OT: Air conditioner

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One of mine has suffered some sort of leak from the condenser which now
makes a loud buzzing noise. Probably oil, I suppose. Anyway it looks
pretty terminal, and the thing is 10 years old, so I started calling to
get quotes to replace the entire unit.

So far, of the two companies I've been able to contact, one says they no
longer do residential work, and the other says the earliest they can
come is next Friday.

OK, so it's cold, and people will be calling about their broken reverse
cycle airconditioners - running it in heating mode is after all how I
found out that mine had a problem. Even so, I'm surprised at the lack of
people making a dash for my door. I'd have thought summer was the time
when airconditioning companys would be run off their feet.

Maybe I'll just use a fan heater and wait until October.

Sylvia.


Re: OT: Air conditioner
On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 21:59:25 +1000, Sylvia Else

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I have had the same experience. In fact I even had difficulty getting
companies to quote on a new ducted A/C supply and install. I contacted
about 10 companies and only 2 actually turned up.

ISTM that they aren't hungry enough. Bring on the recession!

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: OT: Air conditioner

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Judging by the one quote I've got (given sight unseen, on the basis that
it's a replacement), that's only too true. It's about $500 more than I
was expecting.

Roll on spring.

Sylvia.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 21:59:25 +1000, Sylvia Else

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How long after you fire it up on heat does the noise start?  This is
key to the next bit.

If is not straight off, but after something more than a minute, then
do the following test.  Rug up and after giving it say 10 minutes
rest, stick it on COOL and - if it will actually do anything - see
whether it still makes the same noise.

What you may be experiencing is defrosting issues.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Thanks for the thought. Before doing that (and ultimately, instead), I
collected some of the gunk from around the condenser, and confirmed that
it won't mix with water. So it's dirt mixed with oil, or something of
that nature. Similar dirt collected from elsewhere in the housing
happily wets with water. I needed to use washing-up liquid to get the
gunk off my hands - soap wouldn't touch it.

So I pulled the insulation material off the condenser, and sadly the
culprit became all too obvious; massive corrosion to the base and sides
of the condenser, and the mounting brackets are almost gone.

The good news is that I pulled apart the other airconditioner I have of
the identical model, and it's fine. It's under a deck, so is not subject
to driving rain, and that maybe what makes the difference. Now I just
need to finish the task of drilling out one of the screws whose head
stripped :(

I have to wonder about the insulation. Its position is such that if any
amount of water accumulates in the base, the insulation will absorb it,
and then hold it in contact with the condenser and its mountings. This
seems like a design flaw (or a deliberate attempt to prevent the unit
from lasting too long).

Sylvia.





Re: OT: Air conditioner

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Oh, and just to make sure that water does accumulate, there's a
depression under the compressor, and no drain hole.

I think I'll make a weather proof cover for the replacement unit, and
have it covered up except when it's in use.

Sylvia.



Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Normal where I live too.  You are lucky if anyone even shows up.
If it is a through the wall unit, you will probably have to change it
yourself.

You will find it difficult to find one of similar power that will fit
in the same size hole, I have found, and if there is brick involved,
you will find it a real pain to enlarge the hole, especially if you
aren't on ground floor level.

When you replace it, and you are happy with the new unit, I would
consider buying a spare of the same model and putting it aside
if you can afford to do so, and have the room.  Suitable units are
getting harder and harder to find as time passes.


Out of interest, do these things store ok - anyone know ?







Re: OT: Air conditioner
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It's not a through wall unit, it's a split system. So that aspect of
things shouldn't be such a problem.

Sylvia.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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I guess the through the wall system has one advantage, if you are out
of town, and no one will come
to fix it, you can at least remove it yourself and replace it, or take
it in for service.

Split system, you have to know about refrigeration and have the gear
if you are going to install it yourself.


The way things are going in this country - you should get a wood
stove.
At least this can be easily serviced and operated, and immune to
blackouts
as long as you have the wood available.  ;)


Re: OT: Air conditioner
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And even if you have the gear and the knowledge, you still can't legally
do it without a licence (at least, in NSW).

Sylvia.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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You can if you use hydrocarbon refrigerants which is perfectly possible.
read this lot.
http://www.hychill.com.au/pdf/hcm_e.pdf
And it is possible to even bypass the commercial supplier as you can can
get propane butane elswhere although not as pure.
If you google hydrocarbon refrigerants you will get a plethora of info,
a lot of which is claptrap and misinformation by  people protecting
their interests.
For instance almost all the cheap friges and freezers imported use R600
which is iso butane (used in a lot of camping stoves)
Most house air cons will run on propane which is legal on small systems

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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It is the same in QLD.  I'm sure though that many do it though, and
that will
increase if there becomes a shortage of qualified people.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Queensland has different rules to NSW. Non ticketed people can use
hydrocarbons in NSW they are just not legally allowed to let the old
stuff escape (r22, R134a etc)
In Queensland there are still ways and means for some stuff.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Sorry, I should have said split system "installers" have to be
licensed.  As far as maintaining
the gear, that could be a totally different situation



Re: OT: Air conditioner
On Sun, 17 Jul 2011 00:07:32 -0700 (PDT), kreed

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They do? Even for pre-charged systems? Those come with instructions
for DIY, so I'm assuming hydrocarbon charge.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Makes no difference.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/hba1989128/s15.html

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/hbr2004219/s11.html

Sylvia.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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I remember those. They would remove the instructions and the pipe from
the carton as I have been told.
A friend bought and installed one and only got these as he had a
friend in the store that he bought his unit.

The scumbags charge in excess of $600 to do a basic split install
around here.

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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The law seem strange on this subject you can use hydrocarbon
refrigerants without a refrigeration license But it seems building
regulations have laws requiring that people working on air con on
buildings need endorsed contractors licenses
so it seems that you can play with refrigeration in a paddock all you
like with hydrocarbons and no refrige ticket but not on buildings.
I assume you can make a free standing air con in a paddock (no ticket)
and put it in a building
You could make a complete split system and charge it with hydrocarbon
refrigerants in a paddock without license but to put two pipes through
the wall and connect them you would need an endorsed license.
There seems to be two different licensing systems, one for refrigeration
and one for building

Re: OT: Air conditioner
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Strictly speaking, the regulations say "in a building" not "on a
building". Someone faced with a prosecution for a DIY installation could
reasonably raise the question of whether the system is "in a building"
as required, or merely partly in a building, which doesn't fit the
definition.

Further, it seems to me that since it's the system that has to be in a
building, not the work, the DIY would be lawful even in respect of the
inside part.

Mind you, you'd still need an electrician's licence for the wiring.

Sylvia.

Re: OT: Air conditioner

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I guess the through the wall system has one advantage, if you are out
of town, and no one will come
to fix it, you can at least remove it yourself and replace it, or take
it in for service.

Split system, you have to know about refrigeration and have the gear
if you are going to install it yourself.


The way things are going in this country - you should get a wood
stove.
At least this can be easily serviced and operated, and immune to
blackouts
as long as you have the wood available.  ;)

Probably be hit for carbon tax for creating pollution ?



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