Should Condensing units be replaced after fire?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,658

    Should Condensing units be replaced after fire?

    I have been asked by a general contractor, that is working with an insurance agency on a daycare center that had a fire, to write a letter stating that the outdoor units should be replaced along with duct work and air handlers. My opinion is that there is probably nothing wrong with the outdoor units. The linesets are still in tact and still have pressure on them. The general contractor thinks that because of the fire it could have caused the refrigerant to boil and could have caused damage to the refrigerant therefore causing internal damage to the system. I'm just looking for other input that could justify me stating that the outdoor units should be replaced. The heat pumps are only a couple of years old.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,799
    I highly doubt the fire damaged the refrigerant inside the linesets. They make saddle type access fittings that you braze on with the system charged. I would think the flame from an oxy/acetylene torch being concentrated in one spot would be more apt to wreck the refrigerant than a fire. However, I've never been in a burning building so I don't know what kind of temperatures are achieved.
    A Veteran is a person, who at some point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for payment up to and including their life.
    Gene Castagnetti-Director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,524
    If the air handlers are being replaced and the refrigerant is r-22, it would only make sense to replace systems with r-410 a instead of just using r-22 coils, but I guess that would be up to the insurance company. If units are already r-410,a why would they need replacing, unless you are trying to get something for nothing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    325
    You could make the argument that an ARI match is not readily obtainable with indoor change only to current model and that necessitates full replacement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    847
    Don't listen to general contractor
    You are the pro on site not him.

    Tell them they need a 25 seer system to remove smoke smell

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    847
    Don't listen to general contractor
    You are the pro on site not him.

    Tell them they need a 25 seer system to remove smoke smell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    847
    Oops sorry double

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,631
    Could have harmed compressors if they were running during the fire. Not only would the refrigerant been exposed to high temps, but the oil circulating with the refrigerant. Why risk going back later to change out condensers, and having the daycare want you to replace them for free since you said they weren't harmed.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,344
    Quote Originally Posted by kdean1 View Post
    I have been asked by a general contractor, that is working with an insurance agency on a daycare center that had a fire, to write a letter stating that the outdoor units should be replaced along with duct work and air handlers. My opinion is that there is probably nothing wrong with the outdoor units. The linesets are still in tact and still have pressure on them. The general contractor thinks that because of the fire it could have caused the refrigerant to boil and could have caused damage to the refrigerant therefore causing internal damage to the system. I'm just looking for other input that could justify me stating that the outdoor units should be replaced. The heat pumps are only a couple of years old.

    Thanks

    Man, I'd LOVE to hear him explain that.

    Then I'd take a minute, sit him down and explain that refrigerants is CONSTANTLY boiling in an operating refrigeration system and that boiling causes no damage to the equipment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    west-central pa
    Posts
    13
    i had a house fire a few years ago, melted sweat joints with water in them on my heat and domestic systems. i am with beenthere. If there is a problem in the future, who's liable, the property owner or the company that signed off on the system?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    336
    It might be ok, but if you replace the lot it will be ok. Which would you rather put your name to, might or will?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    17
    Because we are even considering the possibilty that the units might NOT need replacing, i can assume that the fire damage was not extensively damaging to anything regarding the a/c. If an electrical storm burned out my tv, i would also love for the insurance company to replace my couches, but its just not practical or ethical to ask them to do that. I know what we all think of insurance comanies and yes i have stuck it to them in some cases, but let them be the bad guys and let us just do whats right. A two year old condenser that sits outside, and an airhandler with ductwork that was never on fire...... your call man. The only concern i would have is smoke smell coming from the ducts if it had been running during fire. Maybe even the coil needing cleaning. But in this case it sounds like the filter didnt even get scorched so i definatley wouldnt change it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    847
    Quote Originally Posted by austinsaysay View Post
    Because we are even considering the possibilty that the units might NOT need replacing, i can assume that the fire damage was not extensively damaging to anything regarding the a/c. If an electrical storm burned out my tv, i would also love for the insurance company to replace my couches, but its just not practical or ethical to ask them to do that. I know what we all think of insurance comanies and yes i have stuck it to them in some cases, but let them be the bad guys and let us just do whats right. A two year old condenser that sits outside, and an airhandler with ductwork that was never on fire...... your call man. The only concern i would have is smoke smell coming from the ducts if it had been running during fire. Maybe even the coil needing cleaning. But in this case it sounds like the filter didnt even get scorched so i definatley wouldnt change it.


    Hey aren't you the insurance guy
    Good point
    You got my vote
    That's why our insurance is soo high
    Everyone always want something free.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event