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Old 10-17-2006, 07:00 PM   #1
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HVAC Help Needed

My air conditioner has been running pretty sluggish. I changed the filter, and now (a week later) it has created a puddle and ruined some laminate flooring and drywall.

Anyone on here an HVAC specialist (or know one) ?
I'm looking to just get an idea of whether it's a big issue that needs a service call or if it's a "check this, check that, it should work fine now" kind of thing.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
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I think David (Ramius) is an A/C guy.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky
My air conditioner has been running pretty sluggish. I changed the filter, and now (a week later) it has created a puddle and ruined some laminate flooring and drywall.

Anyone on here an HVAC specialist (or know one) ?
I'm looking to just get an idea of whether it's a big issue that needs a service call or if it's a "check this, check that, it should work fine now" kind of thing.
I would right now check the pan under the ac unit. the drain sounds plugged to start with
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by train460
I would right now check the pan under the ac unit. the drain sounds plugged to start with

Absolutly correct, the problem your having is a buildup of algea in your drain pan.

Quick fix... pour some bleach into your drain pan and wait 10 minutes.

Good Fix, after the bleach eats it's way through the algea and starts draining, clean your drain pan, and your coils too while your at it. I have some tabs that you can place in your drain pan after all this is done, each tab lasts approx 6 months... but you can also stack them up into a tower and go for even longer.

Chances are good your coils haven't been cleaned in a while, you have two coils, the on the inside of your house that pick up heat, and the ones on the outside of the house that blow it out. A lot of people do not turn their ac off while they mow.. and if it's on, you are creating a suction on your coil which will cause all that grass your cutting to get sucked into the coil and plug it up, thus making it unable to dissapate the heat. To clean it you need to kill the power to your ac system, take the top off of the outside unit and spray water from the inside of the coil to the outside... if you spray from the outside of the unit to the inside all you are doing is pushing the crud further into the unit.. and the dust that got pulled in just turned to mud with the addition of water. (ps, once this coil is cleaned that way, if you remember to do it on a weekly basis you can get away with rinsing from the outside in because the crud isn't thick enough to plug)

Your inside coil is going to be even more gross, because it's cold dark and wet it's a veritable breeding ground for slimy stuff that blocks your coil.

If it hasn't been done in a while (more than one year) it needs to be done, and if you do it, I gaurantee you will notice an immediate drop in the run time of your system, as well as a drop in your light bill, most people who maintain around 74-75 degrees in the summer tell me they save enough on their light bill in one months time to pay for what I charge to clean them up. In the long run too, the less your unit runs the longer it lasts, thats why you see some people getting new ac every 5 years and some people going around 20 years with a system.

Truth is though, this isn't anything you couldn't do yourself and save some money, if you want some coil cleaner or pan tabs I have plenty and you can have them if you come pick them up.

This is you:
This is you after reading my post

Now let us be excellent to each other :icon_bigg
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:14 AM   #6
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I've been here 3 years now and have yet to clean it. :confused1


Guess that's why bill has gone up so much?! :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead:
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:31 AM   #7
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sticky this please may come in handy
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:52 AM   #8
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All great info!
Here's a hitch... someone already mentioned the drain pan. (people will tend to hold their hands out like they're holding a large pan when they talk to you, too :laughing6 ) ...but mine doesn't have a pan.

I live in a townhouse. The unit is in a closet (of sorts) but is elevated. The space underneath it is where the wall-mounted intake/filter is, and there's a PVC pipe threaded onto the unit and going across the space (about 20-24 inches and at a very slight incline) to what appears to be a drain pipe (also PVC).

The last time it leaked (about a year ago), it leaked from the threaded section of PVC. A friend took it outside, knocked it around to loosen the "gunk" buildup, then ran bleach through it.

I repeated this process, but there wasn't much gunk so I'm not sure if this was the same clog scenario. The last time, it only leaked from that spot - this time, it seemed like something on the upper part of the unit was leaking. There was moisture all over, and the dripping through to the bottom wasn't centralized enough to even use a dish/pan to catch it. Had to lay towels across the whole thing to get all the rest of the leaking once the unit had been turned off.

Oh - and I'm pretty handy aroud the house, so instructions like what you've given are absolutely do-able for me. I'll trade ya a 5L mini keg of beer if you come over and take a look Ramius... (won it last night at Monday Night Football)

On a side note - the cleaning is a great idea. My outside unit is only 3 years old, but it'll last MUCH longer if I take care of it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:27 AM   #9
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I'll look at it, but you have to have some type of drain pan.

What you have is an updraft system, it has a filter at the bottom, then a heater above that, then an ac coil above that, and your duct work goes out the top... where the pvc pipe goes into the side of the unit.. thats where your drain pan is. It's not a pan that sits under the unit (and those are actually called emergency or secondary drain pans for people who have side draft systems)

Just a sec I'll illustrate
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:39 AM   #10
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2qkm2aa

It might not be exactly as shown.. but it's very similar.

You have to have some type of pan for the water to collect off of your coil, your coil is shaped like an A (hence the name A-coil) and at the bottom of that coil is a pan.. because when 80 degree warm moist air hits a 40 degree coil it creates condensation like a cold beer on a hot beach.. that water has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is the pan where it collects and drains out to wherever....


But anyways, yeah, I don't mind riding out to check it out, it might be a day or two though, tomorrow (as in, a few hours from now) I'll be at childrens memorial all day.

Are you a morning person or a night person? because in all honesty, it would be easier for me to look at it either early early in the morning or later in the evening (read: 8ish am or 8ish pm) Except for thursday, I work from 7am to 3 pm off of hempstead highway and could come by after that...
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Who I am now is not who I was, and who I will be is better than anything I ever could have imagined. I am Filled with the Spirit of Christ and I walk surrounded by a Host Of Angels, who can stand before the Army of ? Amen!
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:06 AM   #11
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Night person. I get out of work @ 11pm.
I turned it back on tonight. I have it all open to keep an eye on it, but I've already pulled up the wet floorboards and mopped up the mess. I can't sleep when I'm sweating, so it had to go back on.

I hope this makes sense...

acunitsm7

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Old 10-18-2006, 02:25 AM   #12
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That black box.. should be the breaker switch for your fan and or heat strips

what we would need to do is turn that power off and unscrew that front cover to remove it

That black line, is that copper tubing your referring to on the left side?
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:25 AM   #13
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oh, btw, your ms paint skillz > the world


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Old 10-18-2006, 02:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArturoC
I've been here 3 years now and have yet to clean it. :confused1


Guess that's why bill has gone up so much?! :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead:

I got some PH 14 coil cleaner gauronteed to de-nastify the nastiest coils on the planet if you want I'll swing some by your place on my way home tomorrow ;P
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramius
oh, btw, your ms paint skillz > the world



Our schedules coudn't be any more opposite.
Yes, the black is the breakers (in addition to the breaker outside on the panel) but that's a good eye considering I didn't detail it.

The copper tubing (wrapped in black wrap/foam?) runs down the left.

I wish I had a phone cam or digi cam.

I'll trip the breakers and take off the panel. Let ya know...
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:05 AM   #16
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When you take the panel off you should see a coil where the copper tubing goes into the unit at.. it will have a pan that it rests on and from the looks of your drawing, it will have a pvc or tygon tubing that runs down to the bottom of that box where it exits to the outside of the box.

When you see the coil check out it's condition, The top side is going to look clean but the bottom will be pretty dirty.
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:53 AM   #17
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I concur with this statement.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:26 PM   #18
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I can't get all the way in there without disassembling more than the cover panel, but I found "the pan" ! I'll start up MS Paint and let ya see what I've got.

Oh, and inside the closet I found an old wrapper from some of those tabs you were talking about. I guess someone was maintaining this thing after all!
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:42 PM   #19
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acunitjt5

I poured what little bleach I had left in the pan, but I need to pick up more on my way home from work. Do they sell those tabs at HD/Lowes?

So I think it was just the gooey clog (like y'all said) but I'd never opened it up to see the pan and coils before. Y'all are awesome and saved me a ton of $$! I'll invite y'all over when I get the floor repaired and clean the place up... :eh:
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:08 PM   #20
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If the pan has some algae in it to the point it is clogging up the drain, you probably should clean your coils.

Also,
Those blue element 2 dollar filters are only supposed to be used for heater only systems. If you want to prevent the A/C coils from building up with muck, start using a pleated filter.

I used to have an A/C license back in 1994 and I did commerical A/C work.
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