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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    25

    Options for a plugged evap coil

    Split A/C with gas heat...

    Compressor died and I had it replaced by a 'Carrier authorized service' company. Their work was not the greatest - no nitrogen purge, no filter/dryer, no thermometer to do a sub/cool check - did it by setting the pressures to 'what they always set them at', regardless of temps, based on 'years of experience'. From the age of the tech, those years couldn't have been more than 2 or 3.

    I contacted the owner who came out to inspect the work and said it was fine.

    The system ran well for about two weeks and then started falling off. Register temps 5 feet from the evap were only 5 degrees cooler than room temp.

    I called the owned back out and he declared the evap coil partially blocked. Said it was old and needed to be replaced. It is 10 years old, but has very little use, under 1,000 hours. He said it was completely unrelated to their earlier work. I suspect that it is indeed blocked, and probably with crud from the burnt out compressor (or their soldering) that didn't get filtered out by the non-existent filter/dryer. But I was not able to get anywhere negotiating with them. They quoted a fairly high number to replace the coil.

    I plan on getting a second company to inspect the situation. But a few questions so I can be prepared.

    1. Is there any way to confirm that the coil is really plugged up?

    2. Is there a way to unclog it if it is plugged up? I realize that there are some pretty small tubes distributing the freon at the coil, but I would also think the piston would be the smallest restriction and a natural place to get a log jam.

    3. Is there something else that woud cause the decreased temps? Well, knowing a little about A/C I know there could be a whole bunch of causes, but what might be the most likely, given that they replaced the compressor?

    Thanks

    Bill in Phoenix

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,371
    Leak
    3. Is there something else that woud cause the decreased temps? Well, knowing a little about A/C I know there could be a whole bunch of causes, but what might be the most likely, given that they replaced the compressor?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    25
    No leak. They checked it when they declared the coil blocked. And then I double checked it myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    Get the second opinion and then make your decision. Sure, you could have someone pull the coil, spend an hour or two trying to flush it out, put it back in and find out it's still clogged. Better to get a reputabel, knowledgable company that works with industry standard good practices (like nitrogen purge, liquid line drier, suction line drier, etc.) and just replace the coil. It will cost you a lot less in the long run. Once you've selected the company to do the work, share your displeasure with them so they'll take extra care to avoid any missteps on solving your problem.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,876
    Quote Originally Posted by zbxb006 View Post
    No leak. They checked it when they declared the coil blocked. And then I double checked it myself.
    No offense here but how did YOU check it for leaks??

    But beyond that....yes, have another company out to take a look at things. Sounds to me like this company that did all of your work....is a piece of work itself. Before they ever even tried to test that AC after the compressor they should have verified the airflow...did they do that? Sounds like they are taking you to the cleaners at this point....get a second opinion and let us know how it goes.
    I need a new signature.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Going out on a limb here,'Carrier authorized service' ,there is Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers ,and then all other Carrier folks,which was it?

    Either way ,what you describe is less then what you should have have expected.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Central, FL
    Posts
    871
    Excuse the expresion, I think you got things done half azz. Was the last compressor lost a burn out , if it was they hole system may be contaminated. I would strongly recommend calling a diffrent contractor, don't be affraid to ask for someone with real knowledge in the field.
    Last edited by AcDOCnTRAINING; 03-26-2008 at 12:41 AM.
    WARNING:IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T DO, SO THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW DON'T END UP UNDOING WHAT YOU DID SO IT COULD GET DONE RIGHT!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,817
    sounds like they dont have a clue they should have checked the coil for cleanliness checked the metering device blew out the system and if the compressor was grounded installed a suction line drier plus a liquid drier

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    68

    zbx

    hey zbx sometimes there is a filter built in on your metering device it could be that maybe your coil isnt plugged but what do i know im not there look up straface mechanical in yellow pages heard a pretty good residen. company good luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    They sholuld have installed a new coil iwth that new condesner in the first place.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    122
    I'm not a carrier dealer but I'm in phoenix
    Is this a rooftop unit? If so there are 2 screens located befor the metering devices on that unit, if you look in the compressor area while the unit is running, you should see freezing around these if it is partially blocked. This is a very common problem on carrier and some older ruud units that used the same screen, even if you install a filter drier it could be plugged, On the splits it has a screen before the metering device outside of the coil, what I found clogging these most of the time was the insulation from the compressor wires melting, then cooling sending small plastic peices plugging the filters, on the pack units, the screens look like small bullet driers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Quote Originally Posted by zbxb006 View Post
    Split A/C with gas heat...

    Compressor died and I had it replaced by a 'Carrier authorized service' company. Their work was not the greatest - no nitrogen purge, no filter/dryer, no thermometer to do a sub/cool check - did it by setting the pressures to 'what they always set them at', regardless of temps, based on 'years of experience'. From the age of the tech, those years couldn't have been more than 2 or 3.
    You have just raised several red flags. I replaced 2 compressors today in a American Standard Heritage 16. Replaced both filter driers, Acid Away treatment, Nitro pressure test/purge, triple Evac to 50 microns, cleaned coils, recharge system to factory charge, then charged system to subcooling and superheat. Also replaced factory start assist capacitor and start relay (cause of compressor failure). 8 hours of labor but the system is back up and running at 100% efficiency.

    You need to get a new contractor. And you need to contact your old contractor and get things straighened out. Another option would be to contact BBB. Its a far stretch but a lot of contractors will make it right to avoid any complaints to BBB.

    Keep us posted on your experiences. Don't allow one bad contractor spoil your taste for the industry. Hope you get your situation resolved in a timely manner.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    2,504
    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    They sholuld have installed a new coil iwth that new condesner in the first place.
    I agree. You didn't get a full diagnosis of the system. The tech should have looked for why the compressor failed as apposed to just calling it a DOA.

    The dirty coil should have been caught during the first trip.

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