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  1. #1

    PLEASE HELP: Loud Clicking Noise in wall when unit kicks on. WHY!?

    I live in a 2 floor town home, approximately 1,500 square feet. The AC unit is a 2.5 ton and is in my backyard. The copper tubes go into the wall on the corner of the house on the 1st floor by the unit, and run all the way up the wall to the attic where it goes into the fan unit that circulates the air around the house.

    I recently had to have the COIL, in the fan unit in the attic, replaced under warranty due to it rusting completely through (the unit is less than 3 years old, a HAIER). After this was done, every time the unit turns on now we can hear a very loud clicking noise in the wall of the master bedroom. It seems to be only in one spot of the wall, but it is coming from where the copper tube runs up from the AC unit outside on the first floor that goes through the 2nd (in our master bedroom) up to the fan unit in the attic. The clicking usually happens quite a bit when the unit first turns on, and it will stop after 15-20 seconds, occasionally you will hear a click out of nowhere while it is running, but it seems to happen mostly when it turns on. It tends to click faster at the start and slows down until it quits clicking completely.

    We have tried securing the pipes in the attic to the wooden beams with zip ties, as the HVAC guy originally thought the pipe was rattling/moving when it kicked on. Unfortunately this did not solve the problem and we all have no ideas as to what could be causing it. Our HVAC guy is stumped.

    He is suppose to be coming by in a day or two to do a complete freon removal, vacuum, and recharge to see if that solves the issue. Unfortunately the clicking wakes us up 6-10 times per night, as every time the AC kicks on it clicks and wakes us up. I'll be buying some earplugs tonight, that is for sure.

    Has anyone here ever heard of this problem? Anyone know what could be causing it and how to fix it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,347
    I would put money on the smaller of the two copper lines in the wall expanding as the system runs and the line warms up. I hear this happen with hot water pipes that go through tight holes in stud walls. Tick...tick..tick as the faucet is turned on and the hot water line warms up.

    The remedy, if this is the cause, is not overly difficult but may not be pretty. It may involve removing a section of drywall where the offending noise is occurring, then taking steps to widen the hole where the copper line runs through, which could either be a vertical stud or a piece of horizontal fire blocking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    The refrigerant bearings need greased.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  4. #4
    I appreciate the advice. So you think that the copper line is physically expanding/contracting and it is rubbing against the wooden brace/wall joist causing the clicking/popping nose as it gets to temp?

    It does seem to be coming from only 1 exact spot, if I put my hand on that spot I can physically feel the wall 'pop' at that spot. I am guessing this is no longer a job for an HVAC guy and that Home Improvement guys need to be called to cut a whole in the wall, fix the problem, and seal it back up with drywall/etc?

    Also, where are these "Refrigerant Bearings" located and how do you grease them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,120
    Quote Originally Posted by sirdomino View Post
    I appreciate the advice. So you think that the copper line is physically expanding/contracting and it is rubbing against the wooden brace/wall joist causing the clicking/popping nose as it gets to temp?

    It does seem to be coming from only 1 exact spot, if I put my hand on that spot I can physically feel the wall 'pop' at that spot. I am guessing this is no longer a job for an HVAC guy and that Home Improvement guys need to be called to cut a whole in the wall, fix the problem, and seal it back up with drywall/etc?

    Also, where are these "Refrigerant Bearings" located and how do you grease them?
    If you have them cut the wall open. Remind them that teh copper line could be touching the drywall. And they must be carefull not to damage the line.

    You don't want to blow the charge.


    Keep in mind. That you will get some sarcastic answers here.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    If you have them cut the wall open. Remind them that teh copper line could be touching the drywall. And they must be carefull not to damage the line.

    You don't want to blow the charge.


    Keep in mind. That you will get some sarcastic answers here.
    Great advice!

    SO I am guessing that "refrigerant bearings need grease" is similar to "blinker fluid" for auto mechanics?

    Just wanted to update, the HVAC tech came over today, removed all the freon, vacuumed it for a good 20 minutes until it was at "30" or whatever for the pressure. He then got out a scale and ddded the Freon into the system, I believe it is R22. He spent a good hour checking the pressure, making sure it was all just right and not bouncing around.

    Even after all that, it still makes that clicking/ticking noise in the wall. It occurs when the unit kicks on, and when it shuts off now.

    I really hate the thought of opening up the wall and seeing if the noise is being caused by the copper tubes expanding/contracting in a tight space.

    Are there any others suggestions on what it could be?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,004
    Go outside grab hold of your condenser and move it 1/2" one way or the other and this will solve your problem.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Go outside grab hold of your condenser and move it 1/2" one way or the other and this will solve your problem.
    It very well might.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dallas & Longview, TX
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    629
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Go outside grab hold of your condenser and move it 1/2" one way or the other and this will solve your problem.
    I actually did that with my hot water heater. It's in the attic and the supply line drops straight down through a stud. Would drive me crazy when it expanded. Tried wedging it, foaming it etc. Drained the heater and moved it a little and the noise disapeared.

    I'd try it on the condenser before I'd cut the drywall.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,120
    Quote Originally Posted by sirdomino View Post

    SO I am guessing that "refrigerant bearings need grease" is similar to "blinker fluid" for auto mechanics?
    LOL, yep.
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  11. #11
    I was extremely skeptical about the solution being so simple, just moving the unit outside less than an inch.

    Well, I tried it last night, moving the A/C unit about half an inch away from the house, it moved the copper pipes a little, stretching them, but it didn't appear to move them much else.

    I went back inside, kicked on the A/C and lo and behold there was no longer any clicking noise! I have had to sleep with ear plugs and a fan going in order to mask the loud clicking (which sounded like someone tapping the wall with a coin). SO I shut off the fan, and removed the ear plugs and went to bed. I did not wake up all night! I have turned the A/C unit on and off several times and still no clicking!

    So what exactly did this do? Did it move the pipe in the wall just enough to make a difference?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Tx.
    Posts
    572
    that's exactly what it did. Now- you need to take Mr. Bill to lunch. and give him a sixpack!
    mike

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