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Question DetailsAsked on 6/11/2017

why is new central air unit leaking

just bought lenox unit august 2014 , had annual check 2015 no problems all good missed service 2016 due to heavy booking during times setting appointments, no signs or indication. 2016 was not really hot didn't a lot but no problems with cooling house. service person came 2017 and said we have a leak that will cause thousand plus. this is insane. That was the sole purpose of buying a new unit.

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Depends on WHAT is leaking - if water, then you have a corroded out pan (some cheap pans these days go out in a few years) or a bad drain tubing connection to the pan - or maybe a buildup of mold or algae in the drain tube (which should be flushed and chemically treated annually as part of the annual servicing) causing the pan to overflow because the tube cannot drain. [Note - in normal household A/C systems, unless a "swamp cooler" evaporative cooler rather than a compressor-run A/C, there is no water circulating, so any water is coming from the condensation on the evaporator coil, which is normal in amounts from a dribble to quite a few quarts a day].


If you have a refrigerant leak, for a 3 year old unit any evaporator coil leak at a minimum should be covered under warranty - though unfortunately most manufacturer warranties only cover a replacement part for the defective one, no labor - so your replacement cost if the coil is leaking can commonly be $500-1000 range for the labor only.


Ditto if compressor seals are leaking - commonly at least 5 year warranty on that item too - sometimes (like coil) can run 10 years on higher-end units or with extended warranty, VERY rarely 15-20 years or lifetime with "Gold" or equivalent protection plan purchased at time of installation.


If a tubing or connection leak (though of course ideally there should not be any in the first 10 years or so), the original installer may fix it free because it would likely be a minor item (1/4-1/2 hour work) or may charge, but likely to charge at least for the gas removal to be able to do the repairwork, then replacement of the gas - which with most likely an R-410a unit (given its age) is likely to run $150-500 range depending on how much leaked out.


And of course if you have a Home Warranty plan in effect, it might or might n ot cover this - if you can convince them to cover it - though of course you run the risk any repair tech they send might or might not be competent.


Otherwise, without knowing WHERE the leak is exactly, can't really say how insane this is. Unfortunately, though technically with a new unit you have a new system which should not have problems for at least and hopefully 10 years or so, in reality with the cost competitveness these days many (or most) of the manufacturers are in a race to the bottom quality wise - the days of the 30-50 year furnace and A/C are quickly going away, and most particularly with evaporator coils which mix aluminum and copper - a lunacy which any metallurgist worth his salt would say was doomed to rapid failure, but a lot of companies are using - hence premature coil failures, not to mention they are generally not field repairable whereas the old 100% copper ones were pretty easy to solder or braze pinholes or small cracks on.


Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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