Excessive condensation around compressor

Originally Posted By: mroach
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I was inspecting a house today and noticed that their was allot of condensation around the compressors. What would cause this and should I write it up?


Thanks'
Mark


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Mark,


Where it is coming from would really depend on where you observed the condensation. If you observed it around the refrigerant lines, was the line insulated? Did the insulation completely cover the line up to the condenser unit. Finally was condensation on the interior of the duct (heater, air handler)? If that was the case was the condensate line blocked. Did it have a line running to the pump?

Sorry, you are going to have to be a little more specific! ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: mroach
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Joseph


The suction line had plenty of insulation on it and was not building up on it. All of the build up was actually on the compressor it self. and this was running down to the pad that the unit was sitting on.

Hope this helps.

Mark


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Mark,


It sounds to me like the air conditioning unit is undersized and is running constantly. When this happens the unit will not actually shut off and causes a ice build up on components on the interior of the unit. When the unit cycles the ice thaws, hence leaving the water behind.

How long had the unit been running? If this unit is undersized it will most likely fail prematurely. In the runner up position would be the unit has been over filled with refrigerant. This will cause pretty much the same thing that you are describing.

Maybe some other folks here will join in and give us some more ideas to chew on! ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: mroach
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Thanks’ for the reply.


I did find out that the movers had been their that morning moving everything out of the home. The home was a 1 1/2 ear old model and the temp was in the mid 90's with high humidity. So I'm going to attribute the movers having the doors open and the AC set to 72 for the reason of the condensation.

Thanks'
Mark


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Mark,


That would do it. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: mhenderson
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Mark,


Did you do a temperature differential check to see if there was a 15-20 degree difference…sometimes condensation appears is a sign of a dirty evaporator coil & plugged line…did you check the air filter to see if it was dirty too…that reduces air flow also… they could`ve bumped the compressor while moving… was the unit sitting level…a tilt of 10 degrees or more can damage a compressor…I did an inspection where the fins were all corroded because the family dog marked his territory there… it just ate everything in one little section of that unit…it was only little over a year & a half old too…good luck!


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Mike,


Where did you come up with the figure of 15 to 20 degrees? I was informed that 5 to 10 degrees is considered acceptable!

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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I also go by 15 to 20 degrees. this came from a reputable HVAC contracting firm who have been around for a while. I look for 20 degrees or damn close to it… I also let the unit run for about 30 minutes before taking the readings


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Joe F.


Does that include heat pumps?

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: Rusty Rothrock
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Hey Gents -


I've always been told that the Delta T difference should be atleast 16-18 degrees (temperature differential of supply air to return air). This goes for AC units and for heat pumps as well (I see a lot of heat pumps here in Richmond).

Hope you all have a great week.

Best Regards,
Rusty Rothrock
Richmond, VA


Originally Posted By: mroach
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Yep I’ve been told 15-20 as-well. This one was within that range.


Mark


Originally Posted By: rray
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I was so excited at one of yesterday’s inspections. We had ice in San Diego! It’s rare that I get to do an inspection in rain. But ICE?


http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/CC1.jpg


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: jmyers
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Russel,


Dats a lot of ice, on dat dare thing a mo-bob-er. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: rray
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Temperature was 94?F at the start of the inspection, a noon inspection.



Home inspections. . . .


One home at a time.


Originally Posted By: arosenbaum
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Looks like shaving cream or cool whip to me icon_lol.gif


Originally Posted By: kluce
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[quote=“jfarsetta”]I also go by 15 to 20 degrees. this came from a reputable HVAC contracting firm who have been around for a while. I look for 20 degrees or damn close to it… I also let the unit run for about 30 minutes before taking the readings[/quote


30 min is a long time to run the A.C. I normally put my guages on to check pressures which needs to be done first before any temp drop can be done and then check for temp drop which is 5 minutes later.

I don't do temp drop unless I find something that directs me to that. When I was a HVAC service tech, I would do temp drop to check for efficiency. If the coil is plugged, then a pressure drop is needed not a temp drop reading.

If you think I am wrong on this, let me know. I've had some inspector disagree with me on this but they couldn't tell me why.

The inspectors I ran into don't have freon gauges or no EPA card to check freon. I wonder what percentage of inspectors don't have this. What do you think? ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)


Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Kevin,


I personally do not perform pressure drops on ac units. I really don't think there are many home inspectors out there that are performing this task. But I could be wrong.
I visually inspect the outside condenser, note the tonnage and inspect for signs of leakage and obvious deficiencies. I then go inside to get a temperature differential between the diffuser and the intake register. I'm looking for a 15 to 20 degree differential.
If I were an experienced HVAC service tech(such as yourself), I would probably continue using my freon gauges. But keep in mind, a Home Inspector is performiing a visual inspection only. Using freon gauges would be considered technically exhaustive. But in the long run, you are offering your client a specialty that not many inspectors are performing. My two pesos worth.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: kluce
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I have been in a couple of trades for quit a few years and one problem I had in inspections is too much information. My wife is a paralegal and I’ve seen it where too much information can cause problems and too little information can cause you problems. That’s why I love pictures. Tell a little about the problem and let the picture do the rest of the talking. With a little note to have a qualified tech look into it. icon_wink.gif


I still don't understand why a temp drop is done when it normally tells you if the blower speed is set correctly for air conditioning. Note: there are other reasons but they should be observed during a normal visual inspection.

I know "To each their own" so I won't comment on this anymore.

Just wanted to say that I started with NACHI a week ago and must say that I've read some comments of disagreement, but the respect seems to always be there for the experienced and non experienced.


Originally Posted By: psabados
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Hi Kevin


My guess is about 95% of the inspectors do not have gauges. I'd bet that 50% would not know how to use a set of gauges. Without manuals for each type of unit made, knowing what the correct pressure's should be.

Many times the unit has to be opened by unscrewing panels. My inspection is similar to David's. Looking to temp drop, temp at high and low pressure lines (touch) and possibly CFM at the registers if the room or area just doesn't feel right.

Oh yes, pictures if necessary

Welcome to the club ![eusa_clap.gif](upload://vwXJP6EroRUgatgS660IOyuD5XK.gif)

Paul