A/C Not cooling after power outage

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  #1  
Old 08-10-08, 07:57 PM
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Red face A/C Not cooling after power outage

Hi, any advice you all can give is very much appreciated. We had a power outage "blackout" in our entire neighborhood last Sunday. The power was out for over 5 hours. When the electricity came back on and we turned the a/c on, the fan is blowing inside the house, but the air is only room temperature.
At first I thought it was the thermo, but it seemed to have retained the program. I have double checked the thermo and the breakers inside, and called a repair person.
On the service call he wrote, "Found trip breaker and reset, then checked for cause and found grounded compressor & burnt. Freon must be replaced, new concrete pad along with suction & liquid line driers."
He left me a quote for $3,266 for a Trane unit, and $2,860 for a Payne unit, or $2,250 for compressor only.

Quote says "We will replace entire outside A/C for price listed below. This would include the following: New 5 ton condensor unit, install suction & liquid line driers, install sight glass, install new concrete pad, add new freon, recover old freon, pull deep vaccum, leak check our welds"

The existing unit is a Lennox 13ACC-060-230-01. It was installed in October 2002. We also have an additional 5 Ton unit for downstairs. This is the upstairs unit.

I have another contractor coming in the morning for another opinion. I just want to know what questions I need to be asking these guys to make sure I'm not paying $3,200 for a $50 capacitor or contacter or something.

I read a thread from 2005 from a guy in Houston with the similar problem. Folks on here told him to check the capacitor, diodes, wiring, etc. Can someone tell me how to do that so I can at least have some idea if that is or is not the problem before the other guy gets here tomorrow?

Help, I'm trying to get a clue.

Thanks again.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-11-08, 03:50 PM
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I think I've been here before.

First turn off the power to the unit. Then take off the electrical box cover on the unit. It's the corner part above the pipes on the outdoor unit.

In there you should see a large metal silver round thing with wires coming out the bottom.

There are 3 places for wires to connect. This is the capacitor.

Is it buldged out? Oily? Be careful, don't touch where the wires connect you can get a shock (big one) even with power off. If either be true, new capacitor needed. 80/7.5 Mfd 440V.

If that all looks ok, turn power back on and turn on the unit. See if it runs. I breaker trips, probably whacked comp.

But, storms usually whack the capacitor, not the compressor.
 
  #3  
Old 08-11-08, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KatyTX View Post
...[serviceman]then checked for cause and found grounded compressor & burnt.
If compressor terminal test to ground found grounded condition, then compressor is shot. If you do not trust him -anyone with knowledge of using a volt-ohm meter can do this test:

Shut off power to the outdoor unit. Then you remove anything plugged to the 3 pins coming out of the compressor. Then set ohm meter to ohms (a scale that shows resistance), and put one test lead on one pin, and the other test lead to shiny copper coming out of compressor. Do this test on each terminal one at a time. If any shows any reading at all, you have a shorted, or grounded compressor. And it is not supposed to be.
 
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Old 08-13-08, 09:20 AM
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Thanks so much! Thankfully, I have two units, so the downstairs is cool, and we're making due while I check into this issue. I had another contractor come out yesterday, and he gave the same opinion. This time I watched him do the test, and he actually showed me how to check using my voltometer. He also showed me how to reset the unit from the outside in case it tripped again.

So I feel pretty confident now that I'm getting the straight story. Now I'm just trying to get Lennox to cover it, because they told both contractors that the warranty expired November 2007. However, I did not close on my house until July 31, 2003, so it should have been warranted through July 31, 2008. Problem, even with that, is the "event" ocurred on August 2, 2008. Hopefully Lennox will be a stand up manufacturer and help me out here.

Any hints for those of you who are "in the industry" on getting them to cover this?

Thanks so much.

Wow, I really feel like I can follow your instructions and do some of this myself. It's very empowering!

Thanks again!

Katy
 
  #5  
Old 08-13-08, 09:38 AM
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You would be fortunate for Lennox or any brand to bend the rules. I would think your best bet would be to get a company to inspect your unit and verify that the power outage caused the failure and then contact your homeowners insurance provider.
 
  #6  
Old 08-13-08, 03:41 PM
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I agree with Tin, But that would be a hit on the insurance which later could be bad.

Try calling Lennox warranty Dept direct and explain your situation.

1-800-453-6669 ext. 5474.

Cant hurt, but warranty usually starts with install. New house IMO you have a case on closing date.

See what ole' Dave Lennox has to say.
 
  #7  
Old 08-13-08, 08:18 PM
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Hey Guys,

Guess What? I called the Lennox warranty, department and explained the situation. The rep told me that I would have a pretty good case for getting the compressor covered if I could prove that the "start up date" for the unit was, in fact, July 31, 2003 versus the manufacturer date of November 2002.

So, I called the first guy who had come out and told him what I found out, and asked if he could handle it. He explained he is not an authorized dealer and my chances would be better if I dealt with an authorized dealer even though he hated to turn down business. Called the 2nd guy, same story. I was really impressed with that.

Since I didn't want to deal with the company who had installed because of terrible customer service, I went to the Lennox website and called a company from their list. They tell me if I can get them proof of move in date, they are pretty sure they will be able to get it covered for me. It will cost me $1,400 for labor. This includes "triple recovery" and line driers, but is only for the compressor -- not a whole new condenser unit.

I'm feeling pretty hopeful. Will keep you posted ...

PS: It helped when I called "Dave" that I at least SOUNDED like I know what I'm talking about! LOL
 
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Old 08-14-08, 09:00 AM
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An 'under warrantee' FREE (parts) replacement of just the compressor and associated work, for $1400 labor? (I am seeing comic strip with lollipop in the cloud over persons head.)
 
  #9  
Old 08-14-08, 02:15 PM
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Ecman is correct

Great you can get the part for free. But $1400 labor!!!

Very, very high!

$450 - $500 is more like it.

Any other Lennox dealers in your area?

Your contract to buy the home should prove start date.
 
  #10  
Old 08-14-08, 10:02 PM
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Ya, I thought that sounded high too. But they had to recover the freon and do a triple evacuation of the system so that it would not contaminate the coil or something like that. Also, they said something about line driers.

Does that sound right? It seems like it should be somewhere south of $1,000.

Thanks you guys.
 
  #11  
Old 08-15-08, 08:07 AM
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Any opinions from techs that maybe Katy TX could get the work done cheaper than warranty, from scratch, new compressor and labor, for less? I think poster MAYBE is being had, because they are betting that poster would automatically think getting new compressor and install would be more expensive than $1400.

Also, have you called Lennox's Texas headquarters to tell them about this? I've called them and talked to them (techs helpline) at length, already.
 
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