Central AC repair

Discussion in 'Home, Auto, Hobby and Computer Tech' started by bradgator2, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. bradgator2

    bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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    So about a month or so ago, I noticed my inside air temp was a couple of degrees warmer than what the thermostat was set to.

    Terrific.

    So a company comes out and checks everything and it is low on refrigerant. My house is exactly 5 years, 10 months old. I have 2 Carrier systems. The default parts warranty on these is 5 years. IF they would have been simply registered.... they would have a 10 years parts warranty. Were they ever registered by the original installer or builder? Of course not.

    So the company comes back and shoots a UV dye into the system and comes back a few days later with a black light. The evaporator in the air handler is toast. It looks like is has been sitting on the Titanic. They quote me $2000 to fix it. Thinking this is highway robbery, I call another company and they quote me $2800 to fix it. The list price of the evaporator part is $1250. (Although system #2 is not low on refrigerant, its evaporator visually looks much worse.)

    I could get replace the whole damn system with a top of line Goodman, higher SEER rating for $6000.

    So $4000-$5500 to fix both units or $12,000 to have 2 fresh installs.

    So I called my builder. I explained that I realize things breaks, but I felt like I was taking it in shorts because I should have a 10 years parts warranty on these things. Luckily, he is literally building a new warehouse for the original AC company as we speak. So he told me to give him a few days to work on something.

    He calls back and says the original AC company will cover any part that needs to be replaced and they asked I simply pay for the labor, which they quoted at $550 per unit. And the builder said he would split the labor cost with me. :faint:

    They came out yesterday and replaced both evaporators, some sort of expansion valve, and both dryer filters. My bill is $550. I still cant believe it.
     
    • bradgator2

      bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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      This is one of the evaporators that came out:

      [​IMG]

      The new evaporator is 100% aluminum, no copper.
       
      #2 bradgator2, Sep 27, 2016
      Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
      • URGatorBait

        URGatorBait #TeamBrad
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        These new units aint what they used to be.
         
      • bradgator2

        bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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        That's for damn sure. The air handler that failed is sitting above my garage. I realize that is a very, very harsh climate to operate in. But unit #2 is sitting in my house attic which has the spray foam insulation. So it is in a climate controlled space that is essentially sitting at indoor temp. And the evaporator in that air handler looked worse.

        I dont know if Carrier redesigned the evaporators so that they are now all aluminum.... or if the original company simply installed a POS cheap evaporator.
         
      • G 2

        G 2 Gator Great
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        Both of those look like crap. And that's after 5 years? Yikes.
         
      • bradgator2

        bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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        That pic is actually a single A frame one that was disassembled to get it out of the attic. But visually.... The other one looked worse.
         
      • pilot-in-fla

        pilot-in-fla Deplorable
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        Goodman is not a top of the line unit.
         
      • Gator CPA

        Gator CPA New Member

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        One of my clients is a A/C Contractor and I've learned quite a bit from him after 10 years. Goodman units are trash...period! Its like settling for a KIA SUV when you could have a Honda SUV. If I was to get a new unit...it would be a Trane.
         
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Interesting, thanks. Having a daughter with asthma, we did everything I think we could do to help with this. Every room has a return back to the air handler. So every room has a filter in the return vent. I buy the crazy expensive, ultra allergen ones too. Probably a waste of money, but it makes me feel better. Every bedroom also has it's own air purifier. There is no carpet in the house. We dont use an aerosol sprays. No air fresheners or candles. No crazy hobby supplies. The only sources of VOCs I could think of would simply be from standard new construction stuff. I wonder if there is a home air quality tester that could determine if that is indeed a problem.

          edit:
          I do need to look at that regularly scheduled coil cleaning though.
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Cool thanks for the input. Hopefully, I just bought myself many years before I need to really research replacement unit quality.
           
        • Durty South Swamp

          Durty South Swamp doodley doodley doo!
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          That's great Brad, shocked that worked out for you that well. Props to your builder, that's a honest dude.
           
        • G 2

          G 2 Gator Great
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          Holy crap I didn't know this existed for residential. We run a similar concept in the hospital.
           
        • NVGator

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          Aren't Carriers made in Mexico? :scratchchin:



          It's a joke. Don't be so serious. I have a carrier as well and have been pretty happy with it. Curious, how often have you had PM work doné on it? Also, be it only just over 5 years old, is it a new unit that doesn't use the freon? Or whatever?
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Um.... I'm not up to speed on all the latest refrigerants being used out there. But it has the purple sticker on the side of with a Puron label.

          As far as routine maintenance... zero, besides regular filter changes. That's actually a good question. You hear AC maintenance ads on the radio all the time. Does anybody actually do these? What do they really do? Ideally, it's all a closed system. Unless your coils or duct work had mold on them or something.
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Me neither. That one the Gren posted is currently $117 on Amazon. They say you need to change the bulb every year ($39). I already bought one to test it out in one unit.
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Nope, no live plants in the house. I think I have a pretty good green thumb. But if I place a plant in a pot.... I will kill it within days.

          I think it all comes down to some sort of manufacturing problem with this run of evaporators. There are many, many websites talking about this. Basically all saying something along the lines of:

          "Carrier was not alone in this, but did have a lot of problems with evaporator coils developing leaks.
          The leaks are caused by formicary action. Formicary action became a problem with the introduction new manufacturing processes.
          This has since been addressed by Carrier through tin plating."
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Funny... Carrier officially blames indoor environmental factors, just like Gren said. But they brag about being the first to fix it. "Carrier was the first HVAC manufacturer to deliver an acceptable solution to the indoor copper coil corrosion issue, providing yet another example of our industry leadership in developing indoor comfort technology. Our aluminum evaporator coil is significantly more resistant than traditional copper and equal to tinplated coils to corrosive agents found in the home that cause formicary corrosion."

          Their official write up on the subject from 2012:
          http://www.conditionedairsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/01-811-20345-25.pdf
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          And I havent talk to my builder since the punchout was complete. So literally almost 6 years ago. Both companies that gave me a repair quote said I should I call the original installer because these should have been under a 10 year warranty. But I still didnt want to call the builder because something about it felt wrong. My best friend basically called me a moron and so I made the phone call. Now he is asking for essentially a "kick-in-the-ass" fee. :lol:
           
        • bradgator2

          bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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          Yes, I actually meant to say that because I also read the same thing. And I definitely know the drip pan under the coil is plastic. Thanks.
           
        • LagoonGator68

          LagoonGator68 Well-Used Member
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          I just replaced Trane with Goodman. Trane is only slightly better and their parts are outrageously priced and only available through their network. Goodman is a fine Japanese company with a 10 year warranty and sells under many other brand names formerly using Janitrol and Amana, now owned by Daikin Industries.

          Any time you have dissimilar metals touching with moisture you will get corrosion with oxygen from the air....oxidation...rust...all the same Chemical reaction. 6 years is on the very short side....register your new coils and they may be warranted for 10 more years.

          Next time register the products yourself if you want to ensure the coverage. Ten years is about all you can get out of any current a/c system.

          Puron is the new 410A refrigerant....R-22 freon is the old one for houses. R-12 for autos.
           
          #20 LagoonGator68, Sep 28, 2016
          Last edited: Sep 28, 2016

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