Changing Tranes?


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Old 08-27-07, 04:18 PM
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Changing Tranes?

Our 17 year old, 2 ton Trane heat pump has gone belly up in the midst of a heat wave here in SC. Weíre not desperate because this unit is used for our upstairs (about 1100 square feet) and our downstairs unit is pumping out cold air.

Weíve had two contractors come out to give us estimates. Since we had a Trane, we thought we would go with another. The contractor that was here today recommended a Comfortmaker by Carrier and would not write a proposal for Trane (even though the company he works for carries it). His rationale was that the coils were now made of aluminum instead of industry-wide copper. I am familiar with how aluminum corrodes by thinking back to house aluminum wiring. So, first of all is this true on the Trane units and second of all, should I be concerned?

I read this forum before calling contractors and expected the Manual J calculation to be done. Neither contractor did this, just based the size of the replacement unit on the overall square footage of the floor and the original unit and came up with another 2 ton unit. Maybe my third estimate will include that. The contractor this morning was concerned about the return duct and recommended an increase from 14 inch to 16 inch. Iíve noted this suggested improvement in the forum and wonder if this was common 15 years ago or is there a different formula being used now?

Iíve gotten an education by reading this forum and hope others can weigh in on my above questions and learn more.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-28-07, 10:51 PM
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Id go for the Trane for sure with a V/S blower. Also over a seer of 15 so you can get the TAX credit. With all new inside and out you can get a 10 year warranty on it. Now 14" return on 2 ton is tight and in flex it should be a 16". Or say for 2 ton you need about 70sq " per ton on the return. All the coils I have used where copper. We try to stay with R22 freon it will be made till 2030
 
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Old 08-29-07, 10:23 AM
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Ed,

Thanks for giving me some input. The thing about the Trane coils really has me wondering. I thought they were copper and that's all you've seen, but this guy said differently. So, I called the local Trane tech support and left a message on this. I'll post what they tell me.

I really want to go with a Trane because of my past experience. Cost will depend on whether I go with a seer 15. I do like the idea of the 10 yr. warranty.

Another contractor is coming out tomorrow. Is it normal to expect him to do a Manual J calculation? I'll post what he says.

Keith
 
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Old 08-29-07, 12:20 PM
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If a person is happy with the way their AC has been doing. To keep the home cool for them and the duct work all looks good.Will not add on later Id try and stay with the same size unit they have and not run a new load on the home (J Manual )
 
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Old 08-29-07, 01:02 PM
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Trane has always been all aluminum from they day the brought out GE. There are a lot of old GE Weatherton units out there still running!

I think this guy is not getting his fact right.. Carrier did come out with the aluminum coil, and had lot of trouble with it, and went back to the copper/aluminum mix.

With the all aluminum coil, it's the same metal, and has a very few chance of leaks. When you take the cover off your old Trane, you are going to see the aluminum coil.

Coil with dissimler metal has a higher chance of breaking down.

Don't be afraid of getting the 10 years parts/labor warranity.. Gives you a peace of mind for the next 10 years if anything did go wrong.
 
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Old 08-29-07, 02:07 PM
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Might check in any metal book. They will say never mix copper and galvanize metal as they will eat into each other. As Jay said Trane has used aluminum in the outdoor coil as far back as I can recall. We have not had one leak in the condenser unit over the years here. Also have some right on the beach in the Fl. keys .They are still ok
 
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Old 08-30-07, 10:32 AM
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Got the word from a Trane engineer this morning: The condenser coils have been made out of aluminum for a very long time. No change there. The evaporator coil on heat pumps teamed with a gas furnace has been changed over to aluminum due to formuric corrosion on the copper. Since Iíve got just a heat pump, the evaporator coil on that is still made with copper. He expects that will be changed over sometime next year. He said the industry as a whole has been experiencing evaporator coil failure due to formuric corrosion and changes will be rippling through every manufacturer eventually.

Never heard of formicary acid so Iíve learned something today.

So, I think Iím sticking to Trane with a scroll compressor. The other two quotes I got were for an Amana and a Comfortmaker and that was after I specifically requested Trane or Lennox. I guess the contractors have their favorites.

The third contractor didnít show up this morning, so Iím going to the next guy on my list.

Keith
 
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Old 08-30-07, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, Trane is the only one that is switching over to all aluminum indoor coil due to the formicary acid issues in homes.

Here is a link for good reading.
http://edwin-fine.com/air_con/formicary_corrosion/formicary.html
 
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Old 09-06-07, 08:38 PM
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Thanks Jay11J for the article link. I've certainly learned something new.

Had another contractor come out today (3rd estimate) and he would only run the Manual J calculation if we decided to purchase from him. He thought a two ton unit would do us, which is what we have now. I again ran into the same problem of ensuring that the company could sell Tranes, only to be given an estimate for a Carrier.

I'll post once I speak with a few more.

KeithM
 
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Old 09-06-07, 08:48 PM
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keep us posted.
 
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Old 10-01-07, 01:09 PM
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After all the good advice, I'm checking back in with what's been happening. I got a bid from a guy who sells Lennox that was way high. Finally got a contractor out who would give me an estimate on a Trane. He really looked around at the attic, the return duct and even did the Manual J calculation without being asked.

This is what the Trane guy recommended: XL-15i heat pump (R-22), two ton, with the #2TEE3F31 air handler. There's a $400 rebate on it. As to thermostat, the quote has the 802S32DA, 7-day programmable. I have seen where some on this board recommend the Honeywell. Should I investigate it? What seems to be the problem with the Trane thermostat quoted?

The equipment comes with a ten year warranty and two years on labor. If I want to extend the labor to ten years, the warranty will cost $400. I've got a year to decide it I want it.

Anyway, the price was right and I'm thinking of going ahead. Anything else I should know?

Thanks for hanging with me on this,

KeithM
 
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Old 10-01-07, 01:29 PM
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Dont forget that the 15 seer there you can go for the tax credit from the IRS also
 
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Old 10-01-07, 04:40 PM
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Sounds like you found a good one.

The 802 will work just fine since you are going single stage heat pump. You just won't have a control to slow down the blower for dehumid, but can always add a basic humidistat of the humidity becomes an issue in the summer.

Spend the $400 now for a peace of mind for the next 10 years.. Otherwise, if you wait a year, you may forget all about it.

Do you know if you are getting electric back up for heat?
 
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Old 10-01-07, 05:55 PM
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Thanks Ed and Jay for your responses. Ed, I don't think the two ton XL-15i qualifies for the tax credit. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Jay, I forgot to add that we are getting a variable speed blower in the air handler and I would assume the thermostat would be able to handle it...in other words, they match. Am I correct here?

Our backup heat is a 8 kw. electric heater.

KeithM
 
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Old 10-01-07, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KeithM View Post
Jay, I forgot to add that we are getting a variable speed blower in the air handler and I would assume the thermostat would be able to handle it...in other words, they match. Am I correct here?

Our backup heat is a 8 kw. electric heater.

KeithM
If you want the extra bells on your t-stat, then the Honeywell IAQ will work out. The only thing you be able to use on the IAQ if you really need it the summer humidity control.

But if humidity isn't an issue, and as long the dealer set up the Comfort-R, the 802 should be OK
 
 

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