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Bad A/C Install?

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Let's start with this, I'm an HVAC idiot, but this forum has been very helpful in the past so thanks in advance.

I had A/C installed in a single floor ranch and I'm starting to think the job wasn't great after reading the installation manual. That being said, I don't know if installation manuals are written with the legal department in mind more than practicality so I'm hoping you folks can help me understand what really matters and what is practically fine. I have some pictures to accompany my questions:

The square duct attached to the air handler has open corners, should these be taped?


The square duct seems to be gathering moisture especially at the bottom. Should the drip tray extend below the square duct?
Should there be some sort of insulation wrapping to prevent condensation?
Should the takeoff's be taped? Seems to be a little leakage but maybe not a big deal.
Shouldn't there be a drip tray oh-no-it's-overflowing safety switch somewhere?



Does it matter that the secondary condensate drain wasn't installed? Does it matter that a U trap was not installed?



Should the inverter stack thingy be mounted to the ground somehow? There isn't any mounting to the house so the hosey things seem to be what keeps it upright during a wind storm.




Thanks Again!

Comments

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 987
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    poor quality job and would have failed an inspection in massachusetts. common sense should tell that you the plenum insulated. the r valve of that insulation should be r-8 at minimum in an unconditioned space, that's just to start. lack of a flange connection or s-cleats is another at point where plenum attaches to air handler. plus all seams sealed to prevent air leakage. there are many more with just a 10 second look at the picture. you need to get a real reputable company in there to do an evaluation of your system. it looks like a rookie install.
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    Thanks for the response!  Remember I'm an idiot so I appreciate your patience getting clarification from your comments.  I can always pay another company but I need to go to my installer with itemized issues to see if he makes it right financially or by fixing the issues.

    Common sense tells me the plenum should be insulated, is that the square duct thingy?

    I tried to research the flange connection or s-cleats but no luck.  Can you help an idiot with an article or something so I can be confident going back to my installer?

    The seams being sealed is obvious even to an idiot like me.

    What about the U  trap?  Is this a big deal?  The manual implied it's needed if the air intake gets clogged but I'm not suretthe scenario where that could happen.

    Again I appreciate your patience.  This will help me make things right.


  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
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    The trunk duct probably has a half inch liner inside. That doesn't make it right though. I'm curious to what that giant rectangular patch is with the foil tape all around. 

    Yes the drain needs to be trapped. 

    Yes there should be some type of wet switch in the emergency pan to shut off the condenser only if it trips.

    The return flex attached to the flat plate isn't good either. There should be a return box deep enough for airflow to distribute across the whole evaporator.

    Where is the air filter?


    STEVEusaPA
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Hack job for sure.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    STEVEusaPAmattmia2SuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    Low bidder?
    GGrossmattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,780
    edited August 2022
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    pecmsg said:

    Low bidder?

    Sometimes.

    Sometimes high bidder.

    I had two different guys work at my house and one guy gave a quote that I didn't let him do, one was the highest bidder and one was the cheap guy in town. The highest bidder wanted to do a dresser coupling to a copper pipe on my steam system. The cheap guy in town cut it out and replaced the entire length with black iron.

    Unfortunately can't go by just price and I honestly don't know what you can go by. Word of mouth doesn't work because most people have no idea if a good job was done. All they know was it seems to work. For now.

    That high bidder is the reason I learned to do all of my own work actually.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    DJD775reggiCanuckerethicalpaul
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    HVACNUT said:

    Where is the air filter?


    The air filter is in the ceiling about 9 feet away via flexduct (hard to see but the duct turns downward at the left of the picture)



    So it sounds like the punch list I need fixed is
    • U-Trap
    • Box on the return
    • Insulate Plenum
    • Emergency wet switch
    • Proper S-cleat or flange ducting attachments
    • Seal all seams
    Any opinions on how critical the secondary drain is?

    What about the mounting of the unit outside? Is the hose assembly enough to keep it secure? Doesn't seem right given how tall it is


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,068
    edited August 2022
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    There appears to be a pan below the air handler. This would be the secondary drain pan in the event that the primary drain were to fail.
    The foundation for the outdoor unit should be secure. You will also need to maintain a 3 foot clearance of the shrubs from the equipment for proper air flow. You would not put a bush or a plant directly blocking the indoor registers so the air could not get out of the ductwork or into the return. Why would you select a location for the outdoor unit with the same problem?
    Before insulating the Supply plenum, the installer should add support in order to allow any condensation to drain to the pan.

    If I were doing that job and wanted to use that old plenum with the patchwork, I would be sure that every joint new or old were sealed with mastic or mastic tape. Then I would cover that mess with professionally installed (that would be me) duct insulation that makes everything look like new!

    After the installer finishes the job take a picture and let us see how good he does. The EYES of his professional peers are watching

    Mr.Ed


    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    GGrossTheStressMachinePC7060
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    Thanks so much Ed and everyone else, this forum is always very helpful.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,701
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    Is there a trap outside? I alway put a simple trap at ground level 

    install is a little rough 

    no blocks under the stand- that unit will probably settle into the ground 


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
    Ironman
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,780
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    I would caution about bolting the outdoor unit to the house.

    It will work, and it'll be secure.
    But you'll most likely hear it inside. I have one bolted to the outside of the office at our shop and you can hear it, sometimes a lot.

    In a shop no one cares, but I'd hate it by a bedroom or living room.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    Thanks for the additional responses about the outdoor unit, my installer said the same about noise when bolting to the house but it's against the garage so not sure if the buffer of space would help the noise.

    The installer has agreed to take care of most things mentioned here so I really appreciate the help.

    The one thing he said that raised my eyebrow was that a trap on the primary line "would not be covered by warranty as it is not in a climate controlled area".

    What's up with that?  I don't understand how a trap in a hot attic causes problems.  Any thoughts?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,741
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    The concern with the trap in unconditioned space is that the water in it could freeze in winter.

    Without the trap, if the coil is on the inlet side of the blower the air being pulled in through the drain can keep the condensate from draining while the blower is running.
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    Do I care if water freezes in an unpressurized pipe?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,780
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    Do I care if water freezes in an unpressurized pipe?


    Yes.
    It may split the drain, it may not.

    But it needs a trap somewhere regardless. Just because its inconvenient doesn't mean it'll magically work without it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,741
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    It depends on how it freezes. It could burst the pipe if the ends freeze solid to block the pipe before the middle freezes.
  • TheStressMachine
    TheStressMachine Member Posts: 39
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    Thanks.  What can I do to mitigate freezing?  Should I find a way to blow it out end of the hot season?  Does the heat pump function also drain moisture?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    Usually it evaporates by it self. 
    Heat mode does not generate condensate. 
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,068
    edited September 2022
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    Heat Pump does not use that drain for the heat mode. The condensation happens on the outdoor coil, that is why there is a defrost cycle.

    As far as attaching the outdoor unit to the ground, perhaps 2 tent anchors with a strap will hold it down in the event of high wind. I used the same to hold oil tanks in place so they don't float away in flood prone areas. Although they are much longer and thicker.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    For the freezing trap. Hopefully the drain pipe can run parallel between ceiling joists.

    I build a trap and clear all insulation from under it so ceiling heat can keep it warm.

    Then put an insulation "tent" over the top of the trap to hold that ceiling heat on the trap within the "tent".
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
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    Thanks.  What can I do to mitigate freezing?  Should I find a way to blow it out end of the hot season?  Does the heat pump function also drain moisture?
    Using a Gallo gun and blowing out the trap with CO2 is an option. Or they can install an EZ Trap and you can add a little "safe" antifreeze to the trap after the system is off for the season. 
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,068
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    HVACNUT said:


    Using a Gallo gun and blowing out the trap with CO2 is an option. Or they can install an EZ Trap and you can add a little "safe" antifreeze to the trap after the system is off for the season. 

    I use Vodka in the trap to keep it from freezing but I understand that Gin works just as well. but I don't know how SAFE it is.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    HVACNUT said:


    Using a Gallo gun and blowing out the trap with CO2 is an option. Or they can install an EZ Trap and you can add a little "safe" antifreeze to the trap after the system is off for the season. 

    I use Vodka in the trap to keep it from freezing but I understand that Gin works just as well. but I don't know how SAFE it is.
    2 for you

    1 for the trap?
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,780
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    ron said:

    Let's start with this.. That being said, I don't know if installation manuals are written with the legal department in mind more than practicality...

    you had me at idiot :)



    instruction manuals are often written, and edited, by people not knowledgeable at all about the subject.

    for the outside unit, that is probably the priority because in any kind of storm with wind that hits the large flat side of the unit will get pushed, then flex the refrigerant lines at their flare fitting will give and leak out. So yeah you need to dust off your childhood erector set skills or get someone to redo the mounting of the outside unit. Like was said if mounted to the house wall you'll likely have some vibration and noise within. My recommendation would be to get X bags of concrete from store and a wheelbarrow and mix of a foundation that you can mount the outside unit to and bolt down to be reliably fixed.

    the mounting rig, looks cheap af, i'd seriously consider looking for something more structurally sound I foresee that just folding when the unit on top of it acts as a lever arm when the wind hits it. so i would not pour concrete then mount that existing pictured mounting frame to it, figure out something else if the unit is going to stand off on its own. even bolting that thing to the house, while it'd be better than not being bolted to house, in my opinion would still be not structurally sound. the ground flanges and bars already look twisted, and then give the thing a season to rust and weaken...

    95%+ of steam boilers would get installed correctly if people would open the "manufacturers opinion".......

    Just using that as an example.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2ethicalpaulGGross