what are the early signs of break-down
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    52

    Unhappy what are the early signs of break-down

    I have old A/C unit and weather over here in Texas is reaching triple digits now. I don't plan to replace my unit just because of age. But, I definitely don't want to be stuck in sudden break-down and hot house.

    I got my annual check-up and always got a recommendation from a techniain to replace the unit for 3 years straight. Mine is 18 years old.

    I am just curious if there are any signs that I can notice before sudden break-down. I am quite worried about compressor this year since it had locked once. I plan to replace the unit probably before next summer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    Well, you kinda contradicted yourself, saying you dont want to replace beacause of age , but you also dont want a complete failure. But anyway, 18yrs old, compressor locked once, (I am assuming they installed start components to make the compressor operational) Is this right? Its kinda of a guessing game at this point, but you do have some factors working against you. Are you having to add refrigerant when it is serviced, Indicating small leaks in the system?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,305
    I would say the most important thing to keep a watch on is any unusual noises such as squeeling, rattling, clunking, or "marbles in a can"

    any of these are signs of an impending problem. Other than that, just continue to have the unit serviced anually

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,581
    Not all units give a warning.

    New and old units a like, break down when they want.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    389
    I agree with all of the above and 18 years old could be on borrowed time anyway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Get a few window shakers and store them in your garage or basement.

    This will be your emergency back-up plan so if your central a/c dies, you can cool a bedroom, living room, etc. This will also prevent you from rushing to replace your system and have some time to get a few quotes and compare them.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by aintitfun View Post
    Well, you kinda contradicted yourself, saying you dont want to replace beacause of age , but you also dont want a complete failure. But anyway, 18yrs old, compressor locked once, (I am assuming they installed start components to make the compressor operational) Is this right? Its kinda of a guessing game at this point, but you do have some factors working against you. Are you having to add refrigerant when it is serviced, Indicating small leaks in the system?
    No freeon ever had to be added. I guess there was no lead then. One of service technians suggested the service kit to help the compressor work better and he also said it would not extend the life of the compressor, therefore, I didn't do that . I haven't had a single problem with this A/c so far except for contactor replacement 5 years ago.

    Thanks for answer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    37

    18 years old

    I updated my Mothers system 8 years ago after my father passsed away and I guesstimated it was 30 plus years old and still operating. I thought about calling the company to see if they wanted to do a commercial...lol My dad replaced one or two condenser fan motors im sure. I replaced a cap on it once. He installed it. The install and the pm had a lot to do with it. Just noticed his favorite number was 8! Lot of 8's in this quote. Keep it cool up there pop!!! (8-8-1918)
    What was I thinking??? I never do that again!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    TEXAS
    Posts
    1,701
    replaced a coleman "polar ice" condenser yesterday, probably 40 yrs old. the only warning it gave when it died was a huge light bill.
    "When the people find they can vote themselves money,that will herald the end of the republic" - Benjamin Franklin

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action"- George Washington

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,941
    I finally replaced my 27 year old unit last year. You never know when they will give up, but I do know you will see a big difference in efficiency with a new, PROPERLY SIZED and PROPERLYINSTALLED unit.
    And remember, if it does die unexpectedly, you won't die without A/C for a few days. Although my wife thought she was going to die last year when our system gave up. But she survived.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,600
    that ac already gave you a warning when the compressor locked up start the quote process

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    that ac already gave you a warning when the compressor locked up start the quote process
    I didn't know that is that bad sign since my unit has been working fine. I just guessed it was 6 o'clock everning and everyone was using A/C and current may have been low.

    Thanks for your answer. I was planning to get some quotes in September or October so that I can find better deal ( this is also a guess...I don't know if I get better deal in slow season..)..

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    225
    It would be great – without checking your unit to the minute “When it will Die”
    but were not fortune tellers

    Some here are correct – age of unit, and lock up – are signs
    Slower season is best – more Co's have more time, and will usually = more time on your Install

    My Philosophy is - “if it ant Broke” but not always – Better comfort / Proper size – things change over the yrs...eg Computers / Big screen TV / Remodels to house / Now Better Software to properly size a unit, also got to consider Energy savings (I would Pick the highest seer you can afford – because 13 seer will be at the bottom in a few yrs/or is now! Also consider R22 (though a few yrs out) will be phased out, and support for this / repairs (hope non for 15 yrs at least) will be costly.

    But Shopping around – to look at your options cant hurt, and give you a good idea what it will cost (Wow my unit / New house lasted 2 yrs! Lucky you)

    PS...I replaced my own, System myself – from the Junk they (cheep builder) installed on are track....

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