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Old 01-05-2011, 12:28 AM   #1
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Hello all-

I'm a first time homeowner and avid DIYer -- most of my projects over the last couple of years have turned out great. Today, I'm afraid that I bit off more than I could chew.

I'm installing a whole-house humidifier and read online that a jig saw would make cutting the ducts a lot easier. I knew that my A/C coil was sitting on top of my furnace but wasn't sure how much space was on either side. I cut a small hole in the duct on one side and saw that the coil was practically flush with that side, so I measured carefully the distance between the coil and the opposite duct wall, subtracted the travel of the jig saw, and .... you know where this is going. The further I cut, the more the free edge of the duct gave way and I managed to hit a coil about 3/4 of the way through making a big cut. It hissed at me for a few minutes while I cursed myself.

So, my question is: can I fix this myself? Safely?

If not, is this sort of thing easily fixed by a pro?

Here's a photo of the damage:



Thanks for any advice you can offer. I definitely learned a lesson from this one.

-Ben

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Old 01-05-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


While its possible to make it not leak anymore. The denting has now reduced the flow through that cross over, and the rest of that loop/circuit.

Brazing that cross over can lead to other leaks because its hard to heat just that cross over without heating the other cross overs.

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Old 01-05-2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


It can be fixed. Hiring a pro would be best and you'll want to schedule the repair ASAP. As stated the big dent is more of an issue then the cut.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Possible like Marty said it's even a tough job for a pro to repair a return bend. I have in the past cut off the copper return and put a piece of copper in place and soldered it and failed more than I'd like to say. Like been said when you put the heat to it it causes other problems. Sounds like a replacement coil is in order.
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Thank you for the responses!

Out of curiosity, why does it need to be taken care of ASAP? Is it a question of getting moisture in the system? I put duct tape over the defect almost immediately after it happened. I'm wondering if there's something else I can do as a stop-gap measure. I'd like to delay the expense of getting the coils replaced... funds are tight and of course I thought I was saving us money by installing he humidifier (and I was, until the bone headed mistake).

Thanks again.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


If you are planing on replacing the coil in the spring here's something you can do to keep the air/moisture out if you know how to solder.

Cut the return bend at the radius crimp both ends closed and solder the crimp ends, or you can just clean off the area where the cut is and drop some solder on it just to seal it ( Not a lot). In the spring get a matching coil and have it installed with proper HVAC procedures.

If you don't know how to solder just clean the copper off and mix up some epoxy and drop it in the cut area to seal it from the atmosphere.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Which of course, renders it useless. I think he wants a stop gap, that leaves him A/C.

The longer you leave it open to the air. the greater the chance that moisture will get to the compressor, and harm it. Costing you more money.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:12 PM   #8
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Yep, moisture is the issue you REALLY want to avoid. Tape might not be enough to stop it once it gets hot from the furnace. Close the service valves to the condensing unit for now.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:19 AM   #9
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


You can shut off the services valves on the compressor. That will isolate the oil in the compressor from moisture. Then you can get it fixed and they will reopen the valves.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:34 AM   #10
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A/C coil rupture -- fixable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIY_HVAC View Post
You can shut off the services valves on the compressor. That will isolate the oil in the compressor from moisture. Then you can get it fixed and they will reopen the valves.
Kines sets and coils are dehydrated and capped when made to prevent moisture and oxidation from froming when they are made. So just shutting the service valves is not going to stop moisture from getting into the coil and line set.

Once it gets in, its not as easy to get out as you may think.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Kines sets and coils are dehydrated and capped when made to prevent moisture and oxidation from froming when they are made. So just shutting the service valves is not going to stop moisture from getting into the coil and line set.

Once it gets in, its not as easy to get out as you may think.

True. But better to close the valves while you decide what to to. The longer they are exposed to atmosphere the worse the moisture will be.

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