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Thread: Ants?

  1. #1

    Ants?

    I live in Charlotte, NC and have a relatively new (less than 5 yrs old) Trane middle-of-the road A/C unit with gas furnace. Last year, it went out in the middle of a heatwave and the diagnosis was that there were ants on my contactor(??). The technician cleaned it and said it might need to be replaced if this happened again.

    Properly cautioned, I purchased the twice-a-year maintenence agreement to prevent this from happening again.

    Three weeks ago, the technician came out to service the unit, everything was great.

    Earlier this week, the A/C went out, this time, the contactor was the blame again...once more with the ant story. (since the argument last year about the ants was that we were in the middle of a drought and the ants were looking for water....and, those conditions do not exist this year...I had not put ant traps out yet). Anyway, I paid for the part, refused to pay for the trip charge and bought ant traps to put all around the unit.

    Yesterday, in the middle of a 100-degree heat wave, the A/C is out AGAIN. It will take 2 days for a tech to get here because of the "high volume" of calls.

    I am REALLY angry. Not only did I pay high dollar for this Trane unit, thinking that I would be "safe" into my retirement years, but, these people have been here twice in the last month and the stupid thing still does not work.

    Tried to search the web for other instances of this ant thing...they swear it is an epidemic here...with no results....and I KNOW that they are going to try to use it for this latest incident.

    has anyone else heard of this? My house is not large, about 1500 sq feet, surely not too big for this unit. I am thinking that I am being ripped off and I don't know what to do about it.

    thanks for your input

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire (USA)
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    401
    Yes.... fire ants love contactors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Grundy Co. IL
    Posts
    773
    There isn't a whole lot you can do to prevent bugs or insects from getting in your contactor. Around here it's the earwigs, about the only thing you can do is change from an open style cont., to a closed style, no guarantee.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,741
    as a tech we can not do any thing about the ants except replace contactor and spray ant spray inside of electrical box

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,741
    as a tech we can not do any thing about the ants except replace contactor and spray ant spray inside of electrical box

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Scientists still have not figured out exactly why, but ants are attracted to electrical switching equipment in general.
    Ants in the contactor is an extremely common problem in my area, regardless of weather conditions.

    The best thing you can do is keep all vegitation cut back a couple feet from the unit, and don't allow dirt/mulch build up around the unit, especially not in contact with it. Put down some ant poison around the unit.
    Generally make the area around the unit inhospitable to ants.

    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    as a tech we can not do any thing about the ants except replace contactor and spray ant spray inside of electrical box
    And if you are not a licensed pest control guy, technically it would be illegal to spray any ant poison inside the electrical box and charge for it.
    I've had good luck with the Stutton JS 685 dielectric insecticide.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Beautiful, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love!
    Posts
    1,096
    Have the tech install a closed contactor (one with a cover over the contacts. We have those nasty earwigs also, they seem to pick on some people more than others. For these folks we carefull caulk the gaps with silicone to keep them out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by marge View Post
    I live in Charlotte, NC and have a relatively new (less than 5 yrs old) Trane middle-of-the road A/C unit with gas furnace. Last year, it went out in the middle of a heatwave and the diagnosis was that there were ants on my contactor(??). The technician cleaned it and said it might need to be replaced if this happened again.

    Properly cautioned, I purchased the twice-a-year maintenence agreement to prevent this from happening again.

    Three weeks ago, the technician came out to service the unit, everything was great.

    Earlier this week, the A/C went out, this time, the contactor was the blame again...once more with the ant story. (since the argument last year about the ants was that we were in the middle of a drought and the ants were looking for water....and, those conditions do not exist this year...I had not put ant traps out yet). Anyway, I paid for the part, refused to pay for the trip charge and bought ant traps to put all around the unit.

    Yesterday, in the middle of a 100-degree heat wave, the A/C is out AGAIN. It will take 2 days for a tech to get here because of the "high volume" of calls.

    I am REALLY angry. Not only did I pay high dollar for this Trane unit, thinking that I would be "safe" into my retirement years, but, these people have been here twice in the last month and the stupid thing still does not work.

    Tried to search the web for other instances of this ant thing...they swear it is an epidemic here...with no results....and I KNOW that they are going to try to use it for this latest incident.

    has anyone else heard of this? My house is not large, about 1500 sq feet, surely not too big for this unit. I am thinking that I am being ripped off and I don't know what to do about it.

    thanks for your input
    You were told about the problem last year , did nothing about it , didn't pay for the service call , and want to complain when it took too long to service you . Does this sum it up ? You're being unfair to the servicing contractor . I don't think I've ever read any warranty that says their unit is ant proof . Tell us why you shouldn't have to pay for the service call .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Grundy Co. IL
    Posts
    773
    Agreed, or you can pay someone to stand by your cond., and protect it from the evil ants.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,876
    TDW....I agree....it would be very simple....he would have to pay me what he owes me before I would come back out to fix the next problem. I love it when homeowner's withhold payment and then expect you to jump when something comes up.


    However...to the OP....if the ants were the cause of this problem...why didn't you ask to see the old contactor?? Or even better yet that tech should have just showed it to you. Here in Ohio, we don't have fire ants but I would guess I will change out 10 or 12 contactors due to bugs getting caught in there.
    I need a new signature.....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by marge View Post
    I am thinking that I am being ripped off and I don't know what to do about it.

    thanks for your input
    I am thinking, you're not the one being ripped off. I understand the retirement issue ,however , we are not in the pest control business . That is the homeowners responsibility . It really doesn't matter what brand unit this is , or how much it cost . They (servicing contractor) really haven't ripped you off ,on the contrary , they've gone the extra mile . What more do you think they should do to make you a happy camper ? P S I've seen a lot of different critters in the contactors , so it's not uncommon .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    65
    I had the same problem, but the tech changed out the contactor from a 30 amp model to a 40 amp closed model. I never had that problem again. That was the most effective service call I've ever had.

    I agree that it's the home owners responsibility to control the insects and to pay for service calls. I have a new Trane XL16i and my biggest worry is the contactor. I have to wonder why they use the open models and not the closed models of contactors.

    Bill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,587
    I love it. Another unreasonable homeowner. Ants are outside, they will go where they want too. I replace at least 50 sets of contactors a year due to this, sometimes twice a year on some people. I've also pulled out hundreds of lizards, a few snakes, a handful of mice, crickets, etc... I guess they should be responsible for your neglect to take action against what he warned you could be a potential problem in the future. I had a lady threaten to sue us for ants in her contactors and it was our fault. I finished the call, collected the money and she is no longer our customer. If I were your contractor, I would refund any of your monies and give you the # of my most loved competitor.

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