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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Posts
    215
    Originally posted by mrbillpro
    My parents were a victim of a blow and go

    I was a victim of that 31 years ago and it's been costing me ever since.
    So was Monica.

  2. #15
    Here's a link I was thinking about, when the idea of a 'small leak' happening over time was meantioned.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    I think your suspicions are entirely reasonable Dave. The effect that low refrigerant has on performance is not linear. In other words, a charge that's low by 25% would most likely affect performance by more than 25%. If the system was that low it's highly unlikely that your dad would have been happy with its performance after he replaced the fan motor. And in the unlikely event that your dad was happy with its performance while it was that low then the “pores explanation” is a copout. The tech should have been looking for leaks or should have scheduled a time to come back and look for them.

    The odds that the tech was being technically precise as exemplified by jultzya or that he had Delta's desire to not confuse are pretty freakin low. It's much more likely that he's a typical hack padding the bill. The propensity of hacker AC guys to add a little Freon to pad the bill has been documented over and over again by investigative journalists. If so, the system is now overcharged. Its efficiency is down and so too will be its life expectancy. OR... It may be that the system was just a smidge low so he added a smidge but characterized it as more in order to charge more. In the one case your parents could lose a lot down the road. In the other they just got stiffed for a little up front

    In any event I'm more than willing to hang my so called peer out to dry simply because he either did the job wrong or he described his work wrong. A pro gets both right and can do so without confusing the customer. There’s simply no way around that conclusion.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,290
    Irascible, well said.

    I'd bet good money if I went out to his parent's unit I'd find it overcharged. I'd go double or nothing the system probably uses a piston metering device.

    Overcharged piston regulated system.

    Sounds like double trouble to me.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    Indeed. I'd bet good money and my own time. If he were local I'd go check it for free just to prove how right I am. Of course... if I were wrong you'd never hear about it.

  6. #19
    I haven't asked them how the system is working since the tech's visit, I'll be sure to do that soon.

    I think it is a 4 ton in a 2750 sq ft. house with a finished walkout basement that adds another 1500 square feet. That thing has it's work cut out for it. Especially since it is a ranch house with the furnace at one end. The ductwork is nowhere near right, even with boosters in the ducts the furthest bedroom bakes in the summer and freezes in the winter. It's in a fairly affluent neighborhood too and recent construction. I've learned from you guys how critical installations are. When I was even younger and dumber than I am now, I just figured that was the best they could do. In reality the builder should have been made to fix the system.

    It's probably half my dad's fault, he wanted the condenser out of sight and where it is I bet it reciculates 25% of the air that goes through it. It's in the coner of a courtyard in front of the house.

    Anyway, I wish I could take you up on that bet, it would be interesting.

    Oh yeah, it's got an eletronic air cleaner too! I knew you would like to know that.

    I don't know if it is piston metered or not, I know mine is.

    [Edited by dave and julie on 06-27-2005 at 04:09 PM]

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    149
    I got mine topped off a couple of weeks ago. It hadn't been serviced since it was installed in 1996. In a perfect world, it would not have leaked one bit, but I feel it was unrealistic for a unit to go that long without needing any (and it maybe needed one pound).

  8. #21
    Leaked through the pores huh?
    A serial blow and go'er.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    152
    In a perfect world, it would not have leaked one bit, but I feel it was unrealistic for a unit to go that long without needing [...]
    Just tell me I'm full of it & I'll go away. --An engine in a car needs its oil changed, becuase the bits of crud & impurities are collected in the oil, and it needs to be changed from time to time. Isn't a compressor also a high-stress device that can produce such crud, that would be deposited in the oil? Would you laugh if I said I had someone out last year to evacuate & recharge my system because of this reason? I thought it must make the compressor run easier. Didn't see the guy put oil in though. How does this work..?

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,290
    Just tell me I'm full of it & I'll go away. --An engine in a car needs its oil changed, becuase the bits of crud & impurities are collected in the oil, and it needs to be changed from time to time. Isn't a compressor also a high-stress device that can produce such crud, that would be deposited in the oil? Would you laugh if I said I had someone out last year to evacuate & recharge my system because of this reason? I thought it must make the compressor run easier. Didn't see the guy put oil in though. How does this work..?
    Main problem here is in your analogy. A car engine has internal combustion occuring while the engine is running. Some of these products of combustion blow by the piston rings and pollute the lubricating oil. This, more than any other factor, is why engine oil must be changed regularly. When I was on a Navy ship, it used lubricating oil in the main reduction gear, which was subject to heat and exposure to mechanical parts that would wear, but we used a lube oil purifier to continually reuse the same oil. Rumor had it some ships had their original furnishment of lube oil years after leaving the shipyards.

    In an air conditioning system, the compressor lubricating oil operates in an extremely low moisture and atmospheric air environment. If the system is maintained, the compressor oil is never subjected to heat to the point where it might begin to break down and lose its lubricating abilities. It is true the oil may pick up bits of mechanical wear over time, but this is what filter/driers are for (as well as for continued moisture removal).
    Any seasoned service technician can tell you that he's come across at least one old clunker system that's been churning away since the 1960's or earlier, complete with its original furnishment of oil, and even refrigerant charge. This indicates how a properly sealed, hermetic system can run an incredibly long time without an oil change.

    As for your efforts at having your system evacuated and recharged with virgin refrigerant, you certainly didn't hurt anything if it was done correctly. Chances are that level of care didn't happen at installation, so you may be in better shape than before.
    As your service technician I might have thought your request a bit unusual, but I was running around in a service truck before the internet came along, so I'm sure the customer base for many resi techs has changed considerably since my windshield time days.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    You're full of it Alex.

    No... really. Shop gave the long explanation. I'll give the short. The tech that did the work should have looked befuddled at your request and should have tried to persuade you to not do it unless there was legitimate cause.

  12. #25
    Originally posted by zzyzzx
    I got mine topped off a couple of weeks ago. It hadn't been serviced since it was installed in 1996. In a perfect world, it would not have leaked one bit, but I feel it was unrealistic for a unit to go that long without needing any (and it maybe needed one pound).
    I guess I need to schedule all my clients that have 10+ yr old equipment to schedule a 'top off' then! And check out their 'flux' capacitor for aliens while I'm at it too...

    'maybe needed one pound'... I take this as the serviceman DIDN'T wiegh the refrigerant that he/she installed????

    BTW, I have several systems over 10 yrs that have not needed any refrigerant! Am I the only one doing something wrong here?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633
    You're doing something VERY wrong. You check flux capacitors for magnetic alignment, not alien infestation. Freakin' hackers.

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