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View Full Version : Attn: HVAC Gurus - Am I getting ripped off?


Chazno
04-30-2007, 03:36 PM
I'm in need of some opinions and I knew i could find some here :D. Please, any advice is welcome.

I found out over the weekend that my air conditioner wasn't working. Had a guy over this morning to look at it and boy I don't like what he found.

Apparently it has a "Rare Condition". A $1400.00 condtion. I'm not knowledgeable it this area so forgive me as I try to relay the problem. He said that there is a hole in a spider tube between the distributor and the condenser coil.

The unit is only 2.5 years old!!! The parts are under (partial) warranty and his estimate still came to $977 to replace the condenser coil and $441 to Evac and Recharge. Can anyone tell me if these are in the ball park or if I should get a 2nd opinion.

Thanks again.

Stewie
04-30-2007, 03:42 PM
Get more than one opinion. That's all I got.

Extra Point
04-30-2007, 03:44 PM
How many BTUs is the unit? That price doesn't sound too bad, for a 2,000 sq ft home.

Chazno
04-30-2007, 03:54 PM
How many BTUs is the unit? That price doesn't sound too bad, for a 2,000 sq ft home.

I forgot to mention it a heatpump system. It has 36k BTUs. Here it is: http://216.122.22.11/FetchDocument.aspx?ID=74960705-1200-4c83-872e-942e6a12912a

jspchief
04-30-2007, 03:56 PM
$1400?

How much was the unit to begin with? Sounds like a lot of money for something that's only 2 years old.

Lzen
04-30-2007, 03:57 PM
I agree with Stewie. I had to replace my furnace in February and I got about 7-8 different bids. The bids ranged anywhere from $1800 to $2500 for the high efficiency type that I chose.

Chazno
04-30-2007, 04:01 PM
$1400?

How much was the unit to begin with? Sounds like a lot of money for something that's only 2 years old.

He says it would run $3k to replace it....but those are his prices. I can't say what the unit cost. It was a new unit in a new house.

NCarlsCorner2
04-30-2007, 04:04 PM
I'm in need of some opinions and I knew i could find some here :D. Please, any advice is welcome.

I found out over the weekend that my air conditioner wasn't working. Had a guy over this morning to look at it and boy I don't like what he found.

Apparently it has a "Rare Condition". A $1400.00 condtion. I'm not knowledgeable it this area so forgive me as I try to relay the problem. He said that there is a hole in a spider tube between the distributor and the condenser coil.

The unit is only 2.5 years old!!! The parts are under (partial) warranty and his estimate still came to $977 to replace the condenser coil and $441 to Evac and Recharge. Can anyone tell me if these are in the ball park or if I should get a 2nd opinion.

Thanks again.

Is it a builders grade unit? because it should have at least a 5 year parts warranty on the unit, get a second opinion because if it's not a 13 SEER unit you may want to upgrade instead of putting money back into that unit even though it is 2.5 years old, I would call A.B May.

NCarlsCorner2
04-30-2007, 04:06 PM
He says it would run $3k to replace it....but those are his prices. I can't say what the unit cost. It was a new unit in a new house.

When did you buy the house, do you have a home warranty?

kcbronco
04-30-2007, 04:16 PM
I'm getting a new 14 SEER put in on Wed. and it's running me around $2800. It has a 10 year warranty. A 13 SEER would have 5 year. So if you have a 13 SEER or higher and only 2.5 years you should have some type of warranty on it.

NCarlsCorner2
04-30-2007, 04:38 PM
I'm getting a new 14 SEER put in on Wed. and it's running me around $2800. It has a 10 year warranty. A 13 SEER would have 5 year. So if you have a 13 SEER or higher and only 2.5 years you should have some type of warranty on it.

Are you talking about the compressor warranty or parts warranty, right now there are a lot of specials offering a 10 year parts and labor warranty.

Chazno
04-30-2007, 04:48 PM
It is a builders grade unit. It has a 5 year parts warranty. I wasn't sure that was taken into account ( Wife dealt with him) so I called for clarification. The $977 is for removing and reattaching the condenser Coil. The part is ~$600 and is covered. Seems like really high labor for what I'm guessing will take 3-4 hours.

Chazno
04-30-2007, 05:56 PM
Okay. This situation is resolved and the answer appears to be yes.

I called 2 other Ruud Dealers and asked what they would charge to do the same work, which was remove and reattach the Condenser coil, Evac and recharge the system.

Estimate #1 -- $510 TOTAL -- There was a child screaming in the background, so I took it into account as to what I would be getting.

Estimate #2 -- AB May (thanks for recommending) -- $625.00 -- Said I was the third person today calling for a second opinion from the original company.

Next I went a little further. I contacted the builder of my house and asked for the # of the company that put the system in the house in the first place.

Estimate #3 -- $123.29 -- This guy has installed MANY of these systems and couldn't think of a place on the coil where he couldn't just patch it and recharge. The cost being $78.29 service call and $45 for the coolant. He said that even if it did have to be replaced he'd charge ~$200 for the labor + the Coolant.

Needless to say I quickly called and cancelled the $1400 repair.

Thanks for all the help.

Phobia
04-30-2007, 06:04 PM
Estimate #1 -- $510 TOTAL -- There was a child screaming in the background, so I took it into account as to what I would be getting.


What does a screaming child have to do with somebody's ability to fix an AC?

Chief Roundup
04-30-2007, 07:01 PM
I install and do tech work on ruuds a lot they have been having trouble with reversing valves and capalary tubes. You did the right thing by getting ahold of the builder and finding it out. I know that Ruud will warranty all parts. No labor. No refrigerant the refrigerant is about 20 dollars a lb. and if you have a hole in a cap tube or any where in the lines you will be low on refrigerant and could hurt your compressor.
Now because there is a hole the person that comes out should reclaim the refrigerant and not reuse it in your system. I would also ask for them to install a line drier to remove any debris from him welding. There will be oil in the line where he is welding and that oil will burn and leave stuff on the inside that will collect in a reversing valve, expansion valve and then you will have a restriction not good not good.
He should also use nitrogen to test his welds up to about 400 psi.
After he has tested it with nitrogen he should use a vacuum pump to pull all the air and moisture that has gotten in the line with having the hole and doing the repair.

On a system that is 2 years old you can't always just put a new coil in the indoor or outdoor unit. Chances are you will have a 10 seer unit. They no longer make a 10 seer evaperator or condensing coils. Now because of gov. mandated codes your system has to match. Meaning you can't put a new 13 seer coil with a 10 seer coil. You will not achieve the seer rating. So if you lose one part you will have to replace it all.

Moon§hiner
04-30-2007, 07:40 PM
Did that same repair on a Rheem...(a Ruud with a different sticker)...took about 3 hours labor....it was all warranty work and yes it would all be covered and labor recovered via Rheem because this one was under a year. BTW, the new 13 seer coils above 3 tons suck...because of their size...it's making my life miserable in some basement installs...heh

NCarlsCorner2
04-30-2007, 07:52 PM
It is a builders grade unit. It has a 5 year parts warranty. I wasn't sure that was taken into account ( Wife dealt with him) so I called for clarification. The $977 is for removing and reattaching the condenser Coil. The part is ~$600 and is covered. Seems like really high labor for what I'm guessing will take 3-4 hours.

Good luck, I work for A.B May.:thumb:

Sold my business to them in December.