DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler Replacement - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-14-2006, 10:38 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


I plan to replace my 25+ year old air handler (GE) and 4T heat pump (Carrier). I plan to order online and do 90% of the installation myself and hire a HVAC tech for final refrigerant charge and system checkout.

Since this is a DIY friendly forum I'm just seeking opinions. I'm not changing any ductwork or making capacity changes. Manual load J indicates that 4T is still accurate. I'm replacing existing components vs. new installations.

There's a multitude of online sites offering components from Goodman and Ruud. I've decided on a 4T Ruud air handler and 4T condenser. I plan to replace my existing lineset.

I've read all the Ruud installation manuals and it all looks straightforward. Power and circuit breakers are all there and correct and my control system is compatable.

I realize warranty becomes pretty "iffy" dealing online but all the components will cost me about $2500 vs. contracters that are quoting me about $10K. That savings more then makes up for warranty concerns.

The form factor of the new air handler is almost identical to my existing system. Only minor modifications need to be made to my return plenum.

I'm just curious about any pitfalls in DIY HVAC. My biggest concern would be defective new components.

I'm open for all advice suggestions for those that have chosen this route.

Advertisement

hennyh is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
Thoroughbred Mopar Man
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: South/East Kansas
Posts: 638
Rewards Points: 500
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Hi hennyh

I am a liscenced service technician, now that I have said that. There is the question of what are you doing with the refrigerant in the existing system. This is the one thing I am trying to get rectified, the bottom dollar low life company's that offer there equipment no questions asked to the general public. Yet they are not required to ask if you have your CFC cirtification. That in itself is a violation of the law, which when I took my test, said that it was illegal for any company to sell any piece of equipment to the public that was not self contained and had a refrigerant amount greater than 5 lbs. I am not trying to detour you in any way, but I have a real problem with knowing that if I release refrigerant other than accidentaly. I could end up in prison with a girlfriend named Bubba. As far as setting the equipment by all means if thats what you want to do. As far as the warranty, that goes off the serial # and the date of sale. If they are stupid enough to sell to the general public, they get what they deserve.

Good Luck
Rusty

Advertisement

#CARRIERMAN is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 12:55 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by #CARRIERMAN View Post
Hi hennyh

I am a liscenced service technician, now that I have said that. There is the question of what are you doing with the refrigerant in the existing system. This is the one thing I am trying to get rectified, the bottom dollar low life company's that offer there equipment no questions asked to the general public. Yet they are not required to ask if you have your CFC cirtification. That in itself is a violation of the law, which when I took my test, said that it was illegal for any company to sell any piece of equipment to the public that was not self contained and had a refrigerant amount greater than 5 lbs. I am not trying to detour you in any way, but I have a real problem with knowing that if I release refrigerant other than accidentaly. I could end up in prison with a girlfriend named Bubba. As far as setting the equipment by all means if thats what you want to do. As far as the warranty, that goes off the serial # and the date of sale. If they are stupid enough to sell to the general public, they get what they deserve.

Good Luck
Rusty
My plan is to hire someone to do the decommisioning of my old system. (recovery of refrigerant)

I've read EPA 608 and I don't see anything that restricts sale of the actual equipment. It appears that most of it limits what refrigerants you can buy and in what size. It also limits the capacity of the system you can evacuate from.
hennyh is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:17 PM   #4
Thoroughbred Mopar Man
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: South/East Kansas
Posts: 638
Rewards Points: 500
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Hi hennyh

Sorry to come across a bad person, but this is very irritating for our whole industry. Thank you for having the refrigerant reclaimed. Like I said, I am not trying to detour you in any way. Just like to see things done properly.

Good Luck
Rusty
#CARRIERMAN is offline  
Old 11-15-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
vey
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


The licensed industry is why there is more interest in DIY.

I am looking a an old invoice from 4 years ago. My elderly father-in-law had his outside condensor unit replaced then with almost the same model as the original, so things matched up fine with his air handler. No need to replace the lines, run new electrical wires, etc. Just pull one out and put one in.

It was a Rheem 3 ton, 10 seer, no heat pump -- this a pretty basic and inexpensive model.

The invoice is for over $4,000. We know from the low life companies that the unit cost about $1,000, so how can any industry justify charhing $3,000 for delivery and let's be generous and say three hours of labor?
vey is offline  
Old 11-15-2006, 03:02 PM   #6
Thoroughbred Mopar Man
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: South/East Kansas
Posts: 638
Rewards Points: 500
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Hi vey

You brought up a valid point about DIY, but alot of what you said is brought on by the publics unwillingness to educate themselfs. I am sorry that your father in law paid that much for a low end piece of equipment. But on the other side of the coin, how much did it cost to build the car your driving, produce the gas it uses, to be repaired at the shop. I bet no one ever thinks about that. But to me climate control and safety for my household is worth a ton more. The one example I find most irritating is no one has a problem paying someone to come in with a vacuum cleaner and charge them $80.00 plus dollars and hour to fix something that just craps paper. But when it comes to me making what I make I am a thief. I do not understand the general public and their reason behind this, but I'm not here to argue and I know what I'm worth.

Rusty
#CARRIERMAN is offline  
Old 11-16-2007, 09:54 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6
Rewards Points: 10
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


good luck.
As I've been told "it ain't rocket surgery", I have no doubt that anyone can learn to do it. However, after 15 years in the field myself, I am still humbled by how much I don't know.
Good technicians work for good companies that pay....GOOD! So, be careful when you go hire that "cheap" guy to hook it up for you when you finish.
I am impressed that you know what manual "j" is, based on that Im' going to guess that you have some engineering background. What does your ductwork look like? Was it sized properly? Does it leak? Do you know how to braze...safely? Can you leak check? Pull a vacuum? Set dip switches? Perform a combustion analysis?
Save that dollar, but if you don't have the answer for these other questions, you might just be spending it and some more like it on utilities.
VAheatcool is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
Fly
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by #CARRIERMAN View Post
Hi vey

You brought up a valid point about DIY, but alot of what you said is brought on by the publics unwillingness to educate themselfs. I am sorry that your father in law paid that much for a low end piece of equipment. But on the other side of the coin, how much did it cost to build the car your driving, produce the gas it uses, to be repaired at the shop. I bet no one ever thinks about that. But to me climate control and safety for my household is worth a ton more. The one example I find most irritating is no one has a problem paying someone to come in with a vacuum cleaner and charge them $80.00 plus dollars and hour to fix something that just craps paper. But when it comes to me making what I make I am a thief. I do not understand the general public and their reason behind this, but I'm not here to argue and I know what I'm worth.

Rusty
I am new to this forum and reading this since I am replacing my A/C unit.
Nothing makes me more crazy than a lic. contractor trying to rationalize his over charging. What does building a car have to do with over paying for a/c equipment? Most A/C guys think that their lic. entitles them to scam the ignorant public. I was quoted 7k to replace my A/C the cost of building the unit is covered when the price is set. It is the contractors marking up the cost and making more on the mark up than the entire job. It is a shame that a/c guys have the same rep as a used car salesman.

It is far from rocket science and all the answers are available on google. You will need a bit of common sense and a legit A/c guy to help with the freon. My 7000.00 quote will turn into 1500.00 doing it myself. I would rather pay someone to do the work for me however, No lic contract is worth 5,000 profit for a days labor. Call 10 a/c companies and you should be able to find a guy who is not offended that you need to save some money. The company I found is charging us 400.00 for the removal and charging of our new unit once I install it. In the mean time, he has been helpful with his advice. It is obvious that most contractors spend their time explaining why they are worth the money mostly because they know they are overcharging. An honest one will shoot you straight and wont try to make it out to be something it is not.

Call a local A/C company and ask to speak with a technician. Explain that you want to do most of the work yourself but you will need some held to charge the system when it is installed. I then offered the tech 100.00 for his experienced answers to my questions ( 100.00 is worth it to me compared to the google time it will take ). You will instantly know if they think their knowledge should be kept top secret or if you are dealing with a workable company. Let the guys with the egos sit at home with no income instead of them helping a person in need and at the end of the day the could have earned an honest wage. Too much greed is why our country is in trouble.


Fly is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 90
Rewards Points: 75
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by vey View Post
The licensed industry is why there is more interest in DIY.

I am looking a an old invoice from 4 years ago. My elderly father-in-law had his outside condensor unit replaced then with almost the same model as the original, so things matched up fine with his air handler. No need to replace the lines, run new electrical wires, etc. Just pull one out and put one in.

It was a Rheem 3 ton, 10 seer, no heat pump -- this a pretty basic and inexpensive model.

The invoice is for over $4,000. We know from the low life companies that the unit cost about $1,000, so how can any industry justify charhing $3,000 for delivery and let's be generous and say three hours of labor?
Not trying to offend anyone BUT------
Do you carry a couple of MILLION DOLLARS OF GL like the pros do? How about a few thousand dollars worth of tools in your truck. Pay for your helpers( wage, taxes, insurance) Commerical insurance on your truck.

I am sure you know someone who is in busness for there selves ask them how much they make after the smoke clears.

Think about how much you earn at your job. Then add all the bennifits you get, Don't the pros deserve the same. Who is going to pay it for them? They are. Where does the money come from? You.

So when you think one company is charging too much you find a nother one.

Not to mention the hunderds of things that could go wrong during instulation that a pro can avoid, or correct when it happens.

Sometimes it is better to hire out work than to dyi.

I do veerything except my electrical and sewer.

Do what you can, hire a pro for the rest.

BUT there is a lot of overhead in owning your own company.
texas115115 is offline  
Old 06-02-2009, 11:35 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Dayton Ohio Area
Posts: 670
Rewards Points: 500
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by hennyh View Post
I plan to replace my 25+ year old air handler (GE) and 4T heat pump (Carrier). I plan to order online and do 90% of the installation myself and hire a HVAC tech for final refrigerant charge and system checkout.
. . . .
I'm open for all advice suggestions for those that have chosen this route.
I hired a pro to help with the decommissioning 2T system and then to braze and charge the new 5T system in this house last year. Since the system still worked, but was just too small, we closed the liquid line valve on the outdoor unit and let the system suck all the R22 into the condenser. We then closed the suction valve and shut the unit off.

At this point, the gauges showed negative pressure and we then cut the line with no refrigerant lost to the atmosphere.. (I sold the condenser and A coil a month later.)

Paying around $400 seems reasonable and is in-line with what I have paid before.

I did everything else myself and am happy with the finished product.
__________________
-Andrew
DIY hobbiest
AndrewF is offline  
Old 06-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 10
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Three years ago I had a similar situation. I replaced my old 3.5T A/C with at goodman 3.5t HP and my old 120,000 btu 80% furnace a goodman GMV 92,000 but 95% furnace.

I closed the liquid line and pumped down the system to negative pressure and cut the copper lines out.

I did the install myself and it went well. I did hire a tec to braze the new copper lines and take the old equipment away. The system has been running perfectly for the last three years winter and summer

carl
carlb23 is offline  
Old 06-03-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,419
Rewards Points: 4,488
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by #CARRIERMAN View Post
That in itself is a violation of the law, which when I took my test, said that it was illegal for any company to sell any piece of equipment to the public that was not self contained and had a refrigerant amount greater than 5 lbs.
Good Luck
Rusty
There was never any such law or reg passed.

Althogh it was originally written that way.
It was enacted.
It was stayed before EPA regs took effect. Some courses/books were not corrected.
And some proctors didn't know about it either.
beenthere is offline  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 719
Rewards Points: 500
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by hennyh View Post
My plan is to hire someone to do the decommisioning of my old system. (recovery of refrigerant)

I've read EPA 608 and I don't see anything that restricts sale of the actual equipment. It appears that most of it limits what refrigerants you can buy and in what size. It also limits the capacity of the system you can evacuate from.

hennyh good job you are right you can still buy equipment but not refrigerant.
If you do buy equipment you better hope you don't have any problems though.
If you do it will cost you big time the HVAC pro's frown upon people installing their own equipment.
Even though this is a diy site can you feel the tension in the air and on the screen when you state you are installing your own equipment.
I don't recommend you do but every body likes to save a buck.
40 year HVAC mech
SULTINI is offline  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:59 PM   #14
Member
 
hvaclover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Suburbs of Detroit Mi
Posts: 3,704
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


You know what burns me most is that although this is a DIY forum the majority of hvac solutions are given by bonified pros. we got some knowledgeable DIYs who are pretty sharp given the fact it is not a livelihood for them.

But it really burns me when some loud mouth country-club know it all comes here and says he is going to do his own hvac system. Great. More power to you. You'll get our best info to help you along. But what i cant stand is the SOB who starts beating on the industry because some evil contractor made a buck on his poor old sick pappy living in his back country shanty.

I find it insulting to the PROs here who give free advice on their own time for no pay just to make sure the DIY doing his own project gets better then a "that's good enough" install.

I don't know if what vey is crabbing about is honest or just more of the same over exaggerated tantrums or not. $4000. wold be on the high end
in my area but I don't know about Vey's. It could be right or it could be Vey inflating the original invoice by a couple thousand dollars just to sooth his wounded sense of cost at the expense of the hvac industry.

I am very straight and honest with my customers and that is why they use my service.

On the other hand I fired a customer the other day for about the same reason that I don't like Veys post.

i showed up to do an annual tune up on a second year ac install. When I checked the condenser it was running hot cause the condenser was plugged. There is a louvered guard around it which makes cleaning a bit difficult.

When I advised the customer it would require a little more attention then usual and cost more she became angry.

Seems like any thing over twenty bucks bothered the customer that day.

We had installed a 95% two stage VS furnace with a 14 SEER ac and UV light.

Customer complained that she paid too much (which is a fabrication as she had gotten ten estimates and ours was in the middle with the best warranty) and that she should not have to have the equipment serviced every year.

Turned out a relative and another contractor were telling her it was too new to be serviced.

SO I told her to call me when she wants to have the equipment serviced.

I got back to my office and called her and told her to let the relative and the other contractor repair it if it breaks down.

i wasn't going to let her go off on me again. She was so loud the neighbors would have thought there was a fight going on. I don't need that.
__________________
Just slow, not stupid.

Last edited by hvaclover; 06-03-2009 at 08:07 PM.
hvaclover is offline  
Old 06-04-2009, 12:20 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 90
Rewards Points: 75
Default

DIY Heat Pump/Air Handler replacement


y ou said it HVACLOVER

Advertisement

texas115115 is offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting a House..heatpump or no? DavidsCPU HVAC 10 02-07-2010 11:22 PM
Replacement pipe for hot water heat? Tmb9862 HVAC 18 01-12-2007 04:31 PM
Trane Heat Pump tstat replacement with Honeywell prog - wiring question sep23 HVAC 2 10-20-2006 10:10 PM
can't find old replacement parts, need Air Handler coils, junkyard? sammibah HVAC 2 07-02-2006 08:43 AM
Tax Credit: Buy new heat pump & handler now or 2006 toolmanwannabe HVAC 1 10-05-2005 12:41 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts