I had a new 16 seer high efficiency system installed 2.5 years ago to take part in the Federal energy credits before they expired. My old unit was working but was just old and I figured the time was good to go ahead and replace since the credits were available. Unfortunately I am now having problems and in my opinion this is still a new system.

I had the tech come out this week after it froze solid and he detected a freon leak at the evaporator but did not open it up. Since it is a newer unit he said it should just be pulled which I tend to agree with. He detected it where the hoses enter the unit and therefore just put in some freon to get it back up and going until they could figure out the replacement.

My questions are on several fronts:
Is this not entirely too soon for a unit to be leaking? I guess anything is possible but this is unbelievable to me.

I happened to notice that the secondary drain plug is still in place even though the pan is below (as it was before I had it replaced). However there is no direct way for water to get into the pan if the primary backs up - there is no secondary pvc drain pointing down to drip into the metal emergency tray. It appears the primary was clogged so I sucked it out myself but I had no way of knowing because it did not immediately drain into the pan and out where I could see it. When I personally opened the evaporator to check it out (before I called the tech) that is when I noticed it frozen solid and the water in the bottom. I am wondering if it may have rusted prematurely due to them not hooking up the secondary drain then causing it to fail. There are rust particles in the bottom of the evaporator inside. See picture below of the outside.

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What are your thoughts?

The evaporator will surely be under warranty but I do not want to pay for the labor to reinstall it considering it is only 2.5 years old. This just puts a bad taste in my mouth.

thanks for your input