Recently purchased home...multipe HVAC/Heat pump problems...need help


Old 11-13-13, 06:02 AM
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Recently purchased home...multipe HVAC/Heat pump problems...need help

Hi Everyone,
First post as a user but have used this site in the past and it has been beneficial.

To give a little background, I purchased my first home in June and was really excited to move in but come to find out the AC doesn't work. I call the home warranty people and they send their guys out to diagnose. They say I need a whole new unit because the person who installed the compressor on the system did not install it correctly, it ruined the whole system and the warranty does not cover pre-existing conditions. They quote me at $8,000 for their bottom line replacement unit for a 1,200 square foot house. Which I thought was WAY too high and didn't have the money to spend or the time to get other quotes so I lived without AC in the summer. Which at the time was not a huge deal.

Now, a few months down the road, I am finding some issues with the heating side of the system. When I turn the system on to "normal" heat, the heat pump will turn on for a second and throw the breaker and shut off. The HVAC unit will continue to run but without the heat pump. So I have managed the past few weeks by using the emergency heat option on the thermostat and it will heat the house without shorting out the breaker.

The system has an outside heat pump and my HVAC system is in the attic and all electric. I don't have the models handy but believe they are both Goodman and both were installed in 2004. I do not believe that is that old for the system.

I am really not familiar with electric heat/heat pumps as I have used propane my entire life. So any help here will be of benefit.

Could anyone tell me common problems with heat pumps that would trip the breaker and the best way to go about diagnosing the problem? I am pretty handy and know how to use a voltmeter to diagnose shorts. If the compressor is what the warranty people say and shot, will the heat pump even be of benefit? Would replacing the compressor be an option?

Additionally, another problem or symptom I believe I have (again not familiar with the system) is that the fan for the HVAC will not turn off during emergency heat operation. The heat will cycle on and off to heat the house but the fan will continue to run. This isn't very energy efficient because my ducting is in the attic and it will blow cold air from the attic when the heat is off. If I set the thermostat a few degrees lower the heat will kick off and the fan will shut off after about a minute or so of running. So I don't believe it is the fan relay. Is this normal operation for the system or is there something I need to adjust or repair?

I really appreciate any help you can offer. Just trying to wrap my head around a system I really know nothing about. Thanks!
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Old 11-13-13, 06:58 AM
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I have yet to not see where those so called Home Warranty company's do much more then show up and make some excuse why it's not covered and offer to "fix" it at a highly inflated price.
Sounds like a scam to me.
I would have called another company to come check it out.
Old 11-13-13, 07:32 AM
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Yeah it has not been a good experience with the home warranty people. I priced the air handler and heat pump by themselves and got about $2,000-2,500 brand new for both. So about 4-5K for labor sounds crazy!

I wanted to try my luck on here before calling in reinforcements as it will cost me 100 bucks for them just to show up and after all this is free

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