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Head pressure high; suction pressure low. Unit not cooling

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  • subdriver May 11, 2010

    This unit most likely developed a slow leak in the low-pressure section (evaporator) and has drawn in some non-condensable gasses (air). You will need to find the leak, recover the charge, repair the leak, evacuate again and recharge. This should be performed by a professional to ensure the correct amount of charge is used, to ensure the filter drier is replaced and to verify the compressor has not been damaged. Depending on the unit, the system may have to be flushed with dry nitrogen as well. Get a quote for the diagnostic and provide as much info as you can first to ensure that repair is more economical than replacement.

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Good day,
It's a restriction.
It could be in the liquid line dryer, cap tube as well as the condenser. If it's a R134A system, it's a common problem.

In either case, the repairs can become extensive, with the factory when under warranty, authorizing, replacing the dryer, cap tube,
condenser, and many times the compressor.



Posted on Feb 03, 2010

  • John Hall Feb 04, 2010

    Subdriver,

    If it had a low side leak, and air along with moisture entered the system, then the oil (ester oil, which is alcohol based) is contamitated, and there is little chance of a sucessful repair, without changing the compressor. It's a can of worms.

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Goodman unit runs and at the a-coil there is a piston where your suction and liquid lines connect. On the liquid side the piston is cold but warm on the other side of piston. A/C unit will not cool.


That piston is the metering device. On the liquid line, before the metering device it is always warm (this is sub cooled, high pressure liquid), but should flash to low pressure, lower temperature vapor once it passes through the metering device. The suction and liquid line never connect together.The liquid line brings liquid from the condenser to the evaporator. The suction line brings super heated vapor from the evaporator to the compressor. Since the unit does run, I'd have to put a gauge on it,but if I had to guess, I'd guess you have high head pressure. Check for dirt or debris on the condenser, check for proper clearance of the condensing unit and check for operation and directional rotation of the condenser fan. This could also be the result of an over charge.

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Hi, sounds as though for this to be its 2nd compressor for such a newer unit, the superheat was not right when the compressor was installed. I don't know what freon you are using the new R-410A or the regular R-22. There's a big difference in pressure, but now I see your pressure reading and its R-22 for these readings.For a 2 ton unit, you would use the superheat charging method for a unit that doesn't use a thermostatic expansion valve ( T X V ) and not the sub-cooling. A 23 degree super heat at that outdoor ambient temperature is way to high for that unit, you will loose the compressor again!!. Super heat killed the compressor is the saying and that's a fact. Suction pressure should pull down just as quick as the head pressure unless the valves are going and weak, or you have a scroll compressor that has a valve plate that is going, or you are low on charge. With a ambient of 95*, you should be at around 270p.s.i. on your head pressure as 210 to 200 is way low. Suction line temp should be around 68 to 70, with a suction line temperature of 50 to 51 degrees, which would give you a 10 to 12 degree F super heat. I don't know when the second compressor was installed, but it has to be low on charge to be such a low head, and high super heat and you will loose this compressor again, its only a matter of time before you have a burnout. It was either under charged when installed, or has a very small leak at one of the joints. I hope the liquid line drier was replaced also. It shows me you have some knowledge on a/c operation, so you need to get that superheat down to between 8 and 10 degrees for this unit to cool properly, and leak check it also. Did you buy a extended compressor warranty? Lets get the head pressure up and superheat down and you should be OK unless the valves or valve plate is weak. Once you loose the valves, you will have a lower than normal head pressure and a high suction pressure. Compressor just won't pull down anymore. I hope I have been of help to you and ask of you to be kind when rating me. I will be here for you if and when you need me for anything.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7
A/C & Heating Contractor

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I have a 99 chevy suburban that won't cool past 60 degrees and when idling is at 70 degrees. I have replaced the a/c compressor, orfice tube,the accumilator,rear expension valve, and fan clutch. My low...


These numbers are a little high depsite the high ambient conditions.Amazingly enough ,automotive low side suction pressure will equal the degrees its putting out at the evaporator coil...for instance,70 psi low side pressure will produce about 70 degrees of cooling. At 300 psi on the high side(which is high) this is about as low as the suction pressure will go....you need it to go lower.I would probably be concerned with the freon level as a slight overcharge could boost these numbers.Poor air flow through the condenser can also create a higher head pressure than desired.If possible,I would evacuate and re-charge the system with the correct amount of 134a refrigerant. Try to get those pressures lower...about 250/50 would be a decent pressure value in this ambient condition.Verify good airflow through the coils and pay close attention to any foreign debris like plastic grocery bags or wrappers covering the coils...Ive even seen these make their way between the small gap between the condenser and radiator so use a light and inspect carefully for this.Air flow through that condenser coil is vital and any deficit there will create high head pressure which obviously causes high suction pressures....good luck

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1 Answer

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