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Old 05-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
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Home Warranty Help


I have a home warranty that covers my HVAC system. We pought the warranty 5 years ago, after living in the house for 6 years. The HVAC is 19 years old. The AC stopped working and a tech came out. He said that dog urine had damaged the coil. I told him that must have been the previous owners of the house. I know they had a couple of big dogs. After we moved into the house I biult a fence around the coil. It is about 5' high with a 5" plank. The planks are spaced 5" apart to allow air to circulate. The warranty company is denying coverage citing the dog urine damage. Any ideas on how I can convince them the damage was done prior to us moving in? Thanks!

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Old 05-16-2010, 10:23 PM   #2
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I'd think if the warranty excludes damage due to dog urine it doesn't matter who's dog did the damage
Many warranties have so many exclusions they are virtually worthless

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Old 05-16-2010, 10:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'd think if the warranty excludes damage due to dog urine it doesn't matter who's dog did the damage
Many warranties have so many exclusions they are virtually worthless

It does not say anything specifically about urine. They are saying that urine corroded the coil which caused the condensor to fail. My normal HVAC guy is the person who found the failed compressor. He came out to do the normal tune up. We had only turned the AC on once this year and didn't notice any issues. Of course it wasn't really very hot out. Would about 6-8 square inches of damage to the coil cause the compressor to fail anyway? It would seem that would be a very small percentage of the coil. They allowed me to pay the premium on this warranty for five years and the AC worked fine with this coil damage. I just don't know how to prove the damage was done prior to us buying the house.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:00 PM   #4
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Why specifically are they denying coverage ?
Because it was pre-existing damage by the prior owners dog ?
Does it exclude pre-existing conditions ?
If so by telling them it was done by the prior owner you may have excluded the coverage
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Why specifically are they denying coverage ?
Because it was pre-existing damage by the prior owners dog ?
Does it exclude pre-existing conditions ?
If so by telling them it was done by the prior owner you may have excluded the coverage
I talked with the HW company and have another tech coming to look. They said if the second tech lists damage done to the coil by urine, they will not cover the damage. Regardless of when the damage happened. So I have two hopes. Maybe the tech will not notice the damage, it's only about 8 square inches. If they do notice it, could they deduce that the urine damage was not the reason for the compressor failure? I mean would 8 square inches of coil damage cause the compressor to fail? Am I just looking for something that is impossible? Thanks!

Last edited by davery; 05-17-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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Do you mean the coil has corroded through and lost freon or just that the fins aren't as efficient in that area? I don't know how the tech determined that a 19 year old compressor failed from dog pee. More likely it just pumped it's little guts out.

Just make sure you tell the owner of the HVAC company sending the new tech that the previous outfit that looked at it lost your business because the tech blamed the compressor failure on dog pee and that you'll never do business with any company that doesn't have enough sense to identify a failure that is covered by your warranty.

BTW home warranties like this are usually not a very good deal. You're basically paying an insurance company what they expect your repair costs to be plus a profit margin. Better to just save the money yourself, pay the real expenses and keep their profit.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
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Do you mean the coil has corroded through and lost freon or just that the fins aren't as efficient in that area? I don't know how the tech determined that a 19 year old compressor failed from dog pee. More likely it just pumped it's little guts out.

Just make sure you tell the owner of the HVAC company sending the new tech that the previous outfit that looked at it lost your business because the tech blamed the compressor failure on dog pee and that you'll never do business with any company that doesn't have enough sense to identify a failure that is covered by your warranty.

BTW home warranties like this are usually not a very good deal. You're basically paying an insurance company what they expect your repair costs to be plus a profit margin. Better to just save the money yourself, pay the real expenses and keep their profit.

It looks like a portion of the coil is missing, about 8 square inches. I assume this was from the urine. I have been told the coolant COULD have escaped from this area. I say COULD because no test was done to see if the coil has a leak. Anyway, after talking with the warranty company it would be a waste of time and money to continue to expect them to pay for this repair. Regardless of what another tech may say, they are going to deny coverage based on the urine damage. We have started getting estimates on a new system. Now I just have to figure our the rebate/tax credit stuff.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:13 AM   #8
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So after going back and forth we finally agreed to see the second tech. The warranty company did not charge us. The tech did not even see the urine damage and recommended the warranty company replace the entire unit. The warranty company contacted me today and said they are reversing their original denial and approving the repair. Now they want to just replace the coil, which is part of a 19 year old system. I'm hoping they will have difficulting finding replacement equipement. If they do not replace the entire system I will take the money they want to spend replacing the coil and install a complete system.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:30 AM   #9
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Good news !!

They can probably just replace the coil
You may end up with a mismatched system, IE a better coil then needed
One of the HVAC guys can hopefully give some info
IE if they replace the coil it might be a good idea to replace the rest on your $$ to improve efficiency & save $$
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:20 AM   #10
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At 19 yrs old it is a 8 SEER and the minimum is 13 now so it won't work very well/unusual freon pressures or dehumidify properly and is NOT recommended to do. I would take their money and invest it in a new system. Yours is probably contaminated now and in bad shape anyway.
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Last edited by yuri; 05-25-2010 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
At 19 yrs old it is a 8 SEER and the minimum is 13 now so it won't work very well/unusual freon pressures or dehumidify properly and is NOT recommended to do. I would take their money and invest it in a new system. Yours is probably contaminated now and in bad shape anyway.

That's what I thinking. IF they can find a 13 SEER with the old freon, I will take the money and install a new 15 SEER system. If they replace the whole system, I assume they will go with a 13 SEER and I may ask for the money. It's hard to pass up all those rebates/tax credits on the 15 SEER and above.

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