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Old 07-02-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
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A girl in a man's world....


Hi - I was hoping someone would be able to help me. I recently purchased a new home - it will be a year in August. Tonight is the fourth time my A/C Unit has frozen up. I live in South Texas and my husband works offshore. He has been gone for several weeks and I think the repair guy is taking advantage of me. He has come to the house on three separate situations. The first time - pipe completely white with ice - He turns the unit off. Comes back in four hours and turns it back on. It works -- he leaves. Winter comes and we have no problems. Then here is June. The ice is back. This time it happened when I had a party at the house. The guy said that I had too many people in the house. When I lowered the temperature to compensate for so many people, he said I overworked the system. He said A/C units can't cool the house more then 10 degrees lower then the outside temp. Since I lowered my setting to 72 degrees, that overworked the system. He turned it off - Ice melted - turned it back on and again worked fine for a few weeks.

Today - NOBODY was home all day. Temp set at 75. Come home at 9 PM and my house is 87 degrees. Discouraged, I walked around the house to see yet another pile of white ice hanging on my A/C pipe. I called the repair guy but he does not work after 8 PM.

My neighbor said it could be the filter. Our filter says that it will last up to a year, however, I have changed it every three months since we lived in the house. So, I don't think that is the problem.

What should I do? Why would the unit keep collecting ice on the pipes?

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Last edited by mgeisler; 07-02-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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Get anthor repair guy, this guy doesnt seem to know what he is doing. when a unit is icing up it is most common either the filter is dirty or the unit is low on freon.

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for the reply.

The filter has recently been changed and the levels (the guy said) are normal. My unit uses Puron. We are under war. with the builder. I am not sure if I can call another company to come out. I will certainly asked tomorrow.

Again, thank you for the help. I am at the end of my rope with this one.
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:49 AM   #4
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you can have anyone you want come out to fix it you may have to pay for it out of your own pocket but if you can document what has been going on you can have the builder pay for it.I am not a home HVAC person but I don't think the filter that HvacWiz is talking about is the one the a home owner can change.their is another inside the system itself that sounds like it has a clog and that would mean opening the system up to replace it and then recharging it.I know car systems and on them it is called an orifice tube or an H block which clog up easily but like I said I am not a home HVAC person so I could be wrong
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:18 AM   #5
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The guy coming is clueless; don't use him anymore.
Isn't the machine covered under mfg's warranty? I don't think the Puron is that old so it likely is covered. You could take serial number off machine and call the mfg to see if they've got it listed to confirm it. Check with neighbors or call mfg for reference to a different repair man.
Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:22 AM   #6
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Clasact - You are wrong. HVACWiz is talking about the air filter, not a liquid line filter drier. If the liquid line filter drier plugged up, she would never get any cooling.
Mgeisler - Bottom line, if your setpoint is kept in the 70F range or higher, and your air filter is kept clean and you have good airflow, then the problem is more than likely a refrigerant charge issue and should be addressed by qualified personnel. The unit could also be oversized, but that is going out on a limb.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:30 AM   #7
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I stand corrected sorry as I stated I am not a home HVAC person I do know car A/C systems and the orifice can clog and give the results she was stating I thought the systems may be similar.My apologies
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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We also had the same problem last year, and it turned out to be a leak in the system. The pipe also iced over.
Get someone else to help you with it.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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I have ben dumbfounded with the inabiliaty for (trained pro's) to properly charge a system especialy 410a. the only way is to use the subcool chart on the inside of the condenser (or slide chart) mesuere the indoor wet bulb outdoor dry bulb and punch it in . if the guy didnt hold a big digital thermometer (digital phycrometer) or didnt sling a thermometer soaked with a wet rag on a string around his head like a crazy. there is NO way for him to know if you have the right amount of 410a in you system (most likely cause) or you have a leak and he keeps adding till your out of warrantee
by the way im a tech so we can make fun of ourselves
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:18 PM   #10
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1. A/Cs sure better be able to cool more than 10 degrees or your house would be 85 everytime it hit 95 in South Texas which is pretty often. And, within reason, the A/C should be able to handle a party.
2. The repairman is clueless at best; never let him come again. Tell the builder to send someone else.
3. The A-coil itself might be dirty from construction dust. Your new repair guy should check that as well as freon level.
4. Since you know that all you have to do to deice it is turn it off for a while I hope you didn't sweat out the night just because the clueless repairman couldn't come out at 8 PM.
5. Don't give up, hold the builders feet to the fire. It's his obligation to fix this.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:22 PM   #11
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QUOTE: The filter has recently been changed and the levels (the guy said) are normal.

OK, The guy said the levels are normal.... The levels can NOT be normal if the unit is freezing up! If the filter is restricted or the air handler in any way is restricted. It will show in the suction pressure of your unit. Get another company to repair your unit and let the G.C. (General Contractor) reimburse you! You should have the previouse 3 repair tickets for for proof the company can't fix! 3 Strikes-Your out in my opinion. Like the guys before me has stated, This so called tech has'nt a clue.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
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Rules of thumb for A/C:

1 Ton of Colling is 12000 BTUH. Air flow Should be between 400-450 CFM PER Ton.

How many Ton is your cooling system? 2 Ton means you'll need at LEAST 800-900 CFM of air moving past the coil prevent Freezing of a coil.

Example: 18000 BTUH is 1 1/2 Ton cooling Therefore....minimum 600 CFM


I've provided this information only as a rough guide, there are certainly other factors to consider. For example: The closer to sea level and more humid the air, the harder the equipment will be working and you may want to shy away from the "minimum number" (400 CFM) and go to say 450 CFM/Ton.
It should however help you to determine if the system you have or are thinking of will or is capable of doing the job.

If you have persistent coil freeze ups the problem may be as simple as stated before; a restricted air filter which allows less air to move across the coil which in turn causes it to ice over.

Additional areas to consider can be:

*Never do anything You're not comfortable doing*
1. Always, Always, Always - Check the power. Check the Fuses inside the appliance (Similar to Automotive fuses).
2. Fan Belt (if used). Is it tight enough or perhaps too tight. Is it even there?
3. Fan Speed (More common on newer appliances & Direct Drive motors) The settings for this are in the operation and maintenance manual you ensured that the contractor left for you when they installed the system.
4. Is the disconnect outside turned on?
5. Is the Condenser clean and free from Dirt,Debris, & That bush that's been growing beside it for 5 years?

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