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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to clean the condenser coils on my central A/C unit. The lower part of the coil is caked up with dirt and or rust. I use coil cleaner twice a season but I noticed the bottom on it didn't want to come clean. I used the foaming aerosol can you get at Home Depot. Is there something stronger I can use or do to dissolve the caked on dirt/rust on the coils before I cover it for the winter. I had the system checked the end of last summer and all was fine.
Wood Automotive tire Mesh Composite material Gas
 

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The quality of the picture is poor but I think that I agree with @roughneck . That coil looks terrible. Almost looks like a dog has been using it as a urinal. That's normal if you're near the coast. When you wash, you have to make sure that you rinse the soap off and let it dry BEFORE turning it back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That coil doesn’t look dirty. Looks like it’s coming apart. I can see tube passes and degraded fins. Cleaning may make that worse.
Needs a new coil/unit.
Actually it's not coming apart. It dosen't look like that at all in person. It's just caked on dirt that I can't seem to get off. All the fins are intact.
 

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i agree that it does look like its coming apart. but i also know that digital pics can be deceiving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
View attachment 668589

The area in red looks degraded. I can clearly see passes in the coil, one of which the arrow is pointing to.

I got a good look at it today. There are no passes in the coil, you can't see threw it. But it is degraded. Can they just replace the coil, do I need a whole new unit. Can they just replace the unit outside and still use the same handler that is in the attic. The A/C works fine. But I don't think it works as well as it did new. It is 12 years old. I get it checked every year and the last time I had it checked it was fine.
 

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Replacing the condenser coil is almost as much money as buying a new condenser. Yes the outside can be replaced with out doing the inside. Cost is dependent on where you live.

I suggest you that you get a coil comb, and use that to comb the fins and remove all of debris shown in the pics. This is NOT A JOB to be taken on someone who is not going to be extremely careful. You can punch holes in the condenser and then you have major problem

Lots of places make coil cleaners, you will need to buy a gallon. I am familiar with NUCALGON and use this
follow the directions.

You will need to remove most of the side sheet metal and grills to do this. Last time I did this it took most of a weekend for a 5 ton condenser. Not hard, but a pain in the ass. Worse is getting it all back together. The sheet metal bends by looking at it, it seems.

I will assume that you know how to shut everything off and remove the power source
 

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Replacing the condenser coil is almost as much money as buying a new condenser. Yes the outside can be replaced with out doing the inside. Cost is dependent on where you live.

I suggest you that you get a coil comb, and use that to comb the fins and remove all of debris shown in the pics. This is NOT A JOB to be taken on someone who is not going to be extremely careful. You can punch holes in the condenser and then you have major problem

Lots of places make coil cleaners, you will need to buy a gallon. I am familiar with NUCALGON and use this
follow the directions.

You will need to remove most of the side sheet metal and grills to do this. Last time I did this it took most of a weekend for a 5 ton condenser. Not hard, but a pain in the ass. Worse is getting it all back together. The sheet metal bends by looking at it, it seems.

I will assume that you know how to shut everything off and remove the power source
No. Don't use any more cleaner. It'll accelerate the problem. At this point Yung less you touch it the more time you'll get out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No. Don't use any more cleaner. It'll accelerate the problem. At this point Yung less you touch it the more time you'll get out of it.
Didn't use anymore cleaner. Let it dry out and covered it for the winter. I'll worry about replacement or fixing it in the spring. Tomorrow I will go into the attic and clean the handler.
 

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Didn't use anymore cleaner. Let it dry out and covered it for the winter. I'll worry about replacement or fixing it in the spring. Tomorrow I will go into the attic and clean the handler.
It's not looking great but if you only use water to wash it and let it dry naturally before turning it back on, you might get a few more years out of it. Depends on what's causing the deterioration, and if you can reduce it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's not looking great but if you only use water to wash it and let it dry naturally before turning it back on, you might get a few more years out of it. Depends on what's causing the deterioration, and if you can reduce it.
It just gets normal weather. My dog can't get to it. It really just got bad this past summer.
 

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It just gets normal weather. My dog can't get to it. It really just got bad this past summer.
You live near the coast? Do you use anything on the deck /steps in front of it, at any point in the year? Salt? Chemicals? Water the flowers, grass, garden?

Believe it or not, water can do that damage too. The more often the water is on it, especially when it's on, the worse it'll be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You live near the coast? Do you use anything on the deck /steps in front of it, at any point in the year? Salt? Chemicals? Water the flowers, grass, garden?

Believe it or not, water can do that damage too. The more often the water is on it, especially when it's on, the worse it'll be.
I live on Long Island, but I am miles from the coast. We use salt in that area during the winter months. That could be the problem. Well I will probably replace the unit next spring. I am getting ready to retire in 2 years and need to get that done before I am on a fixed income.
 

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I live on Long Island, but I am miles from the coast. We use salt in that area during the winter months. That could be the problem. Well I will probably replace the unit next spring. I am getting ready to retire in 2 years and need to get that done before I am on a fixed income.
Definitely the salt. It's in the right pattern too. You're on of the few cases I'd recommend a cover for the ac. Mostly just to protect it against the salt that you use.
 
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