View Full Version : Warranty?
09-11-2005, 08:02 AM
I live in NE Florida and am considering replacing my exiting 15 year old Carrier heat pump with a Carrier Inifinity system. The contractor gave me price for the Infinity with a 10 year parts and labor warranty. He then told me that if I wanted 10 year parts and one year labor, the price would drop $600. That would make the warranty the same as the Performance series.
With the current Carrier rebate programs, and the reduced warranty, the Infinity price is only a few hundred dollars over the Performance price, and the Inifinity seems to offer a lot more features.
My question: is the additional $600 worth the investment? Can I expect that I will need repair on such a top-of-the-line piece of equipment in 10 years that will cost me more than $600 in labor?
09-11-2005, 08:50 AM
Don't look at it as expect to, but more as what if.
None of us can tell you what the service rates will be in another 8 years.
If the compressor would need changed out in 8 years, that 600 dollars is alot less then the labor charge you will get.
09-11-2005, 01:12 PM
Dear Mr. Beenthere,
Thanks for the response. Perhaps I should rephrase my question.
The $600 for the additional nine years labor warranty can be viewed as a form of insurance. If I purchase it I am believing that I may need the unit repaired in the nine year period. If I don't purchase it I am believing that I won't need any repairs in the nine years after the one year labor warranty has expired.
So, let me ask my question in another way. Based on the Carrier Infinity series historic failure rates and causes, is spending the $600 a worthwhile investment? Is the failure rate 10%, 1%, 0.1%, etc.? Do 99% of the people that purchase it never need it?
If I have an idea of how often it is used, I could base my decision on some facts (i.e. I have an X% chance of needing it), as opposed to emotions (I may need it sometime and it would be nice to have coverage).
I understand that this board may be populated by HVAC professionals, and their belief might be that it is in the customers best interests to have the additional coverage, regardless of the actual statistical needs. If so, I understand that position.
But if I can get some objective information to make this decision, it would be greatly appreicated.
09-11-2005, 06:04 PM
First we're not a carrier dealer, so I have no statistics for your system.
Second the Inffinity hasn't been out long enough for any statistics for a ten year span.
The 2 stage uses the Bristol TS compressor, its been out about 4 years, so far it has proven to be a reliable compressor.
09-11-2005, 06:30 PM
Well, the best answer I can give you is that from a service technician perspective, almost 100% of the units I see are broke.
I don't have statistics on any mfrs warranties.
We also sell our own parts and labor warranties,and we won't sell you 9 years parts and labor ,on any model or brand,for that low of a price.That's not even at todays costs ,much less trying to predict repair costs nine years out.
From what I've been told no mfr makes any serious money on the warranties.
Now all that said,there's murphy's law,if you buy it ,you'll likely have little to no problems,if you don't buy iy ,look out!!LOL
09-11-2005, 06:45 PM
Bobby I agree with you "Almost 100% of the systems I get called to are broken"
You are investing several thousand $ in this. Dont get cheep now. The more bells and whistles in there the more there is to break.
09-12-2005, 02:03 PM
Chris; I feel your pain… I agonize with this often when I have to explain the merits of the aforementioned (or want of same). The advice you’ve received thus far is very sound and honest. That said, I realize you’ve possibly seen big box stores using warranties as a vehicle for padding profits for consumer electronics from major vendors, which seldom fail, and if so do within the first hour of operation. In this case, warranty purchase doesn’t make sense.
However, please consider that other side of the warranty picture. I’m employed by a TRANE shop and our vendor offers extended warranties on mid-tier equipment that I honestly believe is a wise investment. Reason? Failure of residential HVAC equipment in too many cases (sorry if I offend my fellow technicians) is due to flawed installation procedures by the technician at the site. Installing both gas furnaces and refrigeration (AC & HP) equipment is a challenging task at the least, compound this with the working conditions in say an attic during a hot summers day and you can appreciate why it is entirely possible to allow the quality of work to fall below an acceptable level.
Mr. Smith please realize that your HVAC equipment is fabricated on-site as much as it is at the assembly facility, does this start to make sense? We are not dealing with consumer electronics, we are speaking here of professionally assembled mechanical equipment in which site fabrication plays a major role in performance and equipment life, enough said.
As for failure rates, historical data that I’ve personally gleaned in my tenure is such that some units are doomed from the get-go by design flaws. Ask any HVAC technician about watching the domino failure of a particular unit type in a large tract development. Out of nowhere, dozens of service vehicles appear as the entire suite of units “tank” prematurely if as in a pre-planned queue. While other units continue to run against all odds (yes I’ve serviced 25-year old AC’s that hum right along, albeit a bit on the lower SEER scale.)
On a very different note, TRANE uses warranty statistics in a somewhat different way; too many warranty claims against your shop and you’re quickly dropped from the TRANE team. Quality control is INDEED alive and doing well in the TRANE camp.
While I honestly believe there are many very good manufactures, our TRANE wholesaler always seems of have each and every part in stock as needed. Only wish I could say the same for other vendors I’ve had to interface with, and while in each case they have very valid excuses why the part is on backorder, it’s never appreciated nor understood by my customer, enough said.
BTW: The executive summary: Yes I personally would purchase the extended warranty (provided it is offered directly by Carrier and not a third party – check carefully on the aforesaid.)
09-12-2005, 02:34 PM
Get the warranty, you won't be sorry you did.
However, if you don't get it... you have a 100% chance you will regret it later!
Remember, 10 years is an awful long time for today's equipment and technology to last when you are taking a shot at getting a competent installer.
09-12-2005, 02:44 PM
Dear Mr. Faith,
Thank you very much for your detailed response. Your points, especially about much of the system fabrication being performed on site, are well taken and appreciated.
I have to ask about your comment in the last paragraph. Are you suggesting that if the warranty is offered by Carrier Corporation, I should take it, but if not, I should not? That is, if the local contractor is assuming responsibility for the additional 9 years labor, I should pass on the extended warranty? If that is your sentiment, could you elaborate on your reasons?
As an aside, I have already spoken with the Ruud dealer. When I asked about Puron and R-410A, he told me that the Carrier Puron units did not cool as well as R-22 units, that they were prone to failure, that R-410A was a fad and would not last, that it was dangerous to use because of the high pressures, that one had to be certified to work with R-22 systems but not with R-410A systems, and that there was another replacement for R-22 that would be released soon that would be less costly than R-410A. I am a 25 year professional salesman, and my gut reaction was that Ruud didn’t offer an R-410A unit, therefore instead of leveling with me, he was trying to steer me towards something he could sell. I did not feel comfortable with his explanation, and have ruled that company and brand out.
One last question. The Carrier dealer told me that my existing 3 ton Carrier unit uses ½” lines, and that those same lines are specified for the Infinity series. Therefore, the existing piping could be used. He told me that a 3 ton Trane unit requires ¾” lines, and to be sure that the Trane dealer stated that. If he claimed that he could use the ½” lines, they would be trying to pull something over on me, and my Trane system would not function correctly. Is this accurate?
This is a big investment and I want to be sure I make as educated a decision as possible. Thanks again for all of everyone’s input and assistance.
09-13-2005, 01:13 AM
First of all RUN from the Rudd dealer. R-410 A is the replacement for R-22. Second of all ONLY PURCHASE A WARRANTY FROM THE MANUFACTOR. Any company is subject to go belly up for any reason. Third thing the carrier is a very good investment, although the line sizes do trouble me, a 3 Ton unit according to the lenght of the line set tipically uses a 3/4 and 3/8 line set. Check and make sure u hire a good company to do ur install. And Trane/American Standard equipement offer very good equipement and should be looked at. American Standard/Trane offers SEER rating up to 18 SEER. All manufacters must comply with the new 13 SEER min. eff. rating as of 01/26/06. Please make ur choice well and remember u will live with ur decision at least 10 yrs. u hope.
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