Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Air Non-Conditioning

     The air conditioner froze up overnight, yesterday (if that makes sense -- I discovered it night before last), and I babied it along until I could get outside, take a broom to the coil, and then follow up with a portable vacuum.  That got it good enough to keep the house at 78°F when it was 89°F outside, and yesterday evening and through the night I kept nudging it down.  We're holding at 75°F, which is pretty good.

     I still need to take a hose to it and clear out the rest of the stuff in the coil.  This is a project, since the outdoor hose connection drips in use, thanks to a lousy install by an unsupervised plumber, years ago.  It's floppy, too -- all crimped together with PEX and the valve not fastened to the outside wall.  That was a two-in-one for that plumbing firm: first and last time I'll hire 'em.*  So I have to run a hose up from the laundry sink; done it before and I'll do it again, as soon as I have time.

     But for now, we're back in the cold-air business.  I just have to keep an eye on it.
* Some day I will fix this, but I want to get rid of all the PEX that guy put in.  It takes specialized, expensive tools to do properly, unlike most other plumbing systems, and I don't like being at the mercy of overworked professionals, especially given that quality of work within the profession varies widely.


2774070 said...

I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

As a possible alternative to removing the PEX entirely, you could cut the crimp bands and replace the fittings with sharkbites. They are far more expensive than copper, but a small project wouldn't likely prove too bad.

Best of luck

Douglas2 said...

I'm now a disciple of the church of PEX, but it took many iterations of "it will be cheaper to do this one fix I need right now with compression, solder, or sharkbite" before I broke down and ordered the tools.

I've had to fix CPVC and there's a part of me that is more confident that good old copper tubing won't turn out to be a time-bomb and who knows about anything new-fangled. (Even as I've dealt with a bad lot of copper developing pinholes. . .)

But I've also not had any of my neighbors lose all their new PEX to scrappers while they were away at Christmas, and I've not had anyone I know have PEX split when unusually cold outdoor temperatures froze some section of their pipework.

grich said...

My first big plumbing job was in high school, back in the mid 1970's, when out of economic necessity, my brother and I hacksawed out all of the clogged galvanized pipe in the house and replumbed with CPVC. I'm guessing the code in our town didn't allow it at the time, but we had good teachers in junior high shop class, and I'll bet that plumbing is still in service. I have PEX crimp tooling, and I'm good with copper (after 43 years in broadcast engineering I had better know how to solder). Sharkbite is OK as long as it's not buried in a wall; they have a gasket or O-ring in them, and they're going to deteriorate eventually.

My last plumbing repair was restoring an outdoor faucet that probably hasn't worked since the first winter after the house was built 45 years ago. It was a "freezeproof" faucet, but was installed with the faucet tipped backwards so it could not drain. Instead of replacing the split fixture (requiring cutting into a finished ceiling), the previous homeowner hacked off the pipe heading to it and abandoned it. I was replacing subfloor in the room next to the faucet, so I had full access to the pipe path. A new faucet was installed with the correct slope, and new PEX was run to it.