Do I need a new Heat Pump Compressor?

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  #1  
Old 05-16-06, 08:23 PM
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Question Do I need a new Heat Pump Compressor?

Hello and thanks very much in advance for any advice. I'm really glad to have found this forum!

I've got an approximately 15 year old Carrier heat pump. Less than a week ago, I had a small pinhole leak in the capillary line braised and the system charged. It's holding pressure well, so if there's any other leaks anywhere I assume they're slow. There's been no other history of leaks.

The heat pump and air handler are still in good working order, except that now for the last couple of days the compressor will only run for about 10 minutes in either heat or AC mode before it goes into thermal shutdown. (The breaker in my house's service entrance isn't being tripped.) The compressor will start back up after about 5 minutes or so, only to run another 10 minutes and then repeat the shutdown cycle. So for now, I have turned everything off except for the air handler fan.

The heat pump is clean inside and out with no other operating problems of any type, the fins have been thoroughly hosed out very recently, etc. Are there any other things that could cause the compressor to go into thermal shutdown other than that it just needs to be replaced? There's no way at all that I can afford to upgrade to a whole new 13+ SEER heat pump and air handler system right now.

Thanks to all again for any help or advice.

Kevin
 

Last edited by KevB; 05-16-06 at 09:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-06, 04:15 AM
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For one I would not replace a compressor in a 15 year old heat pump. It's at the end of it's life anyway.

As for the problem you have now I'll alomost bet your tech overcharged the system. Now don't go out and let some out. The service company needs to send someone out to check it.
 
  #3  
Old 05-17-06, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mattison
For one I would not replace a compressor in a 15 year old heat pump. It's at the end of it's life anyway.

As for the problem you have now I'll alomost bet your tech overcharged the system. Now don't go out and let some out. The service company needs to send someone out to check it.
Thanks a LOT for the quick reply, mattison. I agree with you completely about not sinking the money into a new comp on such an old system, if it comes to that. I'm really financially strapped right now and need to keep this HP going for a little while longer if I can though, short of doing that.

If I was to borrow or buy a gauge manifold, could you tell me what readings I should be looking for in a properly charged system? I would much rather put the money toward gauges than on another service call. At least then, I'd have something in my tool chest for the money that I could use again in the future.

I hope to hear from you again. Thanks again very much. (Or also from anybody else who'd be willing to help...didn't mean to exclude anybody! )

Kevin
 

Last edited by KevB; 05-17-06 at 08:55 AM.
  #4  
Old 05-17-06, 10:43 AM
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EPA laws require a liscensed tech to hook up gauges. Sorry.
 
  #5  
Old 05-17-06, 11:49 AM
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Thanks mattison. I knew about refrigerant handling laws etc, but wasn't aware that a guy couldn't hook up a few gauges on his own HP just to get a couple test readings. Figures. Sheesh...

Oh well, back to the long search for a "reasonably" (can't hope for totally anymore) honest tech/company that's not throwing the painfully obvious BS and out for the easy scam. "Customer Ignorance is bli$$" for these guys. The honest ones are far and few between these days in this field it seems - around here at least - as most of us with any decent tech experience/abilities realize quickly when the bull and attempted trickery starts flying.

Nothing personal or offense intended to any techs/contractors here, btw -- that's just thw way it is 95% of the time, particularly in residential HVAC, around my little piece of the planet. Anyway, enough of the rant.

Thanks again for your help and the info. mattison! Great site! Have a good one.

Kevin
 
  #6  
Old 05-17-06, 02:52 PM
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I've only worked for a couple co. but know alot of techs. All I would trust with my house keys. And I've been to Luiseville a couple times. Don't know anybody, but the people I met were some of the nices ijn the country.
 
  #7  
Old 05-17-06, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by krankyoleman
I've only worked for a couple co. but know alot of techs. All I would trust with my house keys. And I've been to Luiseville a couple times. Don't know anybody, but the people I met were some of the nices ijn the country.
I hear ya and as I said in my earlier post, nothing personal and no offense intended toward anyone here at all. Louisville is my home. Born and raised here; most likely die here. And I'd obviously be more than a little biased about it, but I've spent a good portion of my work life traveling and I wholeheartedly agree with you that you'll meet some of the nicest, friendliest people right here in my home town. Louisville is also a great place to live.

The vast majority of the techs around here are nice. But a fair portion of the HVAC companies push their sales tactics and quotas that are not so nice on them. As the old saying goes, "let the buyer beware" - and also hopefully know at least how the item you want repaired works, so that scammers can be recognized. Nice folks have to eat too, obviously, but unfortunately a percentage in any city do also fall to the "dark side", so to speak, and actually come to enjoy the "take".

As for my HP problem, I did a little more testing and finally decided that my compressor is in its last days. (But, like my '86 Fiero SE, I think I can keep the ol' system alive for awhile yet. ) Luckily, through a mutual friend, I found a good licensed tech today who came out on his own time and at our previously agreed price. He then transferred/recovered the refrigerant in my system into empty refrigerent canisters of his own. I then removed my old compressor and I'll be installing a new one tomorrow that I bought from a local supply house. He will then come back and charge it up at for me for a very fair price. With me buying the compressor and doing the installation myself, the $$$ hit's not so bad, especially vs. paying somebody else to do it, for sure. If it only even buys me a year or two with my old system, I'll have absolutely no complaints. I know the risks, but my current tight finances require it. And even though we've recently been having a pretty moderate weather spell around here, I'm definitely ready to have my AC back in fighting condition for the hot ones that will be back very soon. All's well that ends well!

My sincere apologies for the "novel". Thanks again for this forum and best wishes to all!

Kevin
 

Last edited by KevB; 05-17-06 at 09:34 PM.
  #8  
Old 05-19-06, 11:02 AM
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Ahhhhhh... Nice and cool!

Final Update:

Quote from a local "reputable" HVAC company's techs for a simple heat pump compressor replacement: $1600.00 (!)

Do it yourself new compressor replacement, new filter/dryer replacement and 6 lbs. R-22 recharge:

$365.00

Beating the racket: Priceless.


Kevin
 
  #9  
Old 06-03-06, 09:13 PM
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Where to buy

Where did you get your compressor?
 
  #10  
Old 04-05-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KevB View Post
Final Update:

Quote from a local "reputable" HVAC company's techs for a simple heat pump compressor replacement: $1600.00 (!)

Do it yourself new compressor replacement, new filter/dryer replacement and 6 lbs. R-22 recharge:

$365.00

Beating the racket: Priceless.


Kevin
Is it hard to DIY? I need a compressor replaced. I've found mine through a retailer online for $440. I was quoted $1500 from a local HVAC company. I just can't see paying $1100 more just to install it.
 
  #11  
Old 04-05-07, 08:45 PM
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Wink

KevB
I dont see where he pulled a vacuum on the unit before he charged it?????

Dont forget you have to back the warranty on it.
 
  #12  
Old 04-06-07, 05:55 AM
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94SupraTT: By the time you buy the proper tools to do the job you'll be close to that cost. To add you still must be EPA certified to do the job. If just one of your neighbors is looking to cash in they could potentially receive a very large reward for turning you in.

If you do it the way Kev did then you may be ok as long as the sidejob tech followed the proper procedures

Just some food for thought.

How old is your unit ??
 
  #13  
Old 04-06-07, 07:52 PM
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Compressors that get hot are doing work. They don't get weak. If the windings short, they usually burn up. I would bet my lunch money that you took out at least a pound or two more than you put back in. The charge in a heat pump should always be weighed in according to nameplate when installing in heating season. A pretty close charge can be calculated by superheat/subcool in cooling mode but not in heating mode. As long as you got it fixed and are happy, which it seems like you are, all is well.

Ken
 
  #14  
Old 01-21-09, 12:50 PM
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Question Heat pump and compressor

I purchased a house and have now found that I have a 4 year old carrier heat pump and a 17 year old york compressor. My air conditioning man states that the two are not compatible and are causing me additional air and heat costs. He suggests replacing the compressor. My question is: are the two units incompatible and does the compressor need replacing? It has needed repairs several times in the past 2 years
 
  #15  
Old 01-22-09, 04:50 AM
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Heat pump

I purchased a home several years ago with a 4 year old carrier heat pump in the attic and a17 year old york conpressor outside. I was recently told that the two are not compatible and to have an efficient system both the heat pump and conpressor should be of the same make and it was suggested that I replace the conpressor. My question is: Is that information factual and do I need a new compressor?
 
  #16  
Old 06-14-10, 12:04 AM
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If the EPA wants to go after somebody, they need to get the guys that come out 1-2 times per year to recharge a leaking system. The same "Techs" can't find a leak, and say that it would cost more to find the leak than to buy a whole new system. I strongly suspect THEY are the only ones it would cost. THEY don't seem to care where that freon goes, as long as they can keep making $$$ to put it it.

HOT ? Yep, it's 86 degrees in my home at 3:00 A.M.
Meanwhile THEY are never responsible for the damage that just "happens" to occur within a few days of their work.
Yep, I'm HOT!


Originally Posted by mattison View Post
94SupraTT: By the time you buy the proper tools to do the job you'll be close to that cost. To add you still must be EPA certified to do the job. If just one of your neighbors is looking to cash in they could potentially receive a very large reward for turning you in.

If you do it the way Kev did then you may be ok as long as the sidejob tech followed the proper procedures

Just some food for thought.

How old is your unit ??
 
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