A/C FINALLY Fixed after 6 months!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    31
    All,

    I reported A/C problems here starting a few months ago, and after 6 months of hell I am happy to report that it is finally fixed!

    A lot of folks provided input here, so I wanted to offer closure on this situation.

    In summary, the issue was that I had a new 2.5 ton Trane 14xli R-410 system installed in March. Instead of a Trane Coil, they installed a Superior Coil/TXV. I did not know this intil 4 months later!

    From the start, I had problems with the inside coils freezing, especially starting between 1:30pm and 2:30pm when the sun hit the back of the house. The air flow would reduce, the temperature would rise, and the furnace would sound like a big old steam-engine.

    I had to turn the system off and leave the fan running for 30-45 minutes so it could recover, then turn it back on. It would run ok for a couple hours, then frost/freeze up again.

    For every 2 deg in cooling I obtained, I'd loose 1 during the defrost period.

    The installing contractors were out here no less than 7 or 8 times, with 4 different tech's working on it.

    It never got fixed. My $200 Electric Bills sure showed that.

    They replaced the inside coil/txv, recharged the system, put a freeze stat on (it turns out, a 26 deg stat, which of course is useless), and basically screwed with it for 5 months.

    Their final verdict was the floor ducting in my 38 year old house was not capable of supporting the new A/C, and I would have to buy new ducting to install in the ceiling. Since it is a down-draft furnace, they would also have to build a box for the furnace to sit on, where they could tap off for the new ducting.

    Well, considering this house has never had A/C problems like this, and since the estimate for this ductwork is like a month late, I decided to bring another contractor in for a second opinion.

    I did, and I'm happy to report all issues have been resolved without ANY new ducting at all.

    The problem?

    The second Superior Coil/TXV was bad. Well, it was either:

    1. Bad.
    2. Damaged during the installation by brazing heat.
    3. Totally wrong to begin with.

    Item #3 is there because there are NO markings on the Coil for the tech to identify what it is. However, there are markings on the TXV and, get this, there are some indications that this is actually an R22 Coil/TXV they installed! We can't be sure however.

    Anyway, I bit the bullet and told them to fix it. It cost me $1380 for the new coil, draw-down, installation, recharge, etc...

    We installed a PROPER, matched Trane R410 coil designed for the 14xli and my XL80 furnace.

    I now have more A/C than I could ever need.

    Before, the temp split was 12 or 13 degree's (when it worked). Now the split is 15-20 degree's depending on when it's measured.

    And it don't freeze any more

    I can draw this house down to 65 degree's if I want, and it will do it quickly.

    I could not get to 73 reliably with the system the way it was before.

    The TXV failure on the old coil was kinda weird. It wasn't that it was opening too far, it was actually not opening enough. It was starving the Coil, and this was causing the freezing. When we put it into a cup of warm water you could hear the refrigerant flowing (never heard that before) and the split was correct, and the thing was actually blowing cold air again! With the TXV strapped in place, little refrigerant was flowing, and you could actually sit and watch the coil frost over slowly, mainly at the bottom.

    I've gone from the worst air-conditioning I've ever had to the best air-conditioning I've ever had.

    All it took was the right diagnosis and the right parts, and someone smart enough to figure it out.

    Thanks for all your help here

    -Larry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,273
    The TXV failure on the old coil was kinda weird. It wasn't that it was opening too far, it was actually not opening enough. It was starving the Coil, and this was causing the freezing.
    Nothing odd about that. A TXV on a system with a normal charge that is starving the evap...you will see the evap frost over.

    All it took was the right diagnosis and the right parts, and someone smart enough to figure it out.
    Too bad the sharpest tool in the shed was NOT the one that installed this coil and couldn't see what was going on when he lit off the system. You would have had good a/c six months ago if the installer was on the ball.
    • 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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Why did it cost you ???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    5,376
    Tech
    I would send your letter to Trane and make them aware of the people installing there product. Congrats on getting it fixed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Wow, glad you finally got it working to your satisfaction. Your description and results are eriely similiar to a call I had about 4 months ago. The call came in as no cool and freezing up from time to time. I took the call because it was near my house and it was getting late and I could go on home from there. I arrived to find two units off and turned them both on. Upon checking temps and pressures, I found high pressures with very little temperature split across the coil. I don't remember the exact superheat and subcooling, except to say that I couldn't get enough freon in the system to get them where I wanted because the high side pressure was already way too high. I cleaned both outdoor coils and rechecked with the same results. By then it was getting really late and I told the customer I'd be back in the morning. The next morning I got there and talked to another person and she told me that both of these units had been doing this since the original installation about 9 months ago. The original contractor had already changed both indoor coils and now was suggesting changing both TXV's. These were Trane units with Trane coils. I told her that I could get the TXV's under warranty, but I was skeptical that both would go bad at the same time again. I finally pulled the freon out of one unit and evacuated it down to 400 microns and recharged with fresh freon and everything fell right into place. I then did the same thing to the second unit and it too worked fine and both have ran since with only one pm by our company. Now I say all this to say, that I would have fixed both of these units by changing the TXV's and properly evacuating and would have never really known what the real problem was. I do not believe the problem was the TXV's or the original coils either. The problem was that the original contractor was not following proper installation procedures and it so closely mirrors everything you described. Just makes you wonder...

    Bobby

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    996
    Originally posted by techlarry


    Anyway, I bit the bullet and told them to fix it. It cost me $1380 for the new coil, draw-down, installation, recharge, etc...

    -Larry
    contractor's reason for putting in generic coil:

    ___________________________________________



    contractor's reason for charging you for correct coil:

    ____________________________________________



    that contractor needs to be taught not to screw with the customer like that! give em hell!




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Hell Hole Swamp
    Posts
    4,180
    There are 2 companies involved here, thats why he had to pay for the correct coil.

    I would send the bill to the installing contractor, they probably wont pay it, but at least they will know they were shown up by their competition.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    31
    To be honest, I was fed up and after 7 or 8 trips, I didn't want the original contractor in my house again.

    I just cut my losses and moved on.

    -Larry

    Originally posted by dash
    Why did it cost you ???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    31
    The system was drawn down and recharged several times by the original contractor.

    Not until the new contractor replaced the coil/txv and recharged again did the problem go away.

    Since it is possible an R22 coil/txv was originally used, could this have caused the symptoms?

    The TXV seemed to work, it was just in the wrong 'bandwidth', so to speek.

    -Larry

    Originally posted by BobbyBJr
    Wow, glad you finally got it working to your satisfaction. Your description and results are eriely similiar to a call I had about 4 months ago. The call came in as no cool and freezing up from time to time. I took the call because it was near my house and it was getting late and I could go on home from there. I arrived to find two units off and turned them both on. Upon checking temps and pressures, I found high pressures with very little temperature split across the coil. I don't remember the exact superheat and subcooling, except to say that I couldn't get enough freon in the system to get them where I wanted because the high side pressure was already way too high. I cleaned both outdoor coils and rechecked with the same results. By then it was getting really late and I told the customer I'd be back in the morning. The next morning I got there and talked to another person and she told me that both of these units had been doing this since the original installation about 9 months ago. The original contractor had already changed both indoor coils and now was suggesting changing both TXV's. These were Trane units with Trane coils. I told her that I could get the TXV's under warranty, but I was skeptical that both would go bad at the same time again. I finally pulled the freon out of one unit and evacuated it down to 400 microns and recharged with fresh freon and everything fell right into place. I then did the same thing to the second unit and it too worked fine and both have ran since with only one pm by our company. Now I say all this to say, that I would have fixed both of these units by changing the TXV's and properly evacuating and would have never really known what the real problem was. I do not believe the problem was the TXV's or the original coils either. The problem was that the original contractor was not following proper installation procedures and it so closely mirrors everything you described. Just makes you wonder...

    Bobby

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    31
    I'm working on how to do that.

    It's a bit complicated in that there were friends/discounts involoved on the SALE side of the transaction.

    They were not involved in the install/maintenance side.

    It's a touchy situation.

    -Larry

    Originally posted by mr hvac41
    Originally posted by techlarry


    Anyway, I bit the bullet and told them to fix it. It cost me $1380 for the new coil, draw-down, installation, recharge, etc...

    -Larry
    contractor's reason for putting in generic coil:

    ___________________________________________



    contractor's reason for charging you for correct coil:

    ____________________________________________



    that contractor needs to be taught not to screw with the customer like that! give em hell!




  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    996
    it better be a touchy situation they possibly put an r22 coil in a 410a system. that is just plain stupin and wrong. at least put the right coil in. i know exactly what you mean by not wanting the contractor in the house again. personally, i would tell them i want a check in the mail this week for the cost of that correct coil!

    (or at least take the old coil to their ofice and break it over the managers head!)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Isle of Long
    Posts
    611
    Lets do a recap:

    Salesman sells the job using certain equipment (not necessarily matched) to keep the price down.
    Installers put the equipment in (because they are told to) not knowing exactly what it is, although they do know how to connect things together. They start it up and have problems.
    They bounce it off to the first line of service tech who isn't able to figure it out. Then they bounce it to the second line of defense, the Top Tech. He is able to figure it out but his hands are tied because the boss has lost money and can't afford to waste any more time on this job. Hence customer gets ticked off and goes elsewhere.

    The salesman will not use this customers name on there list of satisfied customers.
    Learning is a lifelong process

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    996
    if i were the homeowner, the hvac installer BETTER know how the equipment works cause i would be a jerk of a customer. (i trust almost noone!) they will basicly talk me through the install and give me a complete description of everything. i aint having a crap install!

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