I am a newbie on this forum who's had a Trane XL19 5 Ton dual compressor and air handler system for just over a year. My home in Davie, FL, had another brand 5 ton unit. Upgraded both compressor and air handler to a Trane after being in the home from new- same tonnage but the old one was way less efficient. Cooling was a problem in the home but no failures of any kind prior seven years.
I have the Clean Effects air cleaner installed as well, which by the way has failed previously is awaiting parts. And the Extended Warranty. The full monty. I have been pleased by the efficiency and the house has been cool and seemed to run fine up to now.
The contractor also put a remote sensor in the warmest part of the house which seems to have helped the balance. All was well, almost.
My problem now, however... The smaller 2.5(?) ton compressor kicked the bucket Sunday last. Compressor's 60A 240V breaker kicked off overnight for no apparent reason. I found it tripped and the house warmer than normal (77°) with only the air handler running at about 4AM.
The installer/servicer company sent their service manager out later on Monday (not to mention names but they are a Trane Comfort dealer and well known here). He came out, looked it over, and said, 'Yep... It's the smaller compressor that's blowing the breaker.'
Indeed, the compressor winding was not shorted, but even when manually energized, he showed me that it immediately tripped out. Though he said there were some contactor markings on there for that compressor, there was no apparent reason that the compressor itself was bad. He checked as I watched him Ohm out the windings, and they seemed OK (did not note the exact readings, several Ohms though). Said it should be fixed under warranty. Nothing inside the compressor housing that looked amiss, certainly no charred wreckage...
The servicer's office called that day and said that they would replace both compressors and many major parts...BUT... Trane warned(?) them to warn me that in the event that they found the compressor damage was due to lightning, then the warranty on this repair was void.
The good news, I am able to run with the bigger 5ton compressor for now.
Here's what I'd like to know from this group:
- Is this a normal disclaimer to make right off the bat? Are these suspicious circumstances? The owner of the company tried to reassure me that even though they have not seen this on the XL19, they have never been refused on warranty claims and have had no problems supporting warranty work with Trane.
- Are these suspicious circumstances? The dealer said that this is the very first time they have EVER had this issue with this model- XL19- or a failure of a compressor. EVER???
- Chances are that Trane will never return the parts so I can claim it as a lightning strike on my homeowner's policy, but the insurance company may never get to inspect it.
- Should I claim it now, even though it doesn't seem to be the case, so a thrid party can inspect it?
- Are there any other reasons that the compressor might quit in this way?
- Is it time for a second opinion now, before the evidence is gone? Am I being paranoid?
I think that though warranties should have disclaimers, Trane's reaching a bit red flagging this issue now. Any other opinion's? What would you do?
They are supposedly going to change out everything- large and small compressors, driers, etc.. They will recover/reuse the refrigerant (R22 is what I read here, right?), recharge the system and wait for Trane to analyze the equipment and report. Supposedly they have all the parts and will put them in tomorrow unless I call in some screeching halt to the works. They haven't asked for money up front so I assume that they're thinking it's all a warranty issue...
I am going to take pictures of the carnage as, I'm told, will the servicer, to at least somewhat protect my interests. Anyone want the pics posted? Replacing parts without knowing the cause of the failure is a troubleshooter's nightmare because it's likely that whatever the true cause might be, it might still be reinstalled or still there. I don't need to be an AC guru to figure that out. Maybe you guys can comment more technically?
Is there anything that can be done to better protect the compressor from a lightning strike? Is this a shortcoming of a very advanced, complex Trane system?
I never had a problem like this and to have it almost exactly a year after putting in a very expensive system like this is VERY disconcerting, to say the least, and for no 'apparent' reason?
Any advice appreciated!!! Thanks in advance. I am by far no expert, and not dumb enough to deny it...