Author Topic: Is Replacing the Evaporator Really Necessary?  (Read 2102 times)

Offline curlyjag

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Is Replacing the Evaporator Really Necessary?
« on: September 10, 2015, 10:32:39 AM »
Hello Everyone,
This is my first post on this forum. We could sure use some advice on whether to replace the air handler and/or AC unit. It is a high efficiency HVAC system. The AC unit is 15 years old. We had a Ecologix EDHV Air Handler installed 4 years ago.

We first experienced loss of cooling in May 2015. A tech came out and said the refrigerant (R22) was low due to a small leak on valve caps and Schrader valve. He tightened the Schraders and sealed the caps (according to the work description on the invoice). He added 1 lb of R22 and recommended replacing the unit with new lines.

So now, 3 months later, we lost cooling again. The AC motor still operates. A tech from a different company recommended a new TCJD 2 ton AC unit with a new 2 ton evaporator coil (using existing refrigeration lines). He opened up the side of the AC unit and said the coil was 'swiss cheese'.

I asked why we couldn't retain the newish evaporator coil and he said it had to be refrigerant friendly with the new compressor. I suggested replacing the AC unit with a new R22 type so that the evaporator coil didn't need to be changed but he seemed to indicate that there weren't many out there now and it was better to replace both using the new R-410A refrigerant.

So I guess the question is should we look for an R22 AC unit so that we can retain the newish air handler or replace both to the new R-410A units? We only intend to live in this house for 3-5 years maximum.

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Admin

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Re: Is Replacing the Evaporator Really Necessary?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2015, 10:13:21 AM »
My main concern is that you still don't know where the leak is.  If you changed only the outdoor unit you could still have a leak in the indoor coil or line set.

If the line set is covered by drywall and hard to replace then I would look at buying a R22 system so you can reuse the line set and coil.

But unless the leak was located, replacing the outdoor unit, indoor coil and line set would be the safe move.

Offline mattmctree

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Re: Is Replacing the Evaporator Really Necessary?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 04:57:15 PM »
sounds to me like he didnt actually source the leak in which case he shouldnt have put new gas in it. ive found unit with leaky schraders but usually there is always a leak somewhere else ( evap coil , capilary lines, poor brazing joints). you wont be able to get a r22 system as they are phasing that refrigerant out. you can get some drop in replacements for r 22 which are compatible with the mineral oil however i myself dont have muh experience with them. if you plan on changing the entire unit you should change the line set as well or at minimum do an acid flush on it. im assuming since your on this site that you are a tradesman and in that case you can pick up a new evap and condenser for quite cheap at any wholesaler and install it. as far as only being in your house for a short time , it never hurts to put a new system in as you can get your money back out of it when you sell.

just my 2 cents

Offline walker

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Re: Is Replacing the Evaporator Really Necessary?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 06:39:43 PM »
you can still get r22 units, but why would you...