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Old 04-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


i called an AC tech to see if my Trane XR could be fixed. It was not blowing any
cold air. When they got here they hooked up their guages and said there was no
pressure...basically all the Freon leaked out. I was given several options about
fixing the leak if I wanted to go down that route however it may be to my advantage
to just instal a new 3 ton unit. Is it worth the leak test at 225.00? Even if they found
the leak as I understand the unit is made of most aluminum tube whick cannot be
repaired. Even if they found the leak down be the copper tubing (down at the
botton of the unit) it would be a lot of labor to break the unit down and repair.
Also looking at 7 lbs of Freon @ $70.00 lbs
Anyone have experience on Trane XR13? They did not charge me to look at my
unit today so I felt they were shooting straght with me. If I decide to buy a new
13 seer can anyone recommend the best for around 2 to 3K or cheaper? These
guys suggested Westinghouse or Reem.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #2
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrygreenman View Post
i called an AC tech to see if my Trane XR could be fixed. When they got here they hooked up their guages and said there was no
pressure... basically all the Freon leaked out.
How old is the coil? and how old is the condensing unit?
After X years whatever the problem may be there are diminishing returns in doing any sort of work vs replacement. So if it is lets say 10 years old or more... then change it out.

Get at least one other company in for an estimate/quote though...
both for price and the basic diagnosis too.
Check everything carefully.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


Rarely does a condensing unit leak. It's going to be in your evaporator coil UNLESS your compressor is shot and spilled it all out around the terminals of which you wouldn't need a leak test as you'd see the oil.

Can you see any oil anywhere on the unit? Peek through the top and look inside. If not it's going to be your evaporator or possibly a weld but that's a rarity as well. Welds (brazed joints rather) show themseves at start up.

Your best bet in this day and age would be to upgrade the entire system. The old refrigerant, what you have, is so pricey to the consumer because it is to us as it's being phased out. In a few years it simply will not be available to anyone and you'll be forced to change out your system then regardless.

If you can afford it, and you may find a few companies willing to take payments, change the entire system to the new 410-A. Then you can sit back in comfort and literally watch your elecricity bill drop by at least a third.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


I just bought the house last June and I think the Trane was installed in
06. The condensing unit was installed about the same time. I guess
I can get a second opinion but it sounds like if it is leakiing it may be
better to just replace? The charge just to reload the Freon is going to
be around 5 to 6 hundred dollars. The leak test is 225.00. These guys
suggested I get a second opinion and I dont think they were out to play
gotcha with me. I don't know a whole lot about this stuff..... thanks
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


You're going to have to have a leak test performed to find the leak to determine what part if any needs changing. Then if it is the evaporator coil then you can ask if they will subtract the leak test from the evaporator coil replacement since they'll be doing the job.

Most companies will as it goes hand in hand, if they get the work.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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yes sirry bob

Last edited by jerrygreenman; 04-03-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Rarely does a condensing unit leak. It's going to be in your evaporator coil UNLESS your compressor is shot and spilled it all out around the terminals of which you wouldn't need a leak test as you'd see the oil.

Can you see any oil anywhere on the unit? Peek through the top and look inside. If not it's going to be your evaporator or possibly a weld but that's a rarity as well. Welds (brazed joints rather) show themseves at start up.

Your best bet in this day and age would be to upgrade the entire system. The old refrigerant, what you have, is so pricey to the consumer because it is to us as it's being phased out. In a few years it simply will not be available to anyone and you'll be forced to change out your system then regardless.

If you can afford it, and you may find a few companies willing to take payments, change the entire system to the new 410-A. Then you can sit back in comfort and literally watch your elecricity bill drop by at least a third.


Yes, we took off the top fan and lifted it up. It rained pretty hard today and it was hard to tell where the leak could be coming from.
There was evidence of oil down at the base but it was hard to determine where it was coming from since there was a little rain water
down at the base to.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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It's unlikely you need to replace a 6 year old unit. The Trane XR has a limited 10 year warranty. Can you find who installed it? Call Trane and see if they have information regarding installation and warranty. It should have been registered. The original installer may have a homeowners warranty. It's worth a look. It's more than likely you have a lineset leak or a fitting that just isn't holding. Not hard to find but you need the refrigerant and a leak sniffer.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Well, any reliable company should have what is known as a refrigerant leak detector:



I can't see charging anyone to use that. All you do is slowly move the end around the entire unit near the coils, rain or sunshine, and it'll let you know when it sniffs refrigerant.

Outside of that it's going to be a pressure test. Now that I can see costing money. You pump all the refrigerant "down" (meaning trap it in the compressor) if there is any left, close off the lines to the condensing unit by the valves on the unit and shoot the lineset and evaporator coil full of nitrogen. Let's say we go to 250 psig.

Go have lunch or kill time somehow and check the pressures in 20-30 minutes. If it is still in the exact same position, showing 250 psig after those 30 minutes, than you know the leak is not in the lineset or in the evaporator.

That I can see costing money.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
Well, any reliable company should have what is known as a refrigerant leak detector:



I can't see charging anyone to use that. All you do is slowly move the end around the entire unit near the coils, rain or sunshine, and it'll let you know when it sniffs refrigerant.

Outside of that it's going to be a pressure test. Now that I can see costing money. You pump all the refrigerant "down" (meaning trap it in the compressor) if there is any left, close off the lines to the condensing unit by the valves on the unit and shoot the lineset and evaporator coil full of nitrogen. Let's say we go to 250 psig.

Go have lunch or kill time somehow and check the pressures in 20-30 minutes. If it is still in the exact same position, showing 250 psig after those 30 minutes, than you know the leak is not in the lineset or in the evaporator.

That I can see costing money.

They had one of those and it went off almost anywhere they put it. You could see
a little oil residue at the base but it was mixed in wtth a litlte rain water...maybe thats
why the sensor kept going off? I guess I am just looking for the best option money wise. If the leak is down at the bottom it
sounded like it would be big time labor to dismantle everything to
fix it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #11
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrygreenman View Post
They had one of those and it went off almost anywhere they put it. You could see
a little oil residue at the base but it was mixed in wtth a litlte rain water...maybe thats
why the sensor kept going off? I guess I am just looking for the best option money wise. If the leak is down at the bottom it
sounded like it would be big time labor to dismantle everything to
fix it.
Then they lied to you. If there isn't any gas how could it go off? It's a leak detector...not a "used to leak" detector.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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Then they lied to you. If there isn't any gas how could it go off? It's a leak detector...not a "used to leak" detector.

They were just waving it around down around where they thought the
leak was and THEN told me they could cap of the lines and run the full
leak test. Thats when I they told me the coils are aluminum and those
can't be repaired....are they right about that?
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 PM   #13
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


Quote:
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They were just waving it around down around where they thought the
leak was and THEN told me they could cap of the lines and run the full
leak test. Thats when I they told me the coils are aluminum and those
can't be repaired....are they right about that?
WELL.... coils most likely need to be replaced....lines can be soldered or patched and soldered. Get a couple of other companies to give you an estimate....and contact Trane
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrygreenman View Post
They were just waving it around down around where they thought the
leak was and THEN told me they could cap of the lines and run the full
leak test. Thats when I they told me the coils are aluminum and those
can't be repaired....are they right about that?

Anything is possible but for the most part, yes. I don't ever attempt a repair on any coil regardless of aluminum or copper. Too much headache, too much risk, too many possible call backs, too much complaining from the customer, etc., etc.

Just not worth the effort, IMO.

Replace the unit and be done with it. But have them check the entire system with the leak detector. The evaporator coil, especially.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:31 PM   #15
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Buying new AC unit...need advice


they can dial in sensitivity on a leak detector to go off anytime when they are probing around...somethings up??? i would go for a good leak check isolation of the condenser and the line sets and micron tests on the A coil inside.micron test will tell you where the leak isn't if you do 250 microns all around somebody let the freon out.....?better isolate that condenser asap with rain and being open to the atmoshere. drive down the allen key valves under the brass caps(if installed)..maybe some freon in the compressor oil to keep it positive till work can happen..check that warrenty comment.might grab a local neighborhood hvac guy to just throw some nitro in to see if it holds and keep it positive.could be as simlpe as this video


Last edited by biggles; 04-03-2012 at 09:51 PM.
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