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air conditioner repairs?

We have a Carrier central air conditioner that just stopped cooling last week. Called the company we have used for years and they sent a guy out. This guy spent less than 10 minutes at the house and said "Broken - leak - you need a new unit". He offered to put some "coolant" in but it might just drain out immediately. He said "a tree must have fallen and hit it". Never happened. Is it possible that he can diagnose the problem in that amount of time? He did not lift the cover over the outside unit - I don't think he even knelt down to get a closer look. I am devastated and could use some advice.

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    yes he did hook up gages and got low reading and to busy or lazy to go futher ...... turn unit on and feel the large line that should have black rubber foam on it should be cold to touch if not there is a cheap fix that might work we us grainger a/c stop leak they sell a small can of R 22 with a hose that is called stop leak you just turn it upside down and put it on the large line and let it run out it explaines how in the instructions it cost about $60.00 sometimes it helps small leaks if they are large you will see white frost and moisture on line that leaks. also the new units must be the R134 and have new lines run very expensive.

  • 9 years ago

    Serious! what a bad tech. Like Greg D said he was either lazy or in a hurry. You need to call the company and have someone else dispatched to correctly diagnose your system for free. He should have attempted to at least put nitrogen in the lines to see if it is an obvious leak. I'm assuming since you said, " I don't think he even knelt down to get a closer look." you have a split system unit. He needs to be sure the leak is on the outside unit. And if he knows that, then it should be an option to repair the leak. Cause if he doesn't know where the leak is at on a split system, he can sell you a new unit and there still is a chance of a potential leak from your condenser to your indoor coil.

    Note: on the techs behalf sometimes it is obvious to see a leak (within 10 minutes). With looking at your guages (seeing low pressures) and seeing signs of oil around the unit. But like i said before a leak fix should be an option for repair not just buying a new unit. P.S. turn off your a/c till you get this problem resolved. You can badly damage your system running on low pressures and will cost you more $$$ in the long run. (ex: system burnout, bad compressor)

  • 9 years ago

    It doesn't take much time to hook on guages and see that its lost refrigerant. Someimes leaks can be found and gotten to and fixed but most times they are in either the condensing coil or evaporator coil that aren't readily repairable or aren't worth the money. Finding a leak in a coil requires special leak detection equipment and can take around 1/2 hour to an hour to find and to know how bad of shape the coil is in, most times when the coil begins to go bad it will have several small leaks is what I find. He should have atleast found where the leak was before condeming your equipment. I'd call another company jsut for a second opinion. They do make a fix flat so to speak that can be put into your system to stop up a bad coil, over time I don't think its good for the unit so this would be an option if you wanted to buy a few more years if in fact the unit should be replaced and also that depends on where the leak is. A bad indoor coil can be changed without replacing the outside unit, but a leak in the outdoor coil would mean a new outdoor unit with a new indoor coil to match the units new refrigerant. Indoor coils can go either way with refrigerant but not outdoor ones. Good luck I hope something here made a little sense.

  • Greg D
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    If your system just stopped working instantly then it must be a pretty big leak, I would think he found it. If he said something broke a pipe, then his explanation sounds correct. I just think he may be lazy for not explaining all your options. If its just a large leak, then he can just fix the pipe and get your a/c going that day.

    Now the only reason I would recommend a new condenser would be if the condenser coil had a leak in it (only if its really small or in an awkward place) , or if your system had a major compressor burn out which is a major problem. A burn out can cause acid in your system that if not corrected will kill your pipes and your new compressor.

    What you should do is ask questions of why you need a new condenser. Ask for a different tech to explain the problems and solutions. Tell them to give you options instead of telling you what you need to do.

    Then call another service company because that one seems to lack customer service.

    Source(s): HVAC/R Service Tech
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    If I were you I'd try and get a hold of the repairman that came to your house and ask how he diagnosed the problem. It's quite likely that he simply hooked up his gauges to check the pressure of the refrigerant in your system and saw a very low reading.

    If there is a major leak the system will have almost no coolant in it and is quite easy to diagnose. If the leak were smaller and the pressure was simply low as opposed to having nearly no pressure than that would be a different issue and you might consider having another repairman come to diagnose the problem.

    Many things can cause a major leak, some are surprisingly simple like corrosion from years of snow falling on the AC. If your unit is over or near 15 years old it's quite likely that it's close to the end of it's useful life already. Sometimes the simple stress of being used can be enough to end it's life, the beginning of summer is prime time for AC replacement for exactly that reason.

    Source(s): Experience as an http://www.air-n-water.com/ appliance specialist and customer service rep.
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