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Old 02-24-2020, 10:01 PM   #1
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Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


First post here, but I have been browsing for a while

Just had a Furnace replaced with a Rheem 96V. Hope I made a decent choice. However now looking to get Central Air hooked up in my house.

Looking at Rheem, Amana, or Lennox (company doesn't recommend Lennox lower end )

I got a half decent price for a Rheem Classic RA13, but after some research, I see that the had a tonne of Coil Leaking issues.

Are these issues still prevalent on newer Rheem AC's?

If not between these 3 brands at lower SEER ratings would be a good choice? (will be out of the house within 6 years)
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


When looking at low end stuff any brand will work just fine - they're pretty similar.

A rheem or mainstream lennox (like XC13) will be heavier built than an amana or low end lennox. (13ACX)

For coils with any brand i think the trick is to get all aluminum. Every brand has had problems with coils at one time or another.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


Most all brands had coil problems.
Worry more about getting the unit sized correctly and installed well, and properly commissioned, then a certain brand name.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:13 AM   #4
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


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Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
When looking at low end stuff any brand will work just fine - they're pretty similar.

A rheem or mainstream lennox (like XC13) will be heavier built than an amana or low end lennox. (13ACX)

For coils with any brand i think the trick is to get all aluminum. Every brand has had problems with coils at one time or another.

Would you be able to tell me if the lower end Rheem is All aluminum, or what brands would be ?

My local guy who I trust does Rheem or Amana
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


Aluminum or copper does not matter.

Carrier has used aluminum for 35-40 years in their indoor coils and not had problems.

Lennox uses all copper in all of their units including the "entry level" ones.

The problem that happened was the world wide price of copper skyrocketed in the early 2000's when China got wealthy and started importing it.

They want AC also and could afford it.

Then all brands started using thinner copper as it was expensive and down to the point where the coils were practically paper thin copper. Add a bit of corrosion and they got eaten thru and leaked.

Now they are better as all brands had huge financial losses from coils returned under warranty and they have gone back to regular thickness coils.

Point is it does not matter what the coil is made of.

I prefer copper as it is more durable and you can wed it and repair it in a lot of cases. Aluminum is next to impossible to repair.

Most brands are using micro channel outdoor coils and a lot are aluminum. They are smaller and more thermally efficient which allows for a smaller coil but I would not chose a brand because of what coil material they use.

The SEER rating is what matters and that can be achieved with either copper or aluminum just as easily.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


I believe most of the failures were due to corrosion between the dissimilar metals or specific to copper. A combo of more VOCs in the condensate due to having tighter houses, thinner copper plus higher pressures of 410a could be to blame.

All aluminum is supposed to stop that type of corrosion yet still allow the manufacturers to use thin tubing.

https://www.achrnews.com/articles/10...rrosion-issues
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:50 PM   #7
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


The early aluminum coils (20-30 years ago here in the US) had all kinds of problems so makers ditched them and quickly went back to copper. Then, as manufacturers started using thinner, recycled copper of questionable purity, they pretty much all had leaking coil issues. So, about 6 years ago, most of the major US manufacturers started using aluminum coils again (I had a Carrier system installed around that time and had to wait about 3 months before their all-alumunum coil changeover came online). So far, there hasn't bee a deluge of failures so, hopefully, they've sorted out the issues they had with the original attempt.

Rheem still uses copper (with aluminum fins) on some of their coils. Look on their web site to see if the one recommended is copper or aluminum. Either way, they have a 10 year parts warranty, copper or aluminum. Get a 10 year labor warranty thrown in and you should be fine. Given you're looking at a basic system, you'll probably be fine with any manufacturer's coil and condenser system on you Rheem furnace but the Rheem boxed coils may fit together easier.
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:01 PM   #8
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


Quote:
Get a 10 year labor warranty thrown in and you should be fine.
unless it fails after the warranty.

The coil is not that expensive, it's markup and labour. Can have to spend $1000++ on a coil replacement on a 11 year old system.

The coil should last the life of the outdoor unit - 15 to 25+ years.
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Old 03-07-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


I have seen copper coils in older Canadian Keeprite units last 30+ years and same with the old Lennox units.

It has nothing to do with tight houses as I have seen those thinner coils fail in older houses as my company only does retrofits in existing houses not new ones. Most of the houses I see are over 20 yrs old and up to 100 and not tight.

I have a ADP coil in my house ( Advanced Distributor Products ) which Lennox owns and have never ever had one fail. Period. It is a thicker high quality copper coil.

IMO it has to do with the thickness of the copper and yeah a bit of corrosion occurs but if it is thick enough it never gets eaten thru.

Probably the crappy copper alloys or recycled copper may have been a issue also.

I suspect they use pure copper now and all is better.

Copper on the outdoor coil you can whack with a stick or hit it with a ball etc and it won't get easily damaged.

Aluminum is soft and not as durable so I like copper better.

The older Carrier coils from the 80's were thick aluminum and very rarely failed so either metal is good as long as it is pure and thick enough.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


They go thin to improve efficiency without having to make the coil much larger.

Going thin, aluminum may be less likely to leak than copper due to not being affected by formicary corrosion.

There's definitely nothing fundamentally wrong with copper if it's good quality and thick enough. 1980s and early 90s stuff in general was good quality compared to now and I still see units from that time in my area -> granted, not too many any more, most have been replaced.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:37 PM   #11
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
The older Carrier coils from the 80's were thick aluminum and very rarely failed
Interesting - never saw an all-aluminum (indoor) coil from this era in a Carrier. A Canadian thing, perhaps, eh?

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Old 03-07-2020, 06:45 PM   #12
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


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Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
Interesting - never saw an all-aluminum (indoor) coil from this era in a Carrier. A Canadian thing, perhaps, eh?

Hard to say. Carrier never built units in Canada as far as I know.

Lennox used to but now they have gone to Mexico and some in the US.

There used to be a small Carrier unit that looked last a trash can with tin foil all wrapped around it. Spine fin coil like Trane uses. It had aluminum coils. Also had some weird ferule type quick connector for the freon lines outside.

Everyone of those leaked and had to be soldered on. I used to run into some of those units with the aluminum evap coil.

I doubt they used thinner copper for efficiency but rather to save on copper costs.

Point is they all got bit in the butt and had huge numbers of warranty failures and $$ to deal with them so now they have been forced to go with thicker and better copper.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:45 PM   #13
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Re: Rheem Coil Leaks still a problem?


^they used aluminum in the outdoor coils too - they had a spin fin condenser like trane's.
i think they were only used in straight cool due to having trouble shedding water in defrost mode.
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