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Old 11-09-2010, 11:47 AM   #1
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


I have a Friedrich mini-split heat pump with an outdoor unit that stopped working last summer (model MR18Y3F). This thing has burned up two controller boards now (original + replacement). The first time, the only obvious damage was to a capacitor on the 12V power supply. So I thought a new board would fix the problem. NOT! It fried the same capacitor and also the IC next to the electronic expansion valve connection. It seems the EXV may have been the problem all along. I'm looking at $120 for the EXV and another $130 for yet another controller board. I don't have R410A recovery equipment, so I'll have to call out a pro for the EXV replacement. What might I expect to pay for labor on this?

BTW, this system is only 4 years old, but mice have gotten into the outdoor unit and I wonder if I should just replace the whole system. I found no chewed wires or anything like that, buy they definitely "rearranged" the insulation material in there.

Thanks in advance for any advice or condolences.

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


If you've replaced that much and it still doesn't work then it's time for a new unit. I put in my own for about $700 and I figure anything other than an electrical issue will warrant replacement. Feel free to get some quotes, but don't be surprised when repair is 1/2 the cost of a new unit.

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Old 11-09-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by chayce View Post
If you've replaced that much and it still doesn't work then it's time for a new unit. I put in my own for about $700 and I figure anything other than an electrical issue will warrant replacement. Feel free to get some quotes, but don't be surprised when repair is 1/2 the cost of a new unit.
Well, this unit was originally $1650 without the line set. I figure I'll call a local contractor for a repair estimate, and also get a quote for a new system while I'm at it. It will be interesting to see what the contractor premium is.

Nobody installs Friedrich around here, but all these mini-splits seem to have a similar design. Installation is not that difficult if you follow the instructions carefully (and have a vacuum pump and R410A adapter), but you get no warranty unless it's installed by a certified rep.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:24 PM   #4
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


That's not a 410A adapter, it's an adapter that allows a set of standard refrigeration gauges to fit on a mini split's service valve. You would need the same adapter on a lot of old R22 minis.

Last edited by brandonmcginnis; 11-09-2010 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonmcginnis View Post
That's not a 410A adapter, it's an adapter that allows a set of standard refrigeration gauges to fit on a mini split's service valve. You would need the same adapter on a lot of old R22 minis.
The instructions that came with my mini-split said the manufacturer had replaced the 1/4" service tap with a larger tap to differentiate between R-22 and R-410A refrigerants. Maybe some manufactures switched tap sizes for mini-splits and some for the new refrigerant. I only have experience with two Friedrich mini-splits using R-410A. But my 410A manifold set still needs the adapter, so that jives with what you are saying. Maybe they just wanted to sell some adapters.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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Is my mini-split heat pump worth repairing?


The 7/16"-20 thread 1/4" flare is not an ISO standard. Most of mini-splits are from Korean or Japanese manufacturers and though they may accommodate US voltage, the fittings may not have been manufactured specifically for US market and instead, found it just cheaper to ship with adapters.

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