Cleaning A/C condenser fins-> all purpose cleaner or 20% HCL acid solution?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by JEDI, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. JEDI

    JEDI Lifer

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    This is for homes w/central air. The condenser part is located outdoors. PIC

    The whole outside of the unit is composed of small metal fins to cool down the condensor.

    Lowes sells several all-purpose cleaners. i just spray and rinse.

    They also sell 20% HCL acid solution to clean metal. The fins are metal. i just pour it along the outside.

    the condenser hasnt been cleaned since the house was built (13years).

    so all purpose cleaner, or acid solution?
     
  2. Lounatik

    Lounatik Golden Member

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    There is a milder solution that HD or Lowes sells. It is specifically for ac coils. I wouldnt use 20% HCL because your fins are made of aluminum. It might eat the fins away if you ised a high strength cleaner like that.

    MAKE SURE YOU TURN POWER OFF BEFORE DOING THIS!!!!

    Ideally you should get a pressure cleaner and some coil cleaner and do the job right. Just spraying the coils with cleaner and hosing it off isnt nearly as good as the pressure cleaner.Keep the nozzle about 6 inches or so away from the coils and just go up and down, not across the coils.Pop the cover off of the condenser coils and move the fan out of the way and do it from the inside out also for a thorough job.

    I was an AC repairman way back when.



    Peace

    Lounatik

     
  3. JEDI

    JEDI Lifer

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    i went to lowes. they had no idea how to clean the coils :( they're the ones that said all purpose cleaner, or since it's metal, try the 20% hcl solution.

    link to the a/c coil cleaner at hd or lowes?

    and if i'm just spraying w/all purpose cleaner, why turn off the condenser? the condenser is built to withstand heavy rain since it's located outside?
     
  4. rahvin

    rahvin Elite Member

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    All you are trying to do is get the dirt and dust off, not burn through the metal. Christ common sense people, hose it off once a year and otherwise LEAVE IT ALONE.
     
  5. drnickriviera

    drnickriviera Platinum Member

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    Go to a hvac supply shop and get some coil cleaner. The stuff I use is alkaline not acid. Mix it with some water in a pump sprayer and spray it on. It boils out all the junk in the fins, then hose it off. I usually take off the top cover and fan and spray from the inside out with a garden hose. If it hasn't been cleaned in 13 yrs, then i'd definately get coil cleaner and take the top cover off.
     
  6. Lounatik

    Lounatik Golden Member

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    Not for the water, for your hands silly! If you are going to take the top off, that little thing called a condesor fan motor likes to spin at about 1200 rpms and can give you a bad case of the no fingersies.

    Some links:

    Coil cleaners

    Google results for coil cleaners.

    Edit: If you notice in the links above, they all clearly state that they are non acidic. The acid is a surefire way to ruin your system.


    Peace

    Lounatik

     
  7. MX2

    MX2 Lifer

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    Hmmm...this thread makes me ponder my own AC unit and a good cleaning.