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  1. #1

    Confused

    Location: Missouri

    Equipment Installed:
    - TUY100R9V4W (FURNACE XV90)
    - 4TTX6036A (CONDENSER XL16i)
    - RXC037S3 (EVAPORATOR)
    - TCONT802A (T-STAT)
    - UltraVation Progressive Media Air Cleaner (Merv 11 filter installed)

    Here's some back ground information and observations during the A/C portion of installation

    Basic Steps Observed While Installing Line Set and starting A/C system:

    -Brazed the line set w/out nitro purge
    -Pressure Checked with nitrogen and found pin-hole leak at evap fitting
    -Fixed leak while purging nitro
    -Pressure checked again to about 70 PSI held for maybe 60 seconds but definitely no longer than 2 minutes.
    -Opened Condenser Lines to release Freon and started A/C
    (nope, I didn't miss a step. they started the system without evacuating the nitro or pulling a vacuum)
    -hear a squealing sound in the evap...hmm..i didn't know there were moving parts in there. (I know, someone greased the rails and my Trane had some wheel-slip)
    -tech started to add Freon, couldn't get pressure & temps to match the graph...I wonder why?
    -homeowner gets very nervous, sick feeling in stomach, can't watch anymore and walks away.
    -they kept trying to charge the system to get it right. Kept this up for an hour or so.
    -I came back to see what was going on, asked the tech ďhow much Freon did you charge?Ē He had no idea
    -things got real quite, could of heard a pin drop. I just had to walk away again and watch from the inside. The installers and techs got their Nextelís out and started communicating with the head service guy (manager). Nextel 2-way service wasn't real good in our yard so the guys were walking around trying to get a better connection.
    -after the call, noticed the system being evacuated through a little box with gages on it into a pink tank.
    -Finally, the vacuum pump came out of the truck and used on the system for the first time.
    -system charged from a pink tank (not sure if same tank or different, I couldn't watch too long, kept feeling sick)
    -Kept charging for some period of time.
    -guy on phone, told the tech to put pink tank in bucket of hot water, I remember this trick from my days of charging my own auto A/Cs back when i could buy the stuff. Apparently they charged with gas and not liquid? My wife filled the bucket up for him and made sure he got a glass of cold water to drink. The bucket of water did the trick and sped the charging process up. The system was cooling somewhat now
    -the tech tells me he is finished and the system's liquid line pressure and temp match the graph and its properly charged but I wanted him to check the temps coming out of the evap and the delta across the evap was maybe 10 degrees. I asked if the A/C was running on its second stage and he didn't know. He said he never worked on a 2-stage system before and didn't know how to tell.

    Other things notice throughout the day from talking with the guys installing the A/C and observing tools:
    The 2 main guys doing most of the physical work (including line brazing) never worked on this type of system (XV90 and XL16i) nor a R-410A system before. They admitted this to me when I heard the guy outside yell into the window to the other installer, what's this other wire for, the guy inside didn't knowÖ I finally perked up and said, "itís a 2-stage compressor"...."OH", and they both said "I never worked on one of them before". The tech that came out to start up my AC (owner's son) said he worked on only one R-410A system before with help from the service manager. His gage set was a dual R-410A/R22 set (makes me wonder if he uses this set on both types of Freon?).
    To make things worse, I picked the hottest day of the year so far to have my system changed out (reached a high of 98 and humidity out the ying-yang).

    FINALLY, the Service manager show up at my house (former guy on phone) and owner's son (tech) goes home after talking with him. It appeared to me the main task or goal of the service manager was to convince me the system is installed correct and not to actually inspect anything. I had to ask very detailed questions to get him to look at anything....believe me I did. This started about 5:30 PM and lasted until about 8:00 PM, after all, this is why managers make the big bucks:

    1. I asked if the system was running on the second high stage. He didn't know, so we checked. Checked the voltage of Y1 and Y2 at the compressor. Only Y1 was hot...Ok, now we know it's only on low stage. This is a start; the manager finally knows something is wrong. After all, itís like 85 in the house and stat set to 70. I do believe it should be on high.

    2. Next I ask him to pull out the install manual and check the dip switches on the furnace, yep, they were wrong too...set for a 2.5 ton normal. We set this for 3-ton normal. Didn't even try to figure out the Comfort-R switches or furnace switches at this time. Anyway, this still didnít explain why the A/C is on low.

    3. I ask him to convince me the system is charged correctly, that its not contaminated, and etc....he tells me he was on the phone with the tech, the system was never opened to air only nitro so it should be ok. I'm still not convinced of this. He puts his gages on (gages are R-410A only this time). Keep in mind the system is only on low stage, also I found out a day later the blower was on Y2 from a wiring error and blowing at 1200 CFM while the AC compressor was running on Y1. Here are the readings from the liquid line at the compressor. 325-PSI, 94-degrees. The compressor is maybe 5 feet higher than the evap and there is about a 25' line set.

    4. I asked if after the system was totally evacuated if any oil would of been lost. He answered by saying some of the oil would of escaped with the Freon, but the Freon tank used during re-fill has oil in it so oil is added back in during the charging process. I forgot to ask if the same tank used during evacuation was also used for re-filling.

    5. After reading this forum in the past, I know R-410A is a blended Freon, so I asked, "How did you ensure the correct blend was added?" He said this is why he told the tech to charge using gas. He said this keeps it properly mixed.

    6. Ok.... still not cooling on second stage, so I asked, what 'calls' the second stage? He told me the T-stat. "Ok", I said "letís check the t-stat", but he didn't know anything about the model installed. Said he never seen this one before.

    7. Ok, next question I asked the manager, "is it a 2-stage stat?" We look at the model number and finally see that it is a 2-stage stat.

    8. Is the wiring correct? He checked this out too. I didn't really follow along but he said it was. I checked the next day myself and found what I believe to be 3 wiring errors between the t-stat and furnace. Anyway I'll list the point-to-point wiring in a bit but the bottom line, it wasn't correct and we didn't know this at this time.

    9. Before leaving the manager said he would do some research on the t-stat and let me know the next day.

    Its 8:00 PM, been a long day, the service manager finally departs, but at least he admits the A/C is not working correctly.(small victory on my part)

    10:00 or so at night, just wife and I home, itís pretty hot and humid in the house...still 82 degrees on the stat and sticky. Oh, by-the-way, we got a toy with the t-stat, an outside temp sensor and we can't get it to read either (what a surprise). After all, itís too hot to sleep so the wife tries to figure it out. She got the owners manual out for the t-stat and reads it to figure out how to get the outside temp to display. She said we need to press the "more" selection on the t-stat but there is no "more" displayed. So, we look at the paper work that came with the sensor itself, and under the OPERATION section it mentions something about Comfort Control Installer Setup Number 0340.....hmm? What does all this mean? Dig into our pile of papers left with our new system; find the installation instructions for the T-stat.....WOW...EURIKA. The stat is programmable....hmm...start reading in detail..."System Type Selection" 0170, set to 8 "2heat/2cool". We is cooling!!! Oh, btw, the outside temp sensor is now working too. Figures it takes the wife to finally step in to get things working. I guess this proves it, women are always right.

    End of the First Day

    Next morning, I called the owner up, told him there are several issues, the job isn't complete but before anyone comes out and works on the system I want to meet him and go over a few issues. I did tell him I got the system cooling the night before so I wasn't in a rush for service. After a night of no sleep, I know I wasn't in a good mood and didn't want to get into any details with him for fear of going off the deep end. It would be best to cool off (literally) and go over this rationally. He was going out of town and couldnít meet for a few days, so we set an appointment time for this Wed. The good news, I havenít paid for the system yet and before he started the job he did tell me he wouldn't collect until I was satisfied with it.

    After I got home from work, I pulled out the install manuals for the t-stat, furnace and a/c and started reading and tracing wires and setting all the dip switches. I've learned one thing about this process, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself or ask your wife. I changed a few things. Here are some before and after details of the wiring and the final furnace dip switches.

    T-Stat Wiring Before:

    T-Stat Furnace A/C Compressor
    Y2---(Black)------YLo---(Red)----Y2(Yellow/Red)
    Y---(Yellow)------Y----(Yellow)--Y1(Yellow)
    RC-R--(Red)-------R
    B (not/connected) B/C---(White)---B(Blue)
    W1--(White)-------W1
    W2(not/connected) W2
    G---(Brown)-------G
    S1--(Purple)------------(Green)--(Black to sensor)
    S2--(Orange)------------(Black)--(Black to sensor)

    As you can see, the Y2 was hooked to YLo in the furnace. This is what was causing the blower to run at 1200 CFM during low cool. I wasn't sure if "B" not being connected to B/C is a problem. Couldn't really figure this out from the manuals and it didn't seem to make a difference in performance but I hooked it up anyway because the T-Stat manual showed it hooked up.

    T-Stat Wiring After:

    T-Stat Furnace A/C Compressor
    Y2---(Black)-------Y----(Red)----Y2(Yellow/Red)
    Y---(Yellow)-------YLo-(Yellow)--Y1(Yellow)
    RC-R-(Red)---------R
    B----(Blue)-------B/C--(White)---B(Blue)
    W1--(White)--------W1
    W2(not/connected) W2
    G---(Brown)--------G
    S1-(Purple)-------------(Green)-(Black to sensor)
    S2-(Orange)-------------(Black)-(Black to sensor)

    I know W2 is still not connected but the T-stat cable only has 8 conductors. Besides, who is thinking about heat in the summer?
    I looked at the installation instructions for the temp sensor and it said it should not be wired in the same cable as the T-stat. I'm going to have the installers run me another cable and hook this up correctly according to the manual. While I watch of course..


    Final Dip Switch Settings (I used the settings from the label on the furnace door as my guide):
    SW1-OFF
    SW2-ON
    SW3-OFF
    SW4-OFF
    SW5-ON
    SW6-ON
    SW7-ON
    SW8-OFF

    All I changed here were SW5&6 from off to on, I believe this makes the comfort-r work correct, but keep in mind, I'm only the home owner and "I've never seen one of them before"

    I've had the A/C running for about 2 days now. From a performance standpoint I'm very impressed and pleased. I'm looking at a humidity meter now and it shows 35% and the temps pretty much stay at the set point either 72 or 74 degrees depending on the program my wife entered. I've never seen the humidity under 45% when the old A/C was installed. The outside temps have only been in the mid 80's after the new system was installed but its cools and dehumidifies fine so far. I just need to wait for a really hot day to see how it works then but every indication is it will cool just fine. It figures, its only hot so far was when the A/C was being installed.

    Now, the real ISSUES:

    I do hear compressor noise in my basement. It is actually louder in the basement then outside, It seems the line set is conducting this noise. The noise is more noticeable when running on Y1, especially in the basement when the blower motor is barely audible. What is really sad, when standing outside this compressor actually seems louder than my 17 year old Lenox compressor before it was replaced. Also, I couldn't hear the Lenox at all inside the basement.

    Now the furnace blower seems very nice. There is air noise at high but I assume this is to be expected when pushing 1200 CFM or so, but almost no mechanical noise at all at high speed and on low speed (stage one cooling), I can't hardly hear a thing but this could because the A/C compressor which is 25 feet away and outside is drowning it out.

    Should I be concerned about what happened during the install process and the noisy compressor? Is there anything I should insist be done before accepting the system?

    Ok, I have to mention this too. My wife wants to get her concerns addressed. Her biggest complaint is the line set install job. When it was pulled through the hole on the side of the house, the insulation was pretty much ripped to shreds. There is some of bare copper showing and a lot of the insulation is cut and can easily be separated exposing more copper. I guess this will sweat a lot. It seems pretty tacky to just start taping it up with electrical tap. Which by-the-way is what the guy who installed said he would do and he did tap some of it before he left. To make things worse, there is a window about one foot away, which I removed for them to bring in their 20'long PVC pipe for the furnace. They could of easily put the line set in the basement through this window and only pushed about 3 feet through the hole instead of 20 feet. My basement is unfinished and a fairly straight shot from the hole or window to the furnace about 20' away. I don't know how any retro-fit job could have been easier then mine. My wife said this is typical of men; they have to find the tightest hole to push their line set through. Anyway, it does look like crap and itís also angled across the basement ceiling. The old line set they replaced was tucked up real nice and neat next to the main duct run. If we ever decide to finish the basement, this would make it difficult. I don't think itís too much to ask that an installation at least be as good as what is being replaced, so I'm going to insist the installer replace the line set AGAIN before we accept it. Oh boy, here we go again with the Freon charging...;(...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,590
    What scares me is you don't mention them pulling a good vacuum after fixing leak and pressure checking. R410a (don't call it Freon) POE oil loves to suck up moisture. If they didn't evacuate, the oil is probably contaminated and no way to change it without changing the compressor.

    Comp noise along the lineset isn't unusual with a scroll compressor. Recips tend not to do this.

    PS: R410a is supposed to be charged as a liquid with the jug upside-down.


  3. #3
    Thanks BaldLoonie, nope, they didn't pull a vacuum at all until much later in the process but did purge and pressure check with nigrogen after leak fixed. So, what is the result of charging with gas? The system was totally evacutated and completed re-charged with gas, tank right side up and placed in a bucket of hot water to speed it up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    What scares me is you don't mention them pulling a good vacuum after fixing leak and pressure checking.
    I agree. I guess this contractor's techs don't read the supplied installation instructions which as I recall say to pressure test at 350-400 psi with dry nitrogen, then evacuate to 350 microns, then close the vacuum pump valve and insure that the vacuum holds below 500 after a minute.

    Trane also says to initially charge R-410A evaporator coil and lines with vapor before opening the gas valves.

    Frankly I don't think techs bother to read much any more. I've had very, very experienced techs tell me that the factory charge in Trane's systems is designed for 25 foot linesets (nope, it is designed for 15 foot linesets). That is in the instructions too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    715
    I can relate to the problems of setting up a system that is new to you{I am a service technician}, but there is no excuse for not properly purging with nitrogen and a good leak check and proper evacuation of the system BEFORE start up. These steps are NOT new to the trade, just more important than ever because POE oils are used with R410A. The noise scroll compressors make is different than recips. This can be reduced by making sure the smaller liquid line does not contact the structure and the lineset itself is properly supported. I hope you can get the problems with your system resolved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,590
    Found out that charging R410a as a liquid reduces or prevents it from fractionizing (I think that's the term) which is the different chemicals of the blend going in at a different rate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Found out that charging R410a as a liquid reduces or prevents it from fractionizing (I think that's the term) which is the different chemicals of the blend going in at a different rate.
    Makes sense to me and I've read that in a couple of publications, but then I wonder why Trane says to initially charge evap and line with vapor -- I just looked at that is indeed in the installer instructions...for the XR12 anyway.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by Wirenut
    This can be reduced by making sure the smaller liquid line does not contact the structure and the lineset itself is properly supported. I hope you can get the problems with your system resolved.
    Thanks Wirenut, I hope I can get them resolved too.

    What would be a reasonable remedy to the improper start up my AC received? Iím not too worried about most of the poor workmanship. However, from what Iím hearing, there is good chance my system is contaminated in some way and sure enough, it will probably die right after the warranty runs out, the labor portion anyway.


    Travis and BaldLoonie, thanks for your insight. Iíll admit I have no idea what the proper method for charging is and this all seems confusing to me. Out of curiosity, do any of the Trane publications cover a complete re-fill of R410a, not just the evap and lines during initial start-up? I get this sneaky feeling I will be seeing this done again with my system.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    If they pressurized with nitro first then released the charge into that, there is still atmosphere in that lineset and evap coil along with the pressurized nitrogen.

    I would say your system is contaminated even after pulling a vac.
    As for the noise...
    I have sold at least 3 dozen XL16i systems and recall my mechanics and homeowners also commenting on how quiet they are in BOTH stages.
    I was present on the start up of the 1st one I ever sold last year and the only way we were convinced the compressor was even running was because of the pressure reading on the guages!
    YES, THAT QUIET!
    I wouldn't be satisfied with the oil contamination.
    As for what you do about it is between you and your contractor...
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  10. #10
    Originally posted by Yellow Dot

    As for what you do about it is between you and your contractor...
    I guess this comes down the "Golden Rule". "He who has the gold rules".

    I haven't paid for the system yet.

    I'm looking for some sound resonable technical advice that is fair to both sides.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    Read up on POE oil and contamination and you'll know what you want done.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  12. #12
    Originally posted by Yellow Dot
    Read up on POE oil and contamination and you'll know what you want done.
    Reading is nothing new. I seem to be the only one doing any reading so far in this process. The techs sure haven't done much reading so far.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    Your new 16i was given cancer the day those hacks brought it to life.

    You never told us how you came to the decision to use this particular contractor.

    Low bid?

    How tall are you Private???!!!!

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