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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3

    Estimated future availability of R-22 condenser units

    Hey guys, I'm hoping to get an informed opinion on how long you think R22 outside units will be available to add to an existing system.

    My house and a/c system are 11 years old. I replaced the coil in November 2007. Yesterday, my system was not cooling. Our A/C tech came out and found that all the components were in working order and that the outside unit just didn't kick on likely due to a dirty/pitted contact.

    While he was here, he informed me about the R22 phase out and suggested that if I want to keep the Trane coil I recently put in, I should go ahead and get a new Trane R22 condenser unit now before supplies run out. Apparantly Trane is no longer making them. The alternative would be to wait until my current 11 year old condenser/compressor fails, risk having no R22 replacement units available, and then have to spend more to replace both condenser and coil with R410a units.

    So the choices seems to be either spend X dollars now for a non-heat pump R22 outside unit or possibly spend a higher amount for condenser/compressor and coil at some point in the future. What I am trying to figure out is how long I can wait to replace the outside unit before dealers run out of the R22 units.


    Basic information
    Location: suburb of Dallas, TX
    House: 1750 sq ft, one story, brick, faces South, built 1998
    Outside unit location: East side of house, shaded most of day, no obstruction
    Furnace: original Carrier, gas and heat pump (control board replaced June '07)
    Coil: Trane 3.5 ton (new in Nov '07)
    Outside unit: Carrier heat pump, 11 years old
    Last edited by FriscoTex; 09-11-2009 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Edited to remove cost information

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,841
    First, remove pricing as it's not permitted. As far as changing out your condenser to stay with R-22. If it were my system and it was functioning properly, I would just ride it out and change it when it does actually fail. At 11 years old, still should have several years of life left.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by heaterman View Post
    First, remove pricing as it's not permitted. As far as changing out your condenser to stay with R-22. If it were my system and it was functioning properly, I would just ride it out and change it when it does actually fail. At 11 years old, still should have several years of life left.
    Thanks for the reply. I edited out the dollar amounts. I thought the pricing rule applied if you were requesting pricing as opposed to just stating what I personally thought something would cost.

    So if the outside unit fails in 2 years and no more Trane R22 units are in stock at that time, then I'll also be out the (not insignificant amount of) money I spent on the coil.

    However, assuming that Trane built it's last R22 outside unit last month for instance, based on dealers' experience, how many months or years from now can I expect to still be able to buy a Trane R22 outside unit?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,841
    Crap shoot, anybody's guess. Some manufacturers will have more left over inventory than others and even that will vary depending on size and SEER ratings. The most popular units will be gone (some are already gone) first. Stop the roller coaster ride so to speak and get off at the platform. When the present condenser dies 2,5,10 who knows how many years from now, replace the ENTIRE system and start from the begining. In the mean time, invest the cost of the R-22 condenser someplace safe and pull it and it's interest out for the new system when the time comes.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,708
    Probably won't be any R22 condensers available after next summer.

    Buying a new one now. Won't be a great help. The compressor could go out on a new condenser just as easy as on your current condenser.
    Only difference, would be a warranty.

    But it was a great scare tactic sales pitch.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,888
    Must be from a big corporate dealer with that sales pitch!

    I'd bet someone could change the TXV on the current coil to a R410 version and use a 410 Trane down the road. Only diff between the R22 coils and the 410 coils in 2007 where the flavor of expansion valve.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,421

    Smile

    As previously posted, don't be "scared" into doing anything for now based on someone else's recommendation. As Baldloonie posted, you can probably change just the TXV and lineset and go with a 410a unit in future. There will be some R-22 units available for a while, and you can bet there will be a way for you to replace unit if and when you need to. Don't worry about it!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    We're already having problems finding R-22 stuff in certain sizes and voltages, but I wouldn't allow that to be the final determining factor in changing the unit now. As some have mentioned, you'll probably be able to re-use the newer coil with a new 410a unit if you do have to change the unit in the next few years. After a few years, I'd just replace the entire system because you'll more than likely want to purchase something more efficient with a longer warranty. Either way, it's not something I'd be overly concerned about.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up

    Appreciate the responses, guys. You have been most helpful.

    I'm going to print this thread and file it for future reference. I recognized that the guy was giving me a "buy before it's too late" sales pitch. At the same time, I'm glad I was able to research the given information when not in crisis "it's friggin 105 and my a/c just died" mode. We were already in the process of saving up reserve cash for situations such as that, but are not quite there yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,513
    Quote Originally Posted by heaterman View Post
    First, remove pricing as it's not permitted. As far as changing out your condenser to stay with R-22. If it were my system and it was functioning properly, I would just ride it out and change it when it does actually fail. At 11 years old, still should have several years of life left.
    Dude, this is Texas. We have had over 60 days of 100+ degree days and over 100 days of 90+ days this summer. A unit with 11 years on it is like a car with 250K miles on it. Its best days are behind it and I wouldn't be taking it on a cross country trip. Honestly 2-3 more years tops. As far as getting R22 units, they will most likely be gone by the middle of next summer depending on the size. Many probably not that long. However, you should be able to replace the TXV on it to run the R410 refrigerant at that point. I wouldn't worry about it a lot at this point. Summer is almost behind us, you have at 6 more months before you have to worry about it a lot again.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,888
    What's funny is back when Payson was posting his shots on the WOS all the time, he posted so many working relics 30-40 years old. In that heat? We sure don't see them around here.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,513
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    What's funny is back when Payson was posting his shots on the WOS all the time, he posted so many working relics 30-40 years old. In that heat? We sure don't see them around here.
    Nothings made like it used to be. We still have those old Rheem and GE/Trane units around here chugging along. You can't kill them. You could run into them with your truck (and I've tried) and as long as that condenser fan will spin, those old b8stards will chug along. I've even seen an old Rheem run half arse with a bad condenser motor on a cool day. I figured for sure that thing would give out and I'd be replacing it soon. It still runs 2 years later with a new fan. It's so old, you can't even read the name tag anymore. What I think is even funnier is that you know there was never a vacuum pump within a mile of these old units when they were first put into service. The returns are usually too small, makes you wonder how they ever made it so long.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Covington, KY
    Posts
    159
    Remember, if it ain't broke......don't fix it.

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