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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    27

    Is it possible to just get dirty sock syndrome after the system has been working fine for the last 5 years? I didn't notice any odors coming out of the vents at all up until recently. The system was low on refrigerant and icing up prior to this. I haven't used the heat either this year. It just seemed to start producing a smell. I was told I need a dipped/coated coil to get rid of the problem. At first I thought it could be the condensate pump (lies under the unit), but I was told it is the coil.
    Any suggestions...

    Trane unit TWE030C140F1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    35

    smelly trane

    (1)ck all of your duct work make sure no animal has got in there and died
    (2) could be your condsate pump i recommend dumping old static water out, clean real good with clorox hook back up
    (3)also from coil freezin up could need to be cleaned or from it unthawing the water may still be in the pan.
    (4) ck drain pan to see if stopped up static water may be causing that smell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    27

    Okay..I'll check those things. Also, if it is dirty sock syndrome, should I be able to smell (physically put my nose close to coil) the coil to determine if that is what is causing it. Is the diagnosis of dirty sock syndrome done through the process of elimination, or is there another way to definitively say that coil is causing the problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    35

    Talking its hard to stop a trane

    is it a real bad odor if you can stand the smell i wouldnt really change it out very $$$$. go to your local hvac store and ask the counter help for some odor control stuff for coils. maybe turn heat on and leat the heaters dry the inside of the cabinet out

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    Unless you have standing water in your drainpan it's not the condensate pump causing the DSS. It's absolutely possible to develope DSS over time. What was leaking that caused the ice-up??? Was it the coil? Spray the coil with Simple Green for a non-lasting cure. If the coil was leaking, and system isn't old, have them replace the coil with a coated one, or have them apply a coating(available).
    Good luck.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    27

    The leak was at the service valve (quick fixed with leak lock). Wouldn't the DDS get progressively worse? I mean it was almost like one week everything was working fine and then the next week there is a horrible odor. That is why I was looking at the condensate pump as being the culprit. It smells kind of like mold or mildew. It has a free return, so I can get my nose pretty close to the coil. If it is dds, should I be able to smell it this way with the unit off?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    It is possible. You probably won't be able to smell any thing at the coil, if it is DSS. The most popular theory is that microbes find a home in the coil crevices and these microbes give off an odor when the coil temperature changes. Usually, on heatpumps this happens while running in heat and going into or out of defrost. I have seen it be a problem in cooling, but not as often. In your case, a good cleaning of the coil, drain pan and condensate pump is what I would recommend first. It might help.

    Bobby

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    27

    I guess I'm willing to try a coil cleaning first. Do you recommend anything that I can spray on it after the cleaning? I thought they made some kind of chemical. What bothers me the most is that I didn't even put it in heat this year yet. It has been in cool the whole time. I guess the bacteria (I'm guessing that is what causes it) grows extremely fast. Can anyone describe what DDS smells like to them?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    115
    just curious....could you spray bleach or diluted bleach on the coils.....or would this damage the coils??? should kill bacteria/mold....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    Originally posted by fronty

    Can anyone describe what DDS smells like to them?

    Exactly what your thread title implies. A dirty gym sock. You'll have to have it cleaned regularly. There's no anti-DSS spray that I know of outside of coating which is done when the coil's new.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Soudern Kal-e-phone-e-ya
    Posts
    278
    Quote Originally Posted by tundraotto View Post
    just curious....could you spray bleach or diluted bleach on the coils.....or would this damage the coils??? should kill bacteria/mold....
    it has been reported that this method WILL DAMAGE your coils.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,338
    Quote Originally Posted by fronty View Post
    The leak was at the service valve (quick fixed with leak lock).
    Ruh -roh.

    Wouldn't the DDS get progressively worse? I mean it was almost like one week everything was working fine and then the next week there is a horrible odor. That is why I was looking at the condensate pump as being the culprit. It smells kind of like mold or mildew. It has a free return, so I can get my nose pretty close to the coil. If it is dds, should I be able to smell it this way with the unit off?
    Does it smell like a sweaty old gym sock or does it just smell musty? I would have the area where the coil is checked for signs of mildew or mold if the smell is not sweaty old gym socks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    352
    DSS normally smells worse when switching from cool to heat. If you clean it with any cleaner, it will last for one year. Cleaning it will only offer a temporary fix to an agressive problem.

    Like the soup Nazi....
    "You come back in one year."

    If the smell doesn't differ when changing the system between heat and cool, it is come other problem.

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