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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3

    New user with AC replace/repair question

    Hi,

    I have a 14 year old Carrier 38CKC060 in the Phoenix AZ area. We had is serviced for the summer and the tech is recommending we replace the unit. We were told the compressor is rated for 19 amps and is actually pulling 30 (with an outside temp of 76 degrees) and that there is a rattling noise that is indicative of the compressor failing. I asked if it would be worthwhile to replace just the compressor and he stated that they were no longer made, and that price of the R22 means that it would be better to just replace the whole system. I have noticed that several of our neighbors have replaced their units in the last few years.

    So my questions are

    1) Do the amp values sound right, I downloaded a spec sheet and cannot find the 19 amp figure he is referring to, I get a value of 8.97 rated load amps from the sheet for the compressor.

    2) Also, the tech did not go up the the attic at all, he just looked at and cleaned the compressor and the housing it sits in. Should he have gone up there?

    3) Can just the compressor be replaced? With the system being 14 years old is it worthwhile or should I look into getting the whole system replaced at this point?

    4) Is it worth replacing just to get a more efficient unit.

    The house is 2024 ft sq, and we keep the heat at about 72 in the winter and the AC at 80 to 82 in the summer.

    I don't know much about HVAC but do have some technical knowledge, I am a fire alarm tech by trade.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,467
    1. From what I see, the RLA of that unit is around 30. So if it is really pulling 30, probably not that big of a deal. 19 amps for a 5 ton single phase is wrong. Will the compressor last a week, a month, years? Nobody can say.

    2. Sounds pretty lazy to me. How can you service and A/C system for summer and only look at 1/2 of it.

    3. Can it? Sure, compressors for that are readily available. If it indeed fails, I wouldn't suggest it. I sure wouldn't do it on his opinion that you have a problem which you might not.

    4. You can be proactive and replace it just because it is 10 SEER and 14 years old. Probably has a Carrier scroll compressor which isn't the most reliable animal out there. You know you finances. If you can swing it, might be wise to do. Otherwise, wait til it quits then yank it. Of course it may be in the hottest time of the summer when it does and there could be some down time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3
    No issues, we just wanted it checked for the summer, and I'm not wanting it to fail us on one of those 115 degree days...

    I also just went out and looked at the manufactures plate, the tech wrote that it is a 38CK060, it is actually a 38BRC060, and BaldLoonie you're right, the RLA is 28.8, not the 19 he stated, so it appears to be close to specs. I haven't heard the rattling he's talking about, be were not using it yet, it's not that hot so far this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    Some techs make commission on sales/sales leads.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    if he didnt go into the attic and look at the airhandler how does he know the outside is working properly

    if the coil is realy dirty could be flooding back causing stress on the compressor

    if the blower isnt working right same thing and so on
    the inside is just as important as the outside

    call the company back and ask for a new tech to come back and check it properly. It money you spent on having it checked and serviced.

    if compressor is in fact bad and cost of r22 it doesnt make sense to replace the compressor on a 14 year old unit

    doesnt hurt to get prices on replacement being the unit is that old

    have them service it properly first
    JMHO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,467
    BRC is a 12 SEER, better for your hot climate. Does sound like a tech on commission, doesn't it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    tx
    Posts
    1,088
    If inside unit is dirty, could be flooding back, if indoor blower is not rinning right it could be flooding back. This is all true. A good tech could easily identify these problems by checking super heat at the outside unit. However, if he was hired to service the unit for the cooling season, then cleaning and checking the indoor unit should have been part of the job. Dude, it depends on the overall condition of the unit as to if it is a good choice to replace a compressor or not. In most cases, a 14 year old unit would not be a good candidate for a new compressor. At the same time, no matter what you do, get someone who cares enough to try and tell you what killed the first one. A unit installed correctly and then services and maintained correctly should last a long time. I service units all of the time that are older than 20 years.
    Bad information is worse than no information at all.

    There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3
    I went up to the attic and it appears the inner coil? (the radiator that makes the air cold) is sealed and cannot be gotten to. I will see how it goes for the summer and go from there. I guess I'll need to learn a bit about HVAC and look over the shoulder of the guys servicing it to see what they actually do. One thing I learned from reading here, the primary drip line (coming from the coil) doesn't have water coming out of it very often, but the secondary (from the drip pan below the unit) has lots of water coming out of it especially during monsoon season (our humid season). I take it this is not normal?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    No it isn't.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,308
    Sounds like clogged drain to me. Have the tech/salesman come back and do his job. If he doesnt know how, there is a contractor locator on this site.

    I know that in your area there is no permit process and therefore no inspection process. Many companies arent held up to a higher standard than the old "trunk slam warranty". Keep in mind i'm not painting ALL AZ techs with that brush, because lord knows we got 'em here too but most times theyre weeded out when a homeowner asks about pulling permits.

    Research wisely and good luck.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    njaircond, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.


    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    tx
    Posts
    1,088
    Yes, water in the auxillary drain pain is a problem. It means that the primary is not working right, or you have water leaking where it should not be, and not going down the primary drain, but coming out the secondary drain instead. This is your only backup, if it clogges. then you have water damage in your cieling. I would get it looked at.
    Bad information is worse than no information at all.

    There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't!

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