Evaporator Coil Rip-off? Help!
I requested service call on the 23rd of April because I needed a HVAC company to come out a clear out a clogged line that was causing our AC unit to back-up, and water run out the back drain of the house. My wife objected on the grounds of their service grade on www.angieslist.com, but having already made the commitment, and appreciating the phone reps helpful demeanor and quick response time, I followed through anyway.
The reps were extremely friendly and personable and listened to my request to blow out the clogged line and did just that, after "adjusting the refridgerant levels" first i.e. adding more freon and then highly recommending that we become "silver members" for all the annual benefits. Also, the service rep "highly recommended" a SAFE-T SWITCH on the inside unit connecting to the All-Style Coil housing drain pan, which would "automatically shut off the unit in the event of back-up or draining that might cause a potential flood." Total bill with new membership: $x My wife again objected, but the gentleman speaking presented the membership in an appealing manner and I appreciated the idea and agreed.
Almost to the month later on May 26th (Mem Day) we experienced the air not being as cold and then the large line from the unit outside freezing up. So we called the same company and turned off the unit and ran the fan allowing the outside pipe to thaw. When the rep came over I showed him the outside unit - specifically where it had been previously frozen from the unit to the house, etc. He spent nearly two hours fumbling and bumping around upstairs in the attic and concluded that there was a leak in my evaporator coils, which he explained is a "all-style cool" and he had added more freon. I explained to him that more freon had already been added nearly 30 days ago and if what he was saying was so, that based upon my experience that would only last a a few weeks/months. His answer was as I expected it would be, telling would probably need to replace the coil unit; furthermore it would cost $x in labor to fix IF it was under warranty and up to $x if it was not, but he would have to check the warranty, type, size needed, etc. When I asked him exactly what type and size would be needed, he said he didn't know. When I asked him when he could find out, he didn't know. I mean after spending two hours knocking around up in the attic, he doesn't know???? Then after all that, I got the good fortune of writing a $x check.
#1 This morning the SAME problem is happening and the large line from the unit to the house is frozen again. After looking in the attic myself I could only detect where the sheet metal housing was pulled back exposing the coil unit with the screws laid to the side and not screwed back into place, but no sign of any type of leak. HOW CAN ONE TELL IF THIS IS IN FACT A LEAK OR JUST A DIRTY, CLOGGED UP LINE, ETC.???
#2 IF the evaporator coils are leaking (there are other reasons besides a bad coil for an AC to leak), then why would it possibly cost UP TO $x? I have searched <removed diy link> and haven't found one that comes even close to that ridiculous amount. The most expensive "All-Style Coil" for a 5 ton 13+ seer is only 774.00 new!
Please help me solve this riddle! Am I being ripped off??? Also, how does one determine what size Evaporator Coil Unit one needs? I am sick of getting ripped off and want to make sure it's not happening again. Can anyone help?
Last edited by jrbenny; 05-27-2008 at 04:00 PM.
Reason: removed pricing and diy link
Did you even attempt to read the rules to this forum before you wrote that novel?
Read them, then gt back to us...
How tall are you Private???!!!!
Yes, I did, including these portions of "the rules" to which you refer:
Originally Posted by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman
if you do not wish to be helpful that is fine but do not intimidate, obstruct or criticize those that wish to be more helpful than you. If you do not like a particular thread or topic, do not reply.
- At the same time, be polite and respectful in your answers. We welcome questions so please don't be critical of someone's question, or other member's answers.
- All members must treat other members with respect.
- HVAC Pros, please note; home owners are welcome to ask questions here,
Please remove your pricing as it is not allowed on this site. We have no idea where you are and what the costs of doing business in your area are.
As far as the service goes it sounds like the first guy out recommended some good things as your unit is in the attic. It should have a secondary float switch on it for water damage purposes. It also sounds like he repaired your problem at that time.
The second guy out sounds like he did the right thing also. Without knowing for sure it sounds like he did a complete leak check on the system (2 hours) and determinded that the leak is in the evaproator coil. Call them to get some exact prices on what the repair will take and if the coil would be covered under warranty. His cost for a 2 hour leak check and recharging of the system was very very low. He wasn't doing measuring and figuring he was looking for a leak. Maby he had to get back to the office to figure out the rest and could not give you an exact answer at the time. The price is for more than changing the coil. It also covers the cost of doing business, sheetmetal changes, insurance, phones, office staff etc...... So you found a coil on line and are not even sure if its the right one or not and you are getting ripped off? Take a chill pill and research this before you make brash statements. You are getting your info about this company from some list on the internet? Thats a heck of a way to judge someone or some company.
In short it sounds like they are doing there job from what you have described and you just don't like the answers you are getting.
Its a good Life!
The Allstyle "all in one" type plenum coils are notorious for developing refrigerant leaks.
The company I work for has a policy that we will not replace one with another of the same type coil, period.
To replace one with a cased slab coil, furnace to coil transition, and new supply plenum would easily fall in the middle to upper part of the price range you mention, depending on how much in the way of duct modifications is required.
Just as an FYI, you can't see refrigerant leaking, it is a colorless odorless gas at atmospheric pressure. It takes a leak detector, bubble solution, etc. to reveal the leak.
If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.
How about the rule that discusses NO PRICING? Did ya miss that one, Mr. Jones?
Originally Posted by speakjones
Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.
Call another company out, and get a second opinion.
You gotta remember....we are just guys with names on our shirts! We don't train for a month out of the year to keep up with changing technologies, we don't have the smarts to have college degrees, we are just dumb AC guys.
Originally Posted by HVAC2B
As far as profits go....huh...we ain't NIKE or BMW what are you thinking??
You mean those 100 dollar pair of shoes only cost 6 dollars to make???
That $52,000 car only cost $20,000 to get it to the dealer???
WTF??? Typical homeowner attitude....problem is...I feel for the guy because he wants things done right....he's just not willing to pay for it.
If a customer tells me that the units have never had a problem with low charge until now AND they were recently moved.....RED FLAG
Call another company and get a second opinon
I need a new signature.....
Got an email from a homer today because I shut his jackleg thread.
We are a bunch of ripoffs, blah, blah, blah.
Funny thing... he's still hot. I'm sitting at my PC with 75DB and 48% r/h with a thunderstorm in the area.
Ya can't outsource service and install work.
Perhaps you should have read the instructions before calling.
Coils can develop leaks over the winter (on heat pumps)and not hold long enough in the spring to make it through the summer. Usually its a newer home and the coil corroded and leaks.
Many times I see oil in the drain pan, but some manufacturers have lots of oil in there from the factory. It can be very difficult to pin point a leak on these since they leak all over, not in one spot where you might could patch it.
questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated
Was that the one guy from Fl. I think?? Just asking for someone to do a side job??? You put the clamps on that one quick and it was a good thing....I was fired up just reading it...everyone else would have had some fun with that tool!!
Originally Posted by jrbenny
Good work Jr.
I need a new signature.....
Another thing! Just like the OP, I checked and the contractor that was replacing my line set was charging way more than the cost of the copper. I said I'd buy him a burger and a beer and he said something about his bills. I'm off to Home Depot. The nerve of some of you guys.