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BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 22391
Experience:  Endorsed for unlimited heating, cooling, oil burners, boilers, refrigeration, hydronics
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I have a Carrier Air Handler Model No. FC4BNF042 which is less

Customer Question

I have a Carrier Air Handler Model No. FC4BNF042 which is less than 7 years old and it has developed a leak. The a/c repairperson said he installed 25 lbs of R-22 freon in the compressor this AM saying it leaks at the Air Handler. He said the compressor is a 3 ton unit with the Air Handler being a 3 1/2 ton unit.

Question: (1) What is the maximum lbs of R-22 that can be installed?
(2) Don't air handlers typically carry a 10 year warranty for leaks?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Kenton Guidry replied 7 years ago.

There is no maximum that an air conditioner can have of refrigerant.


The charge would have to do with the length of line set.


The minimum charge is listed on the condenser.


It is illegal to keep charging a system that is leaking.


That technician needs to find the leak.


The technician can use a few different ways to find the leak.


As a last resort, the coil can be removed and pressure tested.


The technician can also use an electric refrigerant leak detector as well.


It is not okay that the system has been charged multiple times without finding the leak.


It is against the rules that anyone with a refrigeration license must follow.


Depending on the efficiency of your condenser you can just replace the evaporator coil.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The minimum charge listed on the condenser - is that where it says Factory Charged 8 lbs?


You respond that "As a last resort, the coil can be removed and pressure tested." What to do before the last resort? I take that to mean I shouldn't replace the entire system. Is that what you are saying?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I appreciate your attempt to answer my questions. I thought you would answer the 2nd inquiry but I guess not and it is no longer desired that you do so.
I have been informed by a local a/c company that it is not illegal to keep charging a system that is leaking and as to the limit on the volume of maximum that an a/c can have...well there is a limit.


I do not accept your responses.

Expert:  BillyHvac replied 7 years ago.

Hello, I have looked at your question and I am volunteering an opinion as to your situation.


1) to say recharging is not illegal is preposterous. The reason the cfc's were outlawed is beacuase of environmental concerns. To say it is not illegal means you could just keep refilling a unit over and over with no recourse. To fill a unit requires identification of a leak and the subsequent repair.


2) If you unit ships with 8 lbs of rerfigerant why are you paying for a company to put in 25 lbs. It is one of the more unethical service calls I have heard. You can plan on one ton of cooling taking around 2.75 - 3 lbs. You have been taken advantage of then given information that does not make sense.


3) If money is no object, replace the entire system. I am sure the contractor would like that. IF yoiur problem is the coil you can simply address the coil. And if you get information of equipment not available because of refrigerant phase out, ask your contractor about R417A. It is a direct replacement for R22 that no one wants to talk about. This information is at no cost. Your biggest concern is not a $15 dollar question here if you are dealing with a contractor who installs 25 lbs in a 3 ton unit.