How to Maintain my 1999 Trane XL1200? (Tucson, AZ)
I just successfully repaired my refrigerator for the first time. It was a burnt
out starter relay for the compressor, and it was possibly caused by having a thick carpet of lint and dust on the front coils, which I also cleaned off.
This got me to thinking that perhaps my AC unit, which works correctly at the moment, might need cleaning out too, so I went on the roof and took pics:
But the cooling fins only had a few insects here and there, as you can see in one pic, so they don't seem to need cleaning.
But I have questions:
1) Besides cleaning off the fins, what else can I do to maintain this unit?
2) Where can I find a service manual for this unit? Model # YCX042G1M0AA
3) What is the reddish circular thing inside the fan blades?
4) The two ducts attach to the unit with rubber like bellows. I assume this in normal?
5) My home inspector felt that: "moisture is leaking from within the evaporator coil, instead of being carried to exterior through condensate discharge pipe, either due to blockage or misaligned components within coil. The condensate line may be blocked. The system achieve low differential temp split between input and output, which could indicate low refrigerant." But again, the AC seemed to work fine last I used it.
5) Obviously I need to flip the breaker "OFF" on this before opening it up, but where exactly is the service panel? Is it the panel that has the gas line coming out of it, with the mail-slot looking thing? Or is it the panel to the left of that one?
I'd like to know this before I have problems, and have to try these things:
Thanks in advance for any advice.....
repair or replace any compromised conduit.
clean the evaporator coils inside the unit.
power wash the condensor coils from inside out.
adjust tension and/or replace v-belt inside that drive the blower motor if not direct drive.
lubricate all bearings.
make sure no refridgerant lines or electrical wires are chafing on anyting.
change the air filter.
make sure the p-trap on the condensate drain line is clear.
you will have to replace the condensor fan motor sooner or later.
secure the gas line so it doesn't fall of the support block.
don't fry yourself on the main service mast less than 3' away from the unit.
reposition the owl from time to time.
inspect any contactors for wear/burnt.
the red round thing is the A/C compressor.
duct connections are normal.
to cut power to the unit, remove the breaker inside the grey box with the bad conduit.
open the lid, grap the black T-handle and pull straight out. now the unit has no power.
If the panel is removable, take it off and get familiar with the unit.
I had about 96 views in another forum, with NOT ONE reply
at all! So thanks for taking the time!
Ok, the main service mast you see is the old one, which is dead now.
1) Is it ok to throw the breaker box OFF, as well as pull the T-handle, just to be doubly sure?
2) Looking here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=p-trap+on+the+condensate+drain+line&tbm=isch&tbo=u&s ource=univ&sa=X&ei=lWMCU9WvOoS0yAHasIHoCQ&ved=0CDI QsAQ&biw=1280&bih=923
It's clear there is water in the p-trap, so I assume you mean there shouldn't be any solid matter there, but water is normal. How do I check this?
By just taking the PVC tubing apart?
3) Which panel do I open to access the insides? Or are there two access panels?
1) yes, this is fine
2) yes, make sure there is no physical matter in the p-trap.
open the unit and find the drip pan. make sure the drip pan is clean. if you can remove the p-trap and blow air through it to clean it out.
3) open all panels (at least 2) and take a look around for anything out of the norm and maybe label your panels as to what's inside them.
1) I cleaned the evaporator fins a little bit. The drip pan seemed to have some rust in it, and there was rust along the side of the evaporator coils. Is this normal? (see pics)
2) The instructions on the panel say clockwise to turn the gas off, and as you see in the pic of the gas valve, I assume "S"=shut and "O"=open, and "S" is indeed clockwise, correct?
3) Whoever installed the P-trap used some sort of PVC pipe glue, so I couldn't twist the elbows off to check if it was blocked or not (it was also too damn hot up there during noon-time!). Is there a way I can just muscle the PVC piping apart, like with a wrench? I blew into the open side that goes into my roof, and it wasn't easy to blow, so it's possible it's blocked. Also, I don't think the p-trap has any water in it, and from what I've read so far, I have to put water in the trap before I use the A/C, right?
4) Some of the black foam insulation tape around the border of the two evaporator panels was missing, and I thought about using butyl-tape to seal them better, didn't do it today as it was too hot. But I should use something, right? Also, a few of the sheet metal screws were a stripped and not as tight as I would like, so I will go to Home Depot and get the next larger size screws.
But this is worth doing, right?
I thought about scanning the schematics, but I know where they are, and
I'll get into more detail when I really have a circuit failure...
2) I don't know anything about S & O but, on a properly install valve, the handle perpendicular to the gas line is in the off position.
3) Nope, once glued that's it, no removing. Nope, you don't have to add water to the p-trap to use the A/C, it will fill with water by using the A/C.
4) yes, some gasketing would be good and the screws stripping out is all too common. You'll have to step up from 5/16" to 3/8". and yes this is worth it unless you want to find the cover panel a few doors down from high winds (also eliminates rattle noise).
Ok, the gas line is open, and the valve is parallel with the line, so that makes sense.
1) So how do I check to see if the p-trap is blocked? I was thinking of fishing a guitar string into it, just to see if anything is blocking it.
2) And if it is blocked, and I somehow cannot unblock it, would you recommend just buying the PVC parts and glue, and just copying the design as close as I can?
1) Find something flexible but, firm to run through the p-trap (i.e.- a piece of 10AWG stranded THHN wire).
2) This is nothing more than gravity fed water glue wasn't really needed.
The first nipple coming out of the unit is threaded. If we can unscrew this it will make life some much easier. So we are going to cut the pipe (right about where that flexible conduit is on the disconnect box), unscrew the p-trap, clean it out, screw it back in and install a 50cent coupler (or union if you like) where the line was cut. No glue. You can disconnect here in the future for maintenance.
The idea is to cut the pipe and allow enough clearance to the ground to swing/unscrew the remaining pipe with trap intact.
Or if you want you can refabricate the whole thing.
Ok, so after using a piece of wire to verify that my p-trap was indeed
blocked off, I cut the PVC, and.....I couldn't unscrew the first nipple from the pan.
It really seemed like the installer used glue here as well:
It really seemed like it was welded to the pan outlet. I couldn't budge
it at all. I tried a pair of vise grips, to try to break the seal, but no go. I might have had better luck with a pair of channel locks, but I didn't have one. I was really afraid I was going to crack the outlet of the pan, because the pan seemed one with the outlet. So my solution was to leave the first nipple where it was and make another cut:
I'll have to buy another PVC coupler, but this seemed like a good solution.
Ok, sure enough, my p-trap was clogged. It was nasty! A really
thick, mud-like goo, which I would assume was mostly rust. Cleaned it out with my garden hose, and put it back. I also installed fresh gaskets, cleaned the evaporator fins more thoroughly, straightened some fins with a butter knife, and for some reason, didn't have to use any of the larger sheet metal screws I bought.
Ok, more questions for Kok328:
1) Will my solution be ok? The section with the PVC coupler is roughly 1/4" longer now. Will that matter, or is the geometry of p-traps not that critical?
2) My A/C still worked even though my p-trap was clogged. I believe my housing inspector saw the evidence that the water was dripping directly from the unit. Is this the only evidence that something was wrong? What else could go wrong if the p-trap is clogged like this?
Yea, the looks of that nipple doesn't look like it wants to be messed with.
1) Your solution will work just fine with the new coupler.
2) Well for one, it will leak from the unit, rust out the drip pan, possibly build up & leak into the home through the ducts and create airborne bacteria.
Realize that the air that passes through the evaporator coils, air filter and drip pan, is the air you breath.
I have seen on the market, chemical pucks that you put in your drip pan to kill batcteria.
I last saw them on Graingers and they were pricey for the number and size of the units I was working with.
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