Lennox heat pump - 3lbs refrigerant gone after a short 4 years. Not pleased.

Joined
Aug 15, 2020
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599
Location
Atlanta, GA
Had my "fall" maintenance visit today and system was 3 lbs low out of 7.5 lbs capacity when 5 months ago everything checked out fine. R410A has skyrocketed in price so it was $495 to recharge the system - I called a few other companies and $165/lb is about going rate and company I use was actually cheapest of all 3 I called so no shenanigans.

I have a leak test scheduled for next week as I am going to hit the roof if I have to pay another $500 in 5-6 months when my next service visit comes around. Looking around even well after the class action suit against Lennox it seems their coils still leak early and often. Thankfully everything is still under parts and labor warranty so hopefully no out of pocket costs if there is in fact a leak, once leak is confirmed and the warranty wheels are turning I am fully intending on pursuing Lennox to reimburse me for the lost R410A as their warranty does not seem to exclude refrigerant costs.

Oh how hindsight is 20/20 - seems I should have noted the class action lawsuit against Lennox for their leaky coils back when I signed off on the new system in 2018. I could just kick myself right now - I know 5 years is about ½ life for newer HVAC systems (versus older stuff where 15-20 years was the norm) but dang I did not expect this after a short 4 years.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
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8,759
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Atlanta,GA
Does Lennox use a bi-metal evaporator coil or all aluminum?

Here's a list of the impacted coils.

Which Lennox AC Systems Were Affected?​

Lennox air conditioner coils that were affected include the following lines of the Lennox brand and Lennox evaporator coil model numbers:

  • Brands
    • Aire-Flo
    • Armstrong Air
    • AirEase
    • Concord
    • Ducane
  • Model Numbers
    • Lennox cbx26uh coil
    • Lennox c33 coil
    • Lennox cx34 coil
    • Lennox ch35 coil
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
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13,103
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
410A runs at SUPER HIGH pressure, it could be leaking anywhere! Pretty unethical to just dump $500 of refrigerant in & not leak check it-the Lennox factory would be hearing about that!
 
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Sep 17, 2012
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A Barrier Island
What a coincidence. Just had a service on my not operating HVAC system this afternoon. Tech added 3 lbs of R410A. Hope my homeowner's warranty covers that.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
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224
410A runs at SUPER HIGH pressure, it could be leaking anywhere! Pretty unethical to just dump $500 of refrigerant in & not leak check it-the Lennox factory would be hearing about that!
It may be cheaper to feed it 410A periodically until the warranty ends, vs the expense of a genuine repair or replacement of the unit.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
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958
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Indiana
As previously posted, 410a systems run at significantly higher pressures and, thus, are prone to leaks.

I've been told most leaks end up being in the evaporator coil. Why? I can only guess it's because of aluminum tubing which is thin and prone to fatiguing. Also, I wonder about the u-bend joints on those coils. In the 80's we (Carrier) used ultrasonic solder pots. Now with stricter environmental restriction on manufacturing plus the need for those connections to withstand higher pressures, I'm sure it's much different today.

I chose the condensing unit I still have, after 33 years, because it has copper tubing in the coils rather than aluminum.

I don't know why HVAC companies are so resistant to perform leak testing (and not just soapy water on brazed connections). Back in the day coils & completed units were tested with an electronic leak detector ("Inficon") to ensure there was no leak allowed larger than .1 oz/year.
 

pezzy84

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
599
Location
Atlanta, GA
So I guess I failed a bit in my OP. This system is only ~4 years old and was a full replacement. System was put in ~6 months after I bought my condo to replace the original R22 system that was ~18 years old and required a $600 repair on its 2nd breakdown (1st repair was only a capacitor/contactor).

The warranties are convoluted - its still under parts warranty via Lennox but labor has expired. During covid my installing company went on a quick cash grab and sold me an extended maintenance agreement to get me to 10 years. ~$500 which included labor on manufacturer warranty period. Outside of refrigerant everything should be covered - they are charging me for the leak detection but I'm touching base with them on that before they show up.

I would not be posting this if I was in the 8-10 year mark. But after 5 months (since last visit).for the refrigerant to be down by 3 lbs in a sealed system I am beyond concerned.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
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526
Location
Litchfield, Ohio
Factory charge is only good for generally 15 feet of line set. So if your line set is longer its going to take more than 7.5lbs. Was it actually ever properly charged at the time of install? 3 pounds on a residential system is pretty significant though.

R410a does run higher pressure than R22 but thats not the main issue. Pretty much every company has cheapened their coil construction and they just don't last. Its sad especially for what the stuff cost these days. Then you have the EPA pushing for more environmentally friendly refrigerants. They should be going after the manufacturers for making junk that leaks.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
2,374
Location
MA
I replaced a 27-year-old Rheem last year that ran like a top, still cooled really well, but it was an energy hog. So far so good with my Bosch IDS 2.0 heat pump which costs just half as much to run in the summer and it cools even better than the Rheem but the big question is will it last? Time will tell but it does seem like they don't build them like they used to.
 
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