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Old 04-22-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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Ouch$$$$-Replenishing Basement Air Freon

I took my MH in to have the basement A/C checked as I wasn't satisfied that the cool air output was good enough. To make a long story shorter, the freon was down by 2/3. Lucky me, it only cost $690 to get the freon topped off!

Labor to remove the unit cost $379.50 and, because the dealer had to sublet the actual work on the A/C (adding freon and listed as "A/C Service") another $310.27. Now it works fine. So if you have a basement unit and are as mechanically inclined as I (not at all), this is what you have to look forward to.

I'm just a lucky guy!
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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Those are hermetic systems and normally do not leak. I hope they did a good search and found a leak and repaired the leak.

Did they solder in the Schrader valves, which is a proper repair? If they used the clamp on saddle valves, I'd take it back and demand it be repaired properly...at their cost.

Ken
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
Those are hermetic systems and normally do not leak. I hope they did a good search and found a leak and repaired the leak.

Did they solder in the Schrader valves, which is a proper repair? If they used the clamp on saddle valves, I'd take it back and demand it be repaired properly...at their cost.

Ken
You may have missed the part where I said I'm not mechanically inclined! I have no idea what all they did, I can just hope the unit works better than it has been.

It's 93 here today and it worked fine on the way from the dealer to storage, so hopefully all is good.

Funny, but my father was an engineer and never had to have anything fixed as he could do it himself. Unfortunately, that aptitude skipped right over me!
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Denny,
My '04 Chieftain was built about the same time as your coach. Mine works as good now as it did the 1st day I got it.... and I've been fulltiming for 2 years so it has a lot more hours on it than if I was just going out once a month.

I highly recommend that you call the repair shop back and find out exactly what they found and did to fix the leak. Even though it appears to work fine now, you need to know what went wrong, so that if it leaks back down in a year or two, you'll have some idea what the first guys did and did not do.

For the guys that are DIY'ers, removing the basement A/C unit is a pretty straightforward project if you know the steps. I had mine out last summer to replace the blower bearings, blower motor, and cracked/loose squirrel cage. I documented the steps and have it available to download for your reference files. A few folks on the forum have used it and saved themselves some of those big $$$$$.
Here's the link: http://sites.google.com/site/billmarie2008/ (see the attachments near the bottom of the webpage)
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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Denny,
My '04 Chieftain was built about the same time as your coach. Mine works as good now as it did the 1st day I got it.... and I've been fulltiming for 2 years so it has a lot more hours on it than if I was just going out once a month.

I highly recommend that you call the repair shop back and find out exactly what they found and did to fix the leak. Even though it appears to work fine now, you need to know what went wrong, so that if it leaks back down in a year or two, you'll have some idea what the first guys did and did not do.

For the guys that are DIY'ers, removing the basement A/C unit is a pretty straightforward project if you know the steps. I had mine out last summer to replace the blower bearings, blower motor, and cracked/loose squirrel cage. I documented the steps and have it available to download for your reference files. A few folks on the forum have used it and saved themselves some of those big $$$$$.
Here's the link: http://sites.google.com/site/billmarie2008/ (see the attachments near the bottom of the webpage)
When I finally calmed down from my initial sticker shock, I went back to the dealer and got an invoice of what the a/c service consisted of. They contracted it out to a company that only does A/c work and they found there was a leak. So they installed two freon service taps, added two (cans?) of R-22 freon, charged each circuit to specs, 15% silver solder and welding material and weld gas. The pain in the wallet doesn't hurt any less, but now I understand that at least they did more than just drop the unit and add freon.

I had checked out your instructions a few days ago and really thought it was well done. Too bad I don't have the ability to follow the instructions. Nice job!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #6
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Ouch! The price is high, but I'm sure the cost was impacted by having two different service groups work on the unit. I've worked on a couple basement air units and pulling the unit isn't bad. Bill (Duner) did an excellant job of documenting the unit removal instructions for others as well

Leaks in the units are rare, as most of the issues I've seen have been burned out motor starters or start capacitors going bad. Those items are replaceable without pulling the unit, but unfortunately, any leaks do need to be repaired after pulling the unit.

In any case, it appears from the items replaced and charged for that they did a proper repair. The silver solder would tend to indicate that they did braze in new schrader valves.
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