Hello everyone, my first post here. Lurked a couple times, but never posted. A little background, 7 years doing this in Phoenix, AZ, work for a Carrier dealer who is also a DOD contractor, do over a half million in Carrier sales the last couple of years with various chillers/packages/purons, etc.. Senior tech, do a lot of ducting problems also, had a lot of general experience with a lot of different units, water leaks, boilers,mini splits, etc.,etc.. I'll stop blowing my horn, but I've been around the block and know how the game is played.
4/21/05 Commercial call is no a/c. Find a dead Lennox unit 3 ton HP 20 years old, compressor is blown all to heck, even blew the old hard start to pieces. Recommend changing the whole thing, customer only OK's condensor despite us telling them the ID section is 1979 and rusted. Replace the condensor with a CPLE036 Goodman because they want cheap and won't pay for a Carrier. Verify piston is right, clean ID coil, etc. up and running.
A couple days after that get a call back the fan won't shut off on the ID fan. Pull the wire of the stat and wait, wait, wait. Still running. No 24v at the relay, but I'm still running. Change out the very hard to get to relay thanks to a lazy original installer, up and going again.
A week or so later, get a callback, no cooling. Find ID coil iced up badly, another tech says oil on my freshly cleaned evap coil and his detector is going off. Order up a matching Goodman air handler which is a direct swap for the 1979 Janijunk that's in there, really tight fit others won't even fit. Move unit over a few feet not to screw the next guy who has to get in there. Pumped down the new condensor that morning into itself and changed out the air handler, pull a 250 micron vac with a new JB digital vaccuum gauge. Charge it and even drill a new hole through the outside wall to get a nice drain angle, no more stained ceiling tiles.
A week later, another call, no cooling. Same thing, low on charge. Now at this point I know I have a leak in the condensor somewhere, it's the only thing I've never pulled a vacuum on or touched. Linesets are good, evap is brand new, held a 250 micron vacuum. Oil all over the Goodman, which if you know Goodman's you know is a given from the factory. Start snooping around with the Inficon leak tester and it's hitting 3 spots on the coils, but there's oil all over the bottom of the unit, and not shipping oil. Order up a new warranty coil and get it Friday.
Today, install new coil which requires piping, not a direct part. Pull out my outdoor piston to verify right size, 52, have a 59 out of old unit. Spend 20 minutes on the phone with the local Goodman "technical" support and at one point the idiot tells me I shouldn't even have a piston in the machine. I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle him. Finally finds 59 is correct, Goodman doesn't feel the need to put it on the unit like Carrier or even train their monkeys aparantly! Pull a vacuum and can't get the thing to drop. Hit it with nitrogen and find another leak on the small cap tube that supplies the middle port on my RV. Solder it up and hope it holds since these people are angry to say the least. Pull a vacuum and charge it, good pressures and say goodbye.
I've spent so much time on this machine it's not funny, and I'm confident it's not going to last, but Goodman is essentially saying it's my problem even though they have had problems with it before.
Skip to Saturday, install a new 12 SEER 3 ton HP package Goodman for a neighbor who happens to also be my friend and sit my dog when I have to go out of town for work. I do the work for free, get unit at cost, pay cash for crane, etc.. I know how a lot of you feel about side jobs, but this isn't some guy I met somewhere who wanted a good deal, this is a personal friend who I see daily. Absolutely nothing off the truck, even use her ladder, so I don't want to hear that argument. This would be no different in my mind than if I decided to replace my 10 year old Goodman on my own house, which the day is coming.
Now the reason I went with Goodman. First I've had decent luck with them so far, our whole neighborhood of 30 homes has only 2 newer ones, subdivision built in 1995. Second, direct swap, except for the now larger return opening which is easily blocked and sealed. I also like the lugs on the contactors, and mostly universal parts, more than I can say for Trane, ICP, and Carriers I've installed lately. It was an easy 3 hour swap with new disco, whips, Braeburn stat, drain, and duct sealing. Fire it up and man that scroll doesn't sound right? Throw the gauges on it and I've got 20# static with the disconnect out. Think uh-oh, run down and get another set of gauges. Yep, I've got a leaker. Well it's Saturday and they're closed and the house is hot, so I throw some juice in and give it another shot. 91 inside, 105 outside and I've got 100# suction, 175 head. Keep it running at those pressures, and at least it's something and the house does cool down enough to sleep in that night. Offer my house even for a cool place to stay.
First thing today, Monday, call my distributor and basicly am told, here's a $150, we'll get a compressor up from another store and it's your problem. I ask what about my leak and they tell me again it's essentially my problem, time to get out the bubbles and detector and go to work. Got done working today and head home. Recover the juice and throw a 350# nitro charge in it. There's a super small leak somewhere, but I can't find it. Drops about a pound in 15 minutes, but I know in my heart there's a leak. Went over everything with bubbles, but couldn't find anything. The evap coil is situated such that there's no way you're ever going to easily find a leak if there is one. Plus you shouldn't have to, it's a brand new unit, less than a day old! Pull another vacuum, get down to 788-800 microns with a 7 cfm pump and it rises up to 900 before I say forget it, I need to get the air back on. Recharge it with the recovered, unit will only take 5# of a 137 oz charge (just over 8#) and my suction is 100/head 190.
Get to make some more phone calls tomorrow, but I know it's probably not going to get me anywhere. I'll be sure to post up just to keep others informed of the service I receive from Goodman who according to their literature prides themselves on quality and reliability! At this point, the only adequate settlement I would accept would be to take the joke of a $150 money you were going to pay me to install a compressor in your machine and pay for my crane. Have a new unit waiting for me, that I will verify it has at least a good static charge even before I leave your parking lot. I will return your leaking, broken compressor "new" unit and you can ship it back to see where your inspectors slipped up and hopefully learn from your mistakes. At this point it's sort of about the money, but more about how manufacturers are treating the contractors that are installing their equipment. I may actually end up pulling it down and just installing a Trane, even if I have to eat the cost of the ductwork and stand. If it comes to that without the offer of a new unit from Goodman, it's time to go on parade for that unit. Time to hit the Home Depot parking lot with my weekend truck with it in the bed with free brochures detailing the problems. I think Home Depot's contractors would love it, seeing they're a Trane dealer! Perhaps start sending Goodman pics of it all over the valley, sort of like that little garden gnome that was stolen and went around the world.
It's going to be an interesting week, I may make you think twice about installing a Goodman which I haven't really been hesitant to install before recently.