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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    6

    Lennox HS25-651 Condenser Leak

    Last March, my daughter moved into a 16 year old house that has the original system: Lennox HS25-651 5 ton condenser with a C23-51/65 coil. A week ago, it quit cooling -- found a leak in the outside condenser coil. The first serviceman said he could not repair it and wanted to sell a complete new R410a system. I'm trying to find someone that can try welding it up and then recharging with R22. My question: if the repair is unsuccessful, can just the condenser be replaced (with a dry R22 unit) ? How would I know what condenser would be a good match ?

    I found some information online that says this Lennox combination has a SEER of 12. The dry R22 condensers (Goodman, Rheem, etc) I have seen are 13 SEER. Would this work ?

    Since she is just getting started, she doesn't have a lot of money to spend. I'm hoping it can be repaired so she can save up some money for a complete replacement -- which ultimately is what will be needed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,056
    A new condensing unit won't match the indoor coil.
    Best to bite the bullet and have a matched system.
    Probably a good idea to replace the furnace too.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,326
    Yes the leak can most likely be repaired, however you will not have a warranty on the work and another leak could occur at anytime and the money would be wasted.

    That coil is very large and if you have a TXV installed you should have a system that will function just not to specifications. In addition that coil is well beyond its design life and could fail at anytime which means installing a new coil. When you install a new coil you will for better or worse be stuck with that 13 SEER system for a long time or must be prepared to accept the loss of all the money.
    The best option would be to install a new system from a qualified contractor with good warranties and guarantees on their work. A good contractor should have multiples of financing options including long-term fixed rates.
    What area are you in we might be able to steer you toward a good local contractor.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    Superseal if replacement is the only alternative?

    Search this board for more info - the product is controversial.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,716
    I have welded up many leaks on condenser coils it is done all the time on commercial roof top units , although there is no warranty . one thing to consider is if you go with a new unit with a 10 yr part and labor warranty it will be one less thing to worry about.one thing I wouid do before replacing it is make sure that you really need 5 tons of air conditioning as 5 tons suck a lot of power

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    6
    While I totally agree a new R410a system would be the best long term solution; if the leak can be repaired, this would get her by until she can obtain more estimates. I would think the lowest installation costs would be in the off-season winter. We are moving into the time of year when A/C is not as critical (although in SE Texas that could be argued !!)

    The other issue about being locked into a R22 13 SEER system is something to think about. The good thing is her highest electricity bill this year was $250 -- and it was an extremely hot summer (record breaking). So her bills would not be any more, and should be slightly less. As I understand it, the difference between a 12 and 13 SEER is only 10%. I don't think she could afford to put in a 16 or 18 SEER system -- and it would take a long time to recoup based just on power savings (given the higher initial install cost).

    Does anyone see any real problem with keeping an R22 system (with new condenser and evaporator) that could conceivably last another 10-15 years ? That could put it operating until 2025.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    16,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Mecsimm View Post
    The first serviceman said he could not repair it and wanted to sell a complete new R410a system.
    Problem I see here is "he said he could not repair it" so does this mean it can't be repaired? or he really just don't want to repair it? or does he just wants to sell you a new system? There are places within the condenser I would not attempt to repair, even if the customer knew it was a crap shoot to try, did he point out were the leak was located? to many unanswered questions here.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Mecsimm View Post
    My question: if the repair is unsuccessful, can just the condenser be replaced (with a dry R22 unit) ? How would I know what condenser would be a good match ?
    There have been literately thousands and thousands of condensers in the past 50 years replaced on existing coils. Every pro here has replaced a condenser on an existing coil in their lifetime, if they say they never have I would have to say their lying. When we replaced R-22 condensers 10/15/20 years ago it was no big deal to concern ourselves about the seer rating or compatibility of the evaporator, we just installed it and moved on, why all the fuss now? it's because everyone wants to sell you a new system and if that's their gig that's fine. I grew up repairing/fixing stuff and still go to every call with this idea, but I do know when it's time to jump the train and say you need a new system. The way the economy is, I personally believe the old school folks that are willing to repair in this business will be the survivors, because I am seeing ton's of folks wanting to repair, and if there are company's out there that want to walk away from repairs, I will take them all. Guess we would all be in terrible shape if all the doctors walked away from the bypass, and just wanted to sell you a new heart.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  9. #9
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    Sep 2002
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    .......................
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    When is R22 no longer legal to import or manufacture in the US? Not the equipment but the actual refrigerant. I'm thinking 2015 but can't remember for sure.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2002
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    2020 I think.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    4,716
    I agree with you mr bill seams like if the run cap fails on a 10 yr old system you need a new system according to many service companys

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    6
    Mr Bill, thank you for your candid reply. We going to try to find someone to attempt the repair. I do think it's worth a shot.
    Last edited by Mecsimm; 10-14-2011 at 11:04 AM. Reason: punctuation correction

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