Nutone FT4BD and change the lineset question
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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Nutone FT4BD and change the lineset question

    I am looking to replace a heat pump on a rental house I own. An AC contractor has given me what sounds like a reasonable proposal for a 2.5 ton Nutone FT4BD 13 SEER 8 HSFP unit. First question is are there any red flags to be aware of with that unit? Net search and forum search here doesn't turn anything up but I just want to be sure.

    Second question.... the proposal offers the option of replacing the lineset for another $. The old system is R-22 and the proposal suggests lineset change for reasons of mineral oil residues not being fully removed. Sound logical?

    Final question..... I'm a carpenter and don't know much about AC units but I recently took a bunch of copper, aluminum, brass to a salvage yard and collected around $250. Isn't there a substantial amount of copper in my old AC unit? Is it reasonable/sensible to ask that they leave the old unit (and lineset if I have it replaced) so I can salvage the metals? Is that common or just weird?

    Thanks for all opinions!
    Last edited by BaldLoonie; 12-05-2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: removed pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    Since I saw what your bid is, makes me wonder. What are you getting for the money?

    I have a FT4BD myself. I changed the lineset, wanted all new. There's a few peanuts in scrapping your old unit. Guess a lot depends upon your time. If valuable, probably not worth it. If you have all the time in the world, go for it.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2012
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    They're changing the outdoor unit and air handler but not ductwork. They're also going to open up the vinyl sided gable for easier access to the attic space. I'll get involved in that aspect just to make sure it's done right but I have faith in them.

    I've known this guy for some years and used to teach a parenting class that he attended so he's treating me right.

    How much is a few peanuts anyway?

  4. #4
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    Oct 2010
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    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    We put in our quote/contract that we will remove the old equipment from property and dispose/recycle it, therefore contractually it is our property but I would never hold a customer to that, if they want it they can have it, less time and hassle for me to do it, I'm sure scrap prices vary location to location and they change daily but a ballpark of around ~100-150 if you seperate it out right. As far as changing the line set I strongly reccomend it but its not completely necessary, we have not been changing Fromm r22 to r410a long enough to have concrete evidence if it adversely affects the new units in my mind it shouldn't cause any problems but better to be safe than sorry. Nothing wrong with that unit, my company has installed a few with no problems, good luck on your new install.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2012
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    Charleston, SC
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    I appreciate these answers. At this point I'm likely to go ahead with it including installing the new lineset (does leaving the old one in affect the warranty?) and I'll probably salvage the old unit.

    I realize now that the forum monitors removed the quote numbers from my original post. I didn't realize that was a no no but Baldloonie, since you saw it, is it in the realm of normal? I should add that this guy has been maintaining the three units I have in my own house and rentals, and that the other two are pretty old and likely to be a future job for him.

    Thanks,
    John

  6. #6
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    Not sure what you'd get for scrapping the unit. For max bucks, it needs to be stripped and all metal separated out. Between the time doing that and driving to the scrapyard, may not be worth the effort.

    Though we aren't supposed to comment on price, something makes me nervous at how very low it was. That's all I'm saying.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Not sure what you'd get for scrapping the unit. For max bucks, it needs to be stripped and all metal separated out. Between the time doing that and driving to the scrapyard, may not be worth the effort.
    I figure I'll be going back to the salvage yard one of these days anyway and it'll all be a learning experience. By the time I'm done I might agree with you!

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Though we aren't supposed to comment on price, something makes me nervous at how very low it was. That's all I'm saying.
    That's the sort of thing a customer likes to hear. :-D Really, I think I'm getting a special deal as a personal favor. It's not regular pricing, more like what I'd get if I found a hack to do it but this guy has been doing it all his life and will stand behind his work. I throw him work whenever I get it too.

    Thanks again,
    John

  8. #8
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    I want to revisit this thread to ask another question. Before installation my installer brought to my attention that his partner specified the wrong unit. Instead of FT 48D it was supposed to be the NT 48D. He said it's basically the same unit but the NT only has the standard 10yr warranty as opposed to the FT's 10yr "Quality Pledge" warranty that offers replacement of the entire unit if anything fails within 10yrs. (the warranty is not supposed to apply to a rental house anyway)
    I went ahead and approved the job with the lesser unit and it's in, works great so far and they did clean work. I've no complaints.

    You guys seemed pretty familiar with the Nutone units.... is that your assessment of the differences between FT and NT also?

    Thanks,
    John

  9. #9
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    May 2000
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    Cheapo. I wouldn't want it. No low pressure switch according to the specs. That shuts down the heat pump if the system refrigerant is low or lost. Very important on a heat pump especially with 410. Since it is in now, too late to say no. See if they will add a low pressure switch and wire it in with the high pressure switch.

  10. #10
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    Charleston, SC
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    :-(
    I looked at the specs too and it seems like the low pressure switch is the main difference. Is it an expensive thing to add after the fact?

  11. #11
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    Depends on the contractor.

    Almost sounds like you had a bait and switch. Or the partner decided your not getting the higher end unit for a discount price.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  12. #12
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    NC Sandhills
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    There are two common ways going about installing a low pressure switch. I am not very familiar with nordyne (nutone) One way is like oem, the charge will most likely have to be pulled, but some people will install the switch/valve in unit on the common suction line with the refer still in the unit if its a piercing type, but make sure they solder around it as it may leak later on. There is another pressure switch which can be installed on the service valve, these can be set to what ever pressure you want to be the limit and the system doesnt need to be opened/compromised. Make sure they add a tee or stub so the service valve will still be accessable after the LPS is installed. The biggest price difference b/w the units is mainly in the warranty, which technically you would not get as its a rental/commercial property. They should install the low pressure switch for you, since they made the mistake but like beenthere said it depends on contractor.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney28334 View Post
    There are two common ways going about installing a low pressure switch. I am not very familiar with nordyne (nutone) One way is like oem, the charge will most likely have to be pulled, but some people will install the switch/valve in unit on the common suction line with the refer still in the unit if its a piercing type, but make sure they solder around it as it may leak later on. There is another pressure switch which can be installed on the service valve, these can be set to what ever pressure you want to be the limit and the system doesnt need to be opened/compromised. Make sure they add a tee or stub so the service valve will still be accessable after the LPS is installed. The biggest price difference b/w the units is mainly in the warranty, which technically you would not get as its a rental/commercial property. They should install the low pressure switch for you, since they made the mistake but like beenthere said it depends on contractor.
    In truth the guy I know was out of town and his partner wrote up the proposal. I called the first guy and he told me ahead of decision time that the actual unit was the NT and not the FT so I knew about the model change and accepted it. The only issue is that he didn't mention the switch difference, only the warranty and since it's a rental and my tenants were without hvac, I didn't feel I had time to research the differences. I'm not sure I would have caught the switch difference without the help of this forum anyway.
    I made the decision after being informed of the model change. I could whine about not being told about the switch but it would feel like whining...

    So now my decision is whether to spring the $ for the add-on switch or not.

    Thanks for all the help once again!

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