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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    15

    Compressor New, Expansion valve new, conversion to 401a from 22... Not Working

    I had a Rheem 2 ton 12.4 Seer Condensor #RAMB024, with R22 refrigerant installed 11 years ago.

    The compressor fan died, and the tech came out and told me it would be best to change the outdoor compressor, he inspected the inside coils and said that the air handler was fine.

    There was no mention of loss of efficiency, upgrade of refrigerant, or incompatability of any type.

    They installed a RUUD 13AJN Series Condensing Unit 13 SEER.
    Then did a retrofit of the expansion valve.

    Within 24 hours the coils had frozen over, they came out and worked on it again, and later that night, the coils had frozen over again. Finally two days later, they came to realize they had installed a 1.5 ton valve instead of a 2 ton valve. They came back out and replaced it. Since then, the ac has been running from 9am to 4am non stop, it often didn't even achieve the thermostat temps, being 1 -2 degrees warmer than what was set. When I received my electric bill last month. Comparing apples to apples usage vs. temp, the system is running 20%+ higher than the old one.

    They came out again, said the refrigerant was low, and that the Rheem air handler's fan needs to be sped up to distribute the air throughout the house, they adjusted it upwards but said that it may not even be enough to achieve the 20 degree split they were looking for. When they arrived it was only 10, before he left he said that it was up to 15, but that they would continue to work on it.

    The AC is set to 78 day, 76 at night, all of the windows have Insulated curtains which are drawn day and night (am living in a bat cave), the blinds on the first floor are closed just to achieve a little coolness.

    The last tech essentially said you need to change the air handler.
    I'm not working now, so there is no more money for this repair.

    Can they ever get it to work properly? Or should I just cut my losses and have them refund my money.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    1,439
    Could you supply the model number for the air handler or coil in use?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    15
    Hello jdblack,
    The Rheem (air handler) model number is RCHA-24A2GG14, design pressure 300.
    The RUUD outdoor compressor model number is 13AJ24A01
    New refrigerant R401A

    Thank you.
    Last edited by cookie12; 08-08-2012 at 05:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,901
    Should have just replaced the fan motor if you was not going to replace the system,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    1,439
    I'm making an assumption that you mean R410a. I'm also making an assumption that the compressor failed and not that fan motor. If the contractor sold you a new unit because of a faulty fan then you were done a grave injustice.

    I can't see where that coil is compatiable with R410a. The design pressure appears to be for a coil rated for R22 only. This is a problem because R410a has a much higher operating pressures. The coil could fail under the high pressures. You should call your contractor back in for another look and let them know your concerns. Do you have anything in writing from them? If you don't feel comfortable with them you should have another contractor come out and look and document the findings for you. If they find something amiss then you should take that back to your original contractor along with any other documents you have from the original transaction.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    15
    It was not the compressor, it was the fan motor. What he said was, sure I can change the fan motor but the unit is pretty old and if the compressor goes that will be expensive. If we install a new outdoor compressor, the air handler being in such good condition, will give out about the time you need another outdoor compressor and then you can change both units in about 5 years time.

    Yes sorry, it is R410a.

    I'm noticing that the inside fan surges now, and I can hear it where I couldn't before. The only thing I have in writing is the sales slip, with the new unit warrantee info and charges.

    I think I need to contact someone new. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you both so much for responding.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    Quote Originally Posted by jdblack View Post
    I'm making an assumption that you mean R410a. I'm also making an assumption that the compressor failed and not that fan motor. If the contractor sold you a new unit because of a faulty fan then you were done a grave injustice.

    I can't see where that coil is compatiable with R410a. The design pressure appears to be for a coil rated for R22 only. This is a problem because R410a has a much higher operating pressures. The coil could fail under the high pressures. You should call your contractor back in for another look and let them know your concerns. Do you have anything in writing from them? If you don't feel comfortable with them you should have another contractor come out and look and document the findings for you. If they find something amiss then you should take that back to your original contractor along with any other documents you have from the original transaction.
    I hate to disillusion you but the test pressure of 300 PSI has nothing to do with the compatibility of the coil with R-410A. The pressures of R-410A in the evaporator coil do not reach anywhere near 300 PSI. Most coils that were originally rated for R-22 only will work fine with R-410A when matched with the proper metering device.

    Op I have never seen a TXV rated strictly for a 1.5-ton most are rated from 1.5-ton to 3-ton and 3.5-ton to 5-tons. I suspect your problem goes back to not replacing the evaporator coil when you replaced the condenser. R-22 uses mineral oil and R-410A uses POE a synthetic oil and the two are not compatible. You can flush a coil that has used R-22 and it may work with R-410A but there is a high probability that there will be problems.

    At this point I would recommend installing a new system, condenser and air handler, or if you can find a quality contractor they can clean up the new 13 SEER condenser and install a matching new air handler.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    Cookie you need to find another company. Unless that condensing unit was ruined by dog urine or salt water corrosion it still should of had many years of life left with just a new fan motor and capacitor. I wasn't there to know for sure but it sounds like you got shafted big time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by martyinlincoln View Post
    Cookie you need to find another company. Unless that condensing unit was ruined by dog urine or salt water corrosion it still should of had many years of life left with just a new fan motor and capacitor. I wasn't there to know for sure but it sounds like you got shafted big time.
    No dog urine but I do live in South Florida about 10 minutes from the beach. The unit was still cooling properly it's just the fan had stopped working outside. About 5 years ago, I had the attic sprayed with insulation and the electric bills have dropped, so it was a big surprise to see last month's bill. The last tech also said their last effort would be to change the fan in the air handler to something that would revolve at higher speeds, then mentioned that he thought the vents were too small and that would need to be changed.

    I think it's good advice all around to get a quality contractor so tomorrow I start to talk to neighbors.


    Classical - That is what they told me, that they had installed the wrong size and they specified 1.5 vs 2.0 tons. They also said that the upgrade would work as per "the factory". The more I read here the more I am suspecting that either they don't know what they are doing and I'm paying for on the job training, or it's intentional and they are waiting out the air handler's failure or just wearing me down. It's another problem that they also didn't mention the installation needing to be permitted. Live and learn. Tragically it also wasn't cheap, so I'm not getting a deal here, for what I paid I could have had both units changed out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    indy
    Posts
    471
    Sounds like it isnt working right at all to me, to have a 10 deg drop acroos your (inside unit) thats bad cooling! They did not install that correctly, by the mod #'s the units should work fine with new txv and flushed coil, with proper install, which means everything to performance, you could have the best sytem made and it wont cool crap without a good install behind it,(not neccesarily good but proper), like said above, a txv for 1-1/2 ton would be the same for 1-1/2 to about a 3 t depending on maker, there screwing you around, sorry.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,613
    The 13AJN is a 410 unit. Are you sure they changed the TXV on that coil to a 410 model? Those are a bear to change. A "sharp" contractor would have just put a 13AJA R22 unit on that coil and been fine. Or since you had a deluxe unit, changed the fan motor as others have suggested. You can't flush coils and get all of the mineral oil out. If they tried, there's likely some flush still in it. If they didn't, there's likely mineral oil in your system.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    Quote Originally Posted by cookie12 View Post
    No dog urine but I do live in South Florida about 10 minutes from the beach. The unit was still cooling properly it's just the fan had stopped working outside. About 5 years ago, I had the attic sprayed with insulation and the electric bills have dropped, so it was a big surprise to see last month's bill. The last tech also said their last effort would be to change the fan in the air handler to something that would revolve at higher speeds, then mentioned that he thought the vents were too small and that would need to be changed.

    I think it's good advice all around to get a quality contractor so tomorrow I start to talk to neighbors.


    Classical - That is what they told me, that they had installed the wrong size and they specified 1.5 vs 2.0 tons. They also said that the upgrade would work as per "the factory". The more I read here the more I am suspecting that either they don't know what they are doing and I'm paying for on the job training, or it's intentional and they are waiting out the air handler's failure or just wearing me down. It's another problem that they also didn't mention the installation needing to be permitted. Live and learn. Tragically it also wasn't cheap, so I'm not getting a deal here, for what I paid I could have had both units changed out.
    Assuming you are relaying the information correctly there are many incorrect statements. First the more air across the coil the warmer the coil temperature and the smaller the split. Less air would give you a colder coil and the greater the split. Putting in a motor that runs faster will actually lower the airflow not increase it and would not improve airflow or cooling.

    I would first have a quality contractor come out and make a thorough evaluation of your issues and make a recommendation in writing. I believe Florida has a strong licensing board I would ask for my money back or a serious consideration based on a professional evaluation and inform the contractor that you will file a complaint with the board if they do not comply.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    Assuming you are relaying the information correctly there are many incorrect statements. First the more air across the coil the warmer the coil temperature and the smaller the split. Less air would give you a colder coil and the greater the split. Putting in a motor that runs faster will actually lower the airflow not increase it and would not improve airflow or cooling.

    I would first have a quality contractor come out and make a thorough evaluation of your issues and make a recommendation in writing. I believe Florida has a strong licensing board I would ask for my money back or a serious consideration based on a professional evaluation and inform the contractor that you will file a complaint with the board if they do not comply.
    I had contacted the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation about the second time that the coils had frozen over, without identifying the supplier, I just asked them if I had recourse and they told me to open a case if I was unsatisfied. I had already been without AC for 7 days and was not relishing the idea of going another week without it. Once they got the unit to work without freezing, I was happy enough until I started noticing that to cool 1 degree would take 10 hours, and that the unit was on all the time.

    Now just a question, how do I pick a reliable provider? I've spoken to a few of my neighbors and some haven't had to change out their AC, and others would not recommend who they have used. How can I suss out the better contractor?
    Or should this be another topic?

    Also I am by no means an HVAC professional but I do listen pretty carefully, so I feel that I am communicating what they have said to me. I do remember a point where he cut a capillary? (thin hollow copper tube) and used an acetylene torch and buried it into a large copper tube in the air handler, if I saw a schematic I would be able to point it out. Then he said something about it being sealed, when they came with the next replacement, this was taken out and remelted. There's also a solder joint from the work inside the air handler that doesn't allow the outside cover to close without buckling around the pipes. The more I describe this the worse I feel.

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