Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5

    Air leaking from AC supply lines in attic

    I have a 5 year old Unico M Series modular air exchanger in my attic and have never had any issues with it until yesterday; this is a high velocity system with 2" duct tubing coming off of the main trunk. Yesterday, it rained extremely hard in my area and I noticed that a bathroom exhaust vent was leaking a small amount of water so I got my ladder out and went into the attic to inspect. My house is a split-entry and does not have an easy access to the attic so I have never really been up there other than poking my head through the access panel. When I went into the attic to inspect the roof around where the bathroom vent is located the AC was off at first but kicked on while I was up there. I immediately noticed hissing noises coming from the many of the AC supply lines. I took a look at several and they use twist on connectors to hook into the trunk and it seems that the leaking air I was hearing and could feel is coming from these twist joints. I called the company that did the installation for me this morning and they want to charge me a bunch of money just to send someone out to look at it and then more to fix it. I am hesitant to do this because I feel as though if there is a problem that it was an installation issue where those joints weren't properly sealed and that they should come and make that right (if they should have been sealed somehow in the first place).

    My first question is, is the leaking air a problem? I would think yes as it would reduce the efficiency of the system. My second question is, should I have to pay for the company that did the install to come out and inspect/repair this if it was due to poor installation? Lastly, how are these twist on connectors normally sealed if they are at all (tape, sealant, etc)?

    Thanks in advance,
    Matthew Kling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    568

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by mkling1980 View Post
    I have a 5 year old Unico M Series modular air exchanger in my attic and have never had any issues with it until yesterday; this is a high velocity system with 2" duct tubing coming off of the main trunk. Yesterday, it rained extremely hard in my area and I noticed that a bathroom exhaust vent was leaking a small amount of water so I got my ladder out and went into the attic to inspect. My house is a split-entry and does not have an easy access to the attic so I have never really been up there other than poking my head through the access panel. When I went into the attic to inspect the roof around where the bathroom vent is located the AC was off at first but kicked on while I was up there. I immediately noticed hissing noises coming from the many of the AC supply lines. I took a look at several and they use twist on connectors to hook into the trunk and it seems that the leaking air I was hearing and could feel is coming from these twist joints. I called the company that did the installation for me this morning and they want to charge me a bunch of money just to send someone out to look at it and then more to fix it. I am hesitant to do this because I feel as though if there is a problem that it was an installation issue where those joints weren't properly sealed and that they should come and make that right (if they should have been sealed somehow in the first place).

    My first question is, is the leaking air a problem? I would think yes as it would reduce the efficiency of the system. My second question is, should I have to pay for the company that did the install to come out and inspect/repair this if it was due to poor installation? Lastly, how are these twist on connectors normally sealed if they are at all (tape, sealant, etc)?

    Thanks in advance,
    Matthew Kling
    lets see, the unit was put in 5 YEARS AGO! YOU probably got a 1 year parts and labor! so after 5 YEARS you want the installation company to come over there for FREE AND CHECK YOUR unit! hmmm. let think about this! interesting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5
    Well, if it was due to a bad installation then why not. Everything seemed to be OK as far as the unit cooling the house. My main question isn't so much about having to pay for them to come out, because if I need to then I will. I am more concerned with if they should have done this in the first place. If they should have then why would I give them my business again, I will more than likely get a referral for a different company that will do a better job. If it is not required or even common practice to seal these joints then I won't lay any blame on them, I am not an expert in here so I am looking for some guidance. I also, want to make sure that whatever gets done is the right thing.

    -Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    568
    Quote Originally Posted by mkling1980 View Post
    Well, if it was due to a bad installation then why not. Everything seemed to be OK as far as the unit cooling the house. My main question isn't so much about having to pay for them to come out, because if I need to then I will. I am more concerned with if they should have done this in the first place. If they should have then why would I give them my business again, I will more than likely get a referral for a different company that will do a better job. If it is not required or even common practice to seal these joints then I won't lay any blame on them, I am not an expert in here so I am looking for some guidance. I also, want to make sure that whatever gets done is the right thing.

    -Matt
    my only comment is, who's to say the joints were/weren't, leaking 5 YEARS AGO! 5 YEARS is a long time to use a system, then decide, you see something wrong! there's a beginning and a end to a warranty! that's all i can say, good luck! and the fact the co' is still in buisness 5 years later, is a plus in this economy! good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5
    Well, with a general lack of anything to seal the joints I would guess they have been leaking all along... but I see your point. However, that is why I am asking the question as to what is done in a typical install of these types of systems. If these joints are supposed to be self-sealing but mine are leaking air then I have faulty connectors that need to be replaced. However, if these joints are supposed to be sealed during installation somehow then mine were certainly not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    568

    Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by mkling1980 View Post
    Well, with a general lack of anything to seal the joints I would guess they have been leaking all along... but I see your point. However, that is why I am asking the question as to what is done in a typical install of these types of systems. If these joints are supposed to be self-sealing but mine are leaking air then I have faulty connectors that need to be replaced. However, if these joints are supposed to be sealed during installation somehow then mine were certainly not.
    last comment, the system was put in 5 years ago, if the guy says 5 years ago they were great, absolutely, possitively, NO AIR LEAKS, and now 5 YEARS LATER, you claim there leaking? maye someone has been going up there and accidently been bumping the flex duct, and that probably caused the leaks!good luck! have a great day!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    Quote Originally Posted by MM#7 View Post
    last comment, the system was put in 5 years ago, if the guy says 5 years ago they were great, absolutely, possitively, NO AIR LEAKS, and now 5 YEARS LATER, you claim there leaking? maye someone has been going up there and accidently been bumping the flex duct, and that probably caused the leaks!good luck! have a great day!
    I'm not convinced the OP needed your sarcasm. He seems to be asking a legitimate question as to whether or not they should have had a seal of some sort (tape, mastic, etc) when installed or if in fact the connectors themselves are self-sealing and do not require any additional sealing. If you know the answer then answer him, if not then don't bother flaming his thread.


    As to the OP, I have no experience with Unico and cannot answer the question myself.

    That being said I agree that if you find they should have had additional sealing as a standard part of the installation process then you may in fact want to look for another dealer. If not, then its impossible to know if they were leaking from day 1 or day 1000 and its reasonable to assume that they were not leaking at installation and to continue using the installing dealer understanding, of course, that you will be billed for this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,978
    The answers to the question on sealing the take-offs can be found by googling unico installation manual. This system had no problems until a heavy rain and a leaking roof? caused problems. There is no reason to expect the install company to provide anything for free at this point.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,342
    Mr. Kling:

    If you were a client of ours, we would handle your situation in this way:

    You would pay to have one of our service techs come out and assess the situation.
    Said tech would make a judgement call, on whos fault the leaking air was. His judgement would not be disputable.
    If, in his opinion, the installers did a bad job installing this product, we would fix it, no charge. We would probably then not collect the money for said service call.

    If, after 5 years of installation or anytime that is out of the warranty period, if said tech decides that the issue is related to the manufacturer or anything other than us, in any way shape and form, and the system was correctly installed per manufacturer's instructions, then it would be your responsibility to pay any all all fees associated with said repairs.

    But, thats how we operate.

    I do though, doubt that it will be installer error, if it has worked find for 5 years. (also, because I'm an installer. Gotta stick up for your brothers in arms )

    I would think with a high velocity system, a small gap would equal big air loss.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairfield county Connecticuit
    Posts
    778
    Have you had it serviced in these 5 years? If so which I think no is the answer it would have been picked up the first year. I do believe most manufacturers recommend professional service annually. So why don't you have it serviced and at the same time maybe they will asses the problem and do something for you

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,791
    Considering that on a Unico system, each outlet only moves 40 CFM max, a 2 CFM leak on one outlet is roughly a 5% leak, which is alot.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-08-2011 at 08:54 PM.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the replies. For one thing the heavy rain and small water leak around a poorly caulked bathroom exhaust vent didn't have anything to do with the air leaks I noticed; it was hardly a few drips onto my bathroom floor. Next, I suppose I should have had it serviced yearly but honestly that is something that never crossed my mind until now. But you're right that should be common practice and common sense, too-little-too-late now though. Curious though, I do not recall the installer recommending anything as far as service goes after they were done. I suppose now is as good a time as any to start having it serviced. I did google for the install manual and found that they recommend sealing with UL approved tape for flex pipe and connectors, which was definitely not done on any of my joints. So either the joints have loosened over time and the leaks have appeared sometime post-install or they have been there all along going unnoticed; and yes I understand that no concrete conclusion can be drawn about this now. Again though, my main concern was if the joints should have been sealed in the first place. Thanks for the advice and replies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairfield county Connecticuit
    Posts
    778
    When they service it explain your concerns I am sure if they stand bye their work the will work with you

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event