Repair or replace?


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Old 04-30-09, 12:09 PM
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Repair or replace?

My heat pump in the attic failed recently. The repair person tells me that we have a bad compressor and a bad fan motor.

This unit was installed when the house was built in late 2001. The house has a system for the basement and first floor and one in the attic for the upstairs.

The system is covered under a "home warranty." At this point, it looks like I may be able to choose whether the equipment is repaired or if I want to take a cash settlement and apply it toward new equipment.

I'm on the fence. Is it worth it to repair an almost 8 year old unit in this condition, or should I "bite the bullet" and replace the whole thing with a more efficient unit?
The inside unit is a Carrier fb4anf036, if that helps at all....

What are the pros/cons of replacement, and what ballpark expense am I looking at?
 
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Old 04-30-09, 06:37 PM
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Your best bet would be to talk to a salesman/estimator. He can explain the cost of replacement vs. repair; including the payback period with a new 18 SEER or higher system. Plus, he should run a load calc.
Tom Beer 4U2
 
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Old 04-30-09, 06:44 PM
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At 8 years old Id take the cash and get a new unit. Id go with at least a 15 seer.
 
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Old 04-30-09, 06:49 PM
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Thank you for the feedback.

I guess I tend to be a bit skeptical of "salesmen" when it comes to complex, non-commodity things like AC systems.

I am concerned that an unethical sales person may steer me in the direction of what he wants to sell rather than what may be in my best interest.

My hope was that I could get some guidance from the experts here to help me be more confident about working with the salesman. I don't want to get ripped off, here.

I know that most professionals are decent guys, and the small percentage of thieves make it bad for the good ones. I just don't want to screw up the heating/cooling of my home.

For what it's worth, I checked on the failed unit - it's a Bryant 661cj030-A

Can anyone help me figure out the specs for this? I think it might be a 2.5 ton unit, but have absolutely no idea of the SEER rating...
 
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Old 05-01-09, 10:47 AM
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it's a 10 SEER bryant unit

Just got the manual from the Bryant people. They were quite helpful and responsive.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 03:07 PM
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Doesn't sound good

So, I just spoke with the home warranty people.

I have talked with three local professionals who advise that replacement of the compressor and fan will cost me about $2000.

The home warranty people have offered two choices:
a) have them install a copeland compressor and replacement fan
b) "cash out" for $596 - which is what they claim to pay for the repair guy to do the work

It seems to me that the amount of "Cash out" is too low. Even if the warranty people are paying "wholesale" rates for labor, how can they pay 1/3 of the retail value and give me something that is decent quality?

Any ideas? The cost for installing a replacement system is around $6K before tax credits
 
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Old 05-07-09, 04:29 AM
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It seems to me that the amount of "Cash out" is too low. Even if the warranty people are paying "wholesale" rates for labor, how can they pay 1/3 of the retail value and give me something that is decent quality?
They can't, I'm not a big fan of home warranty companies, sorry. When you say the heat pump in the attic failed what happened ? I assume the blower motor failed, however the compressor is in the outdoor unit.

If both truly are bad I would advise replacing the complete system given the age, efficiency, and tax credits.
 
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Old 05-07-09, 05:33 AM
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It's the heat pump, not the blower

It's the compressor and the fan motor in the heat pump which have failed. The compressor is locked up and the fan has a bad bearing and needs to be replaced.

AFAIK, there's nothing wrong with the blower motor or the coils on the attic unit itself. I mentioned the attic because I have a 2 zone system at my house, and the one in the basement works fine. (Today)

Anyone here have experience fighting (successfully) with a home warranty company on something like this?
 
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Old 05-18-09, 03:20 PM
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The fight was not worth it

I looked into lots of options and concluded that the path of least pain was to have the home warranty company do the repair.

They are scheduled to come Wednesday. Hopefully this will keep the system going for a few more years. If not, at least we'll have AC until it crashes!

Thanks everyone for the input!
 
 

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