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First the fridge, then the central AC??? - One person's lack of compassion does not equal another's comfort.
One person's lack of comprehension does not equal another's consent.
First the fridge, then the central AC???
I must have bad luck with equipment using refrigerant... and that ain't cool, (pun intended)

Today I turn on my central AC and it was central... but that's about it. Looks like I need to call in a professional tomorrow. In the meantime I have my old window AC from when I lived in gaithersburg and I'll be trying to install it in one of my bedroom windows this evening. I also have a window AC which I can install in my kitchen if I have to.

Hopefully I won't overload any circuits doing this and that would suck as the people who laid out the wiring for this house put a lot on the main lighting circuits and so killing one circuit that would normally just make a few lights go out will also kill a circuit a refrigerator is on and spoil all the food in it. FORTUNATELY the main fridge is dead anyway... unfortunately the secondary fridge may still be on that one circuit.


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liandriel From: liandriel Date: May 30th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Not cool, indeed! Today was a rotten day for your AC to give out. I hope you get it fixed soon.
ksatyr From: ksatyr Date: May 30th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry about your central AC, that truly blows. Or, err, doesn't blow, I guess. Anything I can help with? I have a little bit of knowledge in this area.

As for the Window AC, killing the circuit would just mean resetting the breaker unless your wires are seriously under-weight compared to the breaker. There's always the option of plugging a light into the outlet where the window AC is going to go, then switch off breakers until you find the right one and go find what else is on the circuit. This is essentially what I had to do every time I wanted to make an electrical change in red_lynx's place.
fixx From: fixx Date: May 30th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Fortunately before I'd even moved back into this place I'd mapped many of the circuits of this house. Not all of them unfortunately, and what I found was a disturbing trend of most of the outlets to be on a single circuit named "main lighting" argh.

This AC unit I've connected appears to be gentle on my breakers and is not causing a problem. It has dropped the temp in my bedroom to 71 currently and it is also pleasantly dry so I'm very happy. It has also dried the air on the rest of the upper floor so that even though it is about 80 there, it is no longer muggy.

I'm not so optimistic about how I will do in the daytime until the central AC is repaired. The compressor appears to run and there is condensate forming in the vicinity of the evaporator, which suggests it is sort of working. What this suggest to me is that a good deal of the freon has leaked out.

I know that in cars this happens because rubber seals dry out and the freon escapes, but in home AC units I thought all the joints were soldered and that it could not escape. My impression must be flawed, because I recall seeing ads for professionals to come and recharge your AC with more refrigerant, suggesting it can escape, although to my mind that also suggests there is probably also a leak somwhere that needs to be fixed.

If you know anyone who can offer this sort of diagnosis or repair cost effectively I'll gladly hire them for it.
ksatyr From: ksatyr Date: May 30th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
It likely is a leak, possibly from the compressor over an extended time. What usually happens in this situation is that the freon freezes up inside the heat exchanger and prevents circulation. I suspect if you have it recharged it'll be fine again for a few years.
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