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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    55

    Angry My brand new GAM5 air handler just leaked everywhere-- advice needed! (pics)

    Hi everyone,

    About a month ago I had an American Standard GAM5 system installed in my home to replace my old Trane XE 900 system. All has been going well (aside from the noise) until tonight when I noticed a massive brown spot in my kitchen ceiling and a large puddle on the floor. I went upstairs and saw that the handler closet floor was soaked and that the handler was leaking water at a pretty significant rate. I've attached pictures, but the water had dripped down through the blower.

    Apparently my worthless, worthless contractor didn't install the float switch correctly, but thankfully the unit is under warranty and the town has not yet done the final inspection for the permits I insisted on getting. Here are my questions:

    1) Should I be worried about the water damaging the electronics, motors, or anything else in my system?
    2) How could the drain switch have been installed incorrectly? Isn't it pretty damned simple?
    3) Based on your experience (and not knowing the laws in Florida), do I have any recourse other than homeowner's insurance? If my contractor did a negligent job installing my system, I feel like his insurance should cover the damage and repair to my home.

    I would greatly appreciate your answers to these questions and any other suggestions you might have.

    Image 1: The puddle in the handler's closet
    Image 2: View from underneath the unit
    Image 3: The wet blower. There's also a leak coming from one of the seams on the bottom of the blower and the fan blades are wet (camera wouldn't fit)
    Image 4: Back of blower compartment
    Image 5: Back of blower compartment again
    Image 6: Damage to ceiling in kitchen
    Attached Images Attached Images       

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    Hi everyone,

    About a month ago I had an American Standard GAM5 system installed in my home to replace my old Trane XE 900 system. All has been going well (aside from the noise) until tonight when I noticed a massive brown spot in my kitchen ceiling and a large puddle on the floor. I went upstairs and saw that the handler closet floor was soaked and that the handler was leaking water at a pretty significant rate. I've attached pictures, but the water had dripped down through the blower.

    Apparently my worthless, worthless contractor didn't install the float switch correctly, but thankfully the unit is under warranty and the town has not yet done the final inspection for the permits I insisted on getting. Here are my questions:

    1) Should I be worried about the water damaging the electronics, motors, or anything else in my system?
    2) How could the drain switch have been installed incorrectly? Isn't it pretty damned simple?
    3) Based on your experience (and not knowing the laws in Florida), do I have any recourse other than homeowner's insurance? If my contractor did a negligent job installing my system, I feel like his insurance should cover the damage and repair to my home.

    I would greatly appreciate your answers to these questions and any other suggestions you might have.

    Image 1: The puddle in the handler's closet
    Image 2: View from underneath the unit
    Image 3: The wet blower. There's also a leak coming from one of the seams on the bottom of the blower and the fan blades are wet (camera wouldn't fit)
    Image 4: Back of blower compartment
    Image 5: Back of blower compartment again
    Image 6: Damage to ceiling in kitchen
    This would be a good time to contact the installing dealer and have them pay for the repairs, and install a secondary drain pan under the unit with accessories.

    Florida should be under IRC for the inspection and the drain pan is required

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    This would be a good time to contact the installing dealer and have them pay for the repairs, and install a secondary drain pan under the unit with accessories.

    Florida should be under IRC for the inspection and the drain pan is required
    By installing dealer do you mean the company/contractor that installed the unit or the distributor who sells the units to the contractor? And has this damaged my unit at all?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    By installing dealer do you mean the company/contractor that installed the unit or the distributor who sells the units to the contractor? And has this damaged my unit at all?
    The dealer that installed it. It probably has not harmed the equipment. The only time you would get the distributor involved is if they sold the equipment to the contractor and he was not an authorized Trane dealer then the liability would fall back on the distributor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    55
    But bottom line-- the installing dealer is responsible for fixing my unit and for the repairs to my home? I don't think I should have to pay to rip out, replace, re-skim, and re-paint a portion of my ceiling considering the fact that my dealer obviously didn't install it correctly. Is that an unreasonable assumption?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    But bottom line-- the installing dealer is responsible for fixing my unit and for the repairs to my home? I don't think I should have to pay to rip out, replace, re-skim, and re-paint a portion of my ceiling considering the fact that my dealer obviously didn't install it correctly. Is that an unreasonable assumption?
    That would be reasonable, that is why contractors are required to have insurance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Looking at the pics form last week about the air filter, I notice no trap on the drain line. Is one installed out of view?
    Always here

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    If you do remove it (You should not have to) have him screw a media type filter frame to the bottom of the air handler and then sit it back on the frame. This would give you a 5" or 6" thick filter.
    Always here

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    I just looked at the installation instructions, did he leave your copy?
    Always here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Looking at the pics form last week about the air filter, I notice no trap on the drain line. Is one installed out of view?
    Not that I can see. But do you concur with secondopinion in that this is my contractor's fault and he should be paying for the ceiling repair?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    927
    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Looking at the pics form last week about the air filter, I notice no trap on the drain line. Is one installed out of view?
    These units do not require a trap in the drain. The coil is above the blower.
    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Yes I looked at the installation instructions. You may be correct. The pressure is positive at that point? Also if you read the directions, some specific sealing should occur at that connection if installed in the up flow position. Back to the drain....when it must be cleaned out or checked, should the tech just keep cutting the PVC each year? A trap or at least a tee would have been a point of entry.

    Yes, it is my opinion the contractor should correct all water damage. It is also my opinion that the contractor could have done a better installation with the entire air handler. For example, a metal sleeve should have been installed in your office return. The tape he used acting as a short transfer duct will not last as long as the air handler. That is the point with any new installation, is to have it installed and be worry free, is it not?

    I saw the video you posted. When you are done reading this, go remove the insulation blanket you have hanging in front of the air handler. It is not a good idea at all.
    Always here

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,473
    This looks like a very low bid install.
    Low bid may or may not get your ceiling fixed. He may not even come back.

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