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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11
    Hello all.

    I have the following equipment in my townhouse:

    Trane TWJ730 (Weathertron XE 800) heat pump, 2.5 ton
    Trane TWV736 3 ton indoor air handler
    Trane BAY96x1410 heater package
    Trane BAYSTAT239 thermostat.

    These were installed in 1991. The house is an interior-unit, 3 level townhouse (approx 2100sq.ft.). The entire house is controlled by 1 thermostat.

    The problem:

    The control for the blower motor is shot. Basically, the blower remains on no matter what the compressor is doing or whether the FAN switch is set to AUTO or ON. Earlier in the spring I'd hear the switch struggling (loud CLICK-CLICK! CLICK! sounds), and occasionally the fan would shut off. But now the fan runs 24/7.

    I had an authorized Trane technician inspect the system a few weeks ago. He indicated that the electrical contacts for the fan control circuitry/switch in the air handler were probably fried. However, he said that since the heat pump is heating and cooling fine, there would be no harm in just leaving the air handler alone. He said it would cost so much to fix the circuitry in the air handler that given the system's age, it would be better to just replace the entire air handler.

    While I don't mind that the fan runs continuously, I am worried that its going to just give up pretty soon. With the Washington, DC summer rapidly approaching, and given that my wife is pregnant (and will be throughout the hot summer), being without A/C for any length of time is not something I want to endure.

    So my questions are these:

    1. Should I even be worried about the blower suffering a complete failure? Or am I being prudent in trying to correct this now?
    2. Do you agree with the technician's assessment that I shouldn't try to just repair the blower circuitry, given that the equipment is 14 years old?
    3. Can I replace the air handler itself, or do I have to replace the outdoor heat pump and the thermostat as well?
    4. If I can just replace the air handler, do I have to stick with Trane?
    5. What questions should I be sure to ask a dealer who comes to give me an estimate?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    Randy
    Potomac (Montgomery County) MD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by rjturkel
    I had an authorized Trane technician inspect the system a few weeks ago. He indicated that the electrical contacts for the fan control circuitry/switch in the air handler were probably fried. However, he said that since the heat pump is heating and cooling fine, there would be no harm in just leaving the air handler alone. He said it would cost so much to fix the circuitry in the air handler that given the system's age, it would be better to just replace the entire air handler.
    If the fan motor contacts (relay) in the air handler are stuck - a likely proposition - then all you need to do is replace the relay. Another possibility is something as simple as a shorted thermostat wire. 14 years isn't that old for a Trane product.

    This smells like a sales pitch. Get another opinion from a different contractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,310
    The fan relay for this air handler is RLY2807 and is not that expensive. If all is working fine and your bills are reasonable, you may have a few years life left in the system.

    I would not replace only the air handler. Next year most brands will have all new lines to meet the high efficiency standard so if you buy part of a system today, it will not match with next year's equipment. Either replace the relay or replace all would be my advice. Now you have the choice of 10, 12 or even higher SEER. Next year it is 13 or better and in many areas, payback for very high SEER is minimal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    1. Should I even be worried about the blower suffering a complete failure? Or am I being prudent in trying to correct this now?

    everyone knows its pretty hard to stop a train, but a trane is a mechanical piece of equipment subject to failure. Now would be an excellant time to correct this , waiting untill she is 8 months along will only cause you more discomfort than with the air system

    2. Do you agree with the technician's assessment that I shouldn't try to just repair the blower circuitry, given that the equipment is 14 years old?
    3. Can I replace the air handler itself, or do I have to replace the outdoor heat pump and the thermostat as well?

    if you replace the control circuitry, you will still have 14 yr old equipment subject to break down at a time when you will need it most

    It is always best to replace the entire system and not just pieces.


    The house is an interior-unit, 3 level townhouse (approx 2100sq.ft.). The entire house is controlled by 1 thermostat.

    after a manual J is done you may decide on a zoned system for your house, That will be one of the things to ask when they come out to measure your house


    If I can just replace the air handler, do I have to stick with Trane?

    you dont have to stick with trane but why would you want to mismatch your system.

    another consideration is the 13 seer rating requirement that will be taking effect soon. if you replace part of your system now, and the remaining 14 yr old equipment fails later, you will end up having to replace the entire system then, and with the age of your system that wont be much longer anyway

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    The retail cost of the fan delay relay should be under $50 (plus of course the labor for installation).

    Don't forget that you are paying for the power used to run the fan when it is not needed (about $20 a month if it runs an extra 12 hours a day), plus you won't get good humidity control unless the fan shuts down when the call for cooling is satisfied.

    [Edited by travisfl on 05-25-2005 at 11:59 AM]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    933
    find a company you trust, have the system serviced for the upcomming hot season, have the fan control fixed then, Keep Momma happy! Replacing is a good way to spend money where it SEEMS unnecesary, having the unit serviced will give you some insurance that it will not die on july the fourth, it will also allow you to get an idea of whats ahead, if everything is working well, and the blower is the only problem, fix it and move on with life.

    The cost of replacement is coming in the next 5 years (most likely) get ready.
    Still learning opinions welcome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    get another opiniun on the unit
    seems foolish to replace the unit just because the fan relay is defective. trane airhandlers hold up well and those trane time off fan relays go bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for the replies so far. After a little poking around the forum today, I noticed that the opinion of 3M Filtrete filters is pretty low.

    I've been using these filters since we bought the house 3 years ago (change every 3mo per package instructions), and based on what I've read today I wonder if my filter choice could in any way be contributing to the blower relay problem.

    Thoughts?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by rjturkel
    ....based on what I've read today I wonder if my filter choice could in any way be contributing to the blower relay problem.
    No.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    11

    Smile update

    I found another contractor, and he replaced the relay. The cost was very reasonable, and it fixed the problem.

    Thanks to all who encouraged me to get another opinion -before posting here I was sure I either had to live with an always-on fan, or spend $$$ on a new unit.

    -Randy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by rjturkel
    I had an authorized Trane technician inspect the system a few weeks ago.... He said it would cost so much to fix the circuitry in the air handler that given the system's age, it would be better to just replace the entire air handler.
    Make a note not to call this company again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by travisfl
    Originally posted by rjturkel
    I had an authorized Trane technician inspect the system a few weeks ago.... He said it would cost so much to fix the circuitry in the air handler that given the system's age, it would be better to just replace the entire air handler.
    Make a note not to call this company again.

    I'd say call them and explain what you were told to the owner or manager,see how they respond,then decide if you want to use them in the future.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,358
    Like others have said, sounds to me like a bad fan manager. I replaced one on one of our Trane heat pump air handlers about six months ago. It's not a quickie swap-out but it's not brain surgery, either. Shouldn't take a tech forever and a day...no need to hand you that line about the circutry being shot and to replace the whole air handler. Sounds like yet another box mover and not a true technician.

    EDIT: Oops, just saw your update. Glad it worked out well for you.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

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