Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 45

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Hard Start Kit vs New Compressor

    I have a Armstrong Concept 10 Mod SCU10B424-3 central air unit just starting its 4th season. Has worked fine until this 4th season. Original installer was out to service and said compressor was not starting and probably bad. Left saying he would attempt to locate a compressor but did not know how long that would take (unit carries a 5 year warrany - parts only). A few days later different tech returned with a hard start kit and unit now working which is great as its hot out. Said would need to take it up with owner on compressor and where we go from here. While these guys have been very good to work with and may very well opt for a new compressor (they get paid regardless) I'm feeling like I need to be prepared to argue for a new compressor. However; I still need to weigh the labor cost - experience has taught me to be concerned about major fixes (sometimes it's best to leave things alone). On the flip side I don't want to face a new compressor shortly after the warranty expiration. There are many other units like this installed in tha same area and I have not heard of other issues from neighbors. It's an inexpensive unit but I live in a colder climate and we run it less than 2 months a year. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    70
    If the unit didnt originally come with a "hard start" start capacitor and they had to install one to get the compressor to come on then it's only a matter of time before that compressor won't come on even with the added power or torque to start that compressor. I've seen then last a few years after, but I've also seen them last a few weeks after the problem starts. Goodluck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Not trying to be a wise guy here but,why not ask the servicing contractor these questions first? If you don't trust them,you shouldn't use them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Arapahoe County, Colorado
    Posts
    188
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    Not trying to be a wise guy here but,why not ask the servicing contractor these questions first? If you don't trust them,you shouldn't use them.
    Pffft..........someones always gotta be a wise guy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Refer-Madness View Post
    Pffft..........someones always gotta be a wise guy!
    Yea,I know.Just seems like people come here to get information to hammer their contractor. (Not saying this is the case here) The compressor might be under warranty but,the labor & material will not be. Seems to me, they're doing a decent job of trying to keep the customer happy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,789
    Unfortunately. None of us has checked your system. So far it seems they are trying to treat you right.

    Ask their opinion on weather you should swap out the compressor or not.
    Plus might ask them what they think may be causing it to go out.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    2,680
    Quote Originally Posted by dj3901783 View Post
    If the unit didnt originally come with a "hard start" start capacitor and they had to install one to get the compressor to come on then it's only a matter of time before that compressor won't come on even with the added power or torque to start that compressor. I've seen then last a few years after, but I've also seen them last a few weeks after the problem starts. Goodluck
    Or the capacitor could be weak and instead of a 40mfd(or whatever) it is now only a 20mfd.
    Just because they need a start kit doesn't mean the compressor is bad.
    You can't fix stupid

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    I have installed a lot of start assist kits over the years, the majority by far have not needed a compressor after this. A lot of times if the compressor is "locked" to the point of being in-operable, even a good start kit will not free it, in the first place, or as I have had happen, the compressor will start and immediately shoot pieces of the valves into the piston/metering device.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,184
    The compressor runs. If they swap it under warranty and have to send it back and it is checked out, that may come back on the contractor.

    I wouldn't change it out. There are a lot of good reasons posted above.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Thanks

    I appreciate all the input. I'm just trying to educate myself and I have been very pleased with our contractor. This was a 1st of the year startup situation. I live in Minnesota and we use our AC at most 2 months a year. It appears like there is no real "right" answer here but the lean is to leave it alone. A sidenote that may or may not facor in - I have been remodeling the basement and doing some electrical work - the main wire to the AC unit was accidentaly cut and tripped the breaker. I doubt this would cause the initial lock-up?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by rhuberty View Post
    I appreciate all the input. I'm just trying to educate myself and I have been very pleased with our contractor. This was a 1st of the year startup situation. I live in Minnesota and we use our AC at most 2 months a year. It appears like there is no real "right" answer here but the lean is to leave it alone. A sidenote that may or may not facor in - I have been remodeling the basement and doing some electrical work - the main wire to the AC unit was accidentaly cut and tripped the breaker. I doubt this would cause the initial lock-up?
    It couldn't have helped it . But probably didn't affect anything.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8

    Confused Here we go...

    Owner called my wife today noting "sure glad that worked as our compressor was not covered under warranty and the mfg would not stand behind it." It appears that he wants to just quickly move beyond the issue. Did not even discuss the pro's or con's of replacement with us. His story was that it was manufactured sometime in 2003 and is one year beyond warranty. Warrenty clearly states a warranty start from "date of installation" which was early 2004. He suggests that "maybe the unit was installed before we purchased the home and sat for awhile (we are in a new home)." What he did not remember was that he (the owner) was the one that actually installed it 4 years ago and we have his signature and date of payment on the back of his business card. I can understand - that was 4 years ago and apparently he does not keep good records. We did not shop around at the time, paid him what I believe to be a premium price for the unit and now have the issue to deal with. While I'm sure it's not unusual to have a unit sitting in a warehouse for a year or two before install, based on his response I can't but wonder where the unit might have came from before he installed it (pulled from another house, reconditioned, bought on the black market, etc.). I have one more question and would appreciate comments - could the hard start capacitor be removed (standard capacitor replaced) and if the unit fires could we be more comfortable that the compressor is good or would I just be faced with another service call next spring putting the hard start back in. I'm at a loss here on how to approach the situation but definately don't wish to kick out $600 and associated service $$$ for a new compressor a year or two from now. I already have two service calls to pay for. It would also be nice to know a reasonable time estimate to replace the compressor so I can evaluate the service cost related to the replace or don't replace decision.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Quote Originally Posted by rhuberty View Post
    Owner called my wife today noting "sure glad that worked as our compressor was not covered under warranty and the mfg would not stand behind it." It appears that he wants to just quickly move beyond the issue. Did not even discuss the pro's or con's of replacement with us. His story was that it was manufactured sometime in 2003 and is one year beyond warranty. Warrenty clearly states a warranty start from "date of installation" which was early 2004. He suggests that "maybe the unit was installed before we purchased the home and sat for awhile (we are in a new home)." What he did not remember was that he (the owner) was the one that actually installed it 4 years ago and we have his signature and date of payment on the back of his business card. I can understand - that was 4 years ago and apparently he does not keep good records. We did not shop around at the time, paid him what I believe to be a premium price for the unit and now have the issue to deal with. While I'm sure it's not unusual to have a unit sitting in a warehouse for a year or two before install, based on his response I can't but wonder where the unit might have came from before he installed it (pulled from another house, reconditioned, bought on the black market, etc.). I have one more question and would appreciate comments - could the hard start capacitor be removed (standard capacitor replaced) and if the unit fires could we be more comfortable that the compressor is good or would I just be faced with another service call next spring putting the hard start back in. I'm at a loss here on how to approach the situation but definately don't wish to kick out $600 and associated service $$$ for a new compressor a year or two from now. I already have two service calls to pay for. It would also be nice to know a reasonable time estimate to replace the compressor so I can evaluate the service cost related to the replace or don't replace decision.
    You're up and running.Let it go.

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