AC Unit out of freon

shayaustenSeptember 21, 2011

Need advice.... I have a 02 Bryant 3ton package unit that is not working. A technician came a few weeks ago as it was not working right. He said it was frozen and I saw that when he opened it. He checked for leaks around the main area and did not find any. He said it was low on freon and put in 3 pounds.

Today he was back as it is not working. It took him awhile to figure out that it was totally out of freon. So do I spend the money to fix or buy new? He seemed to discourage me from fixing and now a person is coming tomorrow to give quote on new system. He told me that with the cost of freon and leak test with labor I am already looking at a cost of 500 without parts. He said coils can be expensive. How long should this system last? I live in SC so run it a lot. Help me make the right decision. Fix or replace.

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Sorry for your trouble.

Let me say this. Any tech who recharges an AC or HP system with 3# of freon without first locating the leak and/or adding dye to the freon to help locate a leak should be taken to the woodshed. He is not an HVAC pro.

Many leaks can be repaired, and not all are expensive repairs.

And yes there are standard practices used by real pros to locate leaks.

My best advice is seek another opinion before replacing with a new system.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:22AM
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I am 4 blocks off the beach and am told that can lower life expectancy of units??
Got some prices today and need advice.
Payne 13 seer package unit 5189
Carrier 13 seer package unit 5787
Carrier 14 seer package unit 6653
All include 1 year labor 10 year parts. I can purchase extended warranty for 10 year parts labor for 400 extra. I have someone else coming later today to give quotes.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:36AM
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If I lived on or near a harsh coastal environment and planned to be there for at least 5+ years, then I would be looking at Trane/AmStd because they hold up better and last longer in harsh environment.

I would not recommend Payne.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:49AM
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first off I seriously doubt the tech put in three pounds, probably one and told you three to up price, common practice. You see the boss is not interested in whats right but what the bottom line is. Scare tactic #1 you goitr a leak you should replace system cause I won't find it. #2 it will cost 500 bucks to find and fix it. Now there is no way a tech. is going to look for a leak every time he goes on a call he would be gone from 7 am to 12 am every night.Furthermore, Everything is easy to fix on paper in real; life it can be difficult.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:32PM
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I disagree with previous post. If tech had a full schedule, he should have recharged including dye and later return and check system for charge and make attempt to find leak.

These gas n go service calls are just unprofessional.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:50PM
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Thanks so much for advice. I got a second opinion today and they say to repair. A friend recommended someone to me and he came out and did a leak check for free after hearing what I had been told. He found the leak and around one of the copper tubes or something like that. My repair bill will be between 400-500 total. The other company wanted 172 dollars just to do the leak test.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:25PM
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tiger dunes you live in a fantasy world

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:26AM
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Gas n go service calls are a close relative to oil change jockeys...

Maybe that's doing the oil change specialists a disservice...


    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:16PM
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It's been my observation that there are two kinds of a/c companies:

One that will evaluate your system and repair it.

The other is the kind that no matter what is wrong with your system you will always need to have it replaced with a new one which they conveniently have on hand.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 3:19PM
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generalizations, Every situation is different. Every customer is different. some leaks are impossible to find and pinpoint. And lets say you do find it what if there is another one. Saying it's unprofessional to look for a leak is just talk. You could be opening a whole can of worms and doing a whole lot of work for free if you fix the leak and there is more than one. Over 10 years old and you have a six month leak milk it till you are ready for new system. Under 10 lets give it a shot but no guaranties.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 8:36AM
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"some leaks are impossible to find and pinpoint."

It is easy to find them, pinpoint and getting to them to make a repair is sometimes the problem.

I have had my meter start screaming as soon as I stepped in the door, and once just from being on the roof downwind of a leaking commercial system.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 3:54PM
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exactly my point a pungent fart will set them off.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:16AM
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