My electrical trouble started with a bad high pressure switch on circuit #2. It was a surprise to find they use an auto resetting switch that cuts out at 285 psi and in at 230 psi. The next problem I had was with a failed capacitor, but that could happen to any unit so I don't fault Freus for this one. The last problem I had was with the time delay relays, they would keep the compressor for the #1 circuit from coming on.
My issue with the assembly quality came from a wire nut they used to hold (4) solid 12ga wires together that was for one way too small but also wasn't holding them tight. It got hot from the arching and once it broke one of the wires went right into the frame and popped the fuses. That's what lead to gutting the electrical box. (that and my wife being kind enough to voice her disgust over the number of repairs it has needed)
As for the maintenance, they recommend you pull the pumps out and clean them along semi-annually and at the same time scrub out the pan.
Another issue I forgot to mention is the noise this unit makes. Yes there is only one unit now, but it's nearly as loud as when both of my old ones were running. The compressors and pumps are pretty quiet, and before the fan initially came on I was impressed- for about 20 seconds. Then the fan kicked on. It is LOUD! Seriously, this thing is so loud it would make a deaf man stand up and say "did you say something"?
Thanks, mik597, good stuff to know.
i do not filter the water but do run a bleed of approx. 1 gph.
the sump must be kept clean & also use a mesh screen on the pump inlet.
the spray heads need cleaned & hoses cleaned. we also use a drip feeder
& set it to about 1 gal per month of white vinegar for treatment. sump is on a timer to flush after 12 hours of unit operation & refill with fresh water.
some units require a little more attention more often but each one gets serviced monthly. the maintainence costs outweigh the electrical savings &
for that reason i do not recommend these units for resi. use. the vinegar seems to work out better without the corrosion of other treatments & a
lot less costly.
There was never an argument that water cooled isnt more efficient than air cooled, clearly it is...... but efficiency is illusive and you really have to speak in terms of ROI / life expectancy.
In your case you've taken proactive steps to have a more reliable product.... but at the end of the day...... the unit is so poorly made that no one (other than in the hands of a guy like yourself) will ever be able to keep it running.
Water cooled (in this configuration) is old school.... if it was reliable & viable Carrier, Trane, Amana, would have been all over it
rheem had many of the old rheemaire units in the 60s & 70s.
the maintainance wes very intensive & regular but they held up real well.
most of the time after cleaning the removed scale weighed almost as the condenser
Coolguysfl- You hit it exactly, if this were a viable source of AC for the masses all the manufactures would be all over it. My biggest concern now that I own one and have picked through it enough times is the condensing circuits. They use a very unique design and coat them with epoxy, however to say they are not accessible is an extreme understatement. If this unit ever develops a leak, it won't matter who owns it. I don't see how it could be fixed, the only solution would be throwing it out and installed 2 air cooled units again.
One point I forgot to make was one of the biggest factors in trying this unit out was the incredible deal I got on it. I found a company on line that was selling off what they had in their warehouse because they couldn't get them anymore. So the price I paid was just a little more than the quote a local supply house gave me for a 4 ton 17 Seer Carrier.
They also told me about another company (Thermal-something?) but he wanted nearly 3 times the price of the Freus.
I own a system and it's horrible. Any savings on the monthly power bill are negated by the increased maintenance costs, coupled with the other inevitable problems when mixing water, power and machinery in a hot environment. Stay away is my advice.
Looking for Freus service in Phoenix
I am in Phoenix Arizona. I have two HVAC condenser units. A 5-ton AC2 unit on one side of the home and a 5 ton Freus Unit on the other side. I wish I had found this website a long time ago. I have maintained them as set forth in the manuals, but I would like to hire someone with experience to service these units and perhaps make some of the modifications discussed in these posts. Can anyone help?
Wasted time & money
Steve... anything can sooner or later be "fixxed"
I understand my suggestion to replace the products you have is not at the offset economical. If you have a passion for keeping the old stuff running, it can be done.... but I'm telling you - you are wasting time & money pursuing this endeavor.
No legitamate contractor will take your money to repair these.
This is a bad design at best - save your strength, start interviewing lic. contractors to upgrade your home.
Thank you Coolguysfl
Thank you for your post - not much has happened on this thread for a long time.
I appreciate your comments - which are supported by other comments on the site, but in the short run I need someone to help keep these units running. It is not just about buying new outside condenser units. When I installed the water cooled Freus units, the drop in the amperage required on the water cooled units permitted me to complete upgrades in my home without upgrading my electric service, so adding conventional higher amperage units may require me to upgrade my electrical panel. Also when I planned to put in the Freus units (in 2000), I invested in 2 high-end American Standard gas furnaces which have a 2 stage cooling option if the water cooled systems failed, but it appears that, at least for American Standard/Trane, the 2 stage condenser units are now only produced for the new R410A refrigerant. (My evaporator coil model/serial no. tag states that they are for Refrigerant R22 only.)
(Note: I replaced one AC2 unit with a Freus unit in 2008 - evidently right before the company went bankrupt - this so this one unit has actually only been used for 3 seasons and was manufactured in 2007. The AC2 unit is about 10 yrs old, so I know it is on borrowed time. I kept the replaced AC2 unit for parts.)
If I can't find somebody here in Phoenix, maybe someone on this site could provide "consulting services" for a fee?
You'll have to consult the local rep / contractor for your evap. coils -- in most cases, the coils can be field converted to R410 as you are correct in pointing out all currently produced 2 speed product is R410.
Coils -- if required are not a remarkable expense, and I would highly recomend only embracing ARI matched / tested products (coils that that are rated w/ the condensors).... you've already had a taste of Rube Goldberg systems.
Can I suggest you obtain a few well educated reviews of your property and INSIST the duct work be validated as proper for the required air flow to OEM specs @ .1" static design.. if you ignore this element, you'll have more long term problems.
Thank you coolguysfl for your thoughts.
Good to know where I stand re: refrigerant situation.
I was aware of the duct work efficiency issue when I did my last upgrade. I insisted on using hard duct and reduced the number of elbows. I also figured out how to add an additional underground return where the circulation was not good.
To All Who may inquire or have inquired,
In 2008 the company that manufactures the Freus unit went into bankruptcy. We were named as a creditor (owned no stock) and lost more than $500,000. The assets were sold to another company which defaulted on its payments to the Bankruptcy Court. During the summer of 2010 we bought the Freus name and all of its assets. Since then we have done the best we can to service and reach all customers to let them know we have parts and technical assistance. We are RR&P, LLC based out of the El Paso, TX area. Our administrative offices are based at:
Anthony, NM 88021
We can be reached for any questions regarding the unit, parts, or service at (575)-544-8721 or (575)-621-5388; we can also be faxed at (575)-993-5394. The website for the Freus it has been under construction and will be fully operational soon.
Last edited by Dad; 06-13-2012 at 10:42 AM.
Reason: Removed advertisments... left this for information only.