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  1. #1

    Crayola Crayon smell from HVAC system

    I have 3 Unico 2 year old HVAC systems w/ exterior Bryant AC units that use Puron 410A. I have a smell like Crayola Crayons coming from one system. It started this winter when running the heat and is there when just the fan is running and when the AC is on. I've run it for hours to try and flush the smell out. The contractor can't find anything wrong with the system. But there was a dried pinkish substance in the drain pan (no odor). 3 questions: What does Puron smell like? What does it smell like after it hits a heat exchanger? Would the Pink residue have resulted from the Puron leak? Or from an oil leak? Or?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    2,176
    Refrigerant has no color.

    If you have kids, I'd be checking their crayon boxes for a pink one missing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    N.E. Iowa
    Posts
    314
    So you're telling me R22 isn't green either?!

    You know, it probably wouldn't be a bad thing to add some scent to refrigerant...it would be easy to tell if there was a leak!

    Just think how easy it would be for a customer to call up and say "My evaporator coil has a leak. I can tell because my basement usually smells like cat urine, but now it smells like magnolia blossoms".
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    22 has a smell, i feel

    410a has no smell which i find to be a pain. At least if there is a 22 leak, I can smell it.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire (USA)
    Posts
    401
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrk8r View Post
    So you're telling me R22 isn't green either?!

    You know, it probably wouldn't be a bad thing to add some scent to refrigerant...it would be easy to tell if there was a leak!

    Just think how easy it would be for a customer to call up and say "My evaporator coil has a leak. I can tell because my basement usually smells like cat urine, but now it smells like magnolia blossoms".
    That made me laugh.

  6. #6

    Crayon Smell

    Unfortunately, no kinds in the house. The smell is on the output side. We took the air filter/electrostatic unit out and could get our head in there and the smell was not there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    N.E. Iowa
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by dpowderm View Post
    Unfortunately, no kinds in the house. The smell is on the output side. We took the air filter/electrostatic unit out and could get our head in there and the smell was not there.
    Have you ever smelled ozone? Is it possible the odor you are detecting is from the ozone produced by the EAC?

    I still have no theory on the pink substance though, unless it is some residue from some type of cleaning solution.
    ______________________________________________

    Sign petition to limit Congressional and Senatorial terms. http://www.termlimits.org/

    "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."--Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southeastern PA
    Posts
    61
    Shouldn't ozone eliminate most odors? A waxy crayon smell to me seems like it's a possible electrical smell- not burning wires so much as maybe a leaky cap or a slight rubbing or something? It sounds like you were very thorough in looking all of that over, and I would hope the Tech was too.. I am very interested in hearing the end result if you ever find one. Or just put a pine tree air freshener in there to hide the crayon smell?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,593
    The Pink Stuff is a type of Yeast, and yes it can emit different kinds of odors. It was in a Squash Club's RTUs and it would let off a smell at times that was like the floor finish they used on the courts and other times it smelled like Janitor in a Drum, which they also used. We cleaned the coil with a coil cleaning detergent, followed by Rinse Aid, that is used in a home dishwasher. The ratio was one small bottle to three gallons hot water. The rinse aid will also help the water run down the coil fins, rather than be pulled off the coil by the air flow. This effect is permanent, as it slightly etches the aluminuim coil.

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