How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Phil Your Own Question

Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 6073
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
23932409
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
Phil is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a complete new heat pump system in our Florida home.

Customer Question

We have a complete new heat pump system in our Florida home. We found out that the old pellums were not replaced when the pellums started leaking. The HVAC company replaced the pellums with new ones. After the repair was completed and the service installers left our house, the one pellum started leaking from the bottom that is next to the air handler and the air handler now having condensation on the entire bottom and side of the unit and is dripping water too. We know there is something wrong with the unit. Our question is: Should we have the company replace the entire air handler replaced because of this problem? Does it problem mean that the unit was improperly installed from the beginning? Also if they say they can repair it,
should we be concerned that the water that was in the air handler will rust the unit? The unit appears to be all metal on all sides and our concern is that there may be some hidden problem that has developed from this leak, etc. Give us some ideas as what we should do when the service/installers come to repair it and their manager comes to inspect the unit. Thank You for you help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to Just Answer!.

I hold questions open after positive ratings to allow for unlimited follow up. Please be patient though. The research & typing take time

There are many aspects to this problem.

1. The air leak problem is normally repairable. Air leaks in Florida can run your operating costs up dramatically. There are superb duct sealing compounds in calking tubes that can be used to seal the plenum to the furnace. Many companies use duct tape... that tends to fail in many cases.

2...Of more concern is that the plenum is running cold enough to condense moisture. In Florida that is generally cooler than 45 deg F...

Normally a system should put out cold air 18 to 22F cooler than the room air... so if the room is 72 then the cold air plenum should run no cooler than 50F... 55F is the national design standard however....and not condense any water onto the duct work where it can do the damage you have mentioned... and worse, leak water from the duct joints that support mold growth in the wetted areas of the house framing and ceilings etc, a very serious problem.

The problem is normally caused by duct work that is too small to move enough warm air... so that the smaller amount of air it moves gets too cold. The cure is larger ducts, and possibly running the fan at a higher speed if it is not already set at high speed for cooling.

The proper solution is to have the system 'air balanced' by a testing and balancing specialist so that the system is moving beween 400 and 500 CFM, per ton of cooling capacity. These companies and most high quality air conditioning contractors use 'air flow test hoods' to put over each supply air register to measure that air flow. Beyond that there are sizing issues that affect the ability of a system to dehumidify the air properly.

____________

If you found that answer useful and will rate it positively, I will hold the question open for an unlimited amount of time and address the special humdidity control requirements in Florida. and the complex issues of good system design that top quality HVAC contractors are familar with. It seems likely that this contractor is not up to speed on this range of issues.




Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 6073
Experience: Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Phil and 2 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Will the water that is condensing in the air handler cause the unit to start rusting some time down the road at a later date even though it will be


repaired? We are concerned that because there is water inside the unit now and if it eventually evaporates it will still start to rust the unit from the inside out. Thanks again for all your help.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again! Thanks for the positive rating.

The water that has covered the sheet metal so far will dry out and not be a problem later... but... unless the cold air situation (below 45F) is corrected you will continue to have condensation over the air handler.. that will cause significant rust damage and can leak onto the electronics control card if the cooling coil from the heat pump is above the blower section.

The cold air situation, (below 50F needs to be fixed for sure)....

Let me know how deeply you want to get into the engineering issues. Let me know if you understood the air flow issues i mentioned earlier. We can go from there.

Phil
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you again for your excellent info. This info will help us when the Operations Manager comes to inspect the unit and work that was done. We just want to be sure this person will not give us some off the wall explanation to the problem which is not correct. We wanted to have some info to back up the problem in case he does not address nor solve the problem correctly.


Thanks again for all of your help. You problem solving was great.

Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, feel free to post this thread again if anything else comes up.

Phil

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • gotoman for ac

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    4657
    51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SE/ServiceTechRus/2012-6-7_2119_056.64x64.JPG gotoman for ac's Avatar

    gotoman for ac

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    4657
    51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AL/alumalite/2012-5-10_234018_shutterstock506249951forJA500.64x64.jpg Phil's Avatar

    Phil

    Mechanical Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3888
    Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/skibum0101/2008-12-16_015819_just_answer.jpg Rick Mather's Avatar

    Rick Mather

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3132
    35 years experience, HVAC
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/Rygis20/2011-5-7_3143_DSC5324.64x64.JPG Matthew's Avatar

    Matthew

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1994
    14 years experience in the HVAC field of service, installation, Manual J & D calculations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KE/kentguidry/2011-9-26_214316_0059.64x64.jpg Kenton Guidry's Avatar

    Kenton Guidry

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    962
    12 years install/service experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/solarman1947/2009-12-13_223915_phpkKBcXq_c2PM.jpg Rick Ridley's Avatar

    Rick Ridley

    UK Heating Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    871
    Retired But have had 30 years on the tools, Ex CORGI
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Ironheadfan/2009-12-18_222416_pump_005.jpg Tom's Avatar

    Tom

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    16+yrs HVAC/R service. Residential Commerical Industrial
 
 
 
Chat Now With A HVAC Technician
Phil
Phil
Consultant to Engrs, Govt & Contractors
4568 Satisfied Customers
Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial