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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-20-2014, 05:57 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Share |
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


Greetings,
This is my first time posting. I am hoping to get some advice for my mother. My late father who was an electrician installed a heat pump in the early in (probably) 1980. It lasted until 2008. Since then, my mother has had numerous issues with the new heat pump. The amount of money she spent is staggering and the latest round of repairs is being quoted (labor only) at double what it cost me to put in my own furnace, although mine is gas and probably not nearly as energy efficient.

Here are some basics:
*My mother lives in the Chicago area. I point this out because I believe it may be pertinent for several reasons. One major reason is that each time this pump has failed my mother has been forced to use the auxiliary heating which has resulted in electric bills that are hundreds of dollars more. The cost of the failures in extra heating bills is well over a thousand total and still climbing.

*My mother has a service agreement with the HVAC company that installed the heat pump since my fatherís death over ten years ago. They come twice a year and do routine maintenance and check for issues. My mother was told recently that these checks should last about an hour which was a surprise to her as there had been times the service person had been at her house for only 20 minutes.

*The new heat pump was installed in February of 2008.

*In July of 2009 the first compressor failed. At the time my mother was told there was no way to determine the cause of the failure. The part was covered under warranty, but labor was not.

*In March of 2011 the compressor failed again. Again my mother was told there was no way to determine a cause of the failure. This time however, all the work was covered at no cost to my mother.

*On January 13th of this year, the compressor was found to have failed again.

*On February 6th a representative of the company that manufactured the heat pump unit came to my motherís house upon her request. At this time the person from the national company was able to determine exactly why the heat pump had failed. It was caused by the reversing valve not working.

At this time the following is being recommended. The parts are being covered by either the manufacturer or the HVAC company:
*Replace compressor (part covered by manufacturer.)
*Replace reversing valve on heat pump (part covered by manufacturer.)
*Replace metering piston on heat pump (part covered by HVAC company.)
*Replace THV valve on fan coil. This is said to be a preventative measure as pressure was slightly off. (part covered by HVAC company.)
*Install legs under the heat pump as recommended by manufacturer.

All of the parts are being provided to my mother, but labor is not. Again, the cost of the labor is staggering. Believe me, I understand you get what you pay for in life, my father instilled that in me. My mother has a limited amount of money obviously, but has always been willing to pay for quality work.

Perhaps it is me being over protective of my mother, but I cannot help but have a feeling that my mother is being taken advantage of and has possibly been in the past.
I will post my questions in the next post in case there is a character limit to posts.

I apologize for the length of this and the following posts, but I think the more detailed info I provide the more accurate advice I can get.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Chris

Jokerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


So here are my questions:

1. My father had the original heat pump built up on a stand probably 18 inches off the ground. I asked several years ago and was never given a reason why the new heat pump was also not on the ground (nor on rubber footing
as best I can tell as my father also had it.) The manufacturer is stating that the unit must be raised if they are providing the parts for free. So, is there any chance that the failure to install the heat pump as recommended
has contributed to the failure of three compressors in such a short period of time? I cannot get my head around the amount of trouble this heat pump has caused my mother and the previous one lasted over 25 years and my
father never once replaced a compressor. Only noticeable difference is the installation.
2. Is the statement that has been given on two separate occasions that the reason why the compressor had failed cannot be determined a truthful statement? Or is it more likely they did not determine the cause of the failure,
not that it couldn’t be determined? It seems odd that the representative from the manufacturer was able to determine exactly the cause of the latest failure (failure of reversing valve).
3. Is it possible that the reversing valve not working was the cause of all three failures?
4. Are these problems the type that should or could have been determined in the biannual maintenance inspections?
5. NOT discussing cost, but what is a reasonable estimate for the labor time for the actions listed in previous post? My mother is being stated it will take over ten hours of time. That seems a bit much in my opinion. However,
my opinion is all it is as I obviously have no experience with heat pumps.

I think that is all my questions for now.

Again, thanks in advance for all of the help.

Jokerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
I'm Your Huckleberry
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,556
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


compressors fail due to installation, lack of a proper lineset clean entailing nitrogen and a possible dose of acid away if a burnout was guilty of compressor failure failure as when electricity meets refrigerant an acid is formed of which can and will eat motor (compressor) windings.

that's about what caught my attention. other than than, it's not worth repairing regardless of whom installed it and when. and i'm not talking simply the heat pump and/or it's compressor, I'm talking the entire system.

ask me why and I'll show you. (may be a few days...)
__________________
Thanks.
Doc Holliday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 24,503
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokerman View Post
So here are my questions:

1. My father had the original heat pump built up on a stand probably 18 inches off the ground. I asked several years ago and was never given a reason why the new heat pump was also not on the ground (nor on rubber footing
as best I can tell as my father also had it.) The manufacturer is stating that the unit must be raised if they are providing the parts for free. So, is there any chance that the failure to install the heat pump as recommended
has contributed to the failure of three compressors in such a short period of time? I cannot get my head around the amount of trouble this heat pump has caused my mother and the previous one lasted over 25 years and my
father never once replaced a compressor. Only noticeable difference is the installation.

All heat pumps that are installed in an area that the heat pump needs to go into defrost should be raised off the ground to aid in drainage of the moisture.

2. Is the statement that has been given on two separate occasions that the reason why the compressor had failed cannot be determined a truthful statement? Or is it more likely they did not determine the cause of the failure,
not that it couldnít be determined? It seems odd that the representative from the manufacturer was able to determine exactly the cause of the latest failure (failure of reversing valve).

Good chance they don't know how to check for the reason of failure. but not knowing the company or any of the techs personally, I can tell you that for 100%.

3. Is it possible that the reversing valve not working was the cause of all three failures?

There is no way that the factory rep can determine for 100% if the RV is working properly or not, unless the compressor is operational. He's guessing. He may be guessing on past experience, but he is still guessing.

4. Are these problems the type that should or could have been determined in the biannual maintenance inspections?

If a reversing valve is sticking occasionally, the only way to find it on a PM, is if it sticks while your there.

5. NOT discussing cost, but what is a reasonable estimate for the labor time for the actions listed in previous post? My mother is being stated it will take over ten hours of time. That seems a bit much in my opinion. However,
my opinion is all it is as I obviously have no experience with heat pumps.

I think that is all my questions for now.

Again, thanks in advance for all of the help.
Can't tell you a reasonable cost on the labor, as it varies by both area, and the contractor/company.

But, I'll venture a guess, that the company is going to be charging you enough labor that they aren't losing a dime on the parts they are providing.

At this point, your mother should get estimates on replacing the outdoor unit. It may be cheaper then paying the labor to replace all of those parts.
__________________
When posting in certain forums, knowing your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:41 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


Thanks for the prompt responses.

I am aware that the area that she lives in requires the heat pump to be installed raised of the ground, but what I don't know is if the failure to do so contributed to the failure of the compressors in such short time.

Is there any chance that the incorrect installation contributed to this? The HVAC company said there was not...but I don't exactly trust them. My personal thought is they should be doing the repairs for free.

Especially since my mother has paid over three hundred dollars a year for bi-annual maintenance and to be on their preferred customer list.

Thanks again.
Jokerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:44 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


And I wasn't wanting an estimate on cost as I agree that varies considerably from place to place.

I was hoping to just get a time estimate in number of labor hours it would require. The manager said he estimate it to be more than ten. Someone else told me the compressor is more like a four hour deal and his company says usually ten for that alone.
Jokerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2014, 04:19 AM   #7
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 24,503
Default

Heat Pump/Compressor Issues


There are many heat pumps not raised that are running okay after 10 years, so that alone did not kill the compressors.

To do everything that you listed. Could take more then 10 hours, or less. Depends on the tech, and the heat pump itself. Some aren't easy to work in. The taller heat pump is, the harder it is to work in it.

See if your mother still has a copy of the invoice she paid when they changed out the compressor, the first time. Should have a time amount since she paid labor to change it out.

4 to 6 hours for a compressor only change out would be normal on most esidential heat pumps.

__________________
When posting in certain forums, knowing your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
VisionPRO Setup Functions & Heat Pump infoskr HVAC 34 11-20-2013 04:24 PM
Heat won't stop running, just installed new thermostat NorthSidePK HVAC 28 11-01-2012 10:05 AM
dual fuel heat pump - no heat without propane sweetfarm HVAC 3 10-11-2012 08:07 AM
Comparison and Heat Pump Selection help... ChrisDIY HVAC 7 03-06-2010 08:34 PM
Heat Pump Woes Zenica HVAC 50 01-27-2009 07:37 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.