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289 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 184106 10-Nov-2015 15:08
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So it would appear my posts on geekzone are now solely focussed on heating solutions and their issues.

New (5 weeks old ) large 8Kw fujitsu floor model.  It's started to smell - badly -  and in particular after we've been cooling in the evening and then using it to warm up in the morning. First 3 to 5 minutes on heating it basically honks like stale footwear, mildew, sweaty socks / gym gear.  That eventually goes but the room now stinks.

Installers came out - he said it smelt like washing that had been left in the machine for a week -  and took apart - drain hose is fine but they did notice a lip on the drain hole that means standing water - couple of mm in the drain pan most times. They also noticed it had two drain outlets - one each end -  and one gets plugged but does leave an inch x inch and a half hole of standing water that has nowhere to go. 

This replaced a daikin of 14 years that looked old and was noisy but didn't exhibit any of these issues.

Googling leads me to many sites ( US based ) that describe it as sweaty sock syndrome but generally its more applicable to units that are a year + old and are growing bacteria.

Any ideas on a fix as the installer quite rightly held up his hands and said " I can smell it " but I'm not sure how we'll fix it.

Thanks again


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  Reply # 1424429 10-Nov-2015 15:13
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Crowdsourcing ideas is an excellent idea to help resolve the issue faster, but at the end of the day you'll just have to keep on at the vendor.  Be the squeaky wheel (politely but firmly).




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1424432 10-Nov-2015 15:19
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The vendor isn't an issue. They are keen to come to the table and get resolved ( they are also a friend ) but they don't seem to have much in the way of ideas and I'm not keen on removing the unit as just finised decorating, carpets etc ( it was part of a full house remodel).

Also loathed to remove it then find another manufacturer ( through another vendor ) exhibits the same / similar issues so was keen to hear of others who had managed to resolve using other means.

Cheers

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1424433 10-Nov-2015 15:20
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For the record, I had two heat pumps installed (albeit Panasonic ones) and none of them are exhibiting such smells.

I think you have every right to ask your installer to provide you with a new machine.

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  Reply # 1424434 10-Nov-2015 15:20
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"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."


Big wheel keep on turning?

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  Reply # 1424435 10-Nov-2015 15:21
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Some units have a coil dry or similar function which should evaporate any residual moisture - might be worth a try?

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  Reply # 1424436 10-Nov-2015 15:25
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In the computer industry we regularly go straight back to the manufacturer for advice on tricky matters.  I don't know how often that happens when there are issues with appliances like this one.  Your friendly installer may need to talk to his supplier and ask them to go back to their supplier for advice.  It's pretty unlikely your issue is unique in the world, as your research suggests.




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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  Reply # 1424454 10-Nov-2015 15:29
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Two wall mounted heat pumps here (Daikin/Fujitsu), never experienced this. Good luck.




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  Reply # 1424501 10-Nov-2015 16:21
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You have bacteria on the coil, it can happen pretty quickly especially in very humid environments when used for cooling

options:
1. clean the coil using coil cleaner (deodorising/sanitising spray)
2. if it has a coil heat/clean function use it
3. Turn it up to max heat full fan for 1/2 an hour or so and cook it off




Matthew




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1424604 10-Nov-2015 18:28
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Hi Folks.

By coil, are your referring to the multiple / fine metal fins. Can only see a small amount through the vents and as found out today, to expose the bulk of them requires about 22 screws and a fair bit of manipulation to remove the facia of the unit. 

I don't believe it has a coil heat / clean function.

Its fujitsu's largest floorstander so if I've missed something re the specs let me know ta

Thanks for the suggestions

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  Reply # 1424609 10-Nov-2015 18:35
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gedc: [snip]

I don't believe it has a coil heat / clean function.


Check the remote for a coil dry button - I've got a different model, same make, and that's what it has



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  Reply # 1424612 10-Nov-2015 18:44
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Got excited for a brief moment.  Definitely doesn't have it on the remote and can't find in the instruction manual.    My model is ABTG24LVT



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  Reply # 1424614 10-Nov-2015 18:48
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Ok, since your installer is a mate, the best way is for him to take the unit apart and spray the coil. This will kill all the bacteria and take away the smell.

In the meantime whack it on full hot full fan for 1/2 an hour and it might at least kill them off for a while (you need full fan because the fujitsu unit will not put out full heat without it)




Matthew


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  Reply # 1427005 12-Nov-2015 16:04
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Hmmm the AC in my new car sometimes has this smell, wonder if it's a similar issue...

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  Reply # 1427010 12-Nov-2015 16:11
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timtait: Hmmm the AC in my new car sometimes has this smell, wonder if it's a similar issue...


It can happen on any A/C system. When the cool cycle is being used, water condenses on the cold internal unit, and is usually caught and piped/pumped away. However, some moisture is always left when the unit is switched off - running the fan in a car or using the heat cycle on a domestic unit for a minute or so is usually enough to evaporate the residual moisture.

The smell usually comes from bacteria growing in what is stagnant water, so either moisture trapped in the coil / fins or pooling underneath (as in the OP's case).

When you turn the A/C off in a car, the air coming through gets very humid for a couple of minutes as that residual moisture is evaporated back into the air being blown into the car.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1456069 23-Dec-2015 15:40
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Thought I'd give an update but it's not much progress other than we are trying new things to fix.  

They took the unit apart and used some no rinse coil cleaner several weeks ago - nice smell for about a day then then the issue returned. Luckily the installer came around the other day when it was 33 in Christchurch  and we had the heatpump on high fan speed and cool.  All was fine for about 2 hours. Room nice and cool. No smells what so ever.   Told him to ' watch this' - put it onto fan only mode as per Fujitsu's instructions to dry the coil before switching it off. After about 3 minutes, slight whiff, 6 minutes in a lot stronger and by about 10 minutes the thing was pumping out sour smells something dreadful. His eyes started to water and burn and his hayfever / sinus issue became somewhat problematic - so bad that we had to stand outside - even with the high pollen count etc so he could get some relief !!!  Took about 15 further minutes before it stopped pumping out the smell. He checked the condensate drain and found a few drops of water but almost dry. That's pretty typical for this unit. No condensate to speak of during cooling.

So I did some further reading and googled my little heart out as to AC units that don't dehumidify but cool well whilst smelling musty.  It appears this is symptomatic of an oversized unit and it's cooling the air in the room too quickly to properly dehumidify it.  The space is roughly 50m2 - its an open plan living / kitchen. We have Fujitsu largest floor model - 8 KW which appears a little oversized by some calcs ?    The house is modern, well insulated and although this room has a couple of large sliders they are double glazed.  I think the 14 year old daikin they removed was around 5.5kw and never exhibited any of these issues in the 8 years we used it since moving in.

They are going to return and do another clean - however I've since realised the product they used last time was greenleaf evaporator cleaner which removes gunk and dust etc.  The coils still look like new as do the filters. I've asked them to use the greenleaf coil and dust disinfectant which apparently deals to the mould, funghi and mildew spores - which I belive are the issue.

Also noticed that if we put the unit onto auto fan for cooling then it kicks down fairly quickly - after about 15 minutes run time re fan speed drops from high to quiet / monitoring and the compressor may also turn off. If either of them occur then it's almost instantaneous bad smell time.

They spoke to Fujitsu who were still saying it's room smells from furniture and tobacco etc ( as per the instruction manual ) but the installer has informed them the house is clean, non mouldy, new - as in carpet, paint and furniture in the last 8 weeks and he would struggle to pinpoint any smell that would contribute to the issue. We don't smoke either.

So fujitsu then said it may be pulling in air from the roofspace or outside. IIRC from the install time there is a fairly large hole behind the unit where the pipes go through the gib - about the size of a 15 cm circle. The pipes are run in a conduit outside the house so we may look at that as well to see if they are sealed at the brick side.

Finally today, they also agreed the unit may be too large for the area - particularly on the cooling cycle so we may need to review that after xmas. 


Will let you know if and for how long the coil disinfectant works for. Fingers crossed. 




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