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Leaking R22 Evaporator replacement questions

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During the crazy hot spell in Mass. this week, the evaporator coil froze up for the A/C system that takes care of the second floor of our house. The system was low on refrigerant and has a leak in the evaporator coil. The system is R22 and 20+ years old so doesn’t owe me anything. Debating what to do about replacing it. The system only provides A/C as heat is provided through hydronic baseboard. Since it looks like R410A is being phased out should I hold off a year and go with a system that uses newer refrigerant? Ran into a similar conundrum when I put a system in my rear addition when R22 was being replaced with R410A.

Also interested in any brands the pros like or ones to stay away from. Current system is Nordyne with Miller air handler and has served me well. Not a flashy name brand but has worked well for me.

Thanks.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,613
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    The local supply house near me used to sell nordyne, then they switched to Rudd. A lot of people scoff at tnordyne but they sold a lot of them to guys in the business doing side jobs and the ones I installed always worked well.

    If I was going to pick a brand, I would look for something that has copper coils instead of aluminum. As far as a refrigerant choice R410A is supposed to be done in a couple of years, this refrigerant switching is ridiculous, I suppose with R-22 it's not worth changing the coil. From what I have herd R-32 is the new refrigerant of choice. Bought a new window unit and that is what is in it.

    I would like to wait if it was me to see how R-32 works because I don't like being a guinea pig or do the manufacturers testing for them, but you probably don't have a choice.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    Unless you want a flammable refrigerant in your system get a 410A unit.
    clammy
  • Brent H.
    Brent H. Member Posts: 161
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    The aluminum vs. copper tubing in the coil seems to be a point of debate when researched a bit. The current coil that is leaking is the second coil I’ve had with the other also developing a leak. Both of my coils have had copper tubing. Some argue the all aluminum are less prone to issues due to no dissimilar metals. Also, no issues with formicary corrosion with all aluminum coils. Thoughts? I was looking at some Raheem/Ruud systems which use aluminum.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,613
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    Any coil is difficult to repair a leak, but I would rather take my chances with copper than aluminum. Most times when a coil leaks it is at a brazed joint. I certainly would stay away from microchannel condensers.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,768
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    Starting quite a few years ago many said all aluminum evaporators were the way to go.

    I haven't heard any change in this so personally id want an all aluminum one at least with r410a.

    As far as which is better .. GE carry cool window units used all aluminum condensers and evaporators from the 70s-late 80s and they never had issues with failures.  Never.

    So I'm my opinion the copper vs aluminum debate is B.S.  both materials can work fine if it's done right.

    But copper mixed with steel on an assembly that's soaking wet most of its life sounds bad.
    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
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,613
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    @ChrisJ

    The question is "done right" copper may be fixable in the field aluminum is more difficult. My cousin had a 40+ year old Carrier condensing unit that lasted that long with an aluminum condenser coil. But most any brand made today is junk. Most common complaints are leaking evap coils which is a PITA
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,768
    edited September 2023
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    @ChrisJ

    The question is "done right" copper may be fixable in the field aluminum is more difficult. My cousin had a 40+ year old Carrier condensing unit that lasted that long with an aluminum condenser coil. But most any brand made today is junk. Most common complaints are leaking evap coils which is a PITA

    That's true.......

    My 410A system is finishing it's 6th season now.
    Each one that goes by without a leak I consider my self lucky.


    That's pretty sad.
    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