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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6

    Question

    I have a disconnect between what my home warranty says it needs to reimburse me for my external 3.0 ton unit and what the technician is willing to write regarding the condition of the unit before it was replaced. I will try and keep this short: My home warranty's techs failed to come out and service my home unit, and they authorized me to get my own tech to come out and see about it. The internal temp of the house was 89 degrees, and the fans were running but no progress was being made. The inside filter was clean, the coils were not frozen up, the outside unit was free of debris, and according to the tech that came out, the system was almost 100% charged with freon. This was the 4th time (once a year) I had called this home warranty to fix this same unit, and each year they filled the compressor with freon, and it worked again for another year. But not this time - the last time, they repaired a leak, and left another leak unrepaired, saying that it was in an area that couldn't be repaired (near the valve). When the temp went up in the house again, I just assumed it was calling for freon. Anyway, the tech I was able to get out to the house is from a highly reputed company in our area, and he said that the unit was just worn out and needed to be replaced. He reluctantly put this in writing, knowing I needed it for my home warranty to authorize the replacement. I have no doubt that this was a true statement, but "the unit (compressor/condenser) is just not able to keep up due to age and inefficiency; unit is beyond all reasonable repair" is not technical enough of an explanation for the home warranty people's books. They want the exact failure reasons for each of the major assemblies in the exterior AHU. I went round and round with them explaining how if all the parts are worn out, and you replace one, then the old one next to it will fail, and so on. No dice. I even contacted a consumer lawyer, and he says the explanation given should be enough for the insurance co. My question to all is: What can be said in a technically complete way to adequately explain this situation? I am an engineer, but this is not my field (ME).
    My attorney can get the tech a signed release of liability so that he and his company will not be at risk from lawsuits for answering the questions. I read in one of these internet reference sites that there is a standard guide that determines whether to recommend replacement or if repairs are warranted. I have no idea where to find this guide, but it might be the missing piece of the puzzle. Any help at all will be appreciated, because it is not possible to actually dissect this unit anymore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    172
    By some peoples rules a unit should never be replaced. It is always going to be cheaper to repair. I guess if I were carrying your home warranty policy you would be repairing it also LOL. I have never seen a written policy for repair or replacement usually the homeowner decides when he compares the cost of repair to the cost of replacement. In your case by buying the home warranty you have placed that decision in warranty companies hands. Probably the only way to get a replacement unit is by getting a quote as they asking for listing each deficiency and what it cost to repair it. I really don't think a good tech would have much trouble getting up a list if the unit is indeed in bad shape as you say, it could possibly exceed the price of new unit if this one is indeed falling apart. Keep in mind you are dealing with a idiot in a cubicle 5000 miles away you are the one that has to do all the leg work gather all the information etc. Me I just avoid home warranty programs and self insure. Not worth the hassle I have enough people trying to run my life without me having to pay someone to do it LOL. Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    With the highly limited information provided on this system there is simply no way that the warranty company will or should authorize a system replacement.

    "Worn out" system is not sufficient information. I would want to know what exactly is the current cause for no cooling.

    I would want to know what the outside ambient temperature was, the supply and return temperatures, the condenser subcooling, the lowside superheat, the highside and lowside pressures, the discharge line temp, compressor amperage and such.

    The technician should provide the documentation in writing of all measurements taken not just his opinion.

    That's my opinion


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    3,910
    I agree with Norm. If it could be proven that due to valve wear or other problems with the system, that it could not maintain the btu gain at a certain temperature then that may be grounds for replacement. The only way to measure this is by pressures, temperatures and a heat load calculation on the home. Other factors to be considered are insulation in attic, infiltration of structure's envelope, duct losses and gains just to name a few.

    Just my opinion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    I have done home warranty work in the past and I always provided the home warranty people with far more information than they asked for.

    I never once was rejected when I told them what needed to be done to rectify the problem and they paid up.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,868
    Originally posted by NormChris


    With the highly limited information provided on this system there is simply no way that the warranty company will or should authorize a system replacement.

    "Worn out" system is not sufficient information. I would want to know what exactly is the current cause for no cooling.

    I would want to know what the outside ambient temperature was, the supply and return temperatures, the condenser subcooling, the lowside superheat, the highside and lowside pressures, the discharge line temp, compressor amperage and such.

    The technician should provide the documentation in writing of all measurements taken not just his opinion.

    That's my opinion

    Thats what I was thinking when I read his post. I don't ever remember having a A/C that wouldn't cool because it was worn out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    2,866
    Bottom line is The warranty service is to "Help You In The High Cost Of Repairs". Sometimes because the cost is high on a certain repair, they will opt out and supply a new unit.

    Why do people always want to get something free just because they have a warranty. Where in that policy does it say it will replace it free of charge if it doesnt perform to your liking.

    well good luck to ya.
    PS. worn out is sales talk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    996
    What kind of a home warranty do you have? Do warranties cover "worn out" equipment? I would think if it is still under manufacturers warranty then they would cover it. Does home warranty cover all repairs? If a tap is worn out do they replace it? I don't understand a lot about home warranty. We don't have it around here except on new homes and I would not expect a diagnosis of "worn out" to work for that.
    "Go big or Go Home"

  9. #9
    This was the 4th time (once a year) I had called this home warranty to fix this same unit, and each year they filled the compressor with freon, and it worked again for another year. But not this time - the last time, they repaired a leak, and left another leak unrepaired, saying that it was in an area that couldn't be repaired (near the valve).
    =========================
    The warranty companies I work with would all replace the entire condensing unit if there is a non-repairable leak, especially if the system is more than a few years old. You've been a "Gas and Go" for the past 4 years, and I bet you that suddenly undiscovered leak has been there for the same amount of time. Get them to give you a new unit. If they can't fix it, they need to replace it.

    PS Even if the warranty company dosen't pay for it, get a new evaporator coil put in at the same time.

  10. #10
    Senior Tech Guest
    Home warranty companies make my blood boil....

    But you need to have the technician write a detailed description of problems/repairs needed. I'm not in the home warranty business but if I were, "It's worn out" is not detailed enough information to make a decision on what course of action to take.
    I think people in general mis-understand exactly what a home warranty is and what the coverage actually takes care of...including myself when I first dealt with them.
    Remember this, even if they choose to replace the unit, at least the ones I have dealt with, will not pay the entire cost of replacement, as a matter of fact the last one I convinced them to replace they only covered approximately 1/6 of the entire cost....some warranty huh?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Yep .... I have never realy seen any home warranty companies with a warranty worth a darn. They want the money for the warranty but then throw every excuse in the world why the owe you nothing. I dont know who its worse for ....the tech or the homeowner. Their both getting screwed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    I'll give you one that's worth a damn: First American Home Buyers Protection. I did work for them last year. Their coverage is incredibly liberal. Customers routinely DID get something for nothing. That is to say, they covered all sorts of things that should not have. Too many homeowners don't get the concept of preexisting condition. And too many don't understand that just because it's old doesn't mean they should get a new one.

    You've got two problems drog. First off the typical home warranty contractor is a butt crack mechanic. I know. I was following behind my fellow First American contractors all the time. Don't mistake my enthusiasm for their coverage policies with enthusiasm for their contractors. The odds are you had four visits because none of the four contractors were on the ball. But unfortunately your problems with those contractors don’t entitle you to a new unit.

    Your other problem is the so called "reputable" contractor. Others on this forum may chide me for jumping to conclusions. But I can smell a consolidator from a mile away. If you don't know what that means, it simply means that MANY reputable contractors have one goal in mind: sell, sell, sell. Anything they can do to push you into a new unit they'll do it. The utterly bogus diagnosis of "worn out" is a classic example of meaningless analysis designed to sell you a new unit. Your tech most certainly should have been reluctant to put it in writing.

    I appreciate your frustration with the home warranty company. Their contractors are often less than desirable. But I'm not sure what grounds you have to get a lawyer involved unless you just want to bully the home warranty company. Mind you... if they bend from the bullying I'm all for it. I thoroughly dislike most home warranty companies.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,321
    Any Home warranty company will pay to repair or replace your equipment if it is properly installed to code and manufacturers requirements. It must also be properly maintained. The key here is properly installed and properly maintained.
    If the system is properly installed and maintained you won't need a warranty company because the system will most likely last for a very long time and provide excellent service comfort and efficiency.
    The problem is people don't think about maintenance and won't pay to have systems properly installed. Therefore the equipment fails and everybody wants it replaced for free. Why should the warranty company or anyone take responsibility for cheaply improperly installed or maintained equipment?

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