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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    4

    Should new Trane A/Cs need refrigerant added? / Typical to need coil at 3 yrs?

    Purchased two new Trane A/C units 3 years ago, one on each floor.

    Should new units ever need refrigerant added? What if they need it multiple times?

    I was told that a need for refrigerant does NOT mean that there is a leak (this in a < 1 year old unit). Agree?

    Leak was found and finally fixed in Unit #1. Never found leak in #2. Refrigerant last added 2 years ago in #2...is it possible to have THAT slow of a leak?

    Now #2 got noisy (lower floor, had not noticed lack of cooling; turned off immediately). Tech said there was NO refrigerant at all and we needed a new coil due to aluminum rubbing copper. He also said a good installer would have seen that and “added a bit of foam” to make sure that didn’t happen.

    During 1-year warranty period, we told company we were thinking of requesting both units to be replaced as techs kept telling us “this shouldn’t happen.” Company agreed to cover any issues related to these leaks “forever” and said we didn’t need new units.

    Is the coil going bad caused by the refrigerant issue? If not, is this a typical problem 3 years after buying a new unit? Defective unit? Defective installation?

    We’ve had more problems with these new units in 3 years than with our old ones in 8 years. Sorta thought it'd be the other way around!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,422
    Leaks happen, period. Should they happen? No. Sounds like you need to find a reputable contractor who will find and fix the leaks in your systems. Considering one ran flat, you'll be lucky if that didn't do additional damage.

    If they offered to add any leak stop agent/dye I would be adamant to not use such products.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,512
    I would request they isolate the line from the coil and condenser and pressure test it ,the you know wat is and what is leaking
    We really need change now

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    5,658
    No a refrigeration circuit is a closed loop, if it needs refrigerent there is a leak in the closed loop that needs to be repaired. At least they are still under warranty, will cover part but not labor and refrigerent unless you bought a 10 yr labor plan. Leaks have been a problem with all manufacturers at one point or another. Sorry you've had so much trouble. "It's hard to stop a Trane" "I think not".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,940
    At startup, it MAY require a small addition of refrigerant to account for site conditions.

    If it requires refrigerant after that point, then you've got a leak. Period.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,619
    if you have documentation supporting the addition of refrigerant multiple times since installation, you should hold the installing contractors feet to the fire and not have to pay for parts or labor. ( worked with a reputable contractor that had questionable "techs",) that added refrigerant to system every spring for 3 years.
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    4
    Thanks so much to everyone for the advice. Was it possible to prevent the coil from going bad (installer should have inserted foam)?

    Typical for a coil to go bad at 3 years?

    If the lack of refrigerant could have caused more damage, will that be something they will check now, or another surprise later?

    Yes, the coil is under warranty, but the "dryer", refrigerant, and labor are not.

    I have extremely detailed notes for every visit and phone call because the installers did not know what they were doing. The techs have been helping me out for the most part, but the company refuses to stand by what they promised two years ago. This was supposed to be a great company (top of every "list"), and simply put, it's not.

    Will contacting Trane make any difference?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,619
    contacting trane will be dependent upon FSR's (field service representative) attitude.
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    I had a leak within the first 6 months on a new Trane systme in my last home. It was repaired for free. I expected them to repair it for free, since it's was a soldered connection they screwed up and shold have more than likely detected if they pressure tested it correctly. If the leak is in the coil itself, then it's a mfg issue, meaning it's a component failure and you're probably stuck paying for labor, refrigerant and consumables (dryer). However, some good companies, might eat some or all the labor to maintain a reputation and maintain their customer base.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,315
    Contact Trane's customer service department, keep track of everything and get copies to them. They'll get back with the contractor and you. Good luck and hang in there as sounds like you've bought yourself some problems.

    Why did you replace 8 year old units?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,512
    What is the model number of the units if they are xl units they should have came with a 2 yr labor warranty on the install , also trane copper evaporator coils are leakers
    We really need change now

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    4
    To all: can't thank you guys enough for the advice. Will pay it forward on forums where I know what I'M talking about!

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo View Post
    Contact Trane's customer service department, keep track of everything and get copies to them. They'll get back with the contractor and you. Good luck and hang in there as sounds like you've bought yourself some problems.

    Why did you replace 8 year old units?
    We owned the house for 8 years before we replaced them. They were actually 12 years old, and we were told when the one died that the other one will die soon, new ones much more efficient, yada, yada. I still don't know how long A/C units are "supposed" to last down here in South Florida - I've heard wide ranges over the years.

    "Bought yourself some problems" hits the nail on the head...that's exactly what we feel like.

    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    I had a leak within the first 6 months on a new Trane systme in my last home. It was repaired for free. I expected them to repair it for free, since it's was a soldered connection they screwed up and shold have more than likely detected if they pressure tested it correctly. If the leak is in the coil itself, then it's a mfg issue, meaning it's a component failure and you're probably stuck paying for labor, refrigerant and consumables (dryer). However, some good companies, might eat some or all the labor to maintain a reputation and maintain their customer base.
    Thanks, motoguy128. Yeah, I was expecting that last sentence to be our experience with the company we chose. We switched companies when we had to buy and went with one of the top 2 or 3 here.

    I even told them that I wanted to make sure I completely understood their reasoning so I could let people online know what happened. You'd think with social media these days, they'd care. Instead, the guy had the gall to say that they are a big company and my piddly [$ amt of this repair; I read rules! ] isn't necessary for them to be successful."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    4
    catmanacman, it was only one year on labor, but we are 3 years out from purchase, so doesn't really matter.

    We are more upset about the company choosing to not keep their word. And I'd just like to know what the chances are of the possible/probable leak from two years ago causing the coil to go bad now, or if it is completely unrelated. And...if it's unusual to happen three years after purchase - we thought we'd be in the clear for a few years longer!

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