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Air Conditioning

I'm up doing an install at work tonight. I expect I'll run into some "dead time" where I can't leave, but I don't have anything to do. During that time, I might be able to catch up on some of my posting that I haven't had time to do lately.

The frist thing I'll post about is the air conditioning. I love air conditioning. Unfortunately, ours isn't working. I've been fighting with it off and on since Tuesday, but I think I'm going to end up calling a professional early next week. On Tuesday, yarbiedoll noticed that the air conditioner had frozen. It seems to do this about once a year now. I spent a while Tuesday night thawing the cooling unit and vacuuming the water out of the unit. Unfortunately, when I turned the air conditioner back on, it almost immediately started freezing again. So I let it sit.

Between work and other stuff on Wednesday, I kept checking on it whenever I got a chance, but it didn't want to play nice, so I let it sit. I begin to wonder if the condensation drain pipe was obstructed, because it looked like the water should have been able to drain out of the catch pan, but was just pooling up in it instead. I tried poking around in the pipe, but it was very hard to get to, and had an immediate turn in it, so it was hard to get around. I went outside and tried poking in the pipe where it exits the house, but with little luck. I did manage to clean some gunk out.

Yesterday, I started poking around the 'net for suggestions. Many of the sites mentioned letting the fan run, to help dry out the unit after a freeze-up. I knew that, but had completely forgotten about it. So, I went home between some meetings and switched it over to fan. That really helped to dry it up pretty good. Running the air conditioner for less than an hour, however, caused it to create the standing puddle of water in the catch tray, and it wouldn't drain. So I turned it back to the fan to help dry it up.

Today, I poked at it some more. I had some time boefore going to work this morning, so I duct-taped my wet-dry vacuum to the pipe outside the house and let it run for a bit. That seemed to suck out about a half cup of water, but if there was an obstruction, it didn't get it. I'm thinking it might have sucked water around a possible obstruction. I came home after lunch today so I could sleep before having to do this install, but before going to sleep, I poked at it some more. I verified that the drain pipe does have a couple of right angle turns before exiting the house, so my poking from the outside was probably hitting the turns, not an obstruction. In order to verify that, I ended up crawing all over the place in the basement under the stairs. I was really hoping to find something that I could shake loose that would cause the drain to start flowing again, but there seems to be nothing.

All told, every time I've approached the air conditioner, I've only had about a half hour each time to devote to it. It will become my Sunday afternoon project, when I can devote the whole afternoon to it if I need to. And if I can't figure out how to get that catch pan to drain, early next week, it will become a professional's project. I'd just really rather not have to pay someone to come fix this if I don't have to. And I really don't want someone to come in and say that it's time to replace the unit.


Oh, well. Twelve minutes before I can start the install....


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
I've run snakes down A/C drain pipes before. No fun. Getting around the bends is tough. If the pipe is big enough for a snake, I suggest one you can hook a drill to. I have both the snake and the electric drill, if you want to borrow them (I can come with them, too). The drains tend to get clogged with algae that grow in the drain pans. You can get tablets to put in the drain pan that'll kill the algae and prevent clogs in the future.

As for freezing A/C, isn't that a sign of low coolant pressure? Seems to me I heard that once, but I definitely don't remember well.

And it sounds like you had one boring install! I'll bet the other folks on the call are seriously wondering about the crazy rednecks in that remote office :-D
Sep. 25th, 2004 04:03 pm (UTC)
Yup, pretty boring install. I was glad for that, since it's the first time I did an install. I knew that my part of the install would leave me with gaps of time to fill, which is why I brought Loretta in. The other folks in the office enjoyed it, too. I was only on the call for the 10 seconds or so it took to play a few bars, so I'll have to ask my manager how it played out after I hung up.

Think you might have some free time to help with my air conditioner Sunday afternoon?

My web searches indicated that a freezing air conditioner may be due to low coolent (which may be due to a leak that needs repair). Dirty filters are also a common cause of freeze-ups, and my filter was dirty, 'cause I forgot to replace it last quarter. I'm going to move to a monthly filter check now. Combined with the weird cold snap we got last week, I'm still hopeful that the freeze-up was not due to a leak.
Sep. 25th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC)
maybe there was some atmospheric thing yesterday - because my air conditioning froze up also - I let it sit overnight and it seems to be doing a better job this morning.

I really, really, really like the air conditioning too - I was not a happy camper for a while there.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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