How do you get sand in the crankcase?
What did fireants actually do?
Sand in a system? Howzabout some lazy installers who don't cap or crimp off the lineset after doing a rough-in on a new house?
Don't laugh. I canned a couple of installers several years ago, when I discovered that they did 3 commercial split system installs with rigid copper, and didn't take the plugs out of the ends of the copper sticks on the liquid line....
Fire ants get into everything and anything electrical. Contactors are a favorite target, as are outdoor recepticles.
Never saw one until I moved to Texas in '77.....about 3 am one night, Dad wakes me up and says: "get up boy, the air quit working".....So we go outside in our jammies with flashlights and tools, and take the cover off the condensing unit, and voila !!
Never seen anything like it before then.
Now, replacing a contactor because of fire ants is as common as adding refrigerant or washing a condenser.
I can remember an incident years ago, my middle son was still in diapers....I was in the driveway writing up the day's tickets in my truck, while he wandered around the yard.
Suddenly, I got that "feeling" that only a parent can know.....I threw down my clipboard and jumped out of the truck and there he was, stepping on a mound of them.....I grabbed him up and raked them off before he got a bite one....