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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71

    Temperature won't go below 76

    I posted on this last weekend and since then I have had an a/c engineer at my house twice this week. I live an hour outside New York City:

    Problem: On 75-80+ degree days temperature will not cool lower than 74-75 downstairs and 78 upstairs. On 90 + degree week downstairs won't cool below 78 and upstairs 82. It runs non stop all day then when it cools down at night it can get down lower i.e. 72 (both up & Down) and works perfectly fine. It just can't seem to keep up when it gets hot outside during the day.

    I have a Payne forced air gas furnace heating & Cooling system - don't know the model. Its 12 years old and installed by the builder. Have had numerous problems over the past two years. Outside unit is 3 ton - sq. foot of my home is about 1,700, two story, open floor plan. system has two zones one downstairs and one upstairs in a bedroom. Always cooled great up until the past two years. It could even cool the place down to 68 with no problem though I only had it that low maybe 4 times over the years.

    Two years ago - it would blow warm air then completely shut down. This time its blowing cool air and not shutting down.

    This is what they did two years ago and it worked great until now:
    Two years ago: Technician indicated the we have a 5 degree F temp differential across the liquid line filter drier on the a/c. They said it indicated a restriction on the system so they removed our existing filter drier and in stalled a new one. They also removed the piston and installed a thermal expansion valve to improve the performance & reliability of the refrigeration system. This got the system up and running great for two years!

    The technician told us this week that everything is running the way it should i.e. fans, condenser, filter is clean, pressures are normal, but the temperature difference is only 11 degrees and should be at least 20 +. He took the temp from the vents. Don't have all the info. Also no freon was needed.

    We were told that the unit is on its way out and just can't keep up anymore. He said there is nothing he can do - it now needs to be replaced.

    He raised the fan in the condenser as it was low and compared the air flow coming out of the condenser with our neighbor's a few steps away (he has the same unit) and found: air flow on ours was much lower.

    I am getting another opinion this week. Can you give me any suggestion? Does it sound, at 12 years old, that it needs to be replaced? Could he have missed something?
    Thanks so much,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,576
    Sounds like your engineer was actually a salesman with no technical skills, or else unwilling to apply any skill. Low condenser airflow can be easily corrected unless the coil fins are mashed over and scarred beyond repair. It's also impossible to test for correct refrigerant charge until that issue is resolved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,946
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    I posted on this last weekend and since then I have had an a/c engineer at my house twice this week. I live an hour outside New York City:

    Problem: On 75-80+ degree days temperature will not cool lower than 74-75 downstairs and 78 upstairs. On 90 + degree week downstairs won't cool below 78 and upstairs 82. It runs non stop all day then when it cools down at night it can get down lower i.e. 72 (both up & Down) and works perfectly fine. It just can't seem to keep up when it gets hot outside during the day.

    I have a Payne forced air gas furnace heating & Cooling system - don't know the model. Its 12 years old and installed by the builder. Have had numerous problems over the past two years. Outside unit is 3 ton - sq. foot of my home is about 1,700, two story, open floor plan. system has two zones one downstairs and one upstairs in a bedroom. Always cooled great up until the past two years. It could even cool the place down to 68 with no problem though I only had it that low maybe 4 times over the years.

    Two years ago - it would blow warm air then completely shut down. This time its blowing cool air and not shutting down.

    This is what they did two years ago and it worked great until now:
    Two years ago: Technician indicated the we have a 5 degree F temp differential across the liquid line filter drier on the a/c. They said it indicated a restriction on the system so they removed our existing filter drier and in stalled a new one. They also removed the piston and installed a thermal expansion valve to improve the performance & reliability of the refrigeration system. This got the system up and running great for two years!

    The technician told us this week that everything is running the way it should i.e. fans, condenser, filter is clean, pressures are normal, but the temperature difference is only 11 degrees and should be at least 20 +. He took the temp from the vents. Don't have all the info. Also no freon was needed.

    We were told that the unit is on its way out and just can't keep up anymore. He said there is nothing he can do - it now needs to be replaced.
    He raised the fan in the condenser as it was low and compared the air flow coming out of the condenser with our neighbor's a few steps away (he has the same unit) and found: air flow on ours was much lower.

    I am getting another opinion this week. Can you give me any suggestion? Does it sound, at 12 years old, that it needs to be replaced? Could he have missed something?
    Thanks so much,
    The part of this equation that needs to be replaced is the tech, IMO.

    If the compressor hasn't failed, and it sounds as if it hasn't, there is another reason that the unit isn't maintaining as it used to.

    If the tech that you have cannot determine that reason, you need a tech with more skill and knowledge and not a new unit.


    Highlighted in blue might be the answer to your problem.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 07-01-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Highlighted some more information.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,034
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    I posted on this last weekend and since then I have had an a/c engineer at my house twice this week. I live an hour outside New York City:

    Problem: On 75-80+ degree days temperature will not cool lower than 74-75 downstairs and 78 upstairs. On 90 + degree week downstairs won't cool below 78 and upstairs 82. It runs non stop all day then when it cools down at night it can get down lower i.e. 72 (both up & Down) and works perfectly fine. It just can't seem to keep up when it gets hot outside during the day.

    I have a Payne forced air gas furnace heating & Cooling system - don't know the model. Its 12 years old and installed by the builder. Have had numerous problems over the past two years. Outside unit is 3 ton - sq. foot of my home is about 1,700, two story, open floor plan. system has two zones one downstairs and one upstairs in a bedroom. Always cooled great up until the past two years. It could even cool the place down to 68 with no problem though I only had it that low maybe 4 times over the years.

    Two years ago - it would blow warm air then completely shut down. This time its blowing cool air and not shutting down.

    This is what they did two years ago and it worked great until now:
    Two years ago: Technician indicated the we have a 5 degree F temp differential across the liquid line filter drier on the a/c. They said it indicated a restriction on the system so they removed our existing filter drier and in stalled a new one. They also removed the piston and installed a thermal expansion valve to improve the performance & reliability of the refrigeration system. This got the system up and running great for two years!

    The technician told us this week that everything is running the way it should i.e. fans, condenser, filter is clean, pressures are normal, but the temperature difference is only 11 degrees and should be at least 20 +. He took the temp from the vents. Don't have all the info. Also no freon was needed.

    We were told that the unit is on its way out and just can't keep up anymore. He said there is nothing he can do - it now needs to be replaced.

    He raised the fan in the condenser as it was low and compared the air flow coming out of the condenser with our neighbor's a few steps away (he has the same unit) and found: air flow on ours was much lower.

    I am getting another opinion this week. Can you give me any suggestion? Does it sound, at 12 years old, that it needs to be replaced? Could he have missed something? YES! Thanks so much,
    First, if the condenser fan motor was replaced & also at a lower than correct position; it may not have a proper rated motor motor to achieve the required Rate of CFM through the condenser coil.
    Maybe its capacitor is sub-par...

    Check the temperature of the condenser discharge air as compared to the outdoor temp.

    That would throw everything off base...if it's identical to the neighbors', it should have equal condenser airflow; it doesn't.

    If he has an anemometer he should check the airflow velocity coming from the neighbor's condenser compared to yours &, if it doesn't, change out the fan motor.

    I seriously doubt that your condenser needs replacing; I believe there are other things causing the problems.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Udarrell, the fan was not replaced. He said it was low and moved it up. I not sure if I noticed any significant change.

    I am calling someone else in to look at it and I'm not even going to bring up that someone else was here.

    Needless to say, we are not happy with the prospect of having to put in an entirely new system. Even if I have to bring two more people in to look at it I will.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,946
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute
    Udarrell, the fan was not replaced. He said it was low and moved it up. I not sure if I noticed any significant change.

    I am calling someone else in to look at it and I'm not even going to bring up that someone else was here.

    Needless to say, we are not happy with the prospect of having to put in an entirely new system. Even if I have to bring two more people in to look at it I will.
    Take a look at our contractor locator map and see what is in your area

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,900
    Second opinion is needed i woild call the same company back and tell them send a differnt tech .if i tell someone they need a new system i tell them exactly what is wrong as to why it is not cooling ,then ask the new tech what is the subcooling temp and what is the superheat temp if they dont know you did not get a diagnois,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    I believe the technician was one of their better ones. The company is a Mechanical Engineering firm and they do a lot of repair and installations include large building along with homes. Carrier recommended them to me since Payne is owned by Carrier.

    I want to call in a different company that 4 of my neighbors use and recommend.

    The readings you suggested I get from them: what will that tell us?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,900
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    I believe the technician was one of their better ones. The company is a Mechanical Engineering firm and they do a lot of repair and installations include large building along with homes. Carrier recommended them to me since Payne is owned by Carrier.

    I want to call in a different company that 4 of my neighbors use and recommend.

    The readings you suggested I get from them: what will that tell us?
    If the compressor is working correctly ,if the refigerant level is good ,if the expansion valve is working properly, its a critical measurement that should be taken an a no cooling call

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Got second opinion and I didn't tell them that someone else had looked at the system. They were outside for a while and told me the pressures and temperatures were all over the map. They wrote down all the information but unfortunately its hard to read. The diagnosis was the TXV valve is bad and he told me since I have an R22 unit and its 12 years old, doesn't know if he can find the part and its not worth us to spend the money on a 12 year old unit.

    I actually had the TXV valve replace two seasons ago. Unit ran great until now.

    How long are they supposed to last? ARe they considered a temporary fix?

    Looks like my regular technician was correct, he just didn't tell us it was the TXV (probably because he put the new on in two seasons ago).

    The company that came today is sending me a proposal for a new system including furnace. They carry a brand called Tempstar which we have never heard of. They told me it was owned by Carrier and they offer a 10 year warranty and 5 year no hassle guarantee.
    Have any of your heard of this brand and what do y ou thing?

    My regular a/c company wants to put in a Carrier and I'm waiting for their proposal.

    What is your experience with these brands? and do you agree its time to replace the unit?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,034
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    Got second opinion and I didn't tell them that someone else had looked at the system. They were outside for a while and told me the pressures and temperatures were all over the map. They wrote down all the information but unfortunately its hard to read. The diagnosis was the TXV valve is bad and he told me since I have an R22 unit and its 12 years old, doesn't know if he can find the part and its not worth us to spend the money on a 12 year old unit.

    I actually had the TXV valve replace two seasons ago. Unit ran great until now.

    How long are they supposed to last? ARe they considered a temporary fix?

    Looks like my regular technician was correct, he just didn't tell us it was the TXV (probably because he put the new on in two seasons ago).

    The company that came today is sending me a proposal for a new system including furnace. They carry a brand called Tempstar which we have never heard of. They told me it was owned by Carrier and they offer a 10 year warranty and 5 year no hassle guarantee.
    Have any of your heard of this brand and what do y ou thing?

    My regular a/c company wants to put in a Carrier and I'm waiting for their proposal.

    What is your experience with these brands? and do you agree its time to replace the unit?
    The diagnoses is not thorough enough for me to accept what they stated as the problem couldn't be fixed at a reasonable cost.

    You should always ask for them to document in writing what the problem is &, how they confirmed or proved it to be the problem by their diagnostic tests.

    Your present system can be restored to normal working order by a proficient technician. I don't see any valid diagnostic reason indicating that you must install a new system or that your existing system is non-fixable...Yes, he can find a TXV that will work okay on your system...
    Last edited by udarrell; 07-02-2012 at 07:13 PM. Reason: he can find a TXV that will work okay on your system...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    He also told me that you can't get R22's any longer and I know for a fact that you can because my usually tech told me on Friday he can get them.

    The second opinion left at 5:30 and now my a/c is blowing out hot air. It was blowing out cold air all this time including before he came.

    When he left he told me that I might find the system works some times and some times it doesn't and I told him its been working fine all this time just not up to par. Now it work work and will only blow warm air. What the heck do you think he did?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Oh, he told me that even if he could find one between the part and the work it would cost us $$$$ which is what we paid two years ago to have one put in.

    How long is a TXV supposed to last? Ours only lasted two seasons so I'm not sure its worth the money to put in a second on in two years
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 07-02-2012 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Pricing

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