Firstly, I apologize for this lengthy post, but I felt like I needed to provide some background.

I am a complete newbie on this board but I feel like I should have visited this while researching on a replacement unit for our 9-YO house. For some reason, while researching this topic, this board never showed up. I figured I just didn't enter the right search words. This board needs to be the first stop for any homeowner who wants to upgrade or replace HVAC systems.

My story: We had about 4 bids for replacing our unit (the guy we hired to clean our external unit said that our compressor was on the verge of breaking down and that it was undersized [3.5 tons? not sure now] for our 2,100 sqft house. The lowest bid came in at around XK range and the highest came in at XK range [a bit high, but the contractor wanted to replace or fix the ductwork, upgrade registers, etc.]. We went with a XK range bid from Sears [I know--I did a search for "Sears" on this board and the results weren't that warm and fuzzy. But they threw in a 12-month no interest payment, etc. etc. and what appeared to be reasonable warranty arrangements]. The contractor came in and installed a new Kenmore 14 (4 ton) condenser unit as well as a new evaporator (up in the attic). The sales people who came over did not recommend new lines or duct work or offer a new thermostat (the tstat angle will become an important issue towards the end of this post).

We detected the first "freezing" incident last March when it got warm in our area. Called it in, contractor came, checked the pressure, made sure the drain lines were clear, and left. We didnt run the AC until about a month ago and then then the "freezing" restarted. Contractor came in again and "adjusted the fan speed." Ran OK for about a couple of weeks and then the freezing came back. Called the Sears help line, lady told me to run the fan until the icing goes away and that the contractor would come in 2 days. Contractor called (didn't come) and told me to call him if it freezes again. Called the contractor 2 times in 2 days because the line was freezing everytime I came home from work. He called again and claimed that Sears techs diagnosed it as "thermostat" problems but he would not come in on the clock because it was not covered by the warranty. At that point, I was totally sorry I went with Sears. With my family to think of, I told the Sears rep "fine, I will pay him after he replaces the thermostat and if the freezing will go away." He is supposed to come in today and install the new thermostat.

I hope the thermostat is the problem (did a search on this forum and found at least 2 hits indicating possible relationship with freezing). I did my own investigation and suspect something is not right, i.e., liquid line drier on what I suspect is the suction line? I this a proper way of installing the drier? I have attached a couple of pictures that would pretty much sum up my predicament. I would appreciate any comments from HVAC professionals on this board:

(No pricing, due to site rules )

[Edited by Jultzya on 05-20-2006 at 01:18 PM]