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  1. #1
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
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    Question Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    I have a friend who has a six year old heat pump with the air handler/A coil in the attic (home is in KY). The Philco brand system has a severely corroded "A" coil and lots of leaks per the HVAC guy who looked at the unit today. I rarely see this brand and don't understand why such a new system is basically scrap now. The HVAC guy didn't explain to my friend why/how this damage happened - any ideas? Thanks for any thoughts!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Probably caused from not changing that air filter but once a year.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Did they get any Chinese drywall?
    Seriously, do a search here on Chinese drywall.
    It is reported to corrode copper in the wiring, plumbing, a/c coils, etc.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Did they get any Chinese drywall?
    Seriously, do a search here on Chinese drywall.
    It is reported to corrode copper in the wiring, plumbing, a/c coils, etc.
    A bad case of Chinese drywall can to that in less than a year, as little as 6 months is the shortest time I have heard.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
    mitch buchanan Guest

    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    No chinese drywall, as this system was installed as part of an addition built onto the original house six years ago. They had to let the GC go and have someone else finish the project due to lots of problems - don't know what the issues were. The original house HVAC system was a Goodman - they did a complete replacement last year due to age. I still can't understand why any heat pump would rot out like they said in such a short time, even with a lack of maintenance. I do alot of multi-family inspections where the HVAC systems are sprouting legs due to all the funk in the components. Can contaminated freon corrode "A" coils, etc. ? Thanks for any ideas!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Didn't the Chinese drywall start showing up about six years or more ago?

    Yes, there can be acids that develop inside the refrigerant systems which is one of the primary reasons to install filter/dryers. Moisture combines with the refrigerant under high temperatures inside the system to form an acid. Acid tests and indicators are part of normal routine on commercial refrigeration systems. BUT the compressor is usually the first to go when acid attacks a system.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch buchanan View Post
    No chinese drywall, as this system was installed as part of an addition built onto the original house six years ago.
    Chinese drywall started coming into the country in 2001.

    That is more than "six years ago".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Hey Mitch,

    Haven't seen any Chinese Drywall here in Kentucky yet either.

    But I did find rotting coils in a unit in an older (40 some years) house over a crawl space with a strong sulphur smell and lots of water in the crawl space. The crawl space hatch was in the same room as the coil. Blackened wires were present also.

    Couldn't smell much until I opened the hatch.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  9. #9
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Jim and Jerry,

    Thanks for the timeline for Chinese drywall hitting the US. Like Erby said, I haven't seen any problems in Central KY. I hadn't heard about the Chinese drywall problem 'til it hit the news awhile back. My friend's HVAC guy may have a better idea of what caused the problem when the unit is pulled out of the home. I'll post info. if I find out.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    In Florida, we are *lucky* about Chinese drywall ... ... seems it came into the Port of Jacksonville, the Port of Tampa, and the Port of Miami ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Outdoor coil cleaners are very acid and must me rinsed off throughly within a short time after it is applied or it will attack the aluminum fins. Indoor coil cleaning solutions are not as strong so through rinsing is not as critical. Someone may have used the wrong cleaner on the indoor coils?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Outdoor coil cleaners are very acid and must me rinsed off throughly within a short time after it is applied or it will attack the aluminum fins. Indoor coil cleaning solutions are not as strong so through rinsing is not as critical. Someone may have used the wrong cleaner on the indoor coils?
    VH: Good call.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch buchanan View Post
    I have a friend who has a six year old heat pump with the air handler/A coil in the attic (home is in KY). The Philco brand system has a severely corroded "A" coil and lots of leaks per the HVAC guy who looked at the unit today. I rarely see this brand and don't understand why such a new system is basically scrap now. The HVAC guy didn't explain to my friend why/how this damage happened - any ideas? Thanks for any thoughts!
    There's a good possibility the refrigeration system wasn't evacuated properly during installation. Only a handful of guys in Frankfort know to use nitrogen while brazing and own a micron gauge.

    Would be nice to know if the previous equipment ever had any refrigeration leaks or if they had any home renovation work done after the new equipment was installed (new carpet, paint, drywall, etc....).

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

  14. #14
    mitch buchanan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    David,

    They had no previous leaks but I learned that this 2 story addition has 2 separate attic air handlers and 2 exterior condensers - kind of a strange set-up. One of the 2 attic units is leaking - the other is fine. He's been told about $1600 for a new air handler. He's concerned the other unit may have problems in the future and is looking for better options/maybe a new design before he goes any further. Can you send me a private email with your contact info. - I believe he can benefit from your experience. Thanks.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Six year old "A" coil corroded, leaks - why?

    PM sent Mitch.

    Measured Performance more than just a buzzword

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