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  1. #1

    Replace compressor?

    Ok...the context is that I've spent the last 2 years building a home in Palo Alto, Ca. The lot alone was so expensive, I should be able to sell the dirt by the kilo.

    I'm totally out of money after the house build and I postponed the installation of the condenser to get past a ridiculous city zoning rule in order to get my final inspection passed.

    In the meantime, my HVAC guy took pity on me and gave me a slightly used condenser that he promised would work but for some reason offered to have his friend install it "on the weekend". I didn't feel comfortable with that so I paid a respected PROHVAC company to install. They quoted me a great flat price and did a great job as far as clean install, on time, great guys etc.

    Then when they went to flip the switch..discovered the capacitor was starting to bulge at the top...yikes. So he replaced the capacitor. Then the unit wasn't taking in the coolant..but eventually it worked and all the temps were good etc.

    Then..just as he was about to leave, the unit started intermittently releasing at the suction line. The tech said the seals in the compressor were leaking.

    He said the compressor was going to go bad very soon. Later in the day I turned it back on and it did the same thing and then the compressor just turned off..guessing some sort of safety feature. I noticed that the big copper pipe was warm instead of cold too.

    So, as of now I'm out $hundreds for the install and back to sweating.

    I know..penny wise/dollar short.

    Should I just bite the bullet and scrounge up the $ to have a brand new condenser installed...or does having the compressor serviced or replaced make any sense? Is there anything I should have checked given that I've already paid to have everything installed and charged up?

    BTW, the rest of the entire system is brand new and the HVAC guy even mentioned the installer did a great job in his opinion.

    thanks
    Dylan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,923
    Is there anything I should have checked given that I've already paid to have everything installed and charged up?


    Your sanity. New house, used condenser, waste of money.

    Get the new matching condenser that should have been installed originally.
    And hope you don't have an expensive acid burn out clean up to pay for.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    No two ways about it. New MATCHING condenser.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,091
    Hmmm, sounds like overcharged and/or non condensibles. Wonder if Mr. Side Job ran a vacuum pump?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,864
    I think you KNOW what you should have done so, do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    1,051
    I agree. Sounds like you have answered your own question. Get a new matched unit and chalk this one up to experience..
    Its a good Life!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Hmmm, sounds like overcharged and/or non condensibles. Wonder if Mr. Side Job ran a vacuum pump?
    Actually, I didn't use the "side job" guy. I hired a licensed/reputable HVAC Tech to install/charge the condensor....which is the correct matching unit..just not brand new out of the box.

    I do recall that the Tech had all sorts of gauges and equipment when he was getting the system up and running.

    Should I request that they come back out and inspect the system before throwing in the towel? Are you suggesting that it's possible that the system is overcharged? What does non condensibles mean?
    Thanks
    Dylan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,864
    Quote Originally Posted by dcr View Post
    Actually, I didn't use the "side job" guy. I hired a licensed/reputable HVAC Tech to install/charge the condensor....which is the correct matching unit..just not brand new out of the box.

    I do recall that the Tech had all sorts of gauges and equipment when he was getting the system up and running.

    Should I request that they come back out and inspect the system before throwing in the towel? Are you suggesting that it's possible that the system is overcharged? What does non condensibles mean?
    Thanks
    Dylan
    I think everyone is suggesting that the condenser should have been installed new, like the rest of the system. If you wanted to cut corners, do it on something less important. Like painting, landscaping, or cosmetics. If money is tight, how are you going to pay the note? It sure would make it easier to think about, if you were sitting back in the comfort of your new home.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    I think everyone is suggesting that the condenser should have been installed new, like the rest of the system. If you wanted to cut corners, do it on something less important. Like painting, landscaping, or cosmetics. If money is tight, how are you going to pay the note? It sure would make it easier to think about, if you were sitting back in the comfort of your new home.
    I hear you all loud and clear and I did cut many corners on those other items. My note is small enough that my wife can stay home with our son so our monthly burn rate is very low.

    At this point, I'm exhausting all possible fixes before I cut bait and do what I should have the first time.
    Thanks
    Dylan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,864
    Quote Originally Posted by dcr View Post
    I hear you all loud and clear and I did cut many corners on those other items. My note is small enough that my wife can stay home with our son so our monthly burn rate is very low.

    At this point, I'm exhausting all possible fixes before I cut bait and do what I should have the first time.
    Thanks
    Dylan
    You made a poor choice. Now you can make things right. Bite the bullet and have the new condenser installed, you'll be glad you did. Hope you haven't waited too long to get the full warranty on the complete system. Good Luck.

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