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Evaporator Cleaning Methods

 
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Hey guys. Just trying to take a poll. When you suspect a dirty evaporator, do you bother with the chemicals (and maybe a shop vac at the same time to prevent dripping onto a heat exch.) and water rinse while the evaporator is still in the air handler?

Or do you drag the coil outside ANY time it needs cleaning?

Just wondering if I can save some time by doing it inside...

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Personally, I try to stay away from chemicals. If you are hardcore, you can pull out the heat exchanger and get good access. Otherwise, I will use a long garden hose (if in the garage). Granted, my first choice is to pull out the coil as a whole, but usually, that isn't possible.... Oh, you are talking about upflow? Can't you pull the coil out.

I prefer to not open the system and remove the coil altogether, too many things that can go wrong.

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Old 06-25-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


So you're saying your first choice is to pull the coil out (unsolder the connections and take it outside and hose it), but you're also saying that you prefer not to do that because too many things can go wrong. If the hose is long enough, sometimes you will bring the hose into the garage or into the house and just wash the coil without removing it from the air handler?

I don't like break out the torch if I don't have to.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


As long as the coil is not already completely choked up, Iíll find a way to hit it with Enviro-Coil, biodegradable, no rinse cleaner and let the coil sweat take care of the rest.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


What is your definition of completely choked up? The flashlight test? Or you mean a visible layer of dog fur?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Quote:
Originally Posted by greengenius_A_C View Post
What is your definition of completely choked up? The flashlight test? Or you mean a visible layer of dog fur?
No hard and fast rule, simply a case by case basis. A peak with the
9mm SeeSnake can usually give an idea of what condition the coil surfaces are in. If that matted dog fur is present, I donít think Enviro-Coil cleaner is going to remove it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Sorry about being unclear. When I said pull out the coil, that did not mean, un-solder the pipe, simply pull it out so that you can brush & clean.

Hose inside the house, not a good idea either, but in the garage, usually, it's ok.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:20 AM   #8
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Gotcha. For some reason when you said pull it out I assumed unsoldering would be a given because the line set doesn't really compromise much if you were to try to move the a-coil.

I've been looking into those duct access panels with cams or hinges as an add-on for future evaporator inspection/service. I don't know if anyone else really uses them much, but it would be nice to have a door to the evaporator instead of just a foil-taped square of sheet metal. Not a bad upsell either I suppose...kidding!
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:46 AM   #9
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Around here, most coils are cased. So inspection isn't a problem. The problem is access to giving the coil a good cleaning. Frequently the lineset is routed across the front panel, and those w-coils are really hard to brush.

That's why I mentioned pulling the heat exchanger (downflow). With an impact drill, heat exchanger replacements really aren't that tough. But, when it's 90+ outside and calls are backing up, it may not be feasible.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #10
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Would a small garden style pump up tank do for spraying a coil down with water or chemical?
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Those pumps are nice for dampening a coil. But, they have their limitations
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #12
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


I bought a toilet brush last spring, and that has been a great tool for cleaning coils as well.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:31 PM   #13
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Refrigeration Technologies makes a NSF Evaporator Cleaner, Viper E+, that is an enzyme. Seems to work fairly well. Self rinsing. Can be used in Food Facilities.

The intro to Captain Carbonex Video now shows the other coil cleaners. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9TVMcqZ69U
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:50 AM   #14
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Re: Evaporator Cleaning Methods


Quote:
Originally Posted by MechAcc View Post
Refrigeration Technologies makes a NSF Evaporator Cleaner, Viper E+, that is an enzyme. Seems to work fairly well. Self rinsing. Can be used in Food Facilities.

The intro to Captain Carbonex Video now shows the other coil cleaners. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9TVMcqZ69U
Thanks, I gotta check their stuff out.

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