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Old 08-20-2011, 11:32 PM   #31
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Choosing HVAC Tech


You're in a pretty populated city, don't you see a lot of service vehicles out there? Maybe one company stands out?

Can you ask any friends or co-workers about experiences they've had with certain companies? Word of mouth is the best advertising.

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Old 08-20-2011, 11:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
You're in a pretty populated city, don't you see a lot of service vehicles out there? Maybe one company stands out?

Can you ask any friends or co-workers about experiences they've had with certain companies? Word of mouth is the best advertising.
References are the best way to go. The problem is I was essentially early retired at 48 for medical reasons and am out of touch with co workers. As for neighbors, with the economy you don't see a lot of service trucks in the neighborhood. One local outfit seems pretty good. The owner tells it like it is, doesn't hestitate to answer questions, I think is more than competent, and will pass on a job rather than cutting corners.

But you are right that I should be asking around more. My wife can ask at work and I think I know a couple of people that had HVAC work done in the last couple of years. Unfortunatley one of them had a bad experience, but now that I think of it the guy across the street [from him] found a good HVAC contractor.

Last edited by Klawman; 08-21-2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:45 AM   #33
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[quote=Master of Cold;708786]The milli ohm reading that you gave is also an indication the overload is open. It will usually reset after the compressor cools down, but not always. Especially if it has opened a number of times. quote]

I hope that I didn't confuse things by using a lower case "m" anywhere, which I see is a milli ohm, since the terminal to ground units I measured were upper case "M" ohms which I read as a million ohms.


(4.66 MΩ with the black probe to copper and Red to the terminal. If probes were reversed the reading more than tripled to over 14MΩ . Whatever the respective initial readings, they slowly climbed to over 4 MΩ and 15 MΩ when I got tired of watching it creep up.)

[Are these readings in the millions of ohms also indicative of an open overload?]

Last edited by Klawman; 08-21-2011 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Clarify readings and ask question in brackets
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #34
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Here are some signs of a good contractor.
Clean late model service truck. Not a 97 ram van with plywood in the back window.

Well gromed technician. Not the scraggly pothead that crawled out from under a rock.

The office will give you some sort of eta. Not a we will get out there when we can.

I tell family and friends to avoid companies that have manufacturers logos plastered all over the truck. Their name is not good enough, so evoke a few manufacturing logos to give credibility. I don't have any stickers from Trane, Carrier or any other, and wont work for someone that does that. Im not trying to cast anyone here in a bad manner-so settle down before you get yourself started talking smack to me.
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:21 PM   #35
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I agree about avoiding the guy with a 15 year old pickup, who looks like he crawled out from under a rock. While it is possible that he is a great technician that has been cast upon these rought economic times, a guy in a clean late model is more likely to be in business down the road if you need them. You just described the last guy who came out, the one with a list of warning signs about him, but for he had no stickers on his service truck.

I had planned to drop by the office early in the morning ,before signing with anyone, to get an idea whether the workers looked like pros or a bunch of day laborers just hired from a Home Depot parking lot.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:43 PM   #36
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I don't know how to properly test the contactor, but took a few readings.

The coil energizes and the contacts close when given a call for cooling. There is approximately 8 ohms across the coil. no resistance is measured between wither end of the coil and ground, unless the yellow signal wire is connected on the one side. Then I get 10 ohms to ground from the unconnected other side of the coil. I know nada about the thermostat and controls on the inside unit, and for all I know this is normal.

As for resistance, all wires to the contactor were disconnected except for the to load wires from the house. The disconnect was removed. All points were probed to each other and to ground, but no resistance was measured.

However, I took some voltage readings that raise my hackles. Of course the disconnect is back in.

I got almost exactly 120 V at each load lug. .021 V and .027 V were measured at the line side of poles 1 and 2. All measuremenets were takenn with the contacts open. Could this tiny voltgage leak mark a direct short that would pop the breaker when tens of amps are drawn across the contactor?
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:50 PM   #37
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The contactor would not cause the breaker to trip.
Take the compressor wires off of the contactor and wire nut them to the lines coming into the unit. Flip the breaker. If the breaker trips, find or get another breaker and install, and test the same way.
Is the disconnect outside a breaker or some sort of pull connect?
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:14 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master of Cold View Post
The contactor would not cause the breaker to trip.
Take the compressor wires off of the contactor and wire nut them to the lines coming into the unit. Flip the breaker. If the breaker trips, find or get another breaker and install, and test the same way.
Is the disconnect outside a breaker or some sort of pull connect?
I am trying a new breaker that I believe replaces the old one; a Challenger C-250. I am not even sure the model of the one I got at Lowes, but it looks like it and its rated 50A with douoble poles connected externally and internally and it looks to have all the same physical characteristics. The closest I can find to a part number is "THQL2150" on the sku sticker and "G1031" stamped into the plastic body.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #39
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Done and Done.

First, I didn't do exactly as you suggested and only connected line 1 and line 2 directly to the disconnects for the common and run compressor terminals and I sort of got a very soft trip. So I got up to Lowes and bought both that GE breaker and new fuses for the disconnect.

I apologize you asked what type it was and I forget to say. It is a pull type with a large 50 A bus for each line that I believe is a slow opening fuse.

I also picked up the correct size wire nuts and this time I stripped each wire and connected them with a wire nut.

The CB popped instantly. When I say popped it wasn't a mushy pop like the old one was now doing. It wasn't even clear that it had opened unless you pushed it to the left and it didn't click off but move too easily if it was still set on.

That rules out any short in the contact. Unless you think otherwise, I would think it must be inside the compressor. It's not what I wanted to find but if you gotta pay you gotta pay and at least I know the expense is warranted.

[The insullatiion on the lines from the house looked pretty bad and since I figure that the new ac will hook up to them I pulled them from the disconnect just to rule out that they were damaged inside the flex conduit. They look fine but I will replace them anyway, but not lave them exta long for the new isntallation. AFter going to the trouble it will probably turn out that they have to replace the line for some reason, but its just a few bucks.


Last edited by Klawman; 08-21-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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