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  1. #1
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    Sep 2014
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    Compressor Grounded out -- Why ?

    Hi , I'm Steve , new to this forum. I've got a Hamilton ME36-1B AC unit .It's been working fine for about 21 years. About a week ago the compressor died, got a service man out and wires to the pump are melted and tests says its grounded out. He wants to sell me a new unit. I was at work and did not get a chance to talk to him, So my questions are, there is R22 in my unit , a new one has R410A so can the parts in the FAU in the house stay or are they different? And is just a new compressor a bad idea ? sense the rest of it is 20+ years and what are some of the causes to do that to a compressor?

    Thanks , Steve

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    The system is 20+ years old. If you have the money and are planning to stay in the house for many more years, put in a complete new system. Your family will thank you and you will be comfortable for many years. Very few people are driving a car 20+ years old. Every thing wears out.
    Blue Fox

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Several things could have caused the issue. Was the unit well maintained? Cleaned and checked every cooling season?
    It's over 20 years old, you've gotten your money's worth.
    If you need an example of why it's a good idea, then I'll tell you that I pulled a 20 year old builders grade York out of my parents house a couple years ago. Since the new unit, they have noticed much better indoor conditions and an average of $50-$75 savings per month on electric.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Mount Holly, NC
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    Too many possibilities to guess over the Internet. Lightning, bad capacitor, dirty coil, dirty filters, ducts, etc.
    The air handler isn't going to be compatible with an r410a system.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    Thread Starter
    As far as well maintained, I keep it clear of leaves dirt , made sure to run it once a year , many times we would not turn it on all year , I live in beautiful San Diego, what more should I do ? I'm think I need to find out why the compressor grounded out , or is that common in 20+ units

    Thanks , Steve

  6. #6
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    Jun 2014
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    Dover, DE
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    Unless you replace the compressor and run the existing system you most likely will not find out why it failed. Yearly PMs with documented readings and measurements can sometimes show a developing problem. Was the condenser ever flushed out? When was the last time the evaporator was cleaned? What was the superheat, sub cooling and operating temperatures and pressures the last time it was checked?
    If you put in a new system and it starts poorly it might show duct issues if you have any. That could also lead to failure.
    Your unit sounds like it was marginally maintained, yet you still got over 20 years out of it. You got your money's worth.
    Move on, take in quotes to replace it and make sure the new one is properly maintained. Make sure whoever does it puts ink to paper as far as readings taken at the time of inspection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
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    Look into a heat pump if it's economically feasible.
    Want to REALLY save energy? Tighten up the house/ductwork and downsize the HVAC system. Smaller units keep stable temps, dehumidify better, run quieter in addition to using less power.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Wow, I'm feeling pretty stupid ! So should I have a service man come out once a year, or is that stuff I can do ? There are 2 more of the same units here, one of them is on 24/7 for as long as I can remember, they only turn it off when they leave on vacation. Would one leaky duct cause the failure, because there is a small leak in one duct that I haven't repaired in the basement. And would a new R410A unit be able to use old lines between FAU and compressor? To run new ones would be huge job.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutlug View Post
    Wow, I'm feeling pretty stupid ! So should I have a service man come out once a year, or is that stuff I can do ? There are 2 more of the same units here, one of them is on 24/7 for as long as I can remember, they only turn it off when they leave on vacation. Would one leaky duct cause the failure, because there is a small leak in one duct that I haven't repaired in the basement. And would a new R410A unit be able to use old lines between FAU and compressor? To run new ones would be huge job.
    Your over thinking, your lucky it lasted this long, change everything out and you will get your monies worth if not your throwing it down the drain.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2014
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    Thread Starter
    When you say change everything , do you mean the FAU to ?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutlug View Post
    When you say change everything , do you mean the FAU to ?
    Yes, no mismatching equipment you have to change it all.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2014
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    Dover, DE
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    If the lineset isn't easily accessible, the lines can be flushed and blown out and reused providing it's in good shape and not soft soldered. If you can get to it, change it.
    I do a startup PM twice a year on mine, fall and spring. Clean coils, inspect electrical components for loose connections, test capacitors, inspect contactor, and amp motors.
    I would very much doubt a small leak in the duct would cause an issue, unless it was in the return duct and pulling in a lot of very hot humid air.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks rider77 very helpful . I was just check prices on a new unit and see that you can still get R22 units , That sounds like the way to go.

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