Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 year ago

Why isn't the air conditioning working?

I'm a student at Phoenix Job Corps Center, and the water main broke outside of the residential building. Now the air conditioning doesn't work. I thought that meant we were still using swamp cooling (which uses water vapor to cool air and then directs the air into the building), but the RA says that the building uses modern air conditioning and the refrigeration unit isn't working because there isn't any water. I'm confused. I thought air conditioning worked by compressing air or something like that and didn't require water. And refrigerators don't need to be hooked up to a water supply unless you have an ice maker. Why would the refrigeration unit for an air conditioner need water?

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  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    A large, commercial HVAC unit will often use water pouring over the condenser coils, or else recirculating through a cooling tower, to improve its performance. While not exactly a water waster as another answer called it, it can go through a fair amount of water pretty quickly, and without the constant water supply to keep it topped up, everything stops.

    I have seen commercial HVAC solutions that had both the condenser and evaporator in package units, and water was piped around the building to cool the condensers and carry the warm water away, and I've seen water-cooled condensers that then pumped the refrigerant around the building to the various evaporators. Both are very effective, both have different costs, advantages and limitations.

    But yeah, with a big commercial HVAC, a water main failure can absolutely sideline your air conditioning. But water mains are important, and the utility will have things back up soon enough.

  • M.
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Some commercial refrigeration equipment uses a water cooled condenser, not an air cooled condenser. If that's what your system has, it's a water waster and it can't work without the water supply.

  • 1 year ago

    you've got a commercial a/c, not a residential one. many commercial a/cs use water in the external heat exchange process -- they evaporate it to cool the working fluid rapidly ... this because the volume of refrigerant needed for the unit is so high that a solely air cooled system would be huge [the outside compressor coolers]

    and, without water, neither the commercial a/c nor the swamp cooler will work

    Source(s): grampa
  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    1 year ago

    Yes water can be used. Some systems use water to cool the condenser coils. Could be a chiller cooling building. Or could be a system like your standard air to air system but instead the condenser coil has water running over it.

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  • 1 year ago

    older bldgs used pumped in water from the main to go through coils & cool things somewhat.

    might be a stopped up coil,a joint,or a leak at the water main joint with the bldg pipes

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Your building likely uses a chiller (chilled water) to provide air conditioning. Water is used to cool the condenser and also used to get "chilled" by the evaporator to provide the chilled water to the cooling coils in the rooms. If the building has a cooling tower on the roof, it uses a chiller.

    The air conditioning system in buildings is a totally different system than the central air conditioning in houses or the system used in cars.

  • not
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Condenser cooled by water instead of air.. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-does-water...

  • 1 year ago

    Perhaps your building has a joint heating/cooling system. That may well require water and they may have shut it all down while the water problem lasts.

    • M.
      Lv 7
      1 year agoReport

      It should shut off because of high pressure overload. It obviously has a problem and the compressor will burn up. Call the school maintenance and let them know!

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