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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    20,258
    Wow, a lot of information in the first page... that does not happen often. I think the HO here is taking a pro-active approach here, I agree.

    Lets see if I can unravel some of this, even though my company is not a Goodman dealer (we do Ruud, but do a lot of service on Goodman because the builders use them a lot). I will try to address as much in the thread as I can.

    First lets look at your questions:

    1) In my early years in this business, I repaired a lot of coil leaks. I learned that repairs tend to work better with outdoor units than evap coils, so mostly I repair outdoor coils only. Most of the time (my experience) evap coil leaks are due to 'dis-similar metal corrosion' (copper, aluminum, and steel in contact with each other in a wet environment). A coil replacement is a common repair.

    2) IMO replacing the AH would not be a good approach. The reason the new AH is cost competitive is that the new AH will be 13 SEER. The old coil probably is out/production (10 SEER). And grafting in a 13 SEER coil is tricky due to size issues. Also a HP, because it works both ways (cooling and heating), is more sensitive to coil matching to the outdoor HP.
    On this replace the AH topic, we are kinda at a turning point in the industry: R-22 equipment goes away (not the refrigerant, the equipment) on Jan 1, 2010. So a replacement R-22 HP may not be available down the road. As far as flushing and converting to R-410; my product line does not support that approach. Yeah, it is a tuff place to be...

    3) I am sure every HVAC guy wants to do a new install. It is kinda like the 'hole grail' of the business... While there are advantages to a new system, it may or may not be the best road to go. A thorough evaluation of your ENTIRE current installation would equip you to make that decision... And IMO a contractor that would spend the time with you to do that would be a good person to consider to do whatever work you choose to do.

    You see; in the HVAC world installation is waaay more inportant than equipment. The best equipment, installed poorly, will not work any better (sometimes worse); than average equipment installed properly. The things that need to be done to do a quality installation both take more time, and require more expensive equipment (tech tools) to do. Thus, a quality install costs more, depending on the overhead structure of a company.

    Personally, I got a chuckle out of the circuit breaker story... I understand your concern. We all have 'those days'... but a person that will admit it is in my book a better person than one who dodges it. Just my personal opinion.

    Now lets go to post #11. There is a weath of information here, lets see if we can make sense of it:

    Some folks charge a bundle for leak checks, some charge less. One thing about injecting dye into the system is that an effective dye check requires a second visit the next day. I am not a fan of dyes because it adds an extra chemical to a place where contamination is a critical issue. Not that all dyes are bad, but clean is better IMO.

    Frost on a coil is most of the time either low refrigerant or airflow issues. A qualified tech (or company owner) could do a thorough diagnosis and find a few more details to come to a conclusion as to problems. And yes, if there is frost on a coil, or a problem with condensate draining out the proper way; the humidity will go up in the space.

    Hey, you and I are in the same area! I really am enjoying the early fall weather this week!

    It would not be ethical for me to speak highly or lowly of other HVAC folks in particular. In general, my opinion is that an experienced tech (or company owner acting in a tech position), would be able to do a more thorough diagnosis.

    Refrigerants go up and down with the season (demand). But looking at it in a long term view; I think up (maybe slowly) is the trend for R-22.

    HP's run the compressor a lot more than A/C, becuase they use it to heat as well as cool. Thus, a HP tends to not last as long. A general 'fair' life of an A/C system is 12-15 years, more if maintained properly, less if neglected. HP's tend to be less.

    I may be wrong on this one, but I kinda doubt your HP (or AH) has a TXV valve.

    Sounds to me like you are careful to take care of the filters. That is the one most important thing a HO can do (themselves) for their equipment.

    Most 'builder' installations I look at are a little short in proper ductwork. Many customers have me do some duct modifications to improve air flow and efficiency.

    OK, now for my advise: As others have suggested; get another person out to look at it. As I mentioned above, a seasoned tech or company owner acting as a tech could do a thorough evaluation and present you with data to make a decision. Expect to pay some $$$ for this, we do not give it away free (we have spent many $thousands on education). And IMO, a company with seasoned techs (or a small company where the owner is there at the tech/install/sales/service level might give you better customer service).

    There, I hope I have given a fellow Atlanta resident some solid guidance.

    Let us know how it turns out.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Galatians 2:20-21; Colossians 1: 21-22 & 26-27; 3:1-4; Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by Netwerked View Post
    I have a builders grade 3-ton Goodman heat pump and air handler that are roughly 8 years old. This summer, I noticed that excessive water was dripping from the coils so I had my system serviced. Three pounds of R22 were added, however, this did not stop the dripping. A second service call to a different contractor revealed that the evaporator coil had a small leak where you could see frost forming on the copper tubing of the coil in one spot. The dripping comes from the frost or hidden ice rapidly melting when the thermostat run the blower for 90 seconds after the heat pump shuts off. The second HVAC contractor also said that the system didn't leak enough after two months to warrant adding any more R22. They then sent a sales "engineer" to my place to give me options on how to proceed.

    I basically have three choices, and I would like some advice on what to do, keeping in mind that I am cost conscious.

    1. I would think that finding someone to fix the leak in the coil would be the most logical option, and be the cheapest option. The sales engineer did not give me this as an option, or said that it was relatively expensive. It sounds like very few HVAC contractors fix coils, and the general mindset is to replace the whole coil. Should I even consider having the coil fixed as an option?

    2. I could have the air handler replaced, which is surprisingly cheaper than replacing just the coil. The new coil would be compatible with both R22 and R410A, however, I was told that once I use R22 with a coil, I would need to replace it when moving to an R410A system. Does that sound correct, or was the sales guy trying to twist my arm?

    3. I could buy a new R410A system and coil, which is the most expensive option. The sales guy was telling me that my heat pump had a 10 year life expectancy (it is builder's grade), but I would think it would last around 15-20 years. He said I would be taking a big chance by just replacing the air handler, and noted that the cost of R22 doubled over the past few months. While I know that R22 is getting more expensive, I don't believe it doubled overnight (maybe just their price doubled).

    I was also a bit suspicious of the sales guy when he "accidentally" shut off the power to the system by "bumping" the circuit breaker and then immediately flipping it back on. I told him that he was very lucky that my thermostat had a compressor protection safety feature, and he looked a bit embarrassed. I would think that any person in the HVAC industry would have the common sense to keep the circuit breaker in the off position for a few minutes after making such an "accidental mistake."

    In the meantime, I'm emptying a bucket of condensate once a week into a flower bed. There should be less dripping in the winter, and I can have the problem fixed in the spring. The drain pan is not clogged, I promise. Thanks for taking the time to read!


    1. can't patch it, replace the coil

    2. I would never recommend this. don't replace the A/H only at 8yrs. Too old you will be upside down on your age

    3. Do this... replace the unit go with 410-a and dont go back with Goodman. You will not likely get 20 yrs. maybe 10-12

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by MidlandsHVAC View Post
    1. can't patch it, replace the coil

    2. I would never recommend this. don't replace the A/H only at 8yrs. Too old you will be upside down on your age

    3. Do this... replace the unit go with 410-a and dont go back with Goodman. You will not likely get 20 yrs. maybe 10-12
    Wow you can tell from your puter if a coil can be repaired or not.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    Unless it's in the U-bends it makes no sense. let's not try to be supertechs here and act like we can/should fix everything. which lots of times we can fix most of it but it's not in the customers best interest. so unless you find the leak in the u-bend it's not worth it and you know that. 8yr. old GOODMAN a/h with "probably" more than one leak in the coil, needs to be replaced.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    But you never know till you look.Why tell someone "can't be repaired" if you don't look.
    Not supertechs service tech would the best to define what I do.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by RDP View Post
    But you never know till you look.Why tell someone "can't be repaired" if you don't look.
    Not supertechs service tech would the best to define what I do.
    Let me make this a little clearer....

    If it's in the u-bend you can fix it. If its' not which most of the time we know it's not it's in the fins, it is dumb to fix it. I think we agree this is correct. Eventually you have to look at the customer and tell them it's not worth it. 8yr. old, Goodman, R-22----- time to move on if it's in the fins.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    My point, respectfully you don't know cause your not there.We don't know 100% if it is in the coil.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    .

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by Netwerked View Post
    the evaporator coil had a small leak
    Maybe i misread this but I thought he said he had a small evaportor coil leak and was getting his options on what to do from this contractor. I can only take him for his word and respond to what would best suit him with the info he gives us

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    Which is why I said 100%.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by RDP View Post
    Which is why I said 100%.
    i see you are looking from a "let me put my eyes on it" standpoint and i was going on what he posted assuming he was correct and gave him my suggestions off that giving him the benefit of the doubt he knew what he was talking about. i think we're on the same page now.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by MidlandsHVAC View Post
    i see you are looking from a "let me put my eyes on it" standpoint and i was going on what he posted assuming he was correct and gave him my suggestions off that giving him the benefit of the doubt he knew what he was talking about. i think we're on the same page now.
    Cool!!!

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