425sqft three story in your climate sounds to me like at most a 2 ton system. whatever company comes out, be SURE they perform a load calculation on the structure.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    15
    vstech,

    Thanks for the great info. I do know they didn't do any more than ask what the square footage was to come up with the 3-ton figure. I don't know about San Diego, but if anywhere is requiring minimum energy efficiency standards, I would assume California would. That is something I will check on because we have to have a permit (and pass). My wife and I plan to live in this unit full-time, so I don't want to cobble together a system that will be trouble for us, but we never anticipated the new coil would have to go. Maybe the quote we received was just sky-high and we need to try again with someone else even if they also quote a condenser plus coil just to see. I trust them, but you never know.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,352
    There are no safety concerns with installing a dry r22 unit to worry about. It will just decrease the efficiency and may not be able to keep it 70f on a 95f day. If it was a heat pump then it wouldn't be compatible but an air conditioner will be fine, we have been installing a lot of dry r22 units for people with bad compressors rather than just replacing the compressor itself. I know California has pretty strict energy consumption regulations so it wouldn't surprise me if they don't allow it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    15
    Thank you--that is encouraging. I need to check with California before we do anything else, but if there are no objections from them, then it sounds like connecting an R22 13SEER to the existing (never connected) R22 10SEER coil is not real risky unless our electrical bills would be really high. This installation is in a location that rarely would get to 90 degrees (typical year-round temp is in the mid-70s daytime). Our real concern is not so much turning the place into a meat locker, but knocking down the humidity levels because it is very close to the beach. Our contractor did concede that "dry" R22 units are available, be now says he can't get a non-slimline through our front door (36") or up our 34" stairway.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,895
    3 ton Rheem is a 31x31 footprint. That sounds narrower than a 34" stairway. Won't be fun but a lot in HVAC isn't!

    If they require a matched system, virtually no dry unit would be legal in CA. In this case, the 13AJA36 would be rated at 12.70 SEER IF a Rheem TXV kit were added to the RCBA coil. If it is a different coil, tell me what the model # is.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,352
    There are many 3 ton r22 condensers are less than 36". Sounds like baldloonie has got a good solution with the 12.7 seer.

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