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Old 08-11-2012, 11:40 PM   #1
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Just got back from the mother inlaws. a/c not cooling well and running long. Sight glass outside shows constant cloudiness and the high pressure side appears to be hotter than it should be. So I checked the condensor and coil for their condition. Cleaned the condensor, but the coil needs cleaning.

I know you guys shouldnt do "how to's", but there is little money here for her to call an expert.

The system is a rheem condensor, coil and electric furnace. The furnace coil unit is located in a closet for the sole purpose of this unit. The return air is located underneath the unit.

In looking at the coil I can see that it is in need of cleaning. I have cleaned a horizontal coil, but never this type of coil that basically looks like the letter "M".

Knowing that we will have to have the pro out to do the system check after cleaning to add freon, I need to help her by doing the coil cleaning. Again, limited funds.

So my question is:

Do I try and vac off all I can from the coil, then using coil cleaner soak the coil from the top side, let it soak in and then let it self rinse during operation?

or

Do I just soak from the under side (air in side) and let it self rinse?

I know, I am just asking for a little assistance here for someone in tough times.

Thanks

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Last edited by digitalplumber; 08-11-2012 at 11:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:14 AM   #2
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Clean i om the bottom/air inlet side.

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Old 08-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Thanks, should I attempt to use a brush of sorts initially or just coil cleaning solution?
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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Mother in law coil cleaning


If you are careful you can remove the guts, the "M", for ease of of access. remove the door/front cover of the coil and pull the entire inside out. You will need to cut the drain line for this. Also, there may be a retaining screw or two on the inside but the pan and all should pull right out. Then you can access more of the bottom of the coil and yes, use a brush of some sort to scrape the coil off, removing heavy build up first and then spray the coil with the self rinsing foaming cleaner. The cleaner has to make it to the inside tubing of the coil, why it's always best to brush the coil first.

Be very careful to:

1.) not damage the copper refrigerant tubing when removing the inside from the cabinet and

2.) not damage the coil's fins with the brush. Not a lot of pressure required and strokes should be with the grains of the coil.

If you can not or decide not to remove the guts then you may be able to gain access from the return underneath, if you can squeeze into the grill/chase area.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:40 AM   #5
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Mother in law coil cleaning


And while you have the return air open, vacuum any dirt out of there.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Doc, Thanks! I was thiking there had to be a way for it to slide out without remove refrig lines.

Will check all that out. For simplicity sake, I may just try from underneath first.

Thanks again to both you and Beenthere!
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Hey guys, was wondering if you though it may be possible for me to use air, low pressure, from the top side blowing thru the coil to get the initial buildup off?
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalplumber View Post
Hey guys, was wondering if you though it may be possible for me to use air, low pressure, from the top side blowing thru the coil to get the initial buildup off?
Not really, it is also a way of bending ins if your at an angle. More risk then reward to try it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Mother in law coil cleaning


Doc and Beenthere,

Thanks for your input. All went well today! Could not pull completely out, since I did not want to add more work to the project. Made use of an old toothbrush and toilet bowl brush, and all looks great now!

Service guy came out and had to add 2 pounds of r22, so now Meemaw has good clean cool air!

Thanks!

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