06 July 2010

If it's not one thing...

it's definitely another. We were beyond thrilled when we had an estimate for our A/C replacement that was $400 less than our initial estimate and could be done the same day. As soon as it was installed, the weather took a turn for the better and we didn't have to use it for a few days. We're scheduled to have it tied into the security system on Thursday. In the meantime, poor Tom has been sleeping downstairs. The idea is that he'd wake up to any unusual noises happening in the yard, but I still check on the condensers from an upstairs window several times a night.

After the brief respite from the unbearable heat and humidity, it came back in full force all at once. We enjoyed a full day of lovely climate-controlled bliss. Until...Tom noticed a puddle of water downstairs. The furnace overflow pan was, well, overflowing and dripped from the attic to the second floor. It in turn soaked through the floor upstairs and dripped into a puddle in the kitchen. Tom investigated and found a whole slew of problems with the air handler setup. The two biggies:

1. The overflow pan wasn't draining at all. Since the plastic pan underneath is actually the secondary overflow, that meant the primary overflow wasn't draining, either.

2. There was no filter in the furnace. The drywall guys had the system running while they were sanding, so the coils are probably clogged with a superfine particulate. A homeowner should be able to vacuum the outside of the coils with a brush attachment, but something as fine as drywall dust will clog the inside of the coils, requiring professional assistance (to remove the coils, the refrigerant has to be drained, and it's easy to damage the thin aluminum fins inside the coil).

The secondary pan wasn't draining because the PVC pipe that carries the water outside was not sloped properly. That's easily fixed with a couple of dollars worth of supplies from Lowe's.

The part that really boggles the mind is why the primary pan wasn't draining. There are several sets of inlets where you are supposed to be able to connect the drain pipes. They look like this:

Sorry for the bad pic. It's a tight space to take a photo.

Each socket has a knockout behind it. They have been removed in the above photo. The set of sockets that the pipes were connected to didn't have the knockouts removed, so the water couldn't get into the pipes to drain out. I'm not sure how we can access the knockouts without dismantling the entire drain system. Fortunately PVC is cheap, but it would have been really great if it had been done correctly in the first place. Now we're stuck fixing mistakes at our cost (of time and money). We might take forever getting projects completed, but at least we make sure to do it right the first time and avoid this sort of nonsense. I think I've sworn off hired labor for a long time.


NV said...

You poor things! This sounds very much like some of the many things we went through in the first year or three of owning This D*mn House.
What a nightmare.

We keep saying that if we just replace the windows, eventually we'll have a brand new house. :-)

Anonymous said...

I can totally empathize. If it had been yours and Tom's mistakes, you could blame it on inexperience and learn from your mistakes. But when you PAY so called "professionals" to do a job, you expect it to be done right and it's really frustrating when that turns out not to be the case!


Anonymous said...

By the way, why isn't your A/C guy responsible for the problem?


Sarah said...

We tried to get in touch with him when the A/C was first stolen, but he's been very unreliable. Missed appointments, unreturned phone calls. We gave him several chances and several weeks, so we're done waiting around for unresponsive contractors.

house things said...

Ugh. That's horrible. I completely understand wanting to steer clear of contractors.

Kristin said...

I am loving your blog! it's been so great reading all about your renovation. it's amazing the things that come up when you're redoing a house built a hundred years ago!

xo, Kristin

PS - your little Clara is a gem. my goodness, she's adorable!