Trane/ American standard spine fins
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    257
    I would like opinions on the spine fins on a/s or trane units. The sales literature touts them as being superior.
    Aren't they somewhat like the pin like system that Carrier used to have. I have a 21 year old Carrier system with pins or spines that every one who has serviced it has said how much they hate to clean it and that the spines bend easily. I understand that there is a benefit for corrosion resistance near the sea.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Phoenix, Az
    Posts
    1,235
    I have cleaned hundreds of spine fins, and have never found them to be troublesome. The problem people have with them is they don't rinse them from the inside out, and debris gets pushed further into the coil. I also have only seen two leak in the years I've been in the field. I don't know if it is the superior design, but I have never had any problem with them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,271
    Ditto about the need to rinse spine fin coils in the direction opposing normal airflow. What I've encountered is sometimes it's necessary to wash the surface crap downward off the coil first, working top to bottom, then flush from the inside out. If you try to flush from inside out first, not all of the crud on the outer surface of the coils will come off.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    If they develope a leak, they are a pain to repair. They are less apt to be affected by salt air corrosion.

    They are not the same as Carrier's miserable attempt at copying the technology.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    They are a snap to clean. Just flash any cottonwood seeds and dried grass clippings off of it with a small propane torch and rinse the remaining dirt and ash out. Just don't hold the torch flame in one place long enough to burn the paint.

    Originally posted by RoBoTeq
    If they develope a leak, they are a pain to repair.
    Trane has a repair kit that makes leak repairs at the copper to aluminum joints easy. Follow the instructions exactly and it works perfectly. Deviate from the instructions and you will have a bad day.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Niantic, Illinois
    Posts
    545
    Trane/American Standard have the patent on their spine fin coils. Nobody else builds them the same or as well. The other attempts have been such miserable failures that Trane gets a bad rap from it. This may be an urban legend, but I heard through the grapevine that Trane may help some others develop a spinefin so as to offset the bad reputation spinefins have gotten from other manufacturers attempts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Between GE and Trane, enough spine fin tubing has been manufactured at the plant in Tyler, Texas to wrap around the earth several times. They have a display with the figures for it if you go on the factory tour, but its been a few years so I forgot. I think it was enough to wrap around the earth more than 4x though.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Niantic, Illinois
    Posts
    545
    WOW, that's a bunch of recycled bud cans. Bottm line is Trane has it down pat. No one else does. If it's a Trane spine fin you have no worries. If it's someone else's, buyer beware.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kingsport, Tennessee
    Posts
    649

    Spine Fin Coils

    I can speak from experience on both sides of the issue. The leak failure rate on the GE/Trane spine fin coil is almost nil! The Carrier spine fin coil I will admit was a nightmare. I have been whipped, cursed, & abused because of that Carrier E-Coil! Actually, a lot of the Carrier leaks were in stress or bends in the feeder tubing. I actually saw the Carrier factory install the e-coil production line & also remove it!! The Trane spine fin is the most reliable coil! What the heck, Carrier gave it a good try.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,233
    The spine fin coils also have something inside- the tubing is rifled to improve heat transfer.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  11. #11
    i recently got a special tour at tyler by their engineers ... guess what is next ... this year ... 100% aluminum coils with the entire industry moving in that direction ... change chane change ... as i have heard everyone is working on all aluminum evaps... some of the fins look just like my car radiator ... how about that?

    [Edited by airman1 on 04-11-2005 at 09:32 PM]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Niantic, Illinois
    Posts
    545
    Originally posted by billygoat22
    The spine fin coils also have something inside- the tubing is rifled to improve heat transfer.
    Yes, I forgot about that. It improves heat transfer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Originally posted by airman1
    i recently got a special tour at tyler by their engineers ... guess what is next ... this year ... 100% aluminum coils with the entire industry moving in that direction ... change chane change ... as i have heard everyone is working on all aluminum evaps... some of the fins look just like my car radiator ... how about that?
    I knew they were working on an all aluminum evap coil for release this year, but havn't seen anything on what the design could be like.

    If they are going away from the regular round tube and fin setup that is standard now, that could be interesting. With flat tubing and "fin" structures that are more honeycomb like that the fins we use now, I would imagin coils could be made smaller.

    It will be interesting to see what all comes out over the next few years.
    As with all new things, I'm sure some of it will be more "interesting" than we would like.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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