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Old 09-23-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


My heat pump is about 10 yrs old and has a major leak(s). Lost 8 lb of coolant in < 3 months. Is it worth paying someone to fix the leaks or just get a new unit? I've considered buying a leak detector but I'd still have to pay someone to actually fix the leaks and re-fill the unit. I'm worried that if I do fix the leaks new ones will develop again.

About how much should I expect to pay for a new unit? I have to replace the indoor part as well since it uses old R-22. I live in a 3 level, 1,800 sq. ft. townhome.

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


If the leak is at evaporator or condenser coil you can think that way ...... if not, it's best repair it.

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Old 09-23-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


8lbs in a season is a big leak and with that oil droplets that travel thru the system are going out also so a compressor failure is in the future if nobody added oil on the last recharge.did you do a visual checking of all the piping to see oil wetness indicating a leak.was it flat of freon when recharged if so dd the guy revac it.either a nitro pressurization added to the next short call and good leak check will be worth it.then if the tech repairs the leak 250 Microns on the re vacuum and write it on the invoice....if you go with a new system the will use the same piping with a different freon but a hands on touching of alll the piping might narrow down the leak location

Last edited by biggles; 09-24-2011 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


Correct. The leak needs to be found before you can make an informed decision on repair or replace. At 10 years old I'd set a limit of $1500 for repairs. Losing 8 lbs in 3 months should leave a pretty good oil spot to identify the leak.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


Thanks for the responses. More background info I should have included.

Last summer: the evaporator iced over. A tech came out and re-filled the unit for me. He told me that either I had a leak somewhere or it just ran low over the years. He never oiled the compresser. That was the first service on the unit in at least 5 years.

This June: It iced again. I called a different guy an he resoldered some joints on the evaporator, pressurized the unit with nitrogen and said the leaks were fixed. Then he vaccuumed it down and re-filled it with refrigerant. No oiling of compressor.

Last week: It iced again. Not sure where the true leak(s) are. I'll look for wet spots.

Sounds like even if I fix the leak something else may fail do the lack of maintenance.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:47 PM   #6
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


Your compressor contains over 50 ounces of oil so don't worry about a few drops missing from a typical leak. Now if the pad was saturated from losing several ounces of oil then the compressor would get removed,drained of all oil and refilled to mfr specs-after the leak was repaired of course.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


I hear a bubbling sound that I'm pretty sure is coming from a coupling nut on the evaporator. See the pics. I snugged up the coupling nut a bit but don't want to break anything. It still makes the gurgling sound. Is there an easy way for me to determine if that's the leak? Can it be sealed with RTV or will the pressure just blow right through?
10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?-coupling.jpg

10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?-evaporator.jpg
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #8
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


The bubbling noise means the system is low on charge. There is a part in that coupling designed to meter the refrigerant. Best not to mess with that to much. At 150 psi, bad things happen quick.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


It's a huge leak. Have a REPUTABLE company service the unit and evaluate it. If it's condensor or evaporator (outside or inside) you may want to replace the unit. Why didn't the guy who added the coolant look for the leaks? There are leak detectors which could find it rather quickly...and they are much cheaper than 8# of refrigerant. I think you need to find a new tech to help you, rather one that is out to screw you.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:56 AM   #10
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


that gurgling sound is the liquid line freon hitting the spiders you show but that looks dry on the line spiders always swet....keep up the search for that oil wetness it has to be someplace...see and dirt building up around the base of the condenser....or fins 4" up..check terminals and connections into the condenser..for oil residue.if you have seena cars AC with road dirt collecting around a pipe thats the oil catching it thats somewhat we need to find minus the dir where air isn't assing over the pipe/line
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:28 PM   #11
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


I've gotten estimates from several companies.

I got a quote on a new Carrier infinity heat pump for $4400 (15.5 SEER, 9.0 HSPF).

But one of the technicians said I should just replace the evaporator ($1,060 installed with filter drier and new R-22) and not waste my money on a new system. He said he was almost certain the leak was in the evaporator and not the outside unit. He said he's never seen the outside units on Goodman's go bad, it's always the inside. He claimed that with the new coil it should last at least another five years.

Thoughts? Recommendations? The unit is actually 11.5 years old.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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10yr old heat pump. Fix or Replace?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hevner View Post
I've gotten estimates from several companies.

I got a quote on a new Carrier infinity heat pump for $4400 (15.5 SEER, 9.0 HSPF).

But one of the technicians said I should just replace the evaporator ($1,060 installed with filter drier and new R-22) and not waste my money on a new system. He said he was almost certain the leak was in the evaporator and not the outside unit. He said he's never seen the outside units on Goodman's go bad, it's always the inside. He claimed that with the new coil it should last at least another five years.

Thoughts? Recommendations? The unit is actually 11.5 years old.

Leaks..........Where is it, really?......Are you basing a major $$$$ decision on a gut feeling? I have replaced 3 goodman indoor coils in the last year and fixed one goodman outdoor coil leak, because I knew where the leak was.

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