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Old 06-18-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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HVAC Not Cooling for last week and a half

My A/C hasn't been running right for the last week and a half. Had a guy out and he hooked the blue manifold hose up and said it was low and slowly trickled 2 lbs of refrigerant in and I gave him $135 . Next day same issue still even though it never really "cooled" the house down that night but rather we opened the windows since it got cool enough that night. I didn't want to call the same guy back because when I did class 8 truck A/C we always hooked both hoses up and he didn't so that meant he's not the guy to be working on my system in the future. It was cool for a few days and we went camping for a few and then came home and presto hot house but we had turned the A/C off while gone to avoid a potential ruined compressor if it's not to late already and a possible fire.

Here's what I've did. Replaced the blower capacitor and had the electric shop bench the motor and it seems to be working properly. They were the one's who found the bad blowermotor capacitor.

Repaced the start/run capacitor last night. The run was at 5 microfarads and the start side was 27.4 . My capacitor I took off was rated at 30/5 370V . Replaced it with the same which tested out properly using a microfarad tester on Sperry DM-6450 tester.

I compressor sounds as if it's kicking in. Where the evaporator is in the duct work the sides get really cold, enough to make the metal duct work sweat. I did have a period last week where the cold line was sweating really bad and when I shut the A/C off I had water running down around the bottom of the HVAC system. I have blown the drain line backwards several times and when the evaporator starts defrosting as I'm guessing then I get water running down the tube. I'm guessing the evap is freezing up and the compressor is the culprit? The condenser is clean and has been washed from inside to outside a few times to be sure.

What's next and what do I ask and watch for when the guy comes today in a few hours? Its a R22 system that was installed in 2000. We bought the home in Feb 2001 New. It's a 2 ton system by Gibson which if I'm correct is Nordyne?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks to all.


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Old 06-18-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Determine the type of metering device you have. If it's a fixed orifice, make sure they assess charge by superheat. If it's a TXV, make sure they assess charge by subcooling. Regardless of device, they should determine both superheat and subcooling, which means connecting both hoses. If your evaporator coil is freezing up, it may have a leak or be experiencing low air flow, possibly due to being very dirty. You could check the airflow by measuring external static pressure and coil drop and looking up a table published by the manufacturer that relates them to CFMs. However, if you normally get strong air flow from your ducts, and it feels about the same as it ever has at all of them, your air flow should be all right. It should be simple to unscrew the cover of the evaporator coil and look for dirt and later ice after it's been running a while and stopped cooling.


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Old 06-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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You have to find and fix the leak first before you do anything else. 2lb freon was gone in a few days, that is a major leak, should be easy to find.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:50 PM   #4
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OK thanks for the help which has all been good responses. O hired a different company to come in today since the last guy only hooked the suction side up and put 2lbs in which has left me wondering if he actually took 2lbs.

Anyways on to better pastures . The guy arrived early with a new tech who happened to be at his first day on the job out of vo-tech school but he was definitely full of knowledge as I found out. I let them know the blower motor had been benched last thursday and was found to be good with a new capacitor installed and that I had replaced the start/ run dual capacitor on the condenser last night. They had me start the unit and they hooked the manifold gauges up and noticed my low and high pressure were low to the point the experienced tech said that he wonders if I have a leak. He checked the red wire going to the compressor and it was pulling 4 amps which he stated was low.

The techs grabbed their tools , leak detector tool and headed inside. They pulled the evaporator and said it surprisingly was the cleanest one they've seen for being 12yrs old. I told him every 3 months I religiously replace the filter with a good filter that you can't see through referring to the cheap ones people buy all the time because they're cheap and end up costing them in the end. The seasoned tech checked the whole condenser for a leak with his test tool and couldn't find one. He checked the cooper lines inside and out and found no leaks. He then checked the pressures and mentioned the compressor was running.

He shut the unit down again and pulled the fan off of the top and went over the entire condenser inside and out along with the compressor as well and couldn't find any leaks either. He started the unit again and checked the pressures and they were still low. He brought the freon and the scale out along with the scale, hooked up the refrigerant line to the tank, zeroed the scale, purged the air from the refrigerant line, zeroed the scale again and started sucking freon into the system. Right away he noticed the pressures were rising like they should and he stated the compressor was starting to sound like it should.

He shut the suction line on the manifold and let the system equalize and then added a little more. It came out to be 1lb and 6oz installed into the system. Im thinking the high side pressure was 250 or a little bit above and the low side was 75. This was the numbers on the outer part of the gauge. The reason he added refrigerant was that we couldn't find a leak and he wanted to make sure the compressor was or wasn't working properly and it was cheaper than replacing the compressor for 1k or installing a new 11 sear setup for $2300 installed with new lines, condenser and evaporator setup.

I believe the new unit might have been a Howard he said if that sounds correct? It's Amanas value line he said. After filling the freon he checked the temp at the fan which had came up and the return and outlet temps inside as well to make sure they were getting proper readings that way for the temp drop. He also at my request used a tool which has fan blades in it and checked my duct outlet pressures and said the averages were good so that relieved me as the motor rating was always a concern at 1/3 hp for a 1700 sq ft house. The motor turns at 1075 rpms per the tag on it. The tech says if it goes down again then he'd probably recommend the previously mentioned repairs which baffles me as him and his new guy out of hvac school were both stumped on where the freon was going.

I tend to wonder if the first guy who came a week and a half ago with a different company had actually sucked freon out of my system and made things worse. I did replace the capacitor last night (sun) as the microfarads were at 27.4/5 on a 30/5 dual run capacitor which had never been checked by the first guy. The techs today did say that the capacitor would've been replaced based on those numbers. ANYONE have any idea where my freon went? I'm thinking the guy left with it in his tank as the tech today did say he's seen the previous guy around and after further discussion stated later in the conversation that he's heard some horror stories from other people about that guy customers and techs alike..... I'm just thankful it's slowly getting cold in my house. Hope it runs another 11.5 years before I need service again......
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:54 AM   #5
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The other guy didn't remove freon from your system, he would have had to hook up the high side to do that. He just did not charge the system correctly. Did he put his tank on a scale or just said the amount he put in? If he did put two # and the other tech. put 1+#s in then you still have a leak or you had someone steal the freon from your system r22 is like gold anymore. Just a thought.
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