Icing on Evaporator Coils, Hole in Refrigerant Pipe

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Low (not empty) refrigerant gas charge will cause icing up of the indoor coil and eventually the suction line, it’s a very common thing. If all the refrigerant leaked out there would be no cooling or freezing of any kind.

Have you at all try to research this?


Something doesn’t sound right to me, first off the old unit was cooling but was icing up on the evaporator coil that is located in attic (possibly caused from low coolant level (leakage) and or reduced air flow over the coils and or dirty coils).

The HVAC serviceman says, “there is a hole in the piping outside near condenser unit”. To me a hole on either of the coolant lines (suction line or vapor line) would cause fast leakage of the coolant line and the unit would stop cooling altogether, whereas slow leakage would lose coolant over time.

I understand that the condenser unit was 20 years old, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be replaced. It sounds to me he was trying to generate more work and didn’t fix the original problem and may have made things worse, also the HVAC serviceman mentioned finding a burned-up lizard under the starting capacitor leads at the compressor, again to me this doesn’t justify replacement of the condenser unit.

While I do have some knowledge about the HVAC systems, hopefully a HVAC technician specialist can comment further.

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What “pipe” are you referring to?
Did anyone ask the tech?

If the system isn’t providing sufficient conditioned air, something isn’t correct, especially after a $4500 repair…

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A BIG hole in the refrigerant line will not cause the problem you encountered. A low refrigerant charge in the AC system will cause the evaporator to ice, not a lack of refrigerant (as in a big hole). Essentially with a low charge the system becomes a freezer without a defrost circuit. Over time the refrigerant will leak completely and there will be NO cooling. Your client may have needed a new condenser but that was not the problem and it was not fixed.

Take an AC course. You will be better equipped to handle your clients questions/concerns.

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What is his definition of a big hole? Is it possible that the hole was small enough to leak for several days, causing the ice-up?

The issue as it is now (no cooling) may not be related to the previous issue (ice-up).

Why are you SHOUTING! You were told the most likely thing and have your question answered. You were unable to prevent your family member from being ripped off. It was obviously not fixed properly. Had the tech been honest he would have fixed the problem and then upsold the job if it needed a condenser. Nine times out of ten when the most expensive unit is sold right off the batt it is a rip off. Big Hole my ass.

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At this point, the only option to move forward is to tell the tech to get back out there because the system is not working. No more money should be involved as she has already paid for a new system.

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Is it working now?

The owner said yes. But $4500 for a “big” hole that may not have been there when I found Ice on the Coils. The point is, did the service man create that hole?

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Well, maybe she didn’t need a whole new system but at 20 years it wouldn’t have been too much longer anyway. And the new one is likely more efficient so she can enjoy that. And it should have a warranty. The HVAC tech may have done the right thing but there was a miscommunication along the line somewhere also.

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Who can say.
Maybe he said or meant “pin-hole”.

Stop saying “pipe” if you’re referring to refrigerant tubing or line sets…

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There was no hole. That was just a story from which he made the big sale.