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Old 08-29-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
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AC Woes! Any ideas?


For three years my Bryant 582 Gaspack has worked minimally. Then one day after paying $300 electric bills I decided to see if the unit was really working or not. When I felt the register cool air was coming out, but just barely. So I started thinking...maybe "I have duct issues down in my crawlspace?" My ten year old Son and I went down in the crawlspace wearing those zip up hooded hazmat suits and spent an hour down there working with the shinny duct tape. After an hour we had located and repaired 5 very large holes. (We suspect that an electrician that we hired absent mindedly made these holes while spendnig the better part of a week down in the crawlspace three years ago)


Anyway.... that was about a month ago and the AC has been working flawlessly for the first time in years.

Then last week...NO AC!

I took the cover off the AC unit and the coils had frozen solid!

Powered down the unit at theb thermostat. Changed the filter and opened some registers and refired it up after the ice melted.

It worked! But...only for two days!

Now when I go back out to the unit...the blower inside the unit stays on even when I have turned it off at the thermostat.

Any ideas?


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Old 08-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
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AC Woes! Any ideas?


low refrigerant charge?

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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AC Woes! Any ideas?


if the filter and coils are clean and there is good airflow over the coils when it is not frozen, then the freezing is most likely due to low refrigerant charge which means a leak in the system somewhere. how does the condition of the coil look? is there a large amount of corrosion on the ends?
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:08 PM   #4
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Given the fact you covered openings in the crawl space I would better believe that once you did that your airflow is insuffient resulting in coil freeze up, this would be aggrevated by a refrigerant charge that is on the low side.

As a secondary note, those opennings in the crawl space were undoubtedly put there to keep the crawl space drier and heated during the winter months.

Is your crawl space completely sealed off from the outside?

Is the crawl space insulated or is the insulation on the floor joist?

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
Given the fact you covered openings in the crawl space I would better believe that once you did that your airflow is insuffient resulting in coil freeze up, this would be aggrevated by a refrigerant charge that is on the low side.

As a secondary note, those opennings in the crawl space were undoubtedly put there to keep the crawl space drier and heated during the winter months.
Sorry about my miscommunication....
I hired an electrician to do some major (non HVAC related) upgrades a few years back and he spent a considerable amount of time in the crawl space.

When my Son and I were down in the crawl space we noticed that the ducts were exposed only in the areas that were difficult to crawl under or climb over. Apparently while the electrician was down there he REALLY did a number on the 30 year old duct system and left gapping holes pouring cool air into my crawl for the last three years.

Its okay now we fixed that problem.

But now we have this.

Is there a chance that the system could be low on refrigerant without having a leak???? Afterall...it has been running almost continuiously for years.

Thanks again for your help....this website rocks!
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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Sure, there are big leaks and there are small slow leaks. With a slow leak over a couple years you might not not notice it, or just disregard the low performance, until it freezes up.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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air conditioning refrigerant systems are sealed systems.... They do not consume refrigerant in any way. If you are low on refrigerant then there is a leak.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagerider View Post
But now we have this.

Is there a chance that the system could be low on refrigerant without having a leak???? Afterall...it has been running almost continuiously for years.

Thanks again for your help....this website rocks!
When air flow is reduced to a point where there is not enough heat exchange at the "A" coil, the coil will freeze, since you just fixed the ducting and then the problem started, it sure sounds like there is not enough air passing through the coil.

I would bet if you open up even just one of the holes you patched the problem would go away, this is a sign of a few different things, poor duct design, closed vents and or oversized system for the ducting causing excessive restriction to air flow.

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Old 08-29-2011, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
When air flow is reduced to a point where there is not enough heat exchange at the "A" coil, the coil will freeze, since you just fixed the ducting and then the problem started, it sure sounds like there is not enough air passing through the coil.

I would bet if you open up even just one of the holes you patched the problem would go away, this is a sign of a few different things, poor duct design, closed vents and or oversized system for the ducting causing excessive restriction to air flow.

Mark
It would take less than 1 month for it show up if it were an air flow issue.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:07 PM   #10
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It would take less than 1 month for it show up if it were an air flow issue.
Agreed, but there was no mention of a recent filter change either, possible dirty filter and added restriction, took the filter a month to impede flow to the point where it is now causing this issue, hey why not start simple and work from there.

Once this is ruled out call a tech to check the charge.

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
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I agree with hvactech126 if the Electrician caused the problem it would have shown up long before now. Look elsewhere in the system for the problem causing the freeze up.

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