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Thread: Help! AC Stops Blowing Thru Vents?

  1. #31

    Default HVAC Rip-off

    I don't even know where to begin here.

    First of all, you still don't even know what the problem is. They charged you over $500, and you are way worse off than when you started. They need to troubleshoot and fix the original leak, as well as pump out and recover the entire system of all of the mixed refrigerants.

    The dye should only be used as a last resort. A relatively large leak can be eyeballed. You just turn the A/C on and look to see where the ice first starts to form. And there's your leak. I don't think it's an extremely slow leak or you wouldn't get so much icing. You may, however, have 2 separate problems. You could have a very slow leak, which would account for the low pressure reading. The icing may be due to something else entirely.

    Regarding the service tech: Even if he was stupid enough to mix the refrigerants, he still should have noticed it wasn't blowing cold air. And he should have called back to the shop for guidance.

    If they tell you that you need a new compressor or something else very expensive, then you should find out the cost, minus what you've already paid them in order to make your decision.

    If they give you a hard time, you should threaten to sue and notify the better business bureau.

  2. #32
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A natural result of low refrigerant is icing in the evaporator, it is not caused by it leaking refrigerant directly. Not moving the right amount of air over the coils can result in some, too, but that is not his problem.

    I had my compressor replaced last year...did not replace the evaporator coils or lines, the old one was a 14 SEER, replaced with a similar unit - cost me around $4k. Depending on where you live, and what you have, labor rates and the price of the unit will differ, higher or lower. Our labor rates are above average, but not at the top tier as seen in some places.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #33
    DIY Member BDP's Avatar
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    Hey folks,

    Here's the update -- Got a different tech this time, a much more confident one who obviously had a ton more experience. Really nice guy. He immediately made me feel more confident about things.

    He looked over the entire system in detail then we went out back, where the outdoor unit (compressor is it?) was making a horrible noise. He hooked up his gagues to realize the system had been LOADED with R22. Like WAY overloaded. The gague was going through the roof. So he let me know I'd be refunded everything except the original service charge to come out, and no charges at all for today. Completely sucked the system dry and then refilled with the proper amount of R22 for the system.

    He said he didn't actually detect any leaks, or think the system even had any, and didn't see any reason why it would have iced up. So I'll be keeping a close eye on it the next few days. He did show me that my inside coil was pretty corroded from 8 years of usage. Also, my outside unit is not in the best of shape either, efficiency-wise. A very stupid person (read: me) tried to clean it 2 years ago with a pressure washer. I got about halfway done before I realized I was pinching the fins closed. So the unit has been working very hard but has cooled well for the past 2 years. I realize its days are numbered.

    In the end, he admitted that the last tech made a lot of mistakes, the key being not letting the coil defrost before service -- He didn't say anything about mixing coolants, or the dye, but he DID say that he needed to let the coils inside defrost before hooking up the machine to get the coolant reading -- He didn't. Hence the reason he was able to extremely overfill the system. I asked if this could have damaged anything and his reply was no. I imagine if I want to be a really squeaky wheel about it I could complain and get free service or parts, but the guy was nice and spent a good 3 hours with the system and I at least have had a good checkup on it and new R22. We'll see how cool the house gets tonight, of course.

    They did quote me a bit over $4k installed for an entire new system from Trane - Or something like $330 for a full cleaning of the system, inside and out. I didn't accept either. Think I'll still go with another company (or at least get another estimate) before replacing anything, parts-wise or system-wise. The GOOD news of all this is at least I am not out close to $600, and can go back to square one as far as finding a good contractor to ultimately fix whatever the problem is.

    What a day.
    Last edited by BDP; 05-25-2007 at 12:20 PM.

  4. #34
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you go to a hvac supply shop, you can buy a comb and straighten the fins. This will help, and won't hurt. They come in various pitches, sometimes on different sides of the same tool to match the spacing of the originals.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #35
    DIY Member D.Smith's Avatar
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    Not to derail but anyway on cleaning the coil? Seems the outside is clean but I wonder on the A coil the underside? Seems that would get the dust that the filter missed and could limit the amount of air transfer.

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