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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    6
    Hi all,

    A family member recently arrived home and after a while heard a odd noise and looked out the window to find smoke pouring out of our outdoor condensor. They pulled the breaker and hosed it down to put on the fire. Had a couple different A/C companies come out and was told it was the compressor that caught fire and the whole unit would need to be replaced. It is a 9 year old Bryant 4 ton unit. We are hoping the insurance will cover it so we have gotten a couple estimates, just waiting on the paperwork from the company to arrive. Anyway, here is a copy of what I posted on doityourself.com which is where I found out about this place Thanks for your replies.

    ----

    Had 2 places come out today. Both said the indoor unit looks immaculate for it's age (9 years old) so they wouldn't suggest replacing it.

    Did get estimates as well -

    1st- 10 (or 15? SEER) Bryant 4 ton for $xxx
    2nd- 4 ton 12 SEER Carrier $xxx and 4 ton 12 seer Trane for $xxx

    My family is really hoping that insurance will cover it. Both places that came out today say it looks like it was caused by a power surge or hit by lightning which in turn caught the compressor on fire. Good thing we were home to shut the power off - could have burned down the whole house!

    Anyway, just wondering what you all think of those prices thus far and what brand you prefer.

    [Edited by BaldLoonie on 06-30-2005 at 08:47 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,308
    First edit out the prices, or the moderators will.

    Yes, that means no price questions allowed here.

    With out changing the indoor coil, you won't get the seer rating of any of those units.

    So, even if the insurance company won't pay for a new inside unit, get a new VS indoor unit.

    The brand doesn't matter, but the installer does.

    And I'd keep looking until one said about changing atleast the indoor coil, if not the entire indoor unit.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,068
    Originally posted by lonestarlogan
    Hi all,


    My family is really hoping that insurance will cover it. Both places that came out today say it looks like it was caused by a power surge or hit by lightning which in turn caught the compressor on fire.
    Do not!! say power surge or your insurance will tell you to bad, it did get hit by lightning is what you say.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the advice. I guess they are sending some kind of paper that whoever we choose to do the work is to fill out. I'm hoping to get it in the mail tomorrow, so I'll see what kind of questions it asks.

    As for replacing the indoor - we really don't have the money right now. If the insurance doesn't cover to fix it then we may be without a/c for awhile, I don't want to push our luck and have the places quote both the indoor and outdoor units as I don't think it is even possible that lightning could ruin both at the same time? Maybe it is, but I want to be honest - nothing is wrong with the inside unit. I just want to get a good outdoor unit so a few years from now if we have problems with the indoor and have the money to replace it, we can replace it with the better indoor unit as well.

    Sorry about the prices! I didn't even think of that when I copied and pasted the text.

    Anyway, it seemed as though we had someone out every year doing some small repair on that outdoor Bryant unit, and I've heard Carrier is makes them, so I think I'm going to go with the Trane. I will keep you all updated.

    Had one guy come out today and quote prices for a Frigidaire and a Ruud I believe? Can't remember off the top of my head, but they were alot higher than the Trane and Carrier. I don't know of anyone that has that brand in my area though...

    Thanks again for the replies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    While beenthere is technically correct about SEER, it is not a be all end all. If you end up spending an extra $50 a year on power because you didn't buy a new indoor unit, so what? SEER ratings have nothing to do with cooling performance. If you can't afford a new indoor unit then don't worry about it at all.

    The only thing that I'd suggest is to make sure your system has a TXV (thermal expansion valve). If it doesn't have one have them add it (IF they can). It's not that much money and it will make the two units work VERY well together, even if it doesn't earn the Ralph Nader award for environmental sensitivity and contractor profitability.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    6
    Well, insurance ended up covering it, and after 2 weeks of no a/c, we had a Trane XR12 outdoor condensor installed. The thing is QUIET too, the old worn out Bryant we had was always so loud from the day the house was built and it was installed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    Did you get them to pay for the 12 SEER unit entirely or did you have to pay the difference between that and a 10 SEER?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    6
    The Bryant dealer gave me a quote for a 10 seer, and the 2 trane dealers gave me a quote for the 12 seers. I just turned in the 2 quotes from the Trane dealers because they were most expensive and they just gave me the amount of the cheapest quote I turned in minus the $500 deductible I have. Keep in mind that this is just the outdoor condensor. The indoor coil is still the same Bryant unit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    Nice job working the system.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    6
    I wouldn't call it working the system. The Bryant was $150 less than the Trane, not a big difference at all. We had a ton of problems with the Bryant unit, so we did not want to go back.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    So your compressor shorted out, ignighted the oil vapor in the crankcase and blew out the terminal block. Not an item covered by any homeowners insurance I know of.

    If that was the failure, you and the contractor that signed the paper may be guilty of insurance fraud.

    If it really was due to a lightning strike, cudos to your insurance company for stepping up and taking care of it for you.

    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,308
    When I said about not getting the higher seer without changing the indoor coil, I was reffering to the 12, and 15 seer condensers.

    Why pay for high seer outdoor unit, since if its single stage, you wouldn't be anymore comfortable then with a 10 seer.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    If it were me, I'd want the high SEER unit for the quietness and better warranty even if I wasn't getting the rated SEER.

    Trust me when I say this lonestar: $150 may as well be $1500 as far as the insurance company is concerned. As I said, nice job working the system. I wasn't making a value judgement when I said that. Though if I had...

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