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Thread: A/C nightmare

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    A/C nightmare

    I had a 5 ton Trane XLi16 (handler and compressor), electronic air filter and programmable thermostat installed in 11/2004. I have had nothing but problems since day 1. The coil has been replaced 3 times, most recently in 8/2007. Every time a leak was found and after contacting the owner directly did I get the problem rectified. The culprit? The system was never charged to specification.

    Since the problem was fixed the system cooled just fine. My electric bills dropped as well. I recently had a preventive maintenance call and the tech said the coil was dirty. How can this be after just 5 months? When I asked him how often a coil should need to be cleaned he said after 1-2 years. Does this sound legit? I keep the electronic air cleaner clean so there is never any dust build up.

    He also said there was mold forming where the electrical wiring is housed in the top part of the unit. He removed the top door so I could see. It looked more like mildew to me. How can this happen if the unit is supposedly a sealed unit and is maintained twice a year?

    Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Mar 2002
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    I know people tend to generalize when they're upset. So I'm not calling you a liar. But for the first six months at least everything was hunky dory. You said so yourself.

    I can't imagine anyway that an incorrect charge could cause a coil to leak. I suppose any sort of weirdness is possible. But as far as I know, one doesn't have anything to do with the other.

    A dirty coil can be a highly subjective diagnosis. What one technician calls dirty another calls just fine. Cleaning a coil every one or two years is too much in my opinion except in the worst of conditions. I had a pet lover whose home looked like a zoo, so in her case yeah.

    Condensation can form in the strangest places given the right temperature swings. I wonder if it has anything to do with your previous posts. If the EAC is in a location that gets cold air (very common since combustion are vents will allow cold air into the furnace area) then you could be getting condensation.
    Last edited by Irascible; 02-27-2008 at 05:22 PM. Reason: "can be"

  3. #3
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    Dabolts,
    Where in Florida are you?

    Was the latest service and recommendation from the installing company,or a telemarketer company?
    Last edited by dash; 02-28-2008 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2006
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    Southern Ca, Elkton Md
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    What kind of eac do you have?

    I find most eac's are horrible, and depending on the inside enviroment your coil could get dirty very quickly.

    Did the tech say anything about the blower wheel?
    "Correct Installation is the Key"

    .1 has killed more HX then Rush Limbaugh

    What is your TESP?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    33
    Thanks for all of the input. To answer your questions:

    1. I actually did have problems from day 1 but didn't realize it at the time. I questioned why the EAC made a constant popping sound and was told that is how it works. It subsided as the weather got cooler in the winter months (was installed in Nov) and cropped up again in the warmer months when we started running the A/C again. Only when the charge was brought up to what is should be did the popping stop and only very rarely did we here a pop from the EAC as we keep our home clean as well as the EAC pre-filter and grids.

    2. Since the coil was not properly chaged it kept freezing up. This combined with it defrosting most likely fatigued the metal in the coil leading to the leaks according to the head of the company.

    3. The company that installed the system did the p.m. and made the observations/recommendations. Seemed like he wanted to sell me an over-priced coil cleaning and UV light.

    4. The EAC is a Trane Perfect Fit. The tech did not mention anything about the blower wheel.

    The reason I question the coil cleaning is that I have not had to have that done in the over 3 years the system was installed as a new coil was installed almost on a yearly basis.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    Dabolts,
    Where in Florida are you/

    Was the latest service and recommendation from the installing company,or a telemarketer company?
    Sorry - I forgot to answer this in my previous post. I live in the Tampa Bay area.

  7. #7
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    Northern Wisconsin
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    I'm probably going to step into it big time here, but it's never stopped me before.

    Electronic air cleaners are great at filtering certain size "dirt". To install an EAC without installing a good media filter in front of it is just asking for trouble with dirty coils etc. not to mention frequent cleaning of the cells that fall into the catagory of "out of site out of mind". Most home owners clean the cells when the snapping and arcing sound becomes bothersome enough they can't stand it anymore.

    By installing a media filter ahead of the EAC you stop the larger dirt there and leave the EAC to do what it's best at and that's stopping the stuff you can't really see with the naked eye.

    Sounds like you've had a bad run of luck. Could be the result of faulty parts, bad installation, environmental conditions, inexperienced service people....... the list goes on and on. You might want to consider this as a good time to take a fresh look at things. Maybe check around with friends and neighbors and see who they have do their work. Check with the BBB to see if companies you're dealing with or are thinking of dealing with are prone to having a lot of complaints filed against them. In other words reposition yourself so that you're informed and somewhat shielded from repreating what seems to be situations that are upsetting you.

    It's hard to hear, but sometimes the best option is to start over from scratch.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Naples, Fl
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    What does the AS staNd for in DASH? Air Side maybe? Somebody needs to check this system's static pressure and/or air flow.
    Last edited by adrianf; 02-28-2008 at 11:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
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    EAC's should not need media prefilters<IMHO.I have one at the hose and three at the office,and if they are cleaned regularly the coil should stay clean for years.

    You have the perfect fit ,so assuming it's install directly to the equipment ,there can't be air leaks that bypass the EAC,which could be a cause.

    The tech said"He also said there was mold forming where the electrical wiring is housed in the top part of the unit. He removed the top door so I could see."

    With air handlers this is a sign the water is being pulled off the coil,due to high return static.Another sign is the metal blower housing is corroding ,turning white from being splatted by water droplets.

    High return static is also a cause of coil freezing.I'd guess that since you no issues in heating ,just cooling,high static might be the cause and were misdiagnosed as leaking coils.Not saying this is a fact,but three coils in this amount of time is very rare,don't think I've ever seen it.

    Model numbers and pictures of the air handler ,EAC ,and connecting ducts would be helpful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianf View Post
    What does the DA staNd for in DASH? Air Side maybe? Somebody needs to check this system's static pressure and/or air flow.
    No,nothing indusrty related.Funny ,you posted this while I was typing ,regarding the static.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabolts View Post
    2. Since the coil was not properly chaged it kept freezing up. This combined with it defrosting most likely fatigued the metal in the coil leading to the leaks according to the head of the company.

    3. The company that installed the system did the p.m. and made the observations/recommendations. Seemed like he wanted to sell me an over-priced coil cleaning and UV light.
    I suppose anything is possible. Still, the company owner's theory is pretty far out. I've had numerous customers over the years whose coils were subjected to repeated freezing (prior to getting service) and no leaks formed as a result. Freezers are obviously built differently. Even so, they have evaporator coils just like you have an evaporator coil. They take the freezing with aplomb.

    It's called ancillary sales. "Would you like french fries with that Big Mac?" Except in this case it's coil cleaning, whiz bang filters, complicated thermostats, UV lights, duct cleaning, magnetic bracelets, miracle diet pills and love potions. Don't blame the technician. His mind is washed of independent thought at weekly meetings. He's given prerecorded propaganda to listen to while driving between calls. If he misplaces his tapes then he rubs the head of a lucky gnome that lives under the driver's seat and whose real purpose is to keep a watchful eye on everything his assigned worker does. And then at the end of the month there's a rally where a scantily clad office girl hands out awards and prizes to the best technically inclined salesman while onlookers cheer him on.

    The funny part about the sarcasm above is that more of it is true than you think. The gnome is especially useful when I need to use the carpool lane.

    Dash is right about the EAC. They do just fine without the media filter. The addition of a media filter isn't necessarily bad so long as the system can handle the added pressure drop. However, few systems can.
    Last edited by Irascible; 02-28-2008 at 02:09 PM. Reason: gnomes :D

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