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Old 06-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #1
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1. I've read a variety of forum discussion threads on the operation of basement A/C but, I have not seen a consolidated thread that discusses/provides a "suggested procedure" to start your summer air operations with a "clean" and efficiently operating A/C unit. This thread addresses the cleaning process I performed to "summer ready" my basement A/C in my 2006 Itasca Model 35U. It might provide some suggested cleaning for your similar unit.

Tools Needed: Two hand spray bottles (16 oz suggested). One small shop vac with hose extensions, crevice tool, and small end brush. One drop light. One small slot head stubby screw driver. One garden hose.

Materials Needed: Simple Green Concentrate (diluted-it is non acidic-non corrosive-non toxic, and economical). One gallon jug water (distilled preferred). One new good A/C filter (pleated surfaces - not angel hair).

2. Start the A/C outside coil cleaning with your A/C "OFF" at normal/cool outside/surface air temp. Using the hand spray bottle, with a diluted Simple Green solution (1-2 oz per 10 oz distilled water), starting at the top of the coils..begin spraying the entire coil fin surface. Let the solution set 10-15 minutes. While waiting, crawl under the A/C unit and, with your stubby slot head screwdriver,check the rubber A/C drain valve. Gently insert the screwdriver up into (1-2 inches) the drain valve to free/clear any gunk-crud that might have drained down to/into the valve. With a garden hose..and very gentle stream of regular garden water..totally rinse the cleaning solution from the outside of the coil area... while watching the drain valve drain the rinse solution.

3. Start the A/C inside coil cleaning with your A/C "OFF" at normal/cool inside surface air temp. Locate the inside filter access cover and remove the cover and the installed filter. At this point, you'll need a light source to continue to work the inside A/C coil area inside the sub filter compartment. If available, use a drop-trouble light and drop it down into the sub filter compartment. After you have found the A/C inside coils, using a small shop vac with extension hose and end hairbrush attachment, gently vacuum the coils surface and surrounding areas with a sweeping movement up and down parallel to the coil fins. Do not vacuum across the coils...so as not to damage the coil fins.

4. Continue the A/C inside coil cleaning with your cleaning solution spray bottle. Using the hand spray bottle, with a diluted Simple Green solution (1-2 oz per 10 oz distilled water), starting at the top of the inside coils..begin gently spraying the entire coil area fin surfaces. Let the solution set 10-15 minutes. Again, while waiting, crawl under the A/C unit with your stubby slot head screwdriver and check the rubber A/C drain valve. Gently insert the screwdriver up into the drain valve to free/clear any gunk-crud that might have drained down to/into the valve. Using the second spray bottle filled with distilled water, begin at the top of the coil fins and spray the water to completely saturate/rinse the cleaning solution from the coil fins. Several water refills might be needed to completely rinse the coils. While the rinse solution is draining...again check that the outside drain valve is emptying.


5. When the drain valve has completely stopped draining the rinse, install a good clean filter and the filter access cover. Ready your coach for A/C cooling operation. Start the A/C unit and set to "cool". Let the unit run in cool for 30- 45 minutes. The running of the A/C at this point will have condensation collect on the inside coil and continue the rinse of the coil fins. Watch for the condensation to again begin draining from the drain valve. After 30-45 minutes feel and smell the dripping condensation. If it feels like water and smells fairly free of cleaning solution, you can generally consider the cleaning complete and shutdown the unit.

6. The final A/C system check should be to the overhead outlets. Insure that they are pointed in the direction for maximum cooling of the selected area. Be sure to check that one or more of the overhead outlets is not blowing on or near the area of the A/C's wall thermostat.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
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1. I've read a variety of forum discussion threads on the operation of basement A/C but, I have not seen a consolidated thread that discusses/provides a "suggested procedure" to start your summer air operations with a "clean" and efficiently operating A/C unit. This thread addresses the cleaning process I performed to "summer ready" my basement A/C in my 2006 Itasca Model 35U. It might provide some suggested cleaning for your similar unit.

Tools Needed: Two hand spray bottles (16 oz suggested). One small shop vac with hose extensions, crevice tool, and small end brush. One drop light. One small slot head stubby screw driver. One garden hose.

Materials Needed: Simple Green Concentrate (diluted-it is non acidic-non corrosive-non toxic, and economical). One gallon jug water (distilled preferred). One new good A/C filter (pleated surfaces - not angel hair).

2. Start the A/C outside coil cleaning with your A/C "OFF" at normal/cool outside/surface air temp. Using the hand spray bottle, with a diluted Simple Green solution (1-2 oz per 10 oz distilled water), starting at the top of the coils..begin spraying the entire coil fin surface. Let the solution set 10-15 minutes. While waiting, crawl under the A/C unit and, with your stubby slot head screwdriver,check the rubber A/C drain valve. Gently insert the screwdriver up into (1-2 inches) the drain valve to free/clear any gunk-crud that might have drained down to/into the valve. With a garden hose..and very gentle stream of regular garden water..totally rinse the cleaning solution from the outside of the coil area... while watching the drain valve drain the rinse solution.

3. Start the A/C inside coil cleaning with your A/C "OFF" at normal/cool inside surface air temp. Locate the inside filter access cover and remove the cover and the installed filter. At this point, you'll need a light source to continue to work the inside A/C coil area inside the sub filter compartment. If available, use a drop-trouble light and drop it down into the sub filter compartment. After you have found the A/C inside coils, using a small shop vac with extension hose and end hairbrush attachment, gently vacuum the coils surface and surrounding areas with a sweeping movement up and down parallel to the coil fins. Do not vacuum across the coils...so as not to damage the coil fins.

4. Continue the A/C inside coil cleaning with your cleaning solution spray bottle. Using the hand spray bottle, with a diluted Simple Green solution (1-2 oz per 10 oz distilled water), starting at the top of the inside coils..begin gently spraying the entire coil area fin surfaces. Let the solution set 10-15 minutes. Again, while waiting, crawl under the A/C unit with your stubby slot head screwdriver and check the rubber A/C drain valve. Gently insert the screwdriver up into the drain valve to free/clear any gunk-crud that might have drained down to/into the valve. Using the second spray bottle filled with distilled water, begin at the top of the coil fins and spray the water to completely saturate/rinse the cleaning solution from the coil fins. Several water refills might be needed to completely rinse the coils. While the rinse solution is draining...again check that the outside drain valve is emptying.


5. When the drain valve has completely stopped draining the rinse, install a good clean filter and the filter access cover. Ready your coach for A/C cooling operation. Start the A/C unit and set to "cool". Let the unit run in cool for 30- 45 minutes. The running of the A/C at this point will have condensation collect on the inside coil and continue the rinse of the coil fins. Watch for the condensation to again begin draining from the drain valve. After 30-45 minutes feel and smell the dripping condensation. If it feels like water and smells fairly free of cleaning solution, you can generally consider the cleaning complete and shutdown the unit.

6. The final A/C system check should be to the overhead outlets. Insure that they are pointed in the direction for maximum cooling of the selected area. Be sure to check that one or more of the overhead outlets is not blowing on or near the area of the A/C's wall thermostat.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:04 PM   #3
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This is a great post -- thanks! My Meridian was used and I am sure it needs this sort of attention. Thanks again.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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pubtym...great name by the way.

I'm good with the whole cleaning process, but I need a little clarification on the 'inside coil cleaning'.

Are you talking about cleaning from inside the coach? Down the air return shaft? If you are, I can tell you that my Ultimate A/C inside coils are not close to the filter/access location. As a matter of fact, I can just barely get the filter in and out, much less run spray and water into the shaft with hopes of hitting inside coil fins.

If you're not talking about cleaning from the inside, I think I need more clarification on how to do steps 3 and 4.

Excellent step by step post.
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ua40j:
pubtym...great name by the way.

I'm good with the whole cleaning process, but I need a little clarification on the 'inside coil cleaning'.

Are you talking about cleaning from inside the coach? Down the air return shaft? If you are, I can tell you that my Ultimate A/C inside coils are not close to the filter/access location. As a matter of fact, I can just barely get the filter in and out, much less run spray and water into the shaft with hopes of hitting inside coil fins.

If you're not talking about cleaning from the inside, I think I need more clarification on how to do steps 3 and 4.

Excellent step by step post. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jim,

Thanks for the positive comment.

I am talking about cleaning the inside/condensing coils..from the inside of the coach. The inside condensing coils are always downstream (air) from the inside A/C filter.

I provided these procedures for my model 35U and it could work for floorplans/models similar to it...that have a removable access panel for access to the filter..with the condensing coils accessible (arm's reach) in the sub filter compartment. My 35U filter access panel is on the floor in the space/compartment under my rear bed.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with your 40J air system setup. So, if you are unable to readily access an air chamber downstream of the filter...so as to reach the inside condensing coils..this procedure apparently won't work for you and any inside coil cleaning.

As a minimum, I would do the outside coil cleaning (Step 2).
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:26 PM   #6
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Another tip....today I inspected my evaporator coil and found a lot of bent fins. Most that were not protected by the outside grille were mashed flat. I raised the grille and used a plastic tongue depressor (I work in a hospital) to straighten all the fins. Took almost an hour to do it but this little gizmo fit between the fins perfectly and is soft enough to do no damage.

So, if you have a nurse in your family, have them bring home some plastic tongue depressors (or sneak a few the next time you are at the doc).
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:40 PM   #7
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Comment on 'Drain Valve' and bent fins from above posts...

The 'drain valve ' on the bottom of the Coleman-Mach system is built like a rubber gromment. Remove it by using a small screwdriver if you wish. I use my finger pop it out. Then stick you finger up into the area and go completely around the inside as far as you can. First time I did this I removed various lengths of carpet fibers. If you leave this rubber drain piece in, water will come out but solid items like the carpet fibers will just stay there and get smelly. Put the plug/drain back in when done cleaning by aligning grove in rubber with plastic of plan and work it in.

Bent Fins.... Another option for straightening fins. Go to NAPA, Ask for P/N 209570 (UPC = 46926 59145) This is a fin comb. White nylon, six different sizes of combs. Costs about $25. It's worth it. Work great on the house A/C, engine radiator, and fixing the radiator and/or A/C on the towed after all those miles!
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:43 AM   #8
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Thanks alot for this input on the A/C routine maintenance. Very helpful.
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