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Old 08-13-2012, 02:00 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,908 times
Reputation: 10
Default Does AC condenser need to be replaced too?

Our 4-ton AC compressor went out. AC tech checked capacitor and contactor which were still fine; however, he determined the compressor was bad. Said compressor alone (Copeland) would cost ~$1900, but an entire new unit (i.e., compressor and condenser) would run ~$2500 (installed w/ tax). Does the $1900 compressor cost seem reasonable? From what I've seen, people are saying it should cost considerably less for just a compressor, but the whole unit cost seems reasonable.

Now, the AC unit is ~7yrs old and is apparently a cheapo unit contractors used when building in large developments. Also, the unit is located on the SE corner of the home and is exposed to direct sunlight and resulting heat all day long; he mentioned this as a potential contributing factor to the premature failure of the compressor.

My big questions is, do I also need to replace the condenser? He said that it is recommended as there can be alot of resdiue and acid build up when the compressor goes, and that although we could get by w/ just a new compressor, the effective life of the condenser would be considerable less (maybe 5 or so more years) compared to the expected life of a new compressor or whole unit (~15 yrs). Is this a reasonable recommendation?

It's currently the hottest days of summer we've seen w/ little relief in sight, so time is of the essence. The AC went out last night and I hope they will be back today to make the repair. Any immediate advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. Thx

C
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:08 PM
 
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You dont need to replace it but i would.

You still have parts like a fan motor that can fail,if the old compressor had a burn out there could be acids and soot in the system.

After a while coils get blocked and joints can start to leak from years of vibration.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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His prices sound about right. The compressor is the main part of the AC, and it requires quite a bit of work to replace it. Then you have the cost of the coolant.

If it were my house, I'd spend the extra $600 and go all new. Warranty, higher seer rating, etc. Well worth the money.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:37 PM
 
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That's reassuring, thx!

Sounds like the max SEER we can go is 13 b/c it is an R-22 unit. It is news to me that R-22 is being phased out, but I get it; however, it doesn't seem like there are many other alternatives despite the legislation.

Anyway, I hope to be cooling off again in a few hours...
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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Is the compressor that was diagnosed as being failed a Copeland? I have to wonder what happened to the compressor if in fact it has failed. I don't think the location is a factor.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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If there was a burnout make sure they flush the system real good.dont assume they will.

Its a pain to do and many techs avoid doing it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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I'd suggest biting the bullet and replace the entire unit inside and out. I'd call your local power provider and see what tax credits area available and get as much as you can in credits. Most likely the higher SEER unit you buy, the higher the tax credits.
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