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SpacePac

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ploughboy
ploughboy Member Posts: 1
Has anyone had experience replacing a SpacePac Unit. The reason I ask is that we had one installed a couple of years ago and it has never worked properly. The unit in the basement required that we build a platform for the air handler (it's a wooden platform so it looks primitive at best) and the fan vibrates like crazy because of its design as the fan is at the end of a long rod. The outside unit (the chiller) makes no attempt to be mouse proof so it has been a haven for rodents. The system is noisy and rarely works for more than a day after the installer spends time on repairs and reseting the system each time it goes out.
We're so annoyed and would never recommend them to anyone. Noisy, expensive to install and flat out doesn't work reliably. This was a new build installation in an addition we did so there is no excuse. We're thinking of ripping it out and simply adding split system A/C & heat pumps.

Any ideas welcome. Thanks

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,893
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    Space-Paks usually work well. I'd be willing to bet Beavis & Butt-head installed yours.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    IronmanbilltwocasePaul S_3
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    I've been servicing and installing SpacePak systems since the early 80's. They are a relatively simple system to design and install but it's amazing how many will butcher them.
    They work great IF they are designed and installed properly. If not, you're going to have noise issues, cooling issues, etc. I would be cautious to put the blame on SpacePak. My best bet is the problem lies elsewhere.
    Where are you located?
    Steve Minnich
    IronmanPaul S_3
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited August 2016
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    I'd say it's about a 98% chance that your problems are the result of three things: MOE, CURLY and LARRY were the installers and servicers.

    These systems work great when designed and installed properly.

    As far as keeping vermin out: I don't know of any outdoor unit that can do it.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 952
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    The DX version of the Space Pak has been out since the 60s. They do fine IF done right. I have no clue about the chiller, never seen one though I hear the Indiana Governor's Mansion has one.
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
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    I've installed and worked on the 3 different hi-velocity brands. Spacepack, unico and Hi-volcity.
    I like unico the best because the duct work has fewer pieces and cost less. Also the air handler comes in sections so it's easy to put in place.
    Unico and spacepack are really good units. I've never had to replace a blower or a control in either of them.
    I Have had to replace a pump in a unico chiller, but I think they had to much glycol in the system that was eating the pump.
    Back When I was working for a company, they had me installing the Hi-volcity brand that was the worst. If I installed 100 of them, 65 had blower control problems or condensate draining problems. Then the supply outlets had 90 degree turns so you can fit them in the side wall and damper that allows you to turn down or completely shut off a supply. This cased more noise complaints and freezing problems.

    The biggest problem across the board with all these systems is air flow and design.
    There are several rules that you shouldn't break when installing hi-velocity ductwork to keep the noise level down and the performance up.

    You need 6-8 2"supplies for every ton of cooling, so I always try to get 7 per ton and never had a problem. The more supplies the quitter the system will be.
    Unico offer 2-1/2" ducts that will give you 50% more air so you can have less supplies to cut in.

    Supply ducts need at least 10' of flex off the supply trunk, even if the outlet is 2' away. You need to coil 10' to slow it down and keep it quite.
    Looks stupid, but its function before form that's important.
    Supplies shouldn't be longer then 25'.

    There's a few different types of flexibility ducts to chose from. Sound attenuating tubing that has a cloth like material as the inner lining thats sound damping. aluminum supply tubing makes the system loud and can crush, kink or tear, so I would not recommend.
    Hi-velocity has basic flex with a plastic liner the same as standard flex.

    The supply trunk needs a minimum of 18" of straight pipe off the air handler. If you don't have that, you lose something like 30-40% of your air flow.

    Watch out for "T" fittings and reducers on supply trunks. You can have them but if the air is blowing into a T with 5 outlets in one direction and 7 in the other, the air will favor the path of least resistance and head for the 7 side.
    The trunk line doesn't need to be reduced, even if you had 100'. You can reduce, but only after you've gotten ride of 60% of systems capacity.

    The return ( just like the supply) needs some distance between the blower and the conditioned space and more is better.
    Unico has a return filter grill that is much better for air flow then stamp face grills.

    The installation instructions are very detailed when talking about the ductwork.

    You don't need to give up on the spacepack, you just need to find an experienced technician.
    brandonf
  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
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    This is so helpful. I'm considering Unico in my 1-level bungalow. Now I just need a real technician in my area.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Where are you located?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • kjl520
    kjl520 Member Posts: 10
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    I just happen to work for the largest installer of SpacePak in the World. SpacePak has had alot of problems lately since they switched to the G model. This upgraded the blower and insulation. I had to replace the insulation on 80% of the units because it was not sticking to the interior surfaces. The insulation was getting sucked into the blower, restricting air flow.
    That was terrible, we don't usually install them with taking them apart in mind. I've also have to replace LOTS of motor and scroll cages lately because they were unbalanced. If you can hear it vibrating (like vibrating, not just having a motor inside, that will cause some) then the motor/scroll has to go.

    This is all assuming (Grrrr) that the duct sizing is correct (Both supply and Return) and there are at least 7 supplies per ton. I do like SpacePak, but dollars to donuts... Motor/scroll cage.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,186
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    I thought mini splits did away with any practical use for Space Pak/Unico.
    Haven't heard about one these being installed in years
  • HVACguyinME
    HVACguyinME Member Posts: 25
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    This system sounds familiar! Are you in NH? If so, PM me.
  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
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    > @Ironman said:
    > Where are you located?

    Just saw this. I'm in Rhode Island.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci