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Thread: A/C freezing up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71

    Frown A/C freezing up

    My problem is as follows: A/c runs perfectly but twice this summer it began blowing out warm air. We turned it off for 1 hour and it went back on immediately both times with no further problems except during a bad 4 week heat wave, the temp downstairs would not get below 73 and upstairs (2 zone) would not get cooler than 75 until evening. The blowing of warm air has occurred "once" every year or two since it was installed (9 years ago). First month of install it froze up and installation company (builder used) told me its normal with central a/c and we should just turn off for 1/2 hour and will be fine. Tech came out last month could not find a problem but put in new capacitor and 1 lb freon - then told us we may need a new compressor. I have two more service companies coming to take a look to get their opinions. I should mention that I called original installer and they would not come unless it was not working at all. First freeze up this year was in June (new capacitor put in) and Second beg of Aug on 85 degree day. Turned it off for 1 hour has been working like a charm but still not happy that during heatwave temp would not get below 73. Any opinions would be appreciated. We have a builder installed Payne a/c -heating & we use our a/c from June through end of Sept every year. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Do I really need a new compressor or could it be something else? ALSO Can I still get an r22 replacement. A few service companies have hold me I must replace the entire system $$$$$$$

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Freehold, N.J.
    Posts
    5
    Sounds like you have a very, very slow leak so have the system checked by a professional.

    R22 is still available and depending on how old the system is will tell if it needs to be replaced.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    Obviously we can't troubleshoot the issue from afar but a frozen coil is the result of either low airflow or low refrigerant in the evaporator. It sounds like it might be refrigerant related.

    R-22 is readily available for maintenance and repair issues. No new equipment is being manufacturered that uses R-22. Some systems have evaporator coils that can be used for either R-22 or R-410A. If yours cannot be used for R-410A, then it would require a new indoor unit if you were to replace the outdoor unit. I doubt you're having any compressor problems.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Thank you so much for your opinions/response. You opinions have been a big help. What I don't understand is why the original installer refused to come unless it completely stopped working! They know that by the sound of the problem that it can only be a few things!! By the way, I was told that I have a very small leak years ago. Last year no freon was needed and this season when the annual maintenance check was performed they put in 1 pound. Can a leak be repaired. My service contract company told me that they can't find it but its so very small that I don't need to worry about it. Are they wrong? or do people usually replace the compressor even with the smallest of leaks?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,996
    The leak can be found and fixed if they take the time and do a proper leak check and repair.

    The system should not leak and should have the proper charge for compressor performance.
    Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

    Theodore Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    69
    Hmm. If you have a leak, changing the compressor won't do a thing except make your service guy money. Did he check your indoor coil for proper airflow? Change the filter? A lot of times when suction pressure is low, less experienced or lazy techs start adding charge without properly diagnosing the problem. Depending on the system performance, there could be a problem with the expansion device but only a good tech will be able to diagnose it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71

    Unhappy a/c shutting off

    I had a "new" service company in to diagnose my a/c problem. Infrequently the a/c turns off an blows warm air. If I turn the system off for 1/2 - 1 hour it starts right up and may not have that problem again for several months or until next season. New service company checked indoor vent temperature which was as it should be then inspected compressor. Said fluids were fine and compressor running fine but said compressor using (not exactly sure of the words he used) twice the amount of amps. He said that is an indication that its struggling and that when the system blew out warm air the compressor probably overheated and safety mechanism made it stop running. Said it could die within a week or could last for several more years. My home is 10 years old and he told us we should consider a new r22 now because won't be any available next year. Or he said we should think about replacing the entire system even whats in the house. If I just replace the compressor with a new r22 , what is the usual lifespan of the inside components? The contractors in my area are telling people to upgrade to brand new everything. I can't afford to spend that kind of money now and like I said the home just turned 10 years old. Any suggestions?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    louisville ky
    Posts
    29
    Your over amping could be a result of your system being over charged. Like what was stated by others, sometimes less experienced or lazy techs will add a charge of freon to try to correct a indoor airflow problem. Weak capacitors , lack of proper maintiance all can cause this over amping. Something doesn't smell just right here. If your compressor was pulling double the rated amp draw i think you would have been complaining more than a few times a season. The statement about system not keeping up on some days may just be the nature of the beast. Where they high heat indext days??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Here is the history:
    First season the system was installed started blowing warm air. Installer came & told us "central a/c can freeze up sometimes so next time turn it off for 1/2 hour then turn it back on". We didn't know any better, did what he said and it always came back on. This has been going on for years. Some seasons it worked with no problem. Other seasons it may have turned off once. Last year worked all season. This summer was as follows: June - suddenly was blowing warm air. We turned it off and two hours then it came back on. Service tech came could not find a problem but put in a new capacitor anyway. We had a heat wave for two weeks - system never turned off but the inside temperature on my first floor would not go below 73 and the upstairs would not get cooler than 75 until the evenings when it was about 80 outside. After heat wave it worked well then last weekend temp 85 with low humidity started blowing warm air. Turned it off for an hour and it went back on and has worked perfectly since. I have a service contract with the same company for 8 years. Two years ago needed 1/2lb freon, last year none needed beginning of this season put in 1 lb. Had a new Service company come to look at it today. Said no freon needed etc. I don't know what he checked outside but told me to set thermostat low so compressor stayed on. His diagnosis was: right now a/c working like a charm, no fluid needed, but amp (think that is the word used) was twice what it should be indicating that the compressor struggling to keep up. Said it was never freezing up (as I was told by original installer) instead it was overheating and by turning it off for 1/2 - 1 hour cooled off the compressor and got the system going again. Does any of this make sense? Something doesn't sound right to us but we are not the experts. Is there something I should say to them or ask if they checked? Please help!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    Why do you say "something doesn't smell right"? This is the first time they have been to my home so why would they try to hide something? The company that I have had the 8 year contract with is "not" the company who installed it. However, I recently heard that the company who came today and the company I have the contract with send customers to one another. This has been going on and off since it was installed. Over 10 years, system overheat may have occurred 4 times and twice this year which is the hottest summer we have ever experienced here in NY. Are you suggesting that there really is no amp problem and the company who came in yesterday not telling the truth. What would be their reason?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    Checklist for proper system troubleshooting:

    1. Establish airflow over the indoor coil.
    a. Return Static Pressure
    b. Supply Statid Pressure
    c. Total External Static Pressure
    d. Use of fan curve or V/S CFM Counter
    2. Determine what the metering device is.
    3. Get all refrigerant readings:
    a. Hi side pressure/temp
    b. Hi side LLT
    c. Sub-cooling
    d. Lo side pressure/temp
    e. Lo side SLT
    f. Lo side Super-heat
    g. Outdoor temperature
    h. Outdoor unit discharge temperature
    i. Indoor dry bulb temperature
    j. Return air dry bulb temperature (they could be different if there's air leaks in the return duct)
    k. Return air wet bulb temperature
    l. System primary line voltage
    m. System operating load voltage (compare to data plate requirements)
    n. Outdoor unit total amps (compare to data plate requirements)
    o. Outdoor fan amps (compare to data plate requirements)
    p. Compressor amps running (compare to data plate requirements)
    q. Compressor amps starting
    r. Repeat voltage/amps for indoor blower motor

    For a qualified tech, the answer to your problem is in some combination of these readings. It can take a tech from 30-minutes to an hour to get all these readings and log them. It will take a good tech (operative word there is good) about 2 minutes to diagnose the problem once he's armed with all that info but the amount of time wasted on 'short calls' where it's look quick and run is like night and day. In the long run, your tech will find the problem, advise of the repairs needed and proceed under your direction to make whatever repairs are appropriate.

    If your techs can't figure it out, then have them take all those readings and get back to us. Also would need model # of both the outdoor unit and indoor unit. Manfuacturer's name would help too.
    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!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    suburbs outside New York City
    Posts
    71
    We are so grateful to you and everyone else who has responded. I have copied and printed your troubleshooting list and plan on making them comeback and do their job/ earn their pay by getting this information. As far as we are concerned they still have not given us a diagnosis but then how could they - they didn't do their job (not to mention that they made me wait 6 hours for their arrival and the guy couldn't come in and leave fast enough!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,011
    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkMinute View Post
    I have copied and printed your troubleshooting list and plan on making them comeback and do their job/ earn their pay by getting this information. .
    Be prepared for them to just give you your money back, unless they have 25 employees or more, and are only running 5 service calls a week, in the "real" world "most" a/c companies don't have the time to do all that was stated, "especially if there were in Houston" and if they all did this every time, the service call would be ten times as much, just some real world thoughts.
    Have a Blessed Day,
    Mr. Bill
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

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