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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    6

    Hmm Freon Tubing Solder Job Concerns

    Hello,

    I live in an apartment complex in Plant City, FL and the Air Handler was recently replaced.
    After I got home, I inspected the work, as I often feel like I have to do.

    First think I noticed was that the smaller tubing now prevents the filter being changed, not the biggest deal, but it made me look closer.
    After further inspection I noticed that the larger tubing for the Freon, on the new Air Handler, was bent to make it fit with the old copper pipe and then filled with a bunch of solder.

    My questions are:
    1) Is this common practice?
    2) Is this safe?
    3) Is there any Florida Building Codes that this violates? (If this is not safe, I need something to show the office or they will never fix it.)

    Below I have linked some photos from my Dropbox. If there are any problems viewing them let me know.

    I have worked with soldering copper pipe for plumbing so this concerned me. I'm not trying to bring up a beef with my apartment complex, but I am concerned about my families safety.

    I appreciate the help and advice.








  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,039
    They replaced the airhandler? Looks like they got it from the scrap yard.

    I don't think id worry about the solder. Not worth getting people aggravated over.

    What a complete mess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    They replaced the airhandler? Looks like they got it from the scrap yard.

    I don't think id worry about the solder. Not worth getting people aggravated over.

    What a complete mess.
    They only replaced the inner radiator looking portion. I don't know the exact term. The cooling fins? It's a good sized V-shaped structure.
    They left the outside panels nasty looking. It was way cleaner before the job.

    I honestly stayed up most of the night and every little noise worried me. I hear freon poisoning isn't fun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Galveston Texas
    Posts
    530
    that's common practice for apartment complex and other hacks. Instead of putting an extra reducing fitting in there they just pinched it closed. Nothing to worry about as far as safety/health.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,039
    Oh ok that's called the evaporator coil (or indoor coil if its a heat pump) .

    I wouldn't worry about the freon itself harming you. I'm still alive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    6
    Good to know.

    Thank you all for your knowledge and quick responses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    I'd whine about that small line being in the way of changing the filter. Any way to bend it around the water shut off for some more clearance?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    131
    on the bottom, what is that 1/2 inch copper pipe with the globe valve going to?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,222
    Quote Originally Posted by tlj000 View Post
    on the bottom, what is that 1/2 inch copper pipe with the globe valve going to?
    Probably the water heater underneath. Common practice around here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by tlj000 View Post
    on the bottom, what is that 1/2 inch copper pipe with the globe valve going to?
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Probably the water heater underneath. Common practice around here.
    That is correct. It is the cold water shut-off valve for the water heater.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by martyinlincoln View Post
    I'd whine about that small line being in the way of changing the filter. Any way to bend it around the water shut off for some more clearance?
    No, there isn't enough slack in the tubing. If I try to get it around the cold water shut off for the water heater, the small line would break.

    That was the first thing I pitched a fit about, in my mind that is.
    Last edited by Dfarina; 12-03-2012 at 07:44 PM. Reason: additions

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,039
    Quote Originally Posted by Dfarina View Post

    That was the first thing I pitched a fit about, in my mind that is.
    And rightfully so. Do u own apt or just rent? Are you supposed to change filter or does a guy come around?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,282
    If you can get the wheel off of the water valve, you might be able to bend the small refrigerant pipe around it. That is probably something I would tell your management to take care of. If the line does break, so what, let them fix it. A refrigerant leak would have to be huge (much larger than the few pounds that is in your system) for you to notice any ill effects from it. I wouldn't worry about it. Also tell them to re-insulate the bigger refrigerant pipe while they're there, otherwise water will leak from it during cooling mode.

    By the way, that technically isn't solder. It's Sil-Phos brazing alloy. Even though it is ugly, it's a strong joint.

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