To replace or keep till it dies?

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Kimmygr, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    Hmmm, I am thinking this old unit might need to be replaced. Its our old coleman TSR something or other. Can't even see model name on the sticker any longer. I took the outer shroud off to reveal the guts, and this is what I found (see album link): So what are your opinions? Spend the $ now while we have it, or keep until it just dies?

    I am looking at a Dometic Brisk Air II 13,500btu with inside control panel included and optional heat strip for approx 612.00 total with taxes. It is local too, so we could just go pick it up and do not have to worry about shipping.

    http://s1335.photobucket.com/user/kimmygr76/library/old%20ac%20unit
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    You know it will die when you need it the most.
     
  3. 88PUP

    88PUP being crazy- has kept me from going insane

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    Kim, Yes it does show it's age!!! Looking at the coil fins I can understand why it does not work very well. You have a lot of air flow blockage there. There is a lot of rust on the blower motor and compressor but that is external. They could continue to work for a good while yet. Do you know anyone who does HVAC work that would look at it on the side and not charge you just to look at it?

    On the other hand, $612.00 for a new AC unit is not too bad. Are you going to do the change out yourself? Not really a hard job but will take 2 people for lifting. Be sure to install a NEW seal.

    As far as the heat strips.... don't spend the $$$. Buy a couple ceramic heaters from Lowe's. They will do a Much better job IMO.

    Good Luck,
     
  4. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    Thanks for the input Pup-N-Stuff.

    The heat strips are an extra $29 (already included in the price I put), but I can opt out and drop price under $600 mark.

    Yes, we would be doing the installation ourselves with the help of a friend (hopefully). If we do go the new route, then I will definitely replace the seal.

    I did call an HVAC certified guy today, and he doesn't do RV ac repairs. I'll have to see if there are any others local. I doubt any of them would come look at it for free, but I'll ask.
     
  5. 88PUP

    88PUP being crazy- has kept me from going insane

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    Kim, you may want to ask others of their opinions on the heat strips, those that have them and have used them. I found them to be almost useless to keep warm on just a chilly morning. The Ceramic heaters draw low amps and give a good bit of forced heat where you need it. Others may disagree, but that has been my experience.

    When I said get an HVAC guy to look at it I was hoping you had a friend or knew someone that would look at it. Most HVAC companies, as soon as you say RV AC will shy away because they are not familiar with this type of unit and have no idea about getting parts. Most RV AC's are considered "throw away" units, kind of like a Window AC for your home. Shops can't make a profit working on them when you could replace it for about the cost of a service charge.

    If your unit is cooling on low cool, then the compressor and freon charge is possibly without problem. You may be able to get the fins straightened and the coils cleaned and get several more seasons use from it. On the other hand as tombiasi stated in a previous post "You know it will die when you need it the most." This is a risk you would have to willing to take.

    Best of Luck either way.
     
  6. tconroy

    tconroy Active Member

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    If it was me I would take it off and clean it up then straighten all the fins and clean out the evaporator drip and and holes on each in that are clogged the caulk all the areas where it could leak in the pup. then clean all wire connections, set it on a bench and fire it up to see what happens. All that you will be out at that point is time and a little labor. Mine was not cooling good at all. I did all the above and now it gets down past 57 degrees when it is 85 out and will freeze you out on low cool with thermostat set at 3/4. With it running on a bench you should be able to feel the condenser and see if it is cooling off.
     
  7. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    How do I figure out what size vent comb I need to give it a try? And where do I buy one?
     
  8. tconroy

    tconroy Active Member

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    I used an old plastic credit card and was real careful.
     
  9. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    Good idea. I'll give that a try. We did try to take a couple small flathead screw drivers to it, but the fins we tried to straighten literally just disintegrated. I'll try though, it cant hurt anything I dont think.
     
  10. 88PUP

    88PUP being crazy- has kept me from going insane

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    Kim, You can purchase a fin comb at any HVAC supply house. (Google for one near you)
    or you may even find one at Lowe's.
    Even if you tear out a few fins in the process, it would be better than having them smashed and blocking the air flow across the coils.
     
  11. Jimbow

    Jimbow Active Member

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    The best thing to try and fix is something you already plan on replacing. I'd experiment until you exhaust all avenues then replace. One nice thing is energy efficiency is probably not a concern.

    For $29 I'd keep the heat coils in. For $50 I'd say forget it. Everything has a price.
     
  12. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    x2
    I grew up in S FL, so I know no ac is not an option

    I like my heat strip for mild temps and furnace for colder temps. The advantage to the heat strip is you don't have to pack it, plug it in, or move it around. It's just there and you turn a knob when you need it.
     
  13. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    OK- I will spend the next few days (more like weeks as bad as those fins are [LOL] ) trying to straighten out those fins. I'll go buy the ac cleaner stuff I have read about on other threads to see if I can clean up those fins a bit. Looks like typical aluminum rust and could possibly have salt buildup. PO lived near the water in St. Augustine, and we live within a few miles of the Gulf. It would be great if we could get it to work on high cool too! I'll have to see if I can find the old wire brush in the garage and clean up all that rust inside too.

    Thanks guys! And if anyone else has any opinions, tips, or tricks about bringing this thing back to life, please do not hesitate to post!

    FYI- DH thinks I am crazy for trying this. He just wants to replace it.
     
  14. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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  15. DAMN YANKEE

    DAMN YANKEE New Member

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    Buy a bottle of CLR put in old spray bottle and spray fins down first then rinse with hose. Then use fan comb.
     
  16. tconroy

    tconroy Active Member

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    just google AC maintenance and repair on our rv'S and see what you come up with
     
  17. Genie2010

    Genie2010 Active Member

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    I think that means you get to keep the $600 then if it does work! [:D]
     
  18. tconroy

    tconroy Active Member

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    600 bucks is a lot of camping. My wife thinks I can fix anything so I Have to try first.
     
  19. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] I was thinking that last night! If I can bring it back to life that is 6 weekend camping trips! I haven't started working on it just yet, but will soon! I have to get some cleaner first and I think I will order one of those combs from Amazon generok posted.
     
  20. Kimmygr

    Kimmygr Member

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    so, how many of the fins can literally disintegrate before it just isn't worth it?

    Sprayed cleaner on it twice- rinsed well, and I will be starting hard core work on it tomorrow. I messed with it a bit with one of those fin straighteners- and a lot of the fins towards the top- no matter how gentle I am with my finger nails or butter knife or fin straightener, are just disintegrating. There looks to be a ton of salt buildup. I will do my best...
     

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