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Old 08-01-2020, 12:07 AM   #1
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I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


My AC has been having problems for a few weeks now. I think I heard it when it happened, a small clunk or so. After that, my AC is coming out cold, its just not blowing (hard). Its still cooling off, but its taking an hour or two to cool a degree. Before it would cool from 75 to 70 in less than an hour even when it was 100 out. I think they key to it is its definitely cold, its just seeping out, and not blowing hard like it did. If you're vehicle has 1-5 on AC, this is about a half when it was a great 5.

The AC is a 21 year old Trane and original to the 1633 sq ft house. I had John wayne heating and AC come out. The guy told me that he had been out to the house before, and there was a leak before. That the previous owners never wanted to fix it right. (I have been here a year and a half, so I kinda believed him based on a lot of other stuff that has a similar mindset). He swore to me he knew what he was doing. He said it was 2 pounds short and needed freon and if it was leaking it also needed stop leak. After He got started he said it needed a capacitor and that came to just over a thousand bucks. ($196 a pound, $300 capacitor). AND THATS WITH THEIR 20% DISCOUNT.

It doesn't cool any better. I still have no clue what is wrong. I know this is supposed to be about the life of an AC, but this thing was working great, (other than how much my electric bills are in the summer). I need to start researching how much it is to install an AC, and how difficult it is to upgrade, or upgrade parts. Is there anything in here that stands out that he knowingly screwed me over? Is there something I should be looking for or searching on how to fix this? Thank you.
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I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.-air-info.png  

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Old 08-01-2020, 12:55 AM   #2
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


The report attached...

It indicates the system is a little low on refrigerant.
The temperature drop across the coil is normal but slightly low airflow may be covering up slightly reduced capacity. The airflow was reported as "estimated" - I don't know what that means, if the software generated it based on the other readings.

Now, being slightly under-charged isn't enough to cause a major reduction in performance, a distribution system issue may have developed.

The leak stop may not work out - may not fix the leak and the chemical may cause problems in the future. Beyond adding a little more refrigerant, the best option is to run it into the ground and replace.

21 year old unit is too old to fix a refrigeration problem on especially when it has leak stop in it.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:23 AM   #3
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


It doesn't get cold enough for me to sleep well. It will work (twice as hard) when the temperature drops below 80 for the high. I have at least a few more weeks where this is going to stay too hot, for it to get cold enough as it is. After this next few weeks, I could get by, but I'll probably spend twice as much on electric bills.

I don't know enough. Its as if the fan is on (like when its always on), but the AC is not blowing any harder like it did . Its colder out of the vents, and that was the way I explained it to him, that the problem is its not blowing hard enough. He told me "there isn't enough pressure, and the system works off pressure." I'm kind of thinking he manipulated the wording. He also said a new system STARTS out at $10K. Tried to say he had $15K, $20K, $30K, residential ACs "if I wanted to be more efficient". I should have known better.


I have a different company that is through Home Depot coming tomorrow/today.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:12 AM   #4
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


As mentioned, a little low of freon may not be your problem. But why all of a sudden, you have air flow issues. Assume your filter is clean. how about the blower fan ? When the tech comes Tomorrow, ask him to check the blower fan, make sure it is in good shape. Also make sure the coil is not iced. Can not believe a capacitor and 2 lbs of R22 cost thousand dollars. Are they all charge this much for this type of service ?

Last edited by clocert; 08-01-2020 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:08 AM   #5
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


All of a sudden is a real easy point to understand. I think they should have gotten that too.

He cleaned the coil for free (sprayed it with a hose), because I'm a veteran.

I definitely will specifically mention the blower fan. I will tell em what the symptoms are first, and see how they try to lead me, so I can try to get an idea about how honest they are being.

I don't know if they are all like this. I've had some really ridiculous plumbers out here already. I think its HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. I think some techs just try to screw people over as hard as they can, because people have just never made an effort to figure out how simple some of it really is. After this was done, the tech tells me how he has a 1930 Ford Model A he is working on. I was thinking that's probably a 50-100K or more build.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:19 AM   #6
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


The readings don't suggest very low airflow at the air handler so you could have a supply duct disconnection somewhere.

i would still get the charge corrected.

worth inspecting all accessible ducts.

btw cooling from 5F in extreme heat in an hour is not normal - unit would have to be grossly oversized to do that.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:17 AM   #7
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


If that report was printed after the tech was finished, then it shows low charge or low airflow. It says estimated for airflow, so he probably just wrote in those numbers. Have the next tech check the blower, and give it a cleaning. If itís never been touched then itís probably full of dust and that could definitely impact airflow.

If airflow turns out ok, and if that tech really put 2lbs in, then you have a pretty big leak cuz it still needs a little more. Youíre lucky to have gotten 20 years out of it, itís time for an upgrade. Your system uses r22 which has been phased out already, due to it harming the o zone. An upgrade would save a ton on electrical costs too
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:53 AM   #8
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


At this point, do the following as mentioned in other posts: charge up to at least 70 psi on suction line. clean the inside coil (not outside condenser coil), use cheap filter or don't even use one, and check blower fan. (be honest, I really like that report, most AC techs only talk to you or give you a couple of numbers if any, not like this report, so detail, almost everything we need to know is on there.)

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Old 08-01-2020, 10:03 AM   #9
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clocert View Post
At this point, do the following as mentioned in other posts: charge up to at least 70 psi on suction line. clean the inside coil (not outside condenser coil), use cheap filter or don't even use one, and check blower fan. (be honest, I really like that report, most AC techs only talk to you or give you a couple of numbers if any, not like this report, so detail, almost everything we need to know is on there.)

If you have digital gauges use the measure quick app. Very similar, and itís free.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:21 AM   #10
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clocert View Post
At this point, do the following as mentioned in other posts: charge up to at least 70 psi on suction line. clean the inside coil (not outside condenser coil), use cheap filter or don't even use one, and check blower fan. (be honest, I really like that report, most AC techs only talk to you or give you a couple of numbers if any, not like this report, so detail, almost everything we need to know is on there.)
Those numbers were what the tech emailed me. Clocert, I appreciate the effort, but I have no clue what you are saying.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:03 PM   #11
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmal1031
At this point, do the following as mentioned in other posts: charge up to at least 70 psi on suction line. clean the inside coil (not outside condenser coil)
No, get it charged to the required superheat, not 70 psi, risk of getting liquid to compressor or leaving it under-charged just inflating to x psi.

Quote:
If that report was printed after the tech was finished, then it shows low charge or low airflow.
Low airflow alone would cause low sh and a greater than normal drop across the coil. Textbook case of low refrigerant based on the report.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:01 PM   #12
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


User12345.... Sorry about the 70psi, I know it is non-professional, but non-AC person will not understand SUPERHEAT, I am just trying to make it easy to check. His 61 psi suction line pressure is too low, so bring it up a little will eliminate the frozen coil possibility, plus it may help the delta-T temperature drop (even the drop number is 19, but like you said, that good looking number 19 may not be real if the airflow is weak)
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clocert View Post
User12345.... Sorry about the 70psi, I know it is non-professional, but non-AC person will not understand SUPERHEAT, I am just trying to make it easy to check. His 61 psi suction line pressure is too low, so bring it up a little will eliminate the frozen coil possibility, plus it may help the delta-T temperature drop (even the drop number is 19, but like you said, that good looking number 19 may not be real if the airflow is weak)
Superheat/subcooling are excellent ways of determining what the system is up to.
If you donít understand how to take the measurements, you probably shouldnít be putting gauges on a system.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:48 PM   #14
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Re: I got screwjobbed and still a broken AC.


I am not saying the homeowner should use gauges, they don't even have one. The new digital gauge can give you lots of info, but you have to be able to read it. most of those numbers are for HVAC person, not for regular homeowner. The next generation of condensers that my company build will have built-in high/low side pressure and temp gauges. so some of those numbers, the important ones, will be available to homeowners all the time.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clocert View Post
The next generation of condensers that my company build will have built-in high/low side pressure and temp gauges. so some of those numbers, the important ones, will be available to homeowners all the time.
That would be awesome
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