2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

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soup_can
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2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by soup_can » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 pm

I replaced my HVAC with a brand new system less than two years ago. Last week the AC stopped. I had it serviced (by a different company than who installed it). They said my refrigerant was completely empty, and that it would cost on the order of ~$50/lb to fill for 8 lbs and advised me to contact the original installers.

I had the original installer come out today, and they confirmed that the refrigerant leak was due to a damaged coil within the HVAC unit. They said the manufacturer will pay for the replacement part but not pay for the installers time or refrigerant refill. Has anyone had luck arguing for the HVAC manufacturer to cover these additional costs as well? Thank you.

bmsuter
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by bmsuter » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:17 pm

Since its a new unit, I'm assuming it is R-410A. Market price for R-410A is around 3-4 bucks a pound. It should not cost very much to charge the unit once the leak is fixed. Most of the warranties specifically only cover parts. I'd be surprised if you were able to get Trane to cover installation, especially after it worked for 2 years.

miamivice
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by miamivice » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:18 pm

You likely had a 1 year parts and labor warranty plus a parts only warranty for years 2-10.

The company has agreed to honor the warranty, I am not sure what more you would like.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:31 pm

That's why I pay with my Citi DoubleCash card (soon just the Costco card) to add 2 years to the warranty.
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HueyLD
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by HueyLD » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:45 pm

soup_can wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 pm
I replaced my HVAC with a brand new system less than two years ago. Last week the AC stopped. I had it serviced (by a different company than who installed it). They said my refrigerant was completely empty, and that it would cost on the order of ~$50/lb to fill for 8 lbs and advised me to contact the original installers.

I had the original installer come out today, and they confirmed that the refrigerant leak was due to a damaged coil within the HVAC unit. They said the manufacturer will pay for the replacement part but not pay for the installers time or refrigerant refill. Has anyone had luck arguing for the HVAC manufacturer to cover these additional costs as well? Thank you.
The installer must have provided you with a copy of the warranty schedule. You need to read it in order to know exactly what the warranty covers.

There are usually different levels of coverage for parts and labor. In addition, different parts will have different warranty periods from the manufacturer. Nobody can answer your questions without reading the specifics in the warranty.

UpstateNY86
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by UpstateNY86 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:18 pm

I have seen it happen before where the manufacturer will help out in these situations. Will be a wise use of your time. How much is the labor? $6-700?

brianH
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by brianH » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:29 pm

bmsuter wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:17 pm
Since its a new unit, I'm assuming it is R-410A. Market price for R-410A is around 3-4 bucks a pound. It should not cost very much to charge the unit once the leak is fixed.
Seriously.

HVAC work is such a cabal of scammers. I can order a 25lb tank of 401A direct to my house for $115 off Ebay.

The problem with HVAC warranties is that parts-only is worthless. As you found out, many HVAC companies count refrigerant as 'labor', and parts are typically very cheap. Always make sure the warranty is P&L.

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whodidntante
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by whodidntante » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:41 pm

For that price I would research charging the system myself. And very likely I would do it. I'm pretty weird though.

criticalmass
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by criticalmass » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:51 pm

soup_can wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 pm
I replaced my HVAC with a brand new system less than two years ago. Last week the AC stopped. I had it serviced (by a different company than who installed it). They said my refrigerant was completely empty, and that it would cost on the order of ~$50/lb to fill for 8 lbs and advised me to contact the original installers.

I had the original installer come out today, and they confirmed that the refrigerant leak was due to a damaged coil within the HVAC unit. They said the manufacturer will pay for the replacement part but not pay for the installers time or refrigerant refill. Has anyone had luck arguing for the HVAC manufacturer to cover these additional costs as well? Thank you.
I would like an explanation of why the coil is "damaged." That's not normal for a 10 year coil, let alone 22 months. Which coil is it? How many coils installed by this company end up "damaged?"

suemarkp
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by suemarkp » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:18 am

whodidntante wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:41 pm
For that price I would research charging the system myself. And very likely I would do it. I'm pretty weird though.
You need an EPA license to buy refrigerant. Didn't use to need one, but now everyone does. What I don't know is how easy is it to get the license -- some stupid easy test, or do you need 1000 hours of HVAC apprenticeship in order to get one.

It gets me too that HVAC contractors charge $50/lb for something I see selling for $5 online in 20lbtanks. I'd take $10/lb as a fair price, and that's giving them 100% mark up. They buy so much of it they are probably even getting it for less than $5/lb.

An then there's the labor time to put the system under vacuum, purge it, and fill with refrigerant. I don't like paying $200+/hr having two techs sit around and watch the vacuum gauge for an hour.
Mark | Kent, WA

stlutz
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by stlutz » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:38 am

I had some kind of coil failure on my American Standard unit twice in the first two years of ownership. Installer replaced a small part the first time and then a larger part the second time. Had to refill the refrigerant both times. I never paid a dime. Not sure if the installer got Trane/American standard to pay for it or if they treated it as part of their "1 year" installation warranty--I never asked as I was fully satisfied. :D

Arguably, it wasn't really free however. Between the 2 quotes I got on original installation for the exact same unit, I went with the higher priced option.

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TexasPE
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Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

Post by TexasPE » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:32 pm

Bought two Coleman systems (a new design at the time) in 2007, with a 10-year P&L warranty. Each system has since had three coils :oops: replaced within the 10-year warranty. Seems they were using a 'porous' tubing that developed leaks after an acid-wash step during manufacturing. [Looks like they finally figured things out]. Also had a compressor and air handler replaced under warranty - probably $10K total P&L cost avoided by the warranty.

Any replacement system for me will have a similar warranty, if available!
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)

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