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  1. #1

    Can this unit be repaired? Pics inside...

    HERE is my 1993 3-ton Trane XE1200 heat pump.

    The compressor hasn't been working so I had a technician out for a diagnosis. THIS is what he discovered when he took the access panel off. HERE is a closer look.

    So I'm missing 11 lbs of R22 and it's not cooling too well right now.

    Questions:

    1. Is the break in that tubing repairable...or does the entire assembly need to be replaced?
    2. Since this unit has no low-pressure cut-off switch, what did the compressor do when all the R22 leaked out? Did it keep running until it self-destructed?
    3. Is it likely that the compressor has suffered serious damage?

    I hate to say it...but I'm the typical homeowner... If I can have this unit repaired and limp it through this season with a reasonable (better than 50%) chance of success, I'll try it. But if you guys tell me to stick a fork in it, I will.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,095
    Repairing the stub is easy.

    Chances of the system being reliable afterwards slim.
    Depending how long it was like that, the compressor could die the day after they got it running.

    Pull the fork out, you'll see it done.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Um...shut that unit off immediately and get a service tech out there!!! The compressor might have been damaged from running without refer in there, but it's difficult to say. Only a service tech on-site can make the judgement call. If the compressor's functional, that unit can easily be repaired. The break is in the copper and not the aluminum, so you should be in good shape. Again, much depends on the state of the compressor. Depends how long the refrigerant line has been broken, how much moisture has got in there and how long the compressor tried to run. When it comes time to replace it (which may be soon), pony up the extra money for a unit with a low pressure switch. My AC condensing unit got absolutely nailed by Hurricane Charley, moved about 6", ripped through the hurricane straps, and ended up jamming one of the screws from the hurricane straps into the condenser coil. A low-pressure cut-out switch prevented any major damage. The coil was replaced and the system's been running fine since then...with different hurricane straps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    the repair is easy but how many are going to be needed
    once the tubing starts to leaks others soon follow

    personal experience. The repair is temp at best till a new unit can be installed or coil replaced

  5. #5
    I've received conflicting opinions up to this point from different contractors. Some have said it's toast. Others have said it may be OK. Can a technician do some preliminary tests to assess the condition of the compressor...or are they going to have to toss 11 lbs of refrigerant in it and just try to fire it up?

    The estimate to repair this unit is less than the new air cleaner I'm being quoted in my replacement system...that's why I'm torn about taking a gamble on just fixing it.

    On a side note... I'm familiar with automotive AC systems and was blown away to learn that most home systems apparently don't have a low pressure switch to protect the compressor???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    2 months ago I found a unit that had done the exact same thing.

    If it broke in the heating mode and ran that way for a while, the system will have sucked in a lot of air and moisture.
    On the one I found, I cut the vapor line open and found that "green slime" had formed in the system, so we had to replace the whole system, including the refrigerant lines. There is no cleaning up the green slime.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,095
    Add the cost of repairing it, to the cost of replacing it.

    Do you really want to gamble that much money.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    If it broke in the heating mode...
    I strongly suspect that it did break in heating mode...because it hasn't worked in cooling mode at all this season.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Quote Originally Posted by NoPressure View Post
    HERE is my 1993 3-ton Trane XE1200 heat pump.

    The compressor hasn't been working so I had a technician out for a diagnosis. THIS is what he discovered when he took the access panel off. HERE is a closer look.

    So I'm missing 11 lbs of R22 and it's not cooling too well right now.

    Questions:

    1. Is the break in that tubing repairable...or does the entire assembly need to be replaced?
    2. Since this unit has no low-pressure cut-off switch, what did the compressor do when all the R22 leaked out? Did it keep running until it self-destructed?
    3. Is it likely that the compressor has suffered serious damage?

    I hate to say it...but I'm the typical homeowner... If I can have this unit repaired and limp it through this season with a reasonable (better than 50%) chance of success, I'll try it. But if you guys tell me to stick a fork in it, I will.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Yes it can easily be repaired. Green slime is possible, It depends on how long it ran while empty. If you were home when it failed and shut it off right away, you have a good chance. It also depends on local humidity levels. More moisture sucked in = more problems. It looks to me like it broke from vibration. The braze joint did not fail, the pipe broke.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by NoPressure View Post
    I strongly suspect that it did break in heating mode...because it hasn't worked in cooling mode at all this season.
    That is an easy repair, but since it broke in the heating mode, it will have pulled in a lot of air, and associated moisture.
    Before repairing something like that, I always cut the refrigerant lines open between the wall and the unit, and cut a couple of tubes open inside the unit to inspect the inside of the lines.

    Any green at all on the walls of any tubing or in the refrigerant oil, and the entire outdoor unit, refrigerant lines, and indoor coil are scrap, none of it can be saved.

    If it had broken in the cooling mode, it wouldn't pull in any air because that part of the system would be on the high pressure side.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    Before repairing something like that, I always cut the refrigerant lines open between the wall and the unit, and cut a couple of tubes open inside the unit to inspect the inside of the lines.

    Any green at all on the walls of any tubing or in the refrigerant oil, and the entire outdoor unit, refrigerant lines, and indoor coil are scrap, none of it can be saved.
    Interesting. Nobody has mentioned this to me before.


    Let me ask a related question...

    If you guys were replacing this system, would you insist on replacing the lineset? I've had one Trane contractor say he would just flush the lines and install a filter. Is that legitimate in this case? My lineset isn't easily accessible...but it could be replaced with a little effort.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    If the system developed any "green slime", the lineset needs to be replaced. There is no flush that will remove it, and it will contaminate the new system.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,095
    We replace the line sets 98% of the time on our swap outs.

    Your is one that we would flush as a last resort only.
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