HELP! Third compressor in 3 years?!?!


  #1  
Old 08-19-05, 07:06 PM
JHS22
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HELP! Third compressor in 3 years?!?!

Here is the quick version:

-Bought a new Carrier 38KYCO42 in 9-02
-Replaced the compressor 12-03 due to "failure"

Unit ran fine until this month. Now we are being told that the compressor is gone again (acid?!? in the system) and Carrier is only covering 250 of the cost. The local dealer is saying they are not responsible for the problem of the compressor failures and are very adamant on that point.

The same local dealer is quoting me $1700 to repair the outdoor unit (Compressor replacement, accumulator replacement, and acid flush) plus a warranty.

Or they will replace the whole outdoor unit for $2500 plus acid wash of the system, plus a warranty on the new compressor for 10 years parts only.

I asked them if the acid flush would rectify any further compressor failures and they say that it will. However, I've yet to be informed why acid is in the unit to being with. They siad that power surges in the system can cause acid to form. That could be true, but it really sounds like a voodoo explaination.

Other companies have told me that an acid flush is a band-aid at best and will not solve the problem. They go on to say we really need to replace both the indoor and outdoor units to be sure of no acid issues.A

One of the bids we have recommends, due to the acid, that we replace the whole system at a cost of around $6500 for a 13 SEER unit.



I have no idea what to do! Can any of you please give a family of four some advice? :^)

Thanks in advance!

JHS
 
  #2  
Old 08-19-05, 08:25 PM
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It takes two things to produce acid in an a/c system.
Heat and moisture.
The heat causes the chlorine component in the refrigerant to decompose and combine with the moisture to form hydrofluric acid.
It is possible the second failure occured because the acid was not dealt with after the first failure.
In most cases a commercial sized liquid line filter/drier and a suction line filter/drier will do a good job of protecting the new compressor.
 
  #3  
Old 08-20-05, 04:29 AM
T
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JHS22

If your problem is accurately represented in the post, then I would be very ill about this.

First of all, it sounds like dealer did not make a good faith effort to find out what caused the premature failure of your compressor. Changing parts (compressor) is easy, finding the problem and solving it a little more difficult.

Here are my suggestions.

1.Review all paperwork on initial purchase including warranty. It appears your condensor is not quite 3 yrs old and 2nd compressor is only 20 mths old.

2.I would contact Carrier directly and ask that they get involved.

3.Get a 2nd opinion from another Carrier dealer. This acid flush may be legitimate but why was this not done at time of #2 compressor replacement?
$1700 for compressor replacement after only 20 mths operation does not sound right.

Then and only then can you make an informed decision.

Good LucK!
 
  #4  
Old 08-20-05, 06:10 AM
JHS22
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The problem is, as you can guess, much more involved than posted here. However it is an accurate representation of the history regarding the problem.

I contacted Carrier and they put in a request to the local distributor to re-review our claim. The local distributor did and then they contacted the HVAC company who did the install originally.

The compensation they (the distributor) have come back with is:

1)Replace compressor--$1700 This includes new accumulator, dryer and acid wash of system. Warranty of 10 years on compressor, 5 years labor.

OR

2)Replace entire outdoor unit.--$2500 Warranty full 10 year parts retroactive to original install date of 9/2002.

Am I wrong in thinking the responsibility of the HVAC company is to replace the unit, no charge to me, and then subrogate the claim between Carrier and themselves?

If I were at fault for this, I could completely understand paying for some if not all of the repairs. However, we're not at fault (as far as I can tell) and the HVAC company is saying this was not their fault either. But in the mean time we are sitting in a home that is hot as blazes, while the companies involved figure out who to blame.

This seems very bass-ackwards to me.

Thanks for all you thoughts so far, they are giving very good guidance!

JHS
 
  #5  
Old 08-20-05, 06:14 AM
JHS22
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Originally Posted by TigerDunes
JHS22

If your problem is accurately represented in the post, then I would be very ill about this.

First of all, it sounds like dealer did not make a good faith effort to find out what caused the premature failure of your compressor.

That was out thought too.




2.I would contact Carrier directly and ask that they get involved.
Yep did this! It is the reason for the extended warranty offered. I'm still not happy with this, but it is a step.

Thanks TigerDunes!
 
  #6  
Old 08-20-05, 07:34 AM
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JHS22

The suggestions/proposals from your dealer seem a little one-sided. That is really an understatement.

?
What exactly was the warranty from Carrier on your AC condensor and on compressor?

I would call/write/fax Carrier to complain about what your dealer has proposed. Absolutely ridiculous. The more I think about this acid flush business, the term "smoke and mirrors" keeps coming to mind.
$1700 or $2500 to fix a unit less than 3 yrs old-this dealer and Carrier should be ashamed of themselves!

Any other suggestions from forum experts on what JHS22 should do?
 
  #7  
Old 08-20-05, 08:28 AM
JHS22
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What exactly was the warranty from Carrier on your AC condensor and on compressor?
I read the contract (again) and here is what I found.

Limited one year warranty on entire unit. Warranty does not include labour.

Extended Limited Nine-year warranty on compressor only.

It says also that Carrier is not responsible for damage or repairs as a consequence of faulty installation.

So... I agree that the "offer" is insulting. In my mind, unless I did something like shoot the unit with a shotgun, any mechanical/installation fault or subsequent failures are the responsibility of the installer. Who BTW employ factory trained and licensed Carrier technicians. Doesn't that carry some responsibility?

Thanks again,

JHS
 
  #8  
Old 08-20-05, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by GregH
It takes two things to produce acid in an a/c system.
Heat and moisture.
The heat causes the chlorine component in the refrigerant to decompose and combine with the moisture to form hydrofluric acid.
It is possible the second failure occured because the acid was not dealt with after the first failure.
In most cases a commercial sized liquid line filter/drier and a suction line filter/drier will do a good job of protecting the new compressor.
JHS22

Greg makes a good point. I may be mistaken but did Carrier stop including a factory installed filter/dryer on their heat pump/AC condensor units?( I believe they did but don't know the timeline). If so, did your dealer install filter/dryers when they installed your system and/or when they replaced your original compressor. It seems the fair compromise would be for Carrier to give you another compressor at no charge and for you to assume the labor costs. This Carrier dealer is an "authorized dealer" ? Just an idea.

I know it's hot but it would be hard to swallow a $1700 repair or a $2500 replacement when it seems neither Carrier or dealer are willing to shoulder their responsibility.

Good LucK!
 
  #9  
Old 08-20-05, 10:29 AM
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JHS,

I'm inclined to agree that this "acid flush" business is nonsense.
Unless the compressor burn out is severe where there is a black tar like substance in the lines, a suction line filter/drier is the standard method of cleaning up a system.

Carrier is a reputable company who would be concerned about one of their dealers giving you the run around.
The compressor is covered by warranty and the labor should only be a few hundred dollars.
I'm sure if you went over the dealers head and presented your case strongly you would get satisfaction.
 
  #10  
Old 08-20-05, 07:00 PM
JHS22
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Originally Posted by GregH
JHS,

I'm inclined to agree that this "acid flush" business is nonsense.
Unless the compressor burn out is severe where there is a black tar like substance in the lines, a suction line filter/drier is the standard method of cleaning up a system.
I've had three HVAC companies out here in the past two days. They have said that the system wash / acid flush would not fix the problem of acid contaminated lines. The recommendations of these guys has been to replace the outdoor unit as well as the indoor coils.

The average price is looking to be around $6500 for a new air handler / heat pump system.

Carrier is a reputable company who would be concerned about one of their dealers giving you the run around.
The compressor is covered by warranty and the labor should only be a few hundred dollars.
I'm sure if you went over the dealers head and presented your case strongly you would get satisfaction.
I thought the same thing. But upon going to Carrier Corporate, I found that all it has gotten me is an offer of an extended warranty if I choose to go with the previous offer from the original company.

To be honest, I'm probably going to go the legal route at this point. I've sunk almost $8000 into this system only to be told that if I put at least 1700 more, it might be fixed.

Thanks for all the advice, you guys have been a huge help!

JHS
 
  #11  
Old 08-28-05, 11:44 AM
northbender
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acid in system

Remember this, a filter drier can only trap acid, it's not truly gone untill the drier is removed or replaced. Certain conditions can force the acid out of the drier and back into the system, like running high head pressure. Clean up of a burn out system (from compressor shorting to ground) can be done with drier (Suction and liquid) change outs, compressor oil changes, and a new product called acid away. Also compressor oil samples can be taken and analysed for contents of acid or bearing materal in the oil. All this is expensive as you probably know.
You will have to be the judge of how to procede, good luck.
 
  #12  
Old 09-20-05, 11:43 AM
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Wow, just read through the posts, and you seem to be on the short end of the stick.
Here is what I did when I was placed in a similar situation about 3 years ago.
I bought a forclosed on house...with no warranty.
5 days into winter, the whole unit died...compressor and heating coils both no good.
I got quotes ranging from $4000.00 to $9000.00 on a replacement of my 3 ton unit.
I started calling around to independent guys, till I finnally found a guy who had a used system he was willing to part with.
Yes...its a hodge podge of equipment, but its heated and cooled the house for 3 years now, and it cost me $900.00 cash.
I helped him install it, and learned a few things.
He will be the one I trust when I have enough money saved to buy a new unit, and I have recomended him to every friend I know for their HVAC work.

This is something the big companies dont understand, you cant compete with word of mouth and service, no matter what name brand you sell.
 
  #13  
Old 09-20-05, 12:32 PM
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Wink

-Bought a new Carrier 38KYCO42 in 9-02
-Replaced the compressor 12-03 due to "failure"
Unit ran fine until this month. Now we are being told that the compressor is gone again (acid?!? in the system)
How is the power comeing into the home good 220V? Do you have a time delay on the compressor? Did they put a good fliter drier on the suction side like said ? went over the posts and just kicking it around .

ED
 
 

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