|View single post by jehiatt|
|Posted: Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 03:15 am||
|One long stupid story and the names were changed to protect the dumbasses.
I heard bits and pieces about it in our Lodge, days after the fact. Four servicemen had worked on my Lodge Brother Bill’s home air conditioning system for several weeks and it was not yet repaired.
First, Bill’s air conditioner had quit cooling and had ice forming on the unit’s piping. Bill mentioned it in the daily bull sessions at our Lodge and got some help from Brother Ed, who knew it was a sign of low Freon and would make a service call the next day. Ed’s main business is working on heating and air conditioning equipment. He is well experienced and a whiz to boot. He made the first long trip to Bill’s house and recharged the Freon for $180.00 to restore the cooling.
In a week the cooling had quit and the pipes were freezing up again. Ed knew right away there was a leak in Bill’s AC system but his brother-in-law, best friend,and our Lodge brother had just passed away. Ed was in no mood to worry with this problem. Ed offered to refund Bill’s money and provided the name and phone number for Fred, another serviceman that Bill could call on to take over the repairs.
Bill did call on Fred and Fred found the problem to be a leaking A coil evaporator in the inside furnace/AC unit. The charge paid for the service call was $112.00 and the cost for installing a new coil would be $1300.00. Bill was shocked at the costs and had to sleep on it a bit.
At the Lodge that night this topic was hashed about and Brother Tony, a property rental owner and experienced AC repairman offered to solve Bill’s problem for much less money. Bill quickly agreed and Tony replaced the bad coil the next day. After replacing the coil though, the outside unit with the compressor would not work. Tony then spent several days and many hours trying to get it to come on and even installed a new compressor which also did not function. Tony had collected $370.00 from Bill so far but had to beg out of any more work on the unit and collected no more money. He was frustrated. Working in that 90 degree heat was no picnic.
Bill wasn’t having any fun either - his house was hot.
Now Bill calls Fred back and Fred and his helper spend two half days trying to get the AC working but with no good results. On a Friday afternoon they tell Bill that Tony had installed a used coil in his AC, that the outside unit is leaking, and the entire system will have to be replaced for $3400.00. They also tell him he owes them $659.00 for the work done on the unit so far and would send him a bill.
That night I listened as Bill tells the whole story.
I offered to check out the system because it just seemed impossible that nobody could get the compressor to work and many hours spent already trying to make it work and so much money is going to be spent to replace it. The simplest part of an AC system is the outside unit and the two wires that send 24 volts out to a relay to make it come on. I wanted to know what the real problem was. It had to be no 24 volts getting to the unit or no 220 volts to feed the compressor.
My son Chris had my 50lb cylinder of R22 Freon so I called him to get it back and asked if he wanted to go help check this problem out. He agreed, which was nice because he would also drive his truck which is 25 years younger and a bit more comfortable than my 1979 Chevy service van. Chris is currently a hand’s on supervisor repairing all types of damage to homes being bought and sold by a local company. Repair of heating and air conditioning equipment is included in his list of skills.
So Saturday morning we make the cross county drive to Bill’s home and Chris starts looking at the mess of wiring in the house unit while I tackle the outside condenser unit.
My volt meter says the 220 volts is there and I push in the relay momentarily with a screwdriver and the compressor and blower fan starts up and sounds good. While I am looking at the wiring connections the relay pulls in and the compressor comes on again. Bill comes around the corner of the house and I get him to go tell Chris that the relay had just pulled in.
Chris had found a broken connection on the 24 volt feed line for the compressor relay and only 10 minutes on the job already.
I checked the service valve covers and they are finger tight. I loosed both covers to see if the valves were open and there is Freon gas escaping. We connected our service gauges and fire it up. There is no hi side pressure. Most of the Freon has leaked out from the loose valve covers or we have another problem. There is a new compressor in the unit. I cross my fingers as we add Freon. The pressure builds up, up, up, and looking good! The return line sweats. The system is checking out ok now. We soap check for leaks. No bubbles were seen. Hah! It’s cooling again. Still is - 24 days later.
Now what helped break the control line lead? It passed right in front of the A coil cover then drops down into the furnace wiring area. Did it get broken when Fred removed the A coil cover to look for the leak or when Tony replaced the A coil? How could Tony, then Fred, and his helper not check the most basic circuit that controls the compressor relay? Maybe it was the heat.
Last edited on Tue May 29th, 2007 09:47 pm by jehiatt