skeptical homeowner seeks new system advice
Late last week I attempted to use my A/C for the first time this year and realized that my 1980 GE Weathertron had reached the end of the road. The lowest temps I could measure at the supply vents was 81F. There was no condensate in the drain pipe, and upon inspecting the interior of the indoor unit, I found the cooling coils/fins to be warm to the touch. Bad news!
This morning, a very reputable local HVAC contractor visited and diagnosed the system as being damaged beyond repair. He first inspected the outside unit and determined that, although there was plenty of R-22 in the system, it was very dirty. The compressor had "burned-out" and the fan atop it would not budge. Thereafter, he informed me that there was NO WAY to repair the system and that I would need a brand new indoor/outdoor system.
When I asked him whether or not I should choose a Trane or Carrier, etc., he said that their preferred unit was a Ruud. He suggested that I replace the existing 3-ton GE Weathertron with a Ruud 13 SEER w/ 410a coupled with a Rheem variable-speed electric air handler w/ heater.
I also asked him whether or not he was going to replace the copper tubing/lines. He replied "no, there is a flush kit that will be used to prepare it for the Puron refrigerant." Being a Chemist, I am very aware of the immiscibility of different lubricants.
So, is it really possible to "flush" it completely...or should I insist on the replacement of the copper?
Important details to note: I require electric versus gas; I live in a 2800 sq ft 3-level end unit townhome in Northern VA; I am not interested in a SEER higher than 14; I am a Microbiologist & Chemist...clearly unqualified to make HVAC decisions...therefore, I am deferring to you, the TRUE professionals
The price he quoted me $xx w/ 2 years labor, 5 years parts, and 10 years on the compressor.
The price seems high, judging by other threads I've read on this site. Is it?
Last edited by jrbenny; 05-17-2007 at 02:41 PM.
If you had a burnout and replaceing everything, do the lineset also.
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll heed your advice on the line replacement.
What do you think of the price? If you don't have a thought on $$, would you suggest that I get 1 or 2 other estimates?
The contractor has a great reputation and seemed honest, but what do I know?
Lineset size depends on what the manufacturer calls for. And yes get a couple of estimates. You can get the different opinion from other contractors in your area.
MircoChem please read the site rules. They clearly state "No Pricing Questions". Please edit out the prices from your first post. Only Contractors that have seen your job can give you an acurate price.
Have you hugged the Earth today?
Donny Baker rules
Edit out the price.
We prefer to change the line sets. But if they are in a wall, we use the rx11 flush on the old line set. Haven't had any trouble.
That price doesn't sound out of line for also getting a 2 year labor warranty.
Why don't people read the rules before posting? And why is it always about price?
We only want to do it, if we can do it right.
That's a sizable investment for most people and not something people like to go blindly into. However it's against forum rules for the reasons stated above. get many estimates. Notice how detailed they are. Being a chemist you should know all about making and educated guess or knowing what is needed. They should do load calculations on the house and duct work so they aren't making a educated guess as to what you need. They will know exactly what your needs will be.
Your GE unit lasted apprx 26 yrs. I doubt you will receive anywhere close to that life with a Rudd. I would go with a Trane(they bought the GE heat pump technology in the late 80s) and IMO still make a superior heat pump. I would look at the sgl stg XL14i or XL15i models and pair with a var spd air handler. And definitely get your lineset replaced regardless of refrigerant of new HP. One final thought. I realize old system is way beyond the av life of a HP but you might consider a second opinion regarding the GE's condition. Did it heat OK this past heating season?
Very wise of you to research first, grasshopper. You get what you pay for. It's good to get a couple of estimates, though.
Originally Posted by BigJon3475
You'll be hard pressed to find a contractor on this board that wants to give an estimate if your getting more then 3, possibly 4.
Screen contractors over the phone, so you don't waste your time or theirs.
Okay this is a complete guess.......But if you get 6 est. 3 of them will come right out and use a rule of thumb to tell you what you need. The ones left will hopefully have done a load calc. on your dwelling. Of those three you can choose the one best suited to your needs but not necessarily the cheapest or most expensive this is where the research will come in. You could get lucky and use just one and he be the best in the world. Seeing more options is a better choice IMO......take it for what it's worth.
Is RX-11 a new form of R-11?
Originally Posted by beenthere