Air Conditioning Question

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  #1  
Old 06-17-2007, 07:39 PM
REDCART REDCART is offline
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Default Air Conditioning Question

My son was down for a few days and found the air conditioning filter was all wet. Does anyone have any suggestions about what might cause a wet filter? I would think if the evaporator tray was clogged that the water would not drain outside, backing up and causing the wet filter. We had been using Clorox every six months but in February the AC guy recommend we use white vinegar instead. Anyone have any similar experiences with their Air Conditioning?
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:34 PM
REDCART REDCART is offline
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Sun Kool came out today to look at our AC problem. It turned out to be a slow leak in the coil in the air exchange unit which is in the garage. The coil froze up which in turn caused water to condense onto the filter. A new coil will take two weeks to order. Fortunately the whole job is covered under our maintenance contract with Sun Kool. I'm posting a response to my original question because I believe this blog is a great means of sharing info.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

The syptoms and problem you described have happened with a number of the newer Trane AC units here in the Villages over the past year and a half. The Virginia Trace website/bulletin board had a rash of reports last summer. Some indication of potentially defective parts. Everyone should consider the 10 year extended warranty that practically all of the Heat/AC vendors offer... depending on your vendor, cost is $600-$800...a one time charge and you're covered for 10 years on all parts/labor for service repair calls.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:43 PM
REDCART REDCART is offline
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You're right about the value of an AC service contract. In Feb, I paid $1,020 for a 10 year parts\labor contract with Sun Kool. Little did I know at the time that I'd be needing it so soon. I'm not a believer in service contracts generally but I made the exception for the AC; and yes, my unit is a Trane. The unit is not even two years old which doesn't speak very well of Trane. I believe you can purchase an AC service contract almost at any time but the cost for a contract is higher each year you wait.

The Warranty Office confirmed that Trane has recognized a problem with the coil and will replace the coil but that still leaves the cost of labor. Warranty also confirmed that the AC\Heating unit is covered for one year and that in the second year, only the duct work in the ceiling and the refrigerant line between the compressor (outside) and the air exchange unit (garage) is covered, which means folks should seriously consider a parts and labor contract after the first year.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by gryoung
My son was down for a few days and found the air conditioning filter was all wet. Does anyone have any suggestions about what might cause a wet filter? I would think if the evaporator tray was clogged that the water would not drain outside, backing up and causing the wet filter. We had been using Clorox every six months but in February the AC guy recommend we use white vinegar instead. Anyone have any similar experiences with their Air Conditioning?
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:34 PM
REDCART REDCART is offline
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Just an update on the AC question I posted earlier in June. The Villages Warranty office confirmed that Trane recognizes there's a defect in the evaporator coil and has extended the warranty on the part but you're still responsible for the labor costs which runs about $250. My 10 year contract with Sun Kool included parts and labor so it didn't cost me anything out of pocket.

Sun Kool did not have the evaporator coil in stock and it took two weeks to order. The replacement coil was about 2" taller than the original unit. The service tech started to cut the original housing to make it fit. Since I'm the curious type watching from a discreet distance, I suggested that replacing the original housing made a lot more sense than cutting the housing which he then agreed was the correct procedure but would take longer. All together it took him about two hours to complete the job.

The tip off to the evaporator coil (and no doubt other AC problems as well) is that the AC never reaches the set temperature, and of course a wet filter. This defect could be a real nightmare for people who are absent for any length of time because the AC will run continuously and the frozen evaporator coil will simply drip forever adding water damage to an astronomic SECO bill.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Any way to tell which units have the problem? I have a new home and will not be down all the time? Also where do you put the Clorox or white vinegar?

Just trying to learn all I can!!!!!! Thanks!

Becky
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Becky, Usually during the walk-through with the builder he points it out. It would probably be easier if a neighbor showed you where it is.

Near the top of the AC unit in the garage where the incoming refrigerant lines connect, you'll find a white 1" plastic pipe with a white cap which simply pulls off the end of the pipe. Use a funnel which you'll probably want to keep next to the AC for that purpose. If memory serves me, it's suggested every 6 months.


The Villages Warranty office may be able to provide the specific model or years involved. My Villa was built in the latter half of 2005 if that helps any.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Trane says it stands behind it's product, well they better do it now, because we have heard that there are a lot of coil problems, and they know about it in Liberty Park and in Tall Trees, and who knows where else, with feron leaking from the coils, and Sun Cool wanting you to get extened warrantys, the Air conditioners are only 1 to not even 2 years old, if they know about the problem, they should fix it FREE of charge, NO Labor cost either! WE also heard now, from someone in Liberty Park, and they were told that you should not even put vinagar down the pipe, only Hot water, why aren't they writing and telling us not to use vinagar.
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:41 PM
REDCART REDCART is offline
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

I understand that Clorox may be corrosive over time but I can't imaging that white vinegar would cause the same corrosive problems. Hot water by itself would not attack the accumulated mold which is common in all evaporator trays. The Trane tech was the one who recommended the vinegar over Clorox.

On the issue of Trane standing behind its products, I agree that if a particular part or component is recognized as defective and these evaporator coils are clearly defective based on the number of failures in the Villages, you would reasonably expect Trane to replace the parts, including labor--no questions asked. But I believe I mentioned that only the refrigerant line is covered beyond year one.

I also heard anecdotally from one of the real estate agents that the Villages tried Carrier units for a time but found them to have a high failure rate. Another example of how American manufacturing never stops trying to find cheaper methods until the market place gives up and stops buying their products. You would think the AC manufacturers would have learned a lesson from the American auto industry and the pervasive failure of consumer confidence.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

All AC manufacturers now say NO Bleach or Vinegar. When your air conditioning is running the condensate water flows through the outside drain line. In the few heating months the AC is not running or removing humidity from the house and the water is not flowing. Like all drain lines your condensate line has a trap and the water sits in the line and becomes stagnant. The water can build up with sludge. Dump hot water down the clean out in the garage to try to get the water flowing and push out any sludge. The best way clean the line is to take a shop vac and suck out all the water and gunk. This should be done on a regular preventative check up by a reputable AC and Heat Company.
  #12  
Old 07-17-2007, 09:14 PM
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golfnut golfnut is offline
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

I hope I don't have to buy a shop vac to suck the sludge, first I heard of this one, hard to believe a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 bleach would be too corrosive.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2007, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Its not the bleach or vinegar directly. Its the off gases from the bleach that can infiltrate back into the evaporater coil and are corrosive to the aluminum fins. I wouldnt worry about doing the shop vac yourself, just make your AC company do it when they come out. Insist on it.
  #14  
Old 07-18-2007, 06:01 AM
mejahu mejahu is offline
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Do air conditioners require more maintenance in the south? I never heard of de-sluging, bleach or vinegar being used and didn't even know outside airconditioners had filters. I know the units must work a lot harder in the south. We just got a Trane and central air last fall in Indiana, so I'm concerned to hear Tranes have problems in the south.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Air Conditioning Question

Yes. There are a lot of cooling hours in central Florida. Twice a year maintenace is a very conscientious thing to do.
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