Temp. Plummeting on 2 Year Old Heat Pump

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Old 02-01-19, 05:32 PM
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Temp. Plummeting on 2 Year Old Heat Pump

My elderly father installed a new Carrier heat pump system a couple of years ago. I remember it costing someplace around $25k. He lives in New England but for some reason they installed a heat pump. After install, they found that the heat pump didn't adequately heat the house in the WInter so they added a larger emergency heat module.

Fast forward to this Winter and, this past week with temps. in the teens my father's temp in the house plummeted to mid-50s. He called the installers out and they identified two problems: (a) a sticking reversing valve; and (b) a freon leak. It took them a day to identify the freon leak, which seems odd to me. Regardless, they are claiming that the reversing valve for the unit is not covered under warranty. Does that make any sense? They are asking for a bit over $2,000 to replace the reversing valve. Also, they claim that the unit is actually four years old even though it was installed two years ago. Doesn't the warranty run from the date of install? Not sure why they installed an old unit initially. They also say the freon leak is something that they would pressure test for, at a cost of $220. Again, none of this under warranty.

Any help that anyone can provide on whether any of this makes any sense would be appreciated. Are reversing valves typically handled under warranty? I'm going to try and speak with the company on Monday because my father doesn't have any of the paperwork and therefore I have no model number to go off of. Ugh....Very frustrating as I feel like they are taking advantage of my father.
 
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Old 02-01-19, 06:22 PM
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Warranty runs from the date of installation. I hope he has paperwork somewhere or the unit was registered with Carrier. Otherwise the warranty reverts back to the date of manufacture.

The same guys that are now servicing this system are the ones that installed it ?
If yes..... I'd call up the company. Ask for someone higher up in the food chain. A leak on a high end system in two years is not acceptable...... period.

You need to get the model numbers of the condenser and air handler to determine exact warranty. The current Carrier warranty appears to be 5 years parts and compressor....... ten years if the unit was registered with Carrier.
You may be liable for the labor but not the part.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 02:02 AM
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Thanks, PJMAX. My father did escalate things to the owner of the company. Complicating things a bit, the original installer sold the business to this guy -- same company name, but a different owner. The new owner said that they had all sorts of notes on the original install. He is the one who came out and said that it was $2200 to fix the reverse valve and then another $220 to pressure test the system to try and find the leak (which would cost extra). He told my father that even after all that they might not be able to fix the system. My understanding is that replacing the reversing valve would involve pressure testing the system so: (1) I don't know why the reversing valve is so expensive; and (2) why pressure testing is being charged twice. I suppose they may be trying to get him to buy a new system, which is insane.

I'll try and get my father to get the model/serial numbers off of the unit. Do you think I should try and work directly with Carrier if the installers continue to say it isn't under warranty?
 
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Old 02-02-19, 08:52 AM
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For what it is worth, I found out it is a 4-ton single package unit, model 50VT-A48 (https://www.carrier.com/commercial/e...-units/50vt-a/). Doesn't the installer usually register a newly purchased HVAC unit? Also, doesn't $2200 sound high to replace a reversing valve?

The warranty reads: To the original owner, when product is used in an owner-occupied residence, a 10-year parts limited warranty upon timely registration of your new equipment. Warranty period is 5 years if not registered within 90 days. Jurisdictions where warranty benefits cannot be conditioned on registration will automatically receive a 10-year parts limited warranty. See warranty certificate for complete details.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 09:06 AM
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$25K for a 4 ton packaged unit..... ?
Did this replace an existing unit with ductwork ?

I was trying to find the original parts and labor warranty. I know it's at least one year.
The reversing valve isn't the expensive part.... it's the labor involved. The refrigerant needs to be removed, valve needs to be cut out and new one soldered in, pressure testing and then recharging.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 02:22 PM
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It did replace an existing unit with ductwork. I am not entirely sure on the price because it is my father's memory. We are working now to try and get some documentation from the installer on what actually happened here and how much my father was charged.

The $2200 price for the part and labor on replacing the reversing valve is real as I saw the quote on that. When I looked online I was seeing estimates of $400-$600 for that work. Are you saying $2,200 is in the ballpark of a reasonable price? Also, it is unclear why they are charging another $220 for pressure testing to try and find the freon leak if they are already pressure testing as part of the RV.

Pete, Thank so much for your responses. They are greatly appreciated. I'd also welcome any direction as to how you think I should proceed with this installer. I'm leaning towards contacting Carrier about the warranty and finding a different installer.

Thanks for your help. I hope to have some more clarity from the paperwork very soon.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 03:28 PM
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First off..... the parts are under Carrier warranty. If the labor warranty is only one year then it would be customary to be charged for labor to change the reversing valve. A high average and acceptable price to pay for the reversing valve job is no higher then $1000.00...... $2200.00 is not acceptable. Another $200 to find a leak. BS. If they're going to gouge you.... call Carrier customer service. Explain that your older father is being take advantage of by one of their dealers. Hopefully you'll have the invoices in hand as you'll need them.
 
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Old 02-02-19, 05:46 PM
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Thanks again, Pete. The installer is trying to tell my father that the reverse valve, nor the coolant leak, are covered under warranty. I'm going to speak to the installer on Monday. I'm going to try and give them the benefit of the doubt, but I feel like my father is being taken advantage of.

Are you saying the labor rate for the reversing valve shouldn't be higher than $1,000 or, if he was charged for parts, the whole thing (labor + parts) shouldn't be more than $1,000. Also, I assume this is the case, but if it is covered under warranty than any Carrier installer could do the warranty work?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-02-19, 07:26 PM
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Any Carrier dealer can do the work. The part is under warranty. It's WELL under the 5 year minimum warranty.

It would be a completely different ball game if this was a split system. This is a packaged unit. Everything is right there. There are no major refrigerant lines to be checked. It's pretty obvious on a two year old system that it is a Carrier fault. A defective reversing valve and a leak is a disgrace.
 
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Old 02-03-19, 04:54 AM
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Hi, not to confuse the issue,but has the RV been checked out electrically to be sure there isnít an issue with the control circuit?
Geo
 
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Old 02-03-19, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for the input Geo. I'll make sure to ask that tomorrow. It took them a day to figure out that one of the issues was that it was low on freon so I'm concerned about their abilities. I think a second set of eyes probably makes sense and hopefully, I'll find a Carrier reseller that can come out.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 04:35 PM
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What a cluster! I found out that the unit was actually installed in May of 2014. In March of 2015 it was realized, after getting a complaint from my father of inadequate heat, that the installer had forgotten to put the supplemental/emergency heat in the unit! They then added the unit.

Fast forward to today and I spoke with the installer and they said that they don't believe the parts are covered under warranty. The owner was claiming that the reversing valve is an electrical part and those aren't covered. I said, well how about the coils if that is where the freon leak is coming from (he was warning that they might not be able to be repaired and that they needed to add 5.5 pounds of freon) and he said those definitely weren't covered. Does any of this sound right to you? They stand by their claim that it will be $2200 to replace the reversing valve. They say that IF the part is covered it would be about $1500 for the labor alone. The owner kept saying that he was only looking out for my father.

I think it is time to cut these guys loose and get a fresh set of eyes. What say you?
 
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Old 02-04-19, 05:02 PM
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Call 1-800-CARRIER directly.

May 2014 is still within five years. However.... almost 5 years old and 2 years old is a big difference.

Their warranty says 5 years limited parts warranty...... 10 years if registered. 5 years on inside coil.
Based on the performance of the installers.... I'd say they neglected to register it for you. You can ask at Carrier. They'll require your serial number.
 
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Old 02-04-19, 09:24 PM
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With aux heat, the unit should still be heating the house with the refrigeration side not working.

The stat should be bringing the aux heat on when it senses the temp is dropping with the heatpump alone running.

Sounds like there's more than one problem.

In this situation, the stat should be set to emergency heat mode until the problem is fixed. The compressor can get damaged, running when there's a refrigeration problem.

He lives in New England but for some reason they installed a heat pump
Heatpumps do provide usable heat in cold weather but simply not enough due to capacity loss as it gets colder, hence the use of aux heat. It's an expensive to operate system, but better than straight electric and in some cases propane.



Putting in a heatpump in this climate wasn't necessarily a mistake. Especially if his old system was all electric.

It's a myth that heatpumps are unsuitable for cold climates and stop heating below freezing or so.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:51 AM
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Thanks Pete and User10. I did speak with Carrier yesterday before I spoke with the installer and had the install date. Carrier did say that the unit wasn't registered. My experience has always been that my HVAC company did my registration for me at the date of installation, but is that normal? Regardless, Carrier has a shipping date of 2/8/14. I asked if the reversing valve was covered and the guy at Carrier said that it was but he seemed very unsure. I'm going to try them again today and see if I can get some more definitive answers.

Currently my father does just have the emergency heat on but that isn't able to keep the house warm by itself when it gets down to freezing. On more mild days, like yesterday, it is.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 11:24 AM
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Another installer came out. They say the compressor and the reversing valve need to be replaced, at a cost of about $5,000 -- about $2,500/each. They say we can repair but that it probably isn't advisable. They are a Carrier dealer but charge $80 to handle the warranty claim since they weren't the original installers. They say they don't know how much would be covered under warranty. Do you guys have any thoughts on whether it is best to repair or replace? Thanks! Would really appreciate the guidance.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 12:57 PM
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Carrier did say that the unit wasn't registered.
Why is that no surprise.

Trust me...... the reversing valve itself is under warranty. The labor to replace is not. That means you pay for the refrigerant being removed and reinstalled too .

Not clear here...... $5k to replace the compressor and reversing valve. Those parts are STILL under warranty so they want 5k in labor fees ? Wow.... I don't really know what to say. Repair or replace. It's like the flip of a coin. What is baffling to me is why this Carrier unit should need this work.

You want to know my honest opinion.... tell Carrier to stick that unit like they've done to you. Go out and get a 4 ton Goodman heat pump with electric backup heat. Should be in the $5k retail area plus install. Packaged units are heavy to move but the install rates are lower than split systems.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the advice, PJ. In fairness, the $5,000 is parts and labor. Does that sound more reasonable? The way they say it works is that they do the work and charge you their set amount -- in this case $5,000 -- for parts and labor (they say they don't have it broken down, just an overall price). Then, they submit for warranty reimbursement through Carrier (at a charge of $80).
 
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Old 02-05-19, 01:15 PM
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Ok.... parts and labor. So what is the actual breakdown ?
What will be your final cost ?
What will be your warranty ?

I do not do Carrier warranty work so I don't know how it works with them. Many authorized service companies get the parts before hand and then just bill the customer for the labor. Now you need to wait to get the parts dollars back.... when will that be ?

Make sure if you decide to go with the repair that you get it in writing that the parts are under warranty.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 03:51 PM
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I know...I know...the whole thing is frustrating to me too, especially from 350 miles away. Maybe it is a CT thing because another Carrier dealer told me the same thing (although they didn't say they would charge $80 to submit the paperwork). The service person said he could not break out what the parts cost, saying that they charge a flat rate and don't have a breakout. Nor he could he guarantee that Carrier would approve reimbursing for the parts. I clearly went into the wrong profession.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 03:58 PM
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I don't know what else I can add. I was hoping some of the other pros would chime in.
 
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Old 02-05-19, 04:58 PM
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I agree with pete... dont pay it.. Have a new system installed. Put in goodman or tempstar. A new system should not cost you 5k..

Id be on phone with carrier getting some $$$ back thats for sure.. Id be on phone with consumer affairs about price gouging too..

I doubt the reversing valve is bad...

Reversing valves I believe are about 100 bucks.. Compressors range around 1500 I believe..
 
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Old 02-05-19, 05:01 PM
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Example. A packaged goodman runs 2300 bucks. Install should not be more then 1500 IMO..

https://hvacdirect.com/goodman-2-ton...ph1424h41.html
 
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Old 02-05-19, 06:52 PM
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What exactly is wrong with the compressor that’s requiring replacement?
 
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Old 02-05-19, 07:00 PM
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https://www.achrnews.com/articles/82...e-outsmart-you

The HVAC industry is one where you are at the mercy of the tech.. And many are dishonest IMO. I have been in this industry a long time.

The techs I see now a days are not performing diagnostics. They do not learn thier trades properly.

example
My HVAC unit that was installed was a 2 stage unit.variable speed air handler and 2 ton outdoor unit.Duct work was sized accordingly but could of been one size up from reading the ductulator properly.

What they did was set the new systems dip switches as a 3 ton unit and increases the fan speed an additional 15% with another dip switch.

Im a plumber 33 years.

units is a 700 CFM system. This knucklehead had it set for 1200CFM. duct of 14' return and 12" supply dictates this.

So when I saw this I set these dip switches froperly to 2 ton and nominal fan speed

[email protected]" W.C.

So up I went and took a static reading on my unit to insure filter and duct work withing specs.

.43" WC.. ( What do you think the static was @ 1200CFM? LOL) Will it work? Sure but at what cost. Comfort? Longevity of the equipment? Noise? Im surprised they didnt just set it up as a single stage unit... Most people would never know.

So you see as a plumber and not doing HVAC for a living I know more then the men that come with the gauges and fancy uniforms.

Thats my story..

Moral.... Get a third opinion, but not to repair that unit . Get an estimate on a new unit. Dont use any of the guys that cam to the house.

Dont tell them any storys.. Just say you want that unit out and a new one put in.

Find a goodman or tempstar guy
 
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Old 02-05-19, 07:03 PM
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Old 02-06-19, 02:33 AM
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Thanks to everyone.

Roughneck -- The guys who just came out and did the diagnostic said that the compressor was shot because it showed a reading of 0 Ohms. According to the other techs it was also 5 pounds low on freon so there is a leak. The compressor has probably been running for some time low on freon and with the stuck RV and just emergency heat. Would that kill it?

Just for clarity, I've now gotten three price quotes on replacing the reversing valve (parts and labor): $1900, $2200, and $2500. I don't know where people are getting prices of under $1k but it is what it is.

Lawrosa -- I tried to find a Goodman dealer using the link you provided but nothing comes up no matter what zip code and distance entered. I even tried the zip code of their man office -- nothing. I'll try giving them a call when they open and see if I can find a dealer in Connecticut.

If anyone has a recommendation on an installer in CT who won't rip my father off, please let me know.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 03:59 AM
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Hi, IMO if the compressor had zero ohms it would not be running, from my experience a lot of system failures are electrical problems.
Geo
 
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Old 02-06-19, 01:18 PM
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I think we're near the end because my father has had enough. He doesn't want to entertain the idea of other dealers coming out so he is going with one of these. It is just a matter of which one.

Here are the options:

(1) repair the existing unit, replacing the compressor and RV. The initial out of pocket cost would be about $5,000, with my father potentially getting about $2000 back for the parts under his existing warranty, so a total of about $3,000.

(2) replace the existing unit with a new 4-ton packaged unit at a cost of around $8250 for an American Standard or $8450 for a Carrier. The dealer recommends American Standard because they say in their experience AS packaged units tend to do a bit better. Warranty is the same 10 years parts/1 year parts and labor.

Any thoughts on which would be better repair or replace? If he goes replace, any reason not to go with AS versus Carrier? As I said, my father -- somewhat understandably -- is fatigued (and literally cold) by the whole experience so these are the options on the table.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 01:26 PM
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Brand doesn’t really matter in the end, beyond the support available in your area. A/S is a division of Trane.
Read here for more information-

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/...vac-brands.htm

Are you certain the compressor wasn’t just overheated and out on thermal overload? Low refrigerant will do that.
It should reset after it cools down.
 
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Old 02-06-19, 04:30 PM
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According to the other techs it was also 5 pounds low on freon so there is a leak. The compressor has probably been running for some time low on freon and with the stuck RV and just emergency heat. Would that kill it?
The compressor is protected against running with low refrigerant levels. That's a pretty good leak and quite frankly there's been no mention of repairing a leak. I guess a stuck RV could damage the compressor but it's usually very noisy/loud when that happens. Emergency heat is electric coils and has no bearing on the compressor.

You've got to live with the choices but I wouldn't recommend putting money back into that unit. At this point it's becoming a money pit. I wouldn't get a Carrier either.

As far as Goodman..... there should be many dealers in CT that carry Goodman. It's a basic/generic type unit. The Goodman dealer portal is down for service right now.
 
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Old 02-08-19, 12:50 AM
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Thanks for everyone's help. Greatly appreciated. He went with the American Standard. I'm sure he could get a better deal on a comparable unit, but he didn't want to shop it around anymore and he found a dealer he feels like he can trust a bit more.
 
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