Lennox 14ACX - Fan Motor overheating
Sorry for the long post, but please bare with me, I hope someone can help.
We have been experiencing some problems with the motor fan of a 2 year old Lennox AC unit. I am about to totally give up on this AC and Lennox in general.
Here we go:
About 2 weeks ago we noticed the outside unit stopped working. We didn't know why but since the unit is under warranty we called the company that installed it to take a look at it. After a 10 min assessment they concluded the fan motor had to be replaced. They said we will only have to pay labour (which I thought is fair) and not the motor since it was under warranty. They came and changed the motor when nobody was home, found a $400 invoice on my door with things like travel, part pick up etc (nothing of such sort was mentioned on the initial 10 minute assessment), and my blood pressure raised. Didn't even bothered to check if the AC was running or not, since I was on the call to "discuss' this outrageous bill. Their resolution was "pay 300 cash tomorrow or we take our motor back". Since I had no intention to pay cash as I wanted some track of my business with them I said in frustration they can take their motor back if they are not interested in solving this otherwise. I had no idea what trouble that will create down the road and I'm paying dearly for it now with stress and frustration.
The next day I noticed the AC was running for 20 mins then will shut down. Upon further investigation, I realized the motor fan was overheating (to me it feels really hot upon touch) which caused the compressor to stop and the pressure valve/sensor to trip. Not sure if this was the initial problem (doubt it cos the pattern is different). Called the guys that installed it...again, they said the reason why it was acting like that is because they replaced the motor with the old one. No need to mention initially the AC was not behaving like this. I think they're lying since you can tell the motor that's in is new, no dust on it (has the new part smell on it still) and why would they come over to replace a motor for which they didn't even pay? (it was under warranty). I concluded there is not way I can deal with them so I proceeded to call someone else to assess my AC.
Second tech was a local dealer which is not a certified Lennox tech so he cannot order parts under warranty. He performed a pressure test in order to eliminate pressure problems. The unit was running fine, after 20 min on the clock the fan motor stopped while the compressor kept running. We could see the pressure going up and then the pressure valve tripped and stopped the compressor too. He concluded is not a pressure/compressor issue, it's something to do with either the motor or the capacitor. Since he was unable to order either of them under warranty he suggested a certified Lennox tech.
3rd time's a charm one would say. The 3d guy came over, looked at it and couldn't find anything wrong. He said the motor looks new, it is the right part (he called Lennox to confirm) the capacitor looks new, the connections look correct. Just like an ache that disappears as soon as you get to the doctor, the AC ran just fine for the whole time he was there. I told him if he waits the motor will get really hot and will shut down, he said it was supposed to get warm while operating. He left saying to call him back if it stops again. Sure enough, 15 mins after he was gone, my AC stopped.
Called the 3rd guy's company again (I have to say, really nice folks they took the time to explain things to me, so no complains here). What they told me was not a good prediction. They said they can send the tech again but if he finds out the fan motor is at fault it will have to be replaced but out of my own pocket. Apparently Lennox will not replace the same part too often too soon for the same unit. That will probably cost me around $600 to get it fixed. Should there be other part at fault then I might get that replaced under warranty as long as is not the motor fan. I was told the guys that installed the new motor should have provided some labour warranty for it, but since I can't talk to them anymore (they won't even take my calls) I can't get this fixed with them. So I'm between a rock and a hard place now.
If I call the last tech again I will have to pay for the assessment fee and I have no problem doing that but I also don;t want to hear the fan motor has to be replaced so I want to investigate this on my own before paying any more assessments.
Has any of you here encountered this over-heating problem before? Anyone has any clue what might cause it and how it could get fixed? Any advice would be highly appreciated.
Sorry again for the long story.
this JMHO, one of the worst things people do whether a/c or car repair, is have 3 different guys keep looking at the same problem, when your paying a service call to each one.the big mistake was NOT GETTING A ESTIMATE for replacing the fan motor in the first place, you put your self in a bad position.
Originally Posted by goanga
motore do go, capacitors do go, other parts do go. most contractors hate parts, that they don't make, that go too soon, then have to give the customer the bad news! IMHO, you need a fan motor! it's most likely tripping on internal over load, which is why it continues to stop working after a set period. it gets down to who will install the motor, and me personally if i change out a fan motor i also change out the capacitor, that's just me. and this is JMHO, and i'm not telling you how to handle this again it's JMHO, i'll let the pro's point you in the right direction!
Thanks for you opinion Thes.I'm just asking for opinions and advice since I know there are a lot of experienced people here. I agree with you, my first mistake was trusting what someone said verbally and not having it on paper. I have learned that lesson well now and still paying for it. Unfortunately, I cannot turn back time for fix my mistake, I have to deal with the consequences . Since I'm rather young, the lesson above is a good life lesson which will come handy for years to come.
I highly appreciate your feedback.
It's rare but sometimes a motor right out of the box and will squeek or overheat within hours of intallation. Had one like that last week and we replaced it for free when the customer called the next morning. Call another Lennox dealer and ask up front how much$ to replace a warranty condensor fan motor. Should take less then an hour to change that motor and check the unit over after it's installed.
Did the firstguy who installed the new motor change the capacitor?
Hi, I did that and the dealer told me Lennox will not provide the same part under warranty so soon after it was just replaced as the warranty is not for unlimited number of parts? I have yet to verify if this information is accurate but this dealer told me if they need to replace the motor again I will have to pay for it as they were not the ones who replaced it in the first place and therefore Lennox will not grant them a new motor. Maybe they're right or just trying to make a sale, I don't know.
Originally Posted by martyinlincoln
The 3rd guy that came over said it looks brand new with new screws so he assumed it was changed. He did not test it in though as the AC was running at that time.
Originally Posted by NCHeat
Were you offered the 10 year parts and labor warranty at the time they sold you the system?
No, I wasn't nor did they tell me to register my product online. Based on the S/N the unit is under warranty till 2013. I guess it's the basic warranty.
Originally Posted by chuckcrj
Call the Lennox 800 number. Explain the situation nicely and ask for help. Any Lennox dealer that gives a hoot can get your motor comped.
IMO the selling contractor should always offer it. If it is turned down then the customer has nothing to complain about when he/she has to pay labor. It sucks but it happens.
Originally Posted by goanga
When there is a parts only warranty and you get charged labor, that labor amount has to cover several things; 1 ordering/picking up part(dealer has to pay full price on it), 2 someone has to change the part, 3 someone has to do all the paperwork involved with getting warranty credit on said part, 4 sending the part back(in some cases). So its not just the technician's time on the call that has to be paid for.