i am an apprentice so to speak working as a maintenance guy at this apartments. i read the technical books here and there but they go beyond the AC maintenance for an apartment complex. so i actually believe that i know now a lot more than the other workers working there. so yes to get to the question...so i was defrosting an AC unit the other day in a hurry because it was almost the end of the shift. i grabbed a hand held torch (one of those u put lighter gas in) to hurry up and melt the ice to get it back running. so i got it working good.. now today i heard this guy saying that using a torch messes up the refrigerant..is that true? my gut feeling is no because i didn't even get the metal hot and two...the compressor motor gets reallll hot to even touch it for 5 minutes on a hot day and when the fan motor goes bad, it gets really hot too for the inner thermal element to disconnect...
my gut feeling is that no..if i am wrong, i would like to learn this from the experts but if i am right, how would i go on telling this "expert" (he has been working there for like 17 yers)...that he is wrong?
thanks in advance. i guess that was two questions
I used to own some commercial office buildings and we did this on a rare occasion as quick fix to get tenants relief until our HVAC contractor could find and fix the real problem. Our HVAC contractor said you could damage the unit if you applied too much heat and suggested a heat gun over a torch both to avoid too much heat and a risk of fire.
I am certain if not done correctly you can damage your unit if not done carefully.
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
|reply to learningathi |
Likely no harm if all that was done was melt the ice and then the heat was removed, but too much heat can damage the coil. I can't see it hurting the refrigerant, though.
|reply to battleop |
sorry i used the wrong words... i meant heat gun... those that u put in lighter fluid from a pressured can. it is not even hot enough to melt the pipe solder let a lone the brazing. trust me i know how to solder and braze the pipes...and not only that, if you apply too much heat to the valves, you can melt the rubber o-rings (you put a very wet cloth over them)... regarding catching on fire... that is not likely in my opinion since i have changed many 40-50 amp breakers where they don't trip and the wire melts inside the air handler or the condenser... if something catches on fire it would be just the cable plastic but that would be fir just one second... i believe the engineers have thought about this when they design the units. thanks though.
|reply to garys_2k |
thanks, i only heated the compressor itself because the fan motor putting the thermostat on "on" melts the ice quick on the evaporator by circulating the ambient air...since where i live it is starting to be cool outside, the iced up compressor takes longer for the ice to melt... so i only applied the torch to the compressor only...and this guy knows it and he is 17 year veteran... but i think i already got my answer, thanks. now how to tell this guy he is rong with out insulting him is another story.
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|reply to learningathi |
I think what they are saying is that if all you are blowing at the coil is warm air you are likely ok