Lost A/C...again!

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
This is the second time our HVAC unit has crapped out over a 4th of July weekend. This house has killed two HVAC units since 2014...

#1. After we bought the place, we reno'd it...and as it became habitable, we used it as a vacay home. Toast #1 came in 2015 when we visited for a week and found the old HVAC dead. Instead of a relatively cheap vacay, we spent a week in a hotel and replaced the then 12yr old unit ($$$$).

#2. That unit lasted about a month outside of its warranty. It had a design fault, had to have a major part replaced annually after the first three years. When the warranty stopped paying, we decided to replace it ($$$$), that was 2021.

Now on our third unit (purchased with upgraded 10-10-10 warranty, 10 yrs on everything). Last Tuesday the man came out and did its semi-annual checkup...no problems found. Saturday, I woke thinking something was wrong. Padding thru the kitchen, everything felt damp. The HVAC fan was running in "limp mode"...time to call the man, again.

Of course, we had a shindig planned. Extended family coming over Monday, burgers and brats, fireworks, etc. NOT!

Short version: HVAC needs major part...over a holiday weekend and during the current infrastructure crisis. Nobody's working the holiday, so the part cannot even be ordered until Tuesday. Finding a part on the shelf will be problematic and if there is one, getting it here may take a small miracle. I am lowering my expectations by the hour.

So, we're lucky that the weather is the low 90's (F). Fans have been deployed and a portable 'room AC' has been borrowed (which is keeping the master bedroom a comfortable 72F while the rest of the house hovers around 80F...so far). Shindig has been moved to extended family digs about 45 minutes south of here.

Might have to unlimber the "zero gravity" chair out in the Garage Mahal (which has its own AC, working perfectly). Hmmm. I have a cooler, ice and can probably cobble together a side-table to hold my drinks. Might have to be garage-bound for a week or so. That would be terrible. 😁
 

GGardner

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Posts
3,619
Location
NJ
Ugh! Sorry, man. It's got to be some first world axiom that the AC always goes when you're hosting an event. I wonder if the problem has more to do with the installer, than the product. I've never had the best of luck with contractors, but my HVAC guy lives in our neighborhood. His kids grew up with my kids. So I trust whatever he tells me. As best as I can tell, he hasn't steered me wrong. Good luck.
 

Lou Tencodpees

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Posts
704
Location
Near Houston
I had a guy out to what turned out to be a stuck contactor in the compressor. Wanted to charge me $500 to replace. After doing some research and investigation I ordered and replaced the contactor, the start and run capacitors and also the handler blower cap. About $100 worth of parts.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
Ugh! Sorry, man. It's got to be some first world axiom that the AC always goes when you're hosting an event. I wonder if the problem has more to do with the installer, than the product. I've never had the best of luck with contractors, but my HVAC guy lives in our neighborhood. His kids grew up with my kids. So I trust whatever he tells me. As best as I can tell, he hasn't steered me wrong. Good luck.
Yah, when we moved here was nobody to ask for recommendations. I picked a lemon the first two times. The old company we used in Alabama opened up offices here (One Hour HVAC) and they've continued to provide good services.

Unfortunately, I've had issues with almost every AC manufacturer I've ever used since 2000. My parents' old Carrier unit ran 28yrs without ever needing a single part. The units I had in the 80s and 90s never gave us a minute's problem. Since then, it has been a litany of repairs and replacements. I think they've extracted all the money they can out of AC design...too cheap, not robust.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
I had a guy out to what turned out to be a stuck contactor in the compressor. Wanted to charge me $500 to replace. After doing some research and investigation I ordered and replaced the contactor, the start and run capacitors and also the handler blower cap. About $100 worth of parts.
While I can legally disassemble a turbine helicopter, reassemble it and take it to flight status...I'm HVAC stupid. The tech spent a good hour trying to diagnose. He believes there's a fault in the TXV, blocked orifice or something. Those are fairly ubiquitous parts, not expensive...but it may have been something worse (he wasn't happy. No "Oh, we have those on the shelf").

Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

bgmacaw

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
9,941
Location
Near Athens GA USA
We had both our HVAC systems, up and down stairs, replaced a few weeks ago. The downstairs hadn't worked right for 3 years and quit entirely last year with numerous problems. The upstairs was getting iffy after 14 years of service. Plus, they both used the old, expensive, refrigerant. So, it was time to get rid of them. Basically, there goes my chance to get a CS Tele and Matchless Chieftain any time soon.
 

Texicaster

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
May 9, 2018
Posts
3,529
Location
It Varies.....
Git that part number in some google searches right now!

One of my RV ACs went out last summer; motor fried. Manufacturer clean out; every specialty shop; none! I finally recalled a dusty old Airstream shop that probably did inventory by eye and sure enough they found one on the shelf! Took several weeks to get that luck! I was up 8000' so didn't need more than one and hardly burdened.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
Git that part number in some google searches right now!

One of my RV ACs went out last summer; motor fried. Manufacturer clean out; every specialty shop; none! I finally recalled a dusty old Airstream shop that probably did inventory by eye and sure enough they found one on the shelf! Took several weeks to get that luck! I was up 8000' so didn't need more than one and hardly burdened.
I have been online looking. I'm not sure of the proper P/N or the exact nature of the problem...and as I mentioned above, the warranty gods have been invoked.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
Yup. It was all we could get at the time. Frankly, I polled the neighborhood and found no clear "best"...everybody b*tched about their units regardless of make. It has worked fine until yesterday. If it becomes an ongoing problem, there's a 'replace unit' clause...but it will be the same make...or pay an 'upgrade' fee...but only in the line of units they carry (Goodman).
 

Bortyeast

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Posts
892
Location
Televille
If he's correct and the TXV is the problem, it's a fairly simple fix. No parts required.
Pump the refrigerant down to the compressor and close it off. Open the cover on the air handler and find where the liquid line goes into the coil (it's the skinny copper tube). Undo those nuts and inside is the TXV. Take it out and clean out the crap with a needle. Reinstall, open the king valve outside, and turn the A/C back on.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
If he's correct and the TXV is the problem, it's a fairly simple fix. No parts required.
Pump the refrigerant down to the compressor and close it off. Open the cover on the air handler and find where the liquid line goes into the coil (it's the skinny copper tube). Undo those nuts and inside is the TXV. Take it out and clean out the crap with a needle. Reinstall, open the king valve outside, and turn the A/C back on.
I have to trust the tech that whatever it is, it is more involved and requires something to be replaced. He had his bottle out and his test kit. I think he would have tried something that simple (or perhaps his company doesn't allow such stuff...BTDT). I talked to him a bit and he seemed like the honest type who would have got it done if it was within his power.

TXV units are all over the net for less than $100 (heck, Amazon carries them) If it is that, there should be no problem getting the part...but his obvious concern leads me to think it ain't that simple.
 

johnb

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
311
Location
Georgia
This is the second time our HVAC unit has crapped out over a 4th of July weekend. This house has killed two HVAC units since 2014...

#1. After we bought the place, we reno'd it...and as it became habitable, we used it as a vacay home. Toast #1 came in 2015 when we visited for a week and found the old HVAC dead. Instead of a relatively cheap vacay, we spent a week in a hotel and replaced the then 12yr old unit ($$$$).

#2. That unit lasted about a month outside of its warranty. It had a design fault, had to have a major part replaced annually after the first three years. When the warranty stopped paying, we decided to replace it ($$$$), that was 2021.

Now on our third unit (purchased with upgraded 10-10-10 warranty, 10 yrs on everything). Last Tuesday the man came out and did its semi-annual checkup...no problems found. Saturday, I woke thinking something was wrong. Padding thru the kitchen, everything felt damp. The HVAC fan was running in "limp mode"...time to call the man, again.

Of course, we had a shindig planned. Extended family coming over Monday, burgers and brats, fireworks, etc. NOT!

Short version: HVAC needs major part...over a holiday weekend and during the current infrastructure crisis. Nobody's working the holiday, so the part cannot even be ordered until Tuesday. Finding a part on the shelf will be problematic and if there is one, getting it here may take a small miracle. I am lowering my expectations by the hour.

So, we're lucky that the weather is the low 90's (F). Fans have been deployed and a portable 'room AC' has been borrowed (which is keeping the master bedroom a comfortable 72F while the rest of the house hovers around 80F...so far). Shindig has been moved to extended family digs about 45 minutes south of here.

Might have to unlimber the "zero gravity" chair out in the Garage Mahal (which has its own AC, working perfectly). Hmmm. I have a cooler, ice and can probably cobble together a side-table to hold my drinks. Might have to be garage-bound for a week or so. That would be terrible. 😁
I went though that week before last. The AC went out Sunday afternoon and didn't get replaced until Thursday. It just happened to be the week temps were 95 - 101. Fortunately I have a diminished basement with a bedroom that stayed 73-75. It was just weird sleeping in that room for the first time after 30 years.
Good luck! I feel for you!
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,338
Age
70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I admit all my knowledge of most brands is anecdotal, but I've never heard good things about Goodman. A few years ago, I'd walk my dog around my mother's condo complex. Every time we encountered a nasty sounding A/C unit, I'd look.....and invariably it was a Goodman. Yeah, they're cheap.....and there was (is) a reason. :(
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,402
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
Big T-storm coming thru...sitting on the front porch in the wind...its like having very noisy A/C. Wonderfully cool winds...
20220704_111520.jpg
 




Top