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mrsprincesslily 12-07-2012 01:04 PM

Help!
 
My home was built in 1985, we have lived here since mid-2006.
Our air handler is in our attic above our kitchen.

September 14, 2009 the a/c handler started to have leaking problems

July & into November 2011 and water damage has continued thinking its the condensation line having a leak. We picked up a shop vac and suctioned the unit from the outside about every other month. In november it damaged the ceiling with small bowing.

However we felt it was under control with the continued suctioning.

In May 2012 we had a leak again, this time the leak damaged our ceiling moreso than the last time - the ceiling bowed a lot. We sent out Service America who handles (under contract) the a/c handler.

The man took a look at it, couldn't see any water (husband suctioned the water the day before - I explaied this to him.) The tech filled up all of the liquids and said that if the leaking happens again, it could be "dirty coils" which aren't covered in our contract - $680.00 fee claiming that the fees are high due to the handler being in the attic.

The following is covered according to our contract:

Thermostat
Fuses – unit blows a fuse
Compressor
Fan Motor
Blower Assemblies
Starting & Running capacitors
High Low pressure switches
circuit boards
contactors
filter line dryer
heater
relays breaker
transformers
defrost control board




Any annual maintance isn't covered in the contract and coil cleanings are $680.00


Since this is our first home, I have no idea what our next step should be. Husband suctioned the extra water out so there is no more leaking, and the drip pan is at a tilt away from the auto-shut off value...which caused for more leaking.

But what is causing the leak we don't know.
Am I getting taken advantage of? What do you think? Any advice is helpful!

Thank you!

mrsprincesslily 12-07-2012 01:06 PM

Help!
 
My home was built in 1985, we have lived here since mid-2006.
Our air handler is in our attic above our kitchen.

September 14, 2009 the a/c handler started to have leaking problems

July & into November 2011 and water damage has continued thinking its the condensation line having a leak. We picked up a shop vac and suctioned the unit from the outside about every other month. In november it damaged the ceiling with small bowing.

However we felt it was under control with the continued suctioning.

In May 2012 we had a leak again, this time the leak damaged our ceiling moreso than the last time - the ceiling bowed a lot. We sent out Service America who handles (under contract) the a/c handler.

The man took a look at it, couldn't see any water (husband suctioned the water the day before - I explaied this to him.) The tech filled up all of the liquids and said that if the leaking happens again, it could be "dirty coils" which aren't covered in our contract - $680.00 fee claiming that the fees are high due to the handler being in the attic.

The following is covered according to our contract:

Thermostat
Fuses unit blows a fuse
Compressor
Fan Motor
Blower Assemblies
Starting & Running capacitors
High Low pressure switches
circuit boards
contactors
filter line dryer
heater
relays breaker
transformers
defrost control board




Any annual maintance isn't covered in the contract and coil cleanings are $680.00


Since this is our first home, I have no idea what our next step should be. Husband suctioned the extra water out so there is no more leaking, and the drip pan is at a tilt away from the auto-shut off value...which caused for more leaking.

But what is causing the leak we don't know.
Am I getting taken advantage of? What do you think? Any advice is helpful!

Thank you! ps. this is a x-post from Home Improvement>HVAC. I am unfamiliar with which board would be frequented more.

Doc Holliday 12-07-2012 01:33 PM

Air handlers (electric) need a p-tap on it firstly. Secondly, might be a good idea to drop your home warranty. I did that for two years, I know how the game is played. A dirty coil could be where the dirt is coming from, indeed, as dirt accumulates on the evaporator and drips down through your drain but the issue is the drain itself.

Evaporator coil cleanings, condenser coil cleanings is how the company makes money. Other than that the home warranty company only pays the hvac contractor a set amount so they don't make any money that way. Their job is to sell non covered costs to make money once they're in your home. Again, I know as I've done it for two years. Not anymore, though.

The hvac contractor can have anything, be it by manipulation alone, denied just to be able to make money. The repair is not covered (so the warranty company will not pay for it) and then you have to pay directly to the hvac company, leaving out the service provider altogether. And many times the repair is not the repair that was needed so the problem still exists after you've paid.

Anyways, find a good local hvac company, drop the home warranty. Coil is not the issue, the drain is.

JJboy 12-07-2012 02:02 PM

Flush drain line, install p-trap and flow safety switch at the drain pan and main drain line. BUT first you need to make sure the drain line is unclogged. We use high pressure nitrogen to flush.

Sent from my iPhone using DIY Forum

joed 12-07-2012 02:29 PM

Are you sure the drain is not clogged. There should be no need to suction it out if it is draining properly.

Technow 12-07-2012 02:53 PM

Pics of your airhandler would help.

joecaption 12-07-2012 03:54 PM

Sure sounds like the condinsate drain is pluged up happens all the time) or the pan it self is leaking.
I've never heard of a dirty coil causing an issue with leaking.
If the coil was dirty the unit outside would be freezing up from lack of air flow.

PS Service Master would have been the last place I would have called for an HVAC problum.
I'm hoping some of the real HVAC guys will chime in later today. I've cleaned many a coil and no way would I have charged someone that much. Any I've cleaned could be done in less then an hour and a $7.00 can of coil cleaner.
I'm not a HVAC tec, so there opion may be differant because they do it all the time, and there the experts.

Maintenance 6 12-08-2012 05:58 AM

She said "Service America", not "Servicemasters". Not that I'm convinced that there is a big difference. A clogged condensate drain is a pretty normal occurance on a residential or even a commercial air handler. It has nothing to do with dirty coils, although allowing dirt to accumulate on the coil from poor filter maintenance, can make the problem worse. An air handler cools, in part by condensing moisture out of the air. That condensed moisture drains away through a pan in the base of the unit. It is normal for these drains to accumulate a slimey growth that can block the drain. Your air handler should sit in a containment pan as a back up, which is also piped to drain. There are products to treat drains on AC units and to prevent the slimey growth. Whether a clogged drain is covered by your service contract, we can't say, but you should not need to suction out anything on a regular basis, unless there is a problem.

oh'mike 12-08-2012 06:35 AM

Merger your two threads together====

danpik 12-08-2012 10:50 AM

If the OP comes back....Have you been up in the attic to look at this unit? You may find it is easier to fix than you think. Probably a clogged drain hose.


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