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Question DetailsAsked on 3/12/2017

Should you replace evaporator coil in 2 yr old unit Repair man said oil in drain pan, didn't see leak Charleston Sc

HVAC Carrier as leaking 6 months after it was installed I wanted it replaced and ARS in Charleston, SC just repaired it and extended parts warranty by one year. Repair guy couldn't even see where it was leaking. He wants to replace and charge 603 for labor.

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3 Answers


I presume your unit is leaking refrigerant - otherwise why would you be considering replacing the coil.

I would check first (assuming the replacement was OEM part) google to see if your coil is one of the ones covered by recalls or class action suits due to premature failure - might get another one (and maybe even labor if lucky) for free.

You most likely do not know if the pan oil is from leakage from this coil, or from the disassembly or leakage of the first coil - so I would say FIND THE LEAK. There are a lot of ways to find AC leaks - some applicable only to faster leaks, some to any leak - but I have no tolerance for techs that say "replace the coil" without even finding the source of the problem - and this is not unique to HVAC techs - auto repair techs, appliance repair, etc commonly do it these days - just start replacing parts willy nilly without even finding out WHAT the problem is.

The $603 labor is not an uncommon number, assuming this is a hard to replace unit -some can be changed out in about an hour including testing and pressure adjustments after the repair.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Thank you for answering my question you were a huge help! I was able to speak to ARS and sound more knowledgeable. They replaced the coil and I was not charged for labor, I was treated fairly after I raised cane. Unfortunately, the initial repair man was given wrong warranty information and I was entitled to labor and parts since the Carrier HVAC had stopped working only after 6 months and warranties were extended for me, and initial repair man was not made aware of this, I had to contact ARS myself there record keeping needs improvement. Management and repair men were all polite and courteous. I do find it hard to believe that the coils were leaking after only 2 1/2 years. Thanks!

Answered 3 years ago by rknoll


Glad you were able to get the service you deserved - sounds like ARS ultimately came through, and might deserve a good review on Angies List - use Write A Review, at right end of green banner bar above.

Unfortunately, it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain warranty information to be able to prove that a given repair should be under warranty - not only on appliances, but also on electronic items, even your car and siding and roof and such. Basically speaking, if you don't tell the vendor that a given repair or service should be covered under warranty (or that you at least think it should be), they commonly will not check for that - even if they do have the info, which unless they sold it to you originally they would generally not have access to - most manufacturers do NOT make warranty coverage info available to even their authorized dealers/service vendors. Like on car repairs - rarely will the service tech check the car record (even if the car was bought at that dealership and has had all major maintenance done there over its life) to see if that repair is covered under an original or extended warranty, or if the same repair was done recently so is under a repair service warranty period, or maybe that part was replaced previously so is under a new warranty that extends more than the normal number of miles or years from original purchase date.

As for the coil leaking (especially with evaporator coils) - this is more and more common - the days of coils typically lasting 10-20 years are gone, because of much thinner metal, cheaper materials and construction, poor workmanship (after all, what do you expect for $1-2/day workers), and poor quality control in products coming out of Asia especially, but now from Central/South America too.

There is also the problem of corrosion - due to lower grade metal, and also due to a lot of recycled metal in the materials used which can introduce contaminants in the melt which promote corrosion. Also, in many cheaper coils (and that includes a lot of brandname ones now) the coils/fins are soldered rather than welded or brazed, so the seams themselves are a lot more prone to leakage. All a matter of the cheapening-down of products as a result of the race to the lowest price or to compete with cheap imports.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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