air conditioner coils House A/C

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by TNHermit, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure that I have a coil in the central air that has a hole in it. Even though I paid a guy 116.00 to check it out. He says the coils can't be fixed. Aren't they similiar to a radiator. why can't you take them out and solder or weld them up. And if a refrigerator last 25 years why can't an air conditioner
    I didn't use air till about 4 years ago. Now I'm old and I WANT IT :D :D
     
  2. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    under normal conditions they are rarely able to properly fixed,
    most are aluminum construction, and you normally can not solder it effectively or weld it, normally, if the tubing is copper you may be able to silver solder it, but the vibration the temperature changes and the internal pressure on the high side, or the cold temps on the low side, all adds up to some extream conditions to try to epoxi it or other normal methods for aluminum tube repair, and depending on the type of refrigerant you unit uses, (it is all expensive) it may be cheaper to just replace that part and make sure it is leak free, than to try a make shift repair and spend a lot of money just to have it leak out, (it cost you over $100 to just have it check out), so the basic service call will cost you $100, the cost to evacuate the system, and posibly to charge it with nitrogen, and re vaccume the system add the refergerant, re check for leaks, and if a leak is found, reclame the refergerant, and tell you need a new coil again, and that will cost, a good penny as well, (and you may have to pay for the refergerent any way),

    you may want another opinion before replacing tho, you can call some other refregeration services in your area to help make that decison,
     

  3. RACCOON

    RACCOON Well-Known Member

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    They used to sell a epoxy just for coils ,used to cost 10$, they also used to sell
    dyetell a red dye that goes in with the frigerant.
    but you still have to charge the unit and maybe change the filter.
    you might try going to a college that has air condition classes and find a student to
    fix it,they might do it for free ,just for experiance
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    get a good light and a freon detector. You may have to add a little freon if the system is totally empty. Crawl into the unit as far as you can and with the light and the detector attempt to find the source of the leak. Mine was a small capillary tube about 1/8 inch in diameter and the side of the tube had a hole rubbed into it from vibration. Line was not secured with a tie wrap as it should have been. I carefully cut the line in two at the rub hole with a tubing cutter. Next I got a slightly larger piece of copper tubing and slide it over the cut tubing as a sleeve. I brazed both ends of the "sleeve" to the smaller tubing, pulled a vacuum and replaced the freon. Works fine! The quote for the repair was $900, my costs was 35 cents for the brazing rod.
     
  5. 2story

    2story Well-Known Member

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    Agman I would have replaced or added the filter drier. By the time you pay a pro to fix an old coil, you could replace it and be done with the problem. this is not always the case. but why pay me now AND pay me later? I do not mind if that is what you wish to do though
     
  6. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

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    Which "coils" are you talking about? There are "inside" coils called evaporator coils and there are "outside" coils called condenser coils. Most indoor coils are copper and can be soldered if you're able to locate the leak. Most outdoor coils are copper too although some are aluminum. The copper coils can be soldered and in some cases, if you have a good svc. tech, the aluminum coils can be welded also. Sounds like the tech. didn't want to mess with it or just wanted to sell you some new equipment.
     
  7. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My whole system is outside its a "gas pack" they tell me. 3.0 ton Has gas furnace for house but I rarely use it. I got two woodburners
     
  8. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    THanks for all the other answers. I'll have to weigh the options.
    I would like to get thorugh this year since I won't be home much. I set it at 80 and wanted it to just keep the humidity in the house down while I was gone.

    If I can wait till this fall or winter. Just maybe I can save a little bit on a new one. Looking at 25-2800.00 dollars.
    Reckon you could somehow use the frunace out of this thing.???? Put it in the shop?????
     
  9. 2story

    2story Well-Known Member

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    I was refering to evap coils, and I maintain that it is not always worth the money to pay for a repair, component replacement is sometimes a better option
     
  10. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

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    The heater and A/C are completely separate. Shouldn't have any problem using the heat. How large is the leak? Does it leak out in a month, week, six months??? If it's a small leak, get it charged up and use it through the summer. If it's a big leak you're gonna have to get it fixed or not use it. If there's any pressure in the system you can sometimes find the leak with liquid soap bubbles. Look around and see if you see any oily spots. Most of the time a freon leak will have oil around it as oil is carried with the freon in the cooling cycle. If you find an oily spot, put some soap bubbles around the area and see if you can locate the leak. If you find a leak, and if the coils are copper, call a tech., show them where the leak is and let them weld it up. It's not a big deal. You still have evap. coils and cond. coils even if it's a packaged unit. Be sure and check both. If the unit is fairly good shape, the cost of repair might be more practical than replacement.

    When I said the heat and A/C are completely separate, I meant that you can operate the one system without the other although the thing is all in a package. You could take the system out of your house and put it anywhere you wanted as long as you have electricity and gas hooked up to it. You could even take the "coils" out and sell them for scrap. Right now copper is going for a pretty good price.
     
  11. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I paid a guy to check it out about three weeks ago before I left. He had some kind of sniifer but said there were no leaks. But it took 3 lbs of freon??? It worked fine for the week Iwas home but when I left I set it at 80 and was gone for 10 days. Got back late at night and turned it on set it back to 74. Went to bed and it was still 80 degrees in the house when I got up. He is suppose to show up here today. :shrug: :shrug:
     
  12. ninny

    ninny Well-Known Member

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    If he had to put freon in it, it's got a leak. Freon doesn't just go away. And if it leaked out that fast, sounds like a pretty good leak. He had an electronic leak detector. Sounds like he may not know how to use it or just didn't want to spend any time making a thorough inspection.
    Doesn't he warranty his work?? If this thing is leaking this fast, he shouldn't have too much of a problem finding it. I'd stay with him and see just how thorough he was. You might want to suggest the soap bubbles to him. I have seen situations where the elect. leak detectors were worthless when the leak is too large. They go crazy. In that case, you have to use something like bubbles, only way to go.
     
  13. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Aluminum coils?

    Alumalloy!
     
  14. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the leaks are at the shrader valves -- caps need to be kept on tight. If the coil is copper is can be brazed to repair the leak.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ