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Posted: 6/18/2003 12:41:19 PM EDT
Well it's warm in Texas, but I've been lucky so far and it hasn't been too hot. My A/C unit wouldn't cool the house properly and it also froxe up(i think). It stopped working probably 4 years ago and I bought a window unit(i have a small as house). Now I'd like to have 'normal' A/C (throught the whole house), but I'm going to school and can't afforsd a couple hundred dollars for a service call/repair. The unit is from '84. I assume it has the old R 12 coolant in it. I don't want to smuggle it back from Mexico if I can avoid it. When it was serviced about 5- years ago, the service tech recommended a 'hard-start' kit for a harf to start unit. So how much of this can I do myself?? I've done a little A/C work before, so I'm familiar with the gauges (don't currently own a set). I've heard that now, if you have a leak they can't just top it off, they have to drain the coolant, and find and fix the leak. That sounds way too expensive right now. Any suggestions???
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:00:07 PM EDT
if it is out of freon, I think you are screwed. If it all leaked out, then your seals are toast, and it won't do you any good to try to add any. The r-12 for houses is about 10 bucks a pound right now, and it takes about 6 pounds to fill a 3 ton unit. If it still has freon in it, and it just froze up, you might just need to replace a capacitor, but if it sat for 4 years, I would not hold much hope.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:04:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count: the old R 12 coolant... I don't want to smuggle it back from Mexico...
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Hmmm, *rubs chin, Mexico, eh? I haven't thought of that.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:08:56 PM EDT
I recently had to have my 1985 unit recharged, and they did it with a brand-new bottle of freon. I think only NEW installations have the freon restriction. Anyway, I had the same conditions you did: wouldn't cool and would freeze solid. A few pounds of freon fixed it lickety-split. However, Andrewh is probably right about the seals and all. Mine are proibably shot, too, so when it runs dry again I'll probably have to replace the whole unit. (gulp)
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:10:57 PM EDT
You can get your A/C certification for like $25 online somewhere, then you can buy it legally. Thats what I did.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:32:22 PM EDT
I'm EPA certified level I, II and III. Cost for the tests were 400.00. If you A/C unit needed a hard start kit its gone already. If you have a leak and in a area that can be fixed it can be done. The freon system is a closed system. Nothing is supposed to leak or enter. If its low you have a leak. you cannot legally add freon without finding the leak and fixing it. Sounds like it ready for the scrap man. Good luck Rick
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 4:54:01 PM EDT
I've been in the business 22 yrs and I'm certified universal. 1st,if it's been sitting empty of gas for 4 years I wouldn't give you a 30 second warrenty,assuming you can get it to run. 2nd,the hard start is a type of capacitor used on compressors that are starting to fail and have a hard time turning over.Bad news. 3rd,I think you probably mean R22.R12 is for older appliances and older cars.My cost on R22 is about $1.50 a lb.I think R12 is up to $30 a lb now my cost. 4th,A unit that's 19 yrs old isn't worth fixing. Sorry for the bad news.
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