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  1. #14
    After looking at the rules, I'm not sure if I broke #3. Let me rephrase just in case. In a split system, like the one described, (a) is there a reasonably simple test that can be performed to determine that the solenoid valve at the evaporator is defective and that is causing the icing? (b) would it be reasonable to expect a tech to perform such a test early on in the diagnosis stage? and (c) is icing caused by a failed evaporator solenoid valve an obscure or rare problem? Thanks.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    7,758
    Bottom line is: you might as well get ready to replace the system. Breezeair is not really built to repair but to replace..it's a throw away world now, ya know... Even the inside of most of them are built with styrofoam (sp) board.

    They just sit there and vibrate and lines break loose or rub something and get holes. I've been successful in repairing a few but with the owners knowledge that they just aren't built to last.

    The seperate condensing unit typically has a Danfos compress and getting 5 years out of them is a miracle. I've used the evaporator but replace the condensor with an off the shelf high temp Copeland or Techumse (sp) and have had good luck.

    Either way they are fairly expensive to replace but more expensive to repair, in my experience.

    Put a new one in, wait 5 years or less and replace that one.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  3. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaT View Post
    Bottom line is: you might as well get ready to replace the system. Breezeair is not really built to repair but to replace..it's a throw away world now, ya know... Even the inside of most of them are built with styrofoam (sp) board.

    They just sit there and vibrate and lines break loose or rub something and get holes. I've been successful in repairing a few but with the owners knowledge that they just aren't built to last.

    The seperate condensing unit typically has a Danfos compress and getting 5 years out of them is a miracle. I've used the evaporator but replace the condensor with an off the shelf high temp Copeland or Techumse (sp) and have had good luck.

    Either way they are fairly expensive to replace but more expensive to repair, in my experience.

    Put a new one in, wait 5 years or less and replace that one.
    Well it's a little late now. It's working. I'll keep that in mind next time it fails. I wish the HVAC company we use would have had advised us to replace it up front. FWIW, to replace it is around $3,000, parts and labor. Also, the unit is on an annual service contract with the same firm so they inspect and maintain it annually. Sounds like that's a waste too.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,758
    As long as the evaporator is good it's possible for your company to just replace the condensing unit but they probably will fight you as getting sizing info from Breezair is almost inpossible.

    The compressor, which is usually Danfoss, is difficult to trace down to a specific size through Breezair..they want to sell you the entire system. But with a little internet work on your part or the HVAC companies part they can find the correct size of the compressor/condensing unit and just replace that. You should be good for a number of years except for normal maintenance/repair.

    I have also replaced their mechanical thermostat, if that is what you have, with a Ranco self contained digital display thermostat, very inexpensive compared to the Breezair one, that allows me a 10 minute cycle off plus a very controllable differential so that the wine stays more temperature steady and the compressor doesn't shot cycle as much.

    The start relay on Danfos compressors burn out at the terminals pretty quickly, which means the compressor has to be replaced.

    I have also rewired the evaporator fan to run all the time for better air circulation and removal of any residual evaporator frost. Depending on how sensitive a wine person you are this could be good or bad for your wine. Wine does not like vibration, especially red wines. But I have yet to have a customer complain.

    Do a little research of your system with part numbers, names, diagrams now that you should be able to get from Breezair and that might save you some time and expense when something else goes wrong down the road.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    25-50% of a new system. i would have bought new.

    if you rebuild your car piece by piece, what would that cost? (not including fluids)

  6. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by billva View Post
    25-50% of a new system. i would have bought new.

    if you rebuild your car piece by piece, what would that cost? (not including fluids)
    Thanks for the advice. I agree totally with this. The problem is that it is hindsight. I didn't know it was going to take 3 visits and over $1,000 until the time was spent and it was too late. The first tech came in. He looked over the system and said it still looked new, was properly and professionally installed, reviewed their own annual maintenance records showing it has been in perfect operating condition each year for 5 years and then estimated it would take a few hours plus parts. I gave him the go ahead.

    To build a car part by part has a significant price component that is parts. In this case, parts are $50, the rest labor.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
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    I use to agree with what billva states about the 25% replacement rule but over the years newer systems have gotten cheaper ... thinner coils, not so good workmanship and less than quality parts... so I have revised my thinking as to looking at keeping what parts I can for the benefit of the customer and replacing what only needs to be replaced.

    So on two of my recent Breezair system failures, both compressors, I have kept the original evap coils, installed those Ranco electronic controls and replaced the condensor units with comercially available off the shelf 115 volt units. I've had no calls from either system so far.

    If I think the older system is built better than I attempt to keep what still is good and replace the rest.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  8. #21
    DeltaT I agree. I try to keep existing equipment operational unless it is clear that the new stuff is much more efficient, which they usually are. The challenge always is finding experienced techs to do the work.

    Well I have bad news. I think it's time to try a different company. As the unit tries to bring down the temp in the Cellar, it is icing again. I can't believe it

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    7,758
    You might be able to help yourself here before you call someone back. As I remember, these systems have a cap tube ..just stick with me for a moment... and can freeze the coil if low on refrigerant.

    BUT, the factroy mechanical thermostat can also cause the same problem as they are cheap and keep the system running forever, which will freeze the coil.

    I put in a recording thermometer in wine coolers to see how they are working. I also record humidity as that is also an important factor.

    If you have a recording thermometer that will record the hi and low temp, available at Radio Shack, put one in AND it can be use to monitor your wine cooler forever so it's not a waste of money, I'd get one first. I'd get one with a humidity display too. It's just as important.

    Install the recording thermometer in the wine cooler away from any direct air flow from the evaporator and watch it overnight. Don't continue to check on it as the open door messes up the readings.

    What you want to do is see if the cooler ever turns off. It's quite possible the mechanical thermostat is not shutting off the unit and/or the system is short cycling back on so quickly that the coil does not lose its frost.

    I'd give that a go first before you place any service calls.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    Quote Originally Posted by tbird355 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I agree totally with this. The problem is that it is hindsight. I didn't know it was going to take 3 visits and over $1,000 until the time was spent and it was too late. The first tech came in. He looked over the system and said it still looked new, was properly and professionally installed, reviewed their own annual maintenance records showing it has been in perfect operating condition each year for 5 years and then estimated it would take a few hours plus parts. I gave him the go ahead.

    To build a car part by part has a significant price component that is parts. In this case, parts are $50, the rest labor.

    next time the parts will be 100 USD and the labor will 10% more. you are just doing it part by part.

  11. #24
    Thanks DeltaT.

    We have 2 temperature sensors and 2 humidity sensors flushed-mounted in opposite corners of the cellar walls. They are tied to a Crestron automation system. These constantly measure the temperature and humidity and the Crestron system records the data on a hard drive. We used 2 sets of sensors to get an average and in case one set fails. We also have a sensor on the Breezaire that measures current draw, and therefore whether it is on of off. What we find is that the unit runs constantly. The coils ice. The lowest temp achieved is 58. The Breezaire builtin thermostat set screw is on max. If we back off the screw half way, the unit goes off. Any cooler setting than that results in the unit running constantly and only achieveing 58. FWIW, for the 5 year period the unit worked, the set screw was at the half way position and produced a 54 degree cellar. At the coolest setting, it would take the cellar to 48.

  12. #25

    breezaire

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaT View Post
    I use to agree with what billva states about the 25% replacement rule but over the years newer systems have gotten cheaper ... thinner coils, not so good workmanship and less than quality parts... so I have revised my thinking as to looking at keeping what parts I can for the benefit of the customer and replacing what only needs to be replaced.

    So on two of my recent Breezair system failures, both compressors, I have kept the original evap coils, installed those Ranco electronic controls and replaced the condensor units with comercially available off the shelf 115 volt units. I've had no calls from either system so far.

    If I think the older system is built better than I attempt to keep what still is good and replace the rest.



    deltat, how did size the commercial cond. with the existing unit? i have a customer with a problem breezaire unit and want to look into this same fix.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,758
    crawlspace
    Email me and I'll give you the model number of the condensing unit I used for a replacement. It's also very important to eliminate the old mechanical thermostat and use a digital with an adjustable timer.

    In my experience the orignal Danfos compressor just don't last over 2 to 3 years on these systems. No sense in replacing like for like.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

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