Flooded AC unit any good?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    They are getting ready to demolish a nursing home near here that was flooded. The flooding didn't do it in, the mold afterwards is what caused it to be shut down. The flood was at least two years ago.

    They are selling AC units for $40. These units are about the size that I have had on my house before and sit on the ground. Just a regular old AC.

    What are the chances of them being any good? Is it worth the $40 to take the chance? Otherwise I might be looking at replacing my unit with a new one.

    Jena
     
  2. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    It depends if someone tried to run the AC without making sure the thing was dried out. The compressor is sealed. If someone cleaned it and dried it out before it was run, I don't see why it couldn't be used. If you can, open one up and see if the mud was cleaned out of it. If there's a disconnect box on the outside, check to see if it's on or off. Did they try to use the facility after the flood? If they didn't and the AC units weren't running when it flooded, you might get lucky.

    You could always pay an HVAC outfit to check the unit before you buy. If you decide to buy one, make sure whoever removes it seals the AC lines to keep moisture out.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Jena, I sometimes salvage totaled vehicles and occasionally a flood vehicle goes through the sale. I have spoken with the guys that do these salvages for a living a they confided that the flood cars are never dependable as they always have electrical problems cropping up. Somehow the plug ins start to corrode and the socket connections get intermittent. There is not as much wiring in an AC unit but I can visualize a lot of similarities between the vehicle and the AC. I think I would let someone else realize the opportunity. I have a decent site on the internet to buy surplus and dented inventory ACs if you are interested.
     
  4. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The fully functional one at my FL apt had been underwater through a hurricane 5 years earlier. Doubt it is still in place after last year.
     
  5. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Cars are far more complex than an AC unit. Lots of connectors and components to get screwed up. I had a rental car once that was in water up to the floorboards. No water got inside but it was still salt water. When I moved it I took my time so as to not splash water up into the engine compartment. The digital instrument panel had an intermittant problem after that. The car ran fine but the panel would go dark driving down the road.

    The local Western Auto has been flooded nine times since it started. The owner always cleans up the appliances after a flood and sells them at a big discount. Folks have been buying them for years. Of course here in WV you're not going to get flooded by salt water unless it's a freak accident involving brine from a gas well.
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I myself would be willing to aquire such a unit IF the water depth during the flood was no more than halfway up on the unit. Can you see a waterline on them?

    You would probably need to really wash the fins of the units if you do get one.

    Getting a replacement is just the tip of the iceberg for getting the unit into service.
    The old unit will need to have the refrigerant pulled, the new unit set into place, a new dryer, vacuum pulled, then the refrigerant reinstalled. That is just what I suspect and not what a serviceman would know and probably do. If the unit doesn't operate then it might have to be done all over again with a different unit.

    You would also probably need to talk to a serviceman to see if the unit was compatible with what you have/need.

    Maybe you can use the fines/piping of the old unit to put under glass in a cabinet, painted black, to heat water for your home or shower. A small pump to move the heated water to a storage tank and through the coil fins.
     
  7. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    are these compressors setting on the ground(split units?) cooling section in side the building via refrigerant pipes? or window type?


    either way,

    the window type if it works it works,
    if it is a compressor on the ground with pipes running to a inside unit, and the pipes have not been cut and left open.

    $40 is cheap for a compressor/condenser unit, in good working order,

    the compressor should be a hermetical sealed unit,
    the air circulation motor is not, there may be a relay box or some type of control box, that would not have been water tight, but I would think both could be replaced if need for a reasonable cost, clean out all the fins (do not use sharp objects to clean with). and Hi pressure washer will flatten the fins,

    the refrigerant should be able to be reclaimed and if the unit is sealed could be reused, (if there r 12 for get it),
    (most AC is R22) but will be being phased out soon,
    but do put new dryers on regardless,

    seal the ends of the refrigerant pipe when in storage, Ideally solder on a cap,

    if there heat pumps there would be more wiring and controls that could be damaged,

    a lot would depend on how much you can do your self,
    NOTE, it is illegal to vent refrigerant in to the air, the refrigerant if it is a split unit the refrigerant will need to be recovered.