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Cleaning condensor coils

How long does it take to clean a res 2t cond coil??? 10 -15 minutes? 20-30 min? 40-50min?Just got back from doing a new to me cond unit, and it took 90min , that's an hour and a half. But it is clean now! Next year will be a 10-15min wash.And I got paid for the 4 hr. job! That included a new cleanable evap "P" trap and a FD and SIGHTGLASS/ MOISTURE INDICATOR, and some Freon even though it was 10*-15* lower than that magic 70* that some think is the lowest ambient for charging. And I guarantee that my freon  work will NOT be overcharged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • meplumbermeplumber Posts: 678Member
    Don't do residential anymore, but...

    I tell my guys, that it takes, what it takes.  We just took over a library group's service account.  This is a total of 14 buildings.  There was a 20 ton Trane DX that was in dire need of cleaning.  I allow 4 hours to do an annual PM on something this big, but it took them 6.  The lead tech onsite was apologizing about going over budget.  I told him not to worry about it.  Next year, it will go faster than 4 hours because we did it right.  That coil was filthy, I saw the washout.

    Hey, at least you got paid for it all.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    edited May 2014
    Service Time:

    My experience is the same but I didn't do AC.

    When I cleaned a boiler that had been serviced yearly or seldom by "someone else", it could take over 4 hours or more. Because I did a total do-over. After that, it can take an hour or somewhat more. Because I don't have to go to the levels I did the first time out.

    And when you get one of those "serviced every year" units that had the Brush & Buff $19.95 Spring Special, photograph the whole mess. Before and after. Most all have camera phones. When people can see what you have done, they have a good idea of what a good job you did, and the last one that did the $19.95 special, wasn't "special" at all.
  • TechmanTechman Posts: 2,144Member
    edited June 2014
    Cleaning Coils

    I do the refrig work at a facility ,but, not the AC. Different boss's for the "different " sections. I tried to get the AC/H and did a "walk thru " with the maintenance supervisor. There are 16 RTU's , 10-15t AC each.Then I asked about the nearest garden hose ,water supply, to these RTU's . No one knew! These poor RTU's have not been washed in 12 years since the place opened up. I had a sitdown w/ that "sections" boss. I explained to him as best as I could,about dirt ,excessive head pressurers,excessive electric bills,compressor failurers, etc,and I  failed! I even invited him over to the "R" section to witness a "routine washing " being done on one of the Walk-in's. I was advised to submit my bid for the AC/H ,bidding against 3-4 "competitors", I advised them to use someone else as I would not be bidding on the job. Darn!!!
  • CoanyCoany Posts: 91Member
    edited June 2014
    neat new tool cuts down on the time

    I got one of those skinny tube sprayer things and I love it! just stick it down in ther and spray out thru the coil, Awesome! 20 minute job(at best) cut down to ten. (at most)

    amazed you got paid, I love that customer.
    " Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Teddy Roosevelt
  • TechmanTechman Posts: 2,144Member
    edited June 2014

    Whats the name of that new tool? No amazement to getting paid with most of my customers, but I have run across some that got their bad Karma right back. If I'm the one that fixes the unit(HVACR) where others couldn't/wouldn't/ shouldn't then the only amazeing  is done by the customer when looking at the bill! Those other "repair guys" couldn't fix the Walk-In-Refrig because they didn't know what was wrong,they wouldn't dare give a bill to the customer for all those parts,if they did know ,and they shouldn't have been  there in the first place. I just hope you and your new tool aren't in my area, lol.
  • TechmanTechman Posts: 2,144Member
    edited June 2014

    Cool little video,NYPlumber, You still have to disassemble cond unit to clean out the top 6-8" of cond coil that did not get cleaned with that magic wand, and then you still have to cleanout/up the debris sitting in bottom of cond unit pan, and while your'e down there check the compressor terminal block . One other bone of contention I've had  with this type of this device's predecessors is they seem to run out of water rather quickly and I , as the junion tech,had to make many,many trips . On this little 2t system I used hundreds of gallons of water. Maybe next year on a routine.
  • NYplumberNYplumber Posts: 493Member

    In agreement with you Techman, the fan still needs to be removed to check the bearings, vacuum the crud and check the comp terminals. The sales pitch that the condenser fan does not have to be removed works well with the folks doing the $29.99 "tune up".

    The maxi-vac iirc (if I recall correctly) may use a 5 or 10 gallon bucket as its water source.

    Pros of the battery tote:

    Professionalism - customer wont say, hey I can do that when he sees you with a hose (then bend the fins and call that his compressor is fried).

    Preseason maintenance before winterized spigots are turned on.

    Wont be dragging your hose across flower beds.

    Kick ass for those attic evap coil cleanings.

    Great on A coils that have a duct below (low water volume, high pressure - the drain pan will be able to handle the volume).


    Another tool to purchase, and maintain.

    On another note, what chemicals do you use on typical household condensers and evaporators?
  • TechmanTechman Posts: 2,144Member

    Good point NYPlumber ,the motor bearings, fan blade, and bracket are all a normal part of a normal routine.
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