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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Virgin Islands
    Posts
    19

    Trane rotolock nuts rusting out prematurely

    A little background first. I service a lot of systems for a condo complex on the the Caribbean Sea, some condensing units are as close as 30 ft from the beach. Over the years I have been installing Carrier and then Arcoaire another Carrier product through ICP. It doesn't make any difference what brand Lennox, Rheem, etc, they all lose their fins and turn to powder within 3-4 years. Two years ago I started to replace the Carriers with Trane condensing units after changing out a Trane that was ten years old that someone else had installed. Overall the Trane held up well in the salty environment especially the fins since they used what I call the porcupine coil.

    Here's my problem, the rotolock nuts are rusting out within 2 1/4 years and the compressors are rusting out from beneath the paint that Trane puts on within the same period. I replaced a compressor and rotolock nuts last week on another system and it seems the rotolock nuts are a cheap stamped out nut, whereas the old nuts from older Trane systems seemed to be a cast steel and a heavier metal. It's primarily the suction nuts. Has Trane gone cheap on these nuts?

    Since I am having trouble with the Trane compressors rusting out whereas the Scrolls from Copeland in the Carriers didn't, I was curious to hear what other people think about changing from the Trane compressor to a Copeland scroll. The overall condition of the condensing unit is in good shape other than a little surface rust and will probably last 5 or more years.

    I have 5 Trane condensing units side by side and they all are rusting out prematurely and I will have to look the customer in the eye and try and tell them that the older Trane's must have been better and I had no idea these things were going to fail so quickly. It sucks because I thought I was getting a good product.

    PS I thoroughly coated the new rotolock nuts on the compressor replacement and LL Drier with auto undercoating, paint doesn't seem to work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,670

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,488

    Trane rotolock nuts rusting out prematurely

    I work on Hilton Head Island, SC. Some units I service are literally 15 ft from the beach.

    So I feel your pain and let me tell you from experience....that salty air will rust anything!

    We too install Trane due to the fact that their condenser coils will last 10 times as long as the competitors in this atmosphere.

    Are making sure your split systems have the sea coast kit installed? It's part # BAYSEAC001. Check out the link.

    http://dar.proflo.com/darmanager/Que...E=INSTALLATION

    Most units we purchase come with this already installed.

    I haven't yet experienced any rotolock failures. I do however order a new set when replacing a compressor because they are sure to break as soon as a little force is applied.

    As for the scroll thing, some Trane units come from the factory with a scroll. I'm not sure which exact models but I believe it is for 3 tons and under. Maybe someone else can chime in and give some specifics.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Ridley View Post
    Are making sure your split systems have the sea coast kit installed? It's part # BAYSEAC001. Check out the link.

    http://dar.proflo.com/darmanager/Que...E=INSTALLATION

    Most units we purchase come with this already installed.

    I haven't yet experienced any rotolock failures. I do however order a new set when replacing a compressor because they are sure to break as soon as a little force is applied.

    I have always wondered about this addition,,The sea coast kit.

    Certainly not being on the ocean or anywhere near it I don't experience the problems
    you and Saillar do in regards to the saltwater and air affecting it the condenser,but I do find it interesting.

    In order to not hijack this thread maybe when you get a minute you ocean guys could start a thread
    about what special little tricks you may have up your sleeves that you do to make a unit last longer
    in these harsh conditions. I would find it to be interesting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,556
    When the US was shipping parts by sea during WWII, they coated the metal with a paraffin based substance called Cosmoline.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmoline

    If you can get it, you can coat nearly anything, and it will protect it.

    I would think that most grease-like substances will have a similar effect.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Virgin Islands
    Posts
    19
    Yea, I'm familiar with cosmoline, we had to soak our M14's in a barrel of gasoline to get that god awful stuff off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    565
    when i was working residential alot at the beach, i used a product called condenserkote. I dont remember who makes it, i think Ace chemical. But it worked great on rotolock, driers, whatever. These units where on condos right on the ocean and i have been back later for pm's and other units and looked at the ones i sprayed and they were holding up good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Virgin Islands
    Posts
    19
    Brent

    Thank you for the info on the Seacoast kit. Over the years that is where I have seen leaks develop and it is impossible to repair the aluminum to copper joints. It usually occurs on units of 5 plus years or older.

    My biggest concern is the compressors rusting out beneath the paint and the rotolock nuts. You said you have had no problems with the rotolock nuts rusting out and some of your units are as close as 15 ft to the beach. What about the paint breaking down, cracks developing in the paint and that allowing rain water to get below the paint. The two 2 1/2 year old compressor I just replaced had very bad rusting at the welded seam to the point where I could chip large amounts of rusted metal away. The top of the compressor was badly rusted and the paint just peeled away. I installed 5 units within a year and they are all experiencing the same rusting problem and the rotolock nuts are flaking away.

    I called the Trane distributor and their response was they don't replace compressors due to corrosion and their warranty spells it out also.

    I'm curious, the new rotolock nuts you order, are they the same as the ones that come on a new condensing unit. I believe Trane has changed their nuts from the ones from years past, lighter and less metal. Maybe just cheap Chinese contracted nuts now.

    Thanks Larry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,488
    My thoughts on the rust and corrosion is that we can do things to prolong it but not prevent it.

    I've had plenty of rotolocks and compressors rust but have never experienced a failure due to rusty rotolocks. The dome of the compressors rust pretty severely sometimes but I've only had few that actually devolved leaks in the shell.

    Your rightm The new rotolocks do seem lighter with less metal but like I stated above, I haven't had any failures due to the rotolocks alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by saillar View Post
    Thank you for the info on the Seacoast kit. Over the years that is where I have seen leaks develop and it is impossible to repair the aluminum to copper joints. It usually occurs on units of 5 plus years or older.
    AS/Trane distributors sell a repair kit, it works quite well if you follow the instructions.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,048
    Trane scrolls are copelands with rotolocks and orange paint.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,309
    I've repaired alum to copper tubing with a flare tool and coupler. Our Trane dealer doesn't or won't supply the repair kit. Some of my Trane units are in their 4th decade and I hate to think they can't be fixed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,556
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    Trane scrolls are copelands with rotolocks and orange paint.

    What year did they change to Copeland?
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:







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