Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

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ironman
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Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by ironman »

We had a new HVAC system installed in our home last August. The AC was working fine until last Friday when it suddenly died. The installation company diagnosed it as a bad compressor covered by a 10-year warranty. Trane, the manufacturer, has stated that they have delays supplying parts and the unit is still inoperable, coming up on 6 days and counting.
The installation company has been great, and I realize their hands are tied by the supply chain. However, I am maximally frustrated on the part availability issue.
I've dealt with a similar issue with an automobile. In that circumstance I was covered by our state's lemon law and had significant leverage to force the repair.
Any thoughts on reasonable next steps?
123
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by 123 »

HVAC system manufacturers frequently manufacture multiple systems under different brand names. So the same part might be found in different brands under different brand names and different part numbers. There is usually a cross-reference manual available that identifies possible substitutions. You may want to ask if a non-Trane part is available and can be substituted. I don't know if a warranty repair would allow a substitute part or you must just suffer the delay.
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carolinaman
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by carolinaman »

123 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:00 am HVAC system manufacturers frequently manufacture multiple systems under different brand names. So the same part might be found in different brands under different brand names and different part numbers. There is usually a cross-reference manual available that identifies possible substitutions. You may want to ask if a non-Trane part is available and can be substituted. I don't know if a warranty repair would allow a substitute part or you must just suffer the delay.
Sorry for your inconvenience. I had blower go out on our 8 year old HVAC gas pack recently and it was covered by warranty. My servicer was able to find one at a local supply house and got it installed within a couple of hours. I paid for the labor but RUUD paid for the part and my impression was it was not a RUUD part.

I would put pressure on Trane to fix the problem. As others have said, a non Trane part may work but you want Trane to approve and cover that.

I am not sure that you servicer is trying as hard as he should to resolve your issue. I have had issues like this before and my servicer was very diligent in getting a resolution. One time I had the heat exchanger die. I had a 10 year warranty and the system was 10.5 years old. My service got the manufacturer to cover the replacement under warranty.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by RickBoglehead »

There are shortages of everything due to the pandemic.
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Elsebet
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by Elsebet »

Not an HVAC, but we tried to order a part for our failing 10 year old refrigerator and it was backordered so many times that we gave up and ordered a new refrigerator. Our electrician also has a huge wait time for the parts he needs for our subpanel. It's really bad for parts right now.
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Yarlonkol12
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

We waited 2 months to get a warranty replacement door seal for our washing machine, if we didn’t have family near by with machines we were able to use we probably would have had to just buy a replacement washer as there was no ETA provided. Hopefully they can give you an ETA as HVAC is pretty important if you live in the south
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lthenderson
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by lthenderson »

Unfortunately welcome to the world of wait. This was getting more common before Covid and has only gotten worse. It is rare now for companies that sell appliances or machines for the home to keep parts on hand. It costs money to maintain an inventory so they just order it from the factory as needed. In the past, I have gotten dealers to give me a loaner but this isn't an option for an HVAC unit. Your only hope is to just be the squeaky wheel or find a used part that might work until then.
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tcassette
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by tcassette »

Trane and their associated company American Standard use unique design compressors, so finding a compressor from other suppliers seems doubtful.
If your delay continues, you should push your installer and Trane to supply a complete new outdoor compressor unit.
tibbitts
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by tibbitts »

ironman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:35 pm We had a new HVAC system installed in our home last August. The AC was working fine until last Friday when it suddenly died. The installation company diagnosed it as a bad compressor covered by a 10-year warranty. Trane, the manufacturer, has stated that they have delays supplying parts and the unit is still inoperable, coming up on 6 days and counting.
The installation company has been great, and I realize their hands are tied by the supply chain. However, I am maximally frustrated on the part availability issue.
I've dealt with a similar issue with an automobile. In that circumstance I was covered by our state's lemon law and had significant leverage to force the repair.
Any thoughts on reasonable next steps?
A lemon law could never force a repair if a part was not available. It could force a refund or replacement, possibly. Now, if the part is available but only as a component in a new complete unit, then that's something the installer/manufacturer needs to be addressing. Or the installer/manufacturer can offer some alternative temporary solution (window units?) But assuming you live where you "need" air conditioning at this time of year, they have to realize that an indefinite delay (which it sounds like this is) isn't acceptable.
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TexasPE
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by TexasPE »

ironman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:35 pm We had a new HVAC system installed in our home last August. Trane, the manufacturer, has stated that they have delays supplying parts and the unit is still inoperable, coming up on 6 days and counting.

Any thoughts on reasonable next steps?
Push the installer to loan you some 110 volt window AC units until the repair can be completed.

I went without a compressor for almost 3 months (failure happened days before Hurricane Harvey). Used a window unit that kept us comfortable until the compressor could be sourced.
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hand
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by hand »

Not sure there's ever a "reasonable" time to wait, but a good reminder that it may be worth evaluating appliances / systems and having on hand common failure items that cheap, easy to replace components such as A/C capacitors and condensate pumps or generator oil change service kits.

A small investment in time and money now can save you time, money and aggravation when a failure occurs.

More immediately actionable - have you checked used online auction sources for the part?
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by Mr. Rumples »

TexasPE wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:35 am
ironman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:35 pm We had a new HVAC system installed in our home last August. Trane, the manufacturer, has stated that they have delays supplying parts and the unit is still inoperable, coming up on 6 days and counting.

Any thoughts on reasonable next steps?
Push the installer to loan you some 110 volt window AC units until the repair can be completed.

I went without a compressor for almost 3 months (failure happened days before Hurricane Harvey). Used a window unit that kept us comfortable until the compressor could be sourced.
Indeed. My nephew's HVAC had to be replaced in the middle of the summer. Once he signed the contract, the company gave him window units for the bedrooms until the work could start. They might have an inventory of such units.
talzara
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by talzara »

tcassette wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:52 am Trane and their associated company American Standard use unique design compressors, so finding a compressor from other suppliers seems doubtful.
If your delay continues, you should push your installer and Trane to supply a complete new outdoor compressor unit.
Trane uses Copeland compressors, just like the rest of the residential HVAC industry. Trane and Lennox compressors actually come off the same assembly line. The only differences are the paint color, the label, and the fittings. The design of the compressors is the same.

A skilled HVAC technician can put in any Copeland compressor with the same specs. Since this is a warranty claim, Trane would have to approve the substitution.

American Standard hasn't been an "associated company" since 2007. Trane still has the right to sell HVAC equipment under the American Standard brand, but there's no longer any connection between the two companies.
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by ncbill »

talzara wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:37 pm
tcassette wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:52 am Trane and their associated company American Standard use unique design compressors, so finding a compressor from other suppliers seems doubtful.
If your delay continues, you should push your installer and Trane to supply a complete new outdoor compressor unit.
Trane uses Copeland compressors, just like the rest of the residential HVAC industry. Trane and Lennox compressors actually come off the same assembly line. The only differences are the paint color, the label, and the fittings. The design of the compressors is the same.

A skilled HVAC technician can put in any Copeland compressor with the same specs. Since this is a warranty claim, Trane would have to approve the substitution.

American Standard hasn't been an "associated company" since 2007. Trane still has the right to sell HVAC equipment under the American Standard brand, but there's no longer any connection between the two companies.
Aren't Trane "Climatuff" compressors a different design?
DetroitRick
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by DetroitRick »

Just for general comparison purposes, we had a HVAC warranty part issue last year. Installer and manufacturer had good reputation, and we were advised of a known delay in parts availability at the very outset. In our case, this was an "A Coil" replacement. Here was our exact timetable:

July 22 - final diagnosis of issue
July 23 - installer confirmed manufacturer approval of warranty claim, warned of approx. 30 day parts delay, then ordered part
Aug 17 - coil arrived at installer's facility and install scheduled
Aug 19 - repair completed

Fortunately, our unit was semi-functional during the delay and we live in a moderate climate anyway (but I'm glad this wasn't during this extra hot week). You have a non-functioning unit, so more urgency. So, you could push installer to get more specifics on parts availability and shipping speed from Trane. They could even possibly direct you to a specific Trane contact to get a definitive answer on ship date, and a bump in shipping speed if needed.

Best of luck.
DetroitRick
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by DetroitRick »

Just for general comparison purposes, we had a HVAC warranty part issue last year. Installer and manufacturer had good reputation, and we were advised of a known delay in parts availability at the very outset. In our case, this was an "A Coil" replacement. Here was our exact timetable:

July 22 - final diagnosis of issue
July 23 - installer confirmed manufacturer approval of warranty claim, warned of approx. 30 day parts delay, then ordered part
Aug 17 - coil arrived at installer's facility and install scheduled
Aug 19 - repair completed

Fortunately, our unit was semi-functional during the delay and we live in a moderate climate anyway (but I'm glad this wasn't during this extra hot week). You have a non-functioning unit, so more urgency. So, you could push installer to get more specifics on parts availability and shipping speed from Trane. They could even possibly direct you to a specific Trane contact to get a definitive answer on ship date, and a bump in shipping speed if needed.

Best of luck.
RetiredAL
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by RetiredAL »

It seems 'just in time inventory" has mutated to 'you can just wait until we get around to making/sourcing it'.
talzara
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by talzara »

ncbill wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:23 pm Aren't Trane "Climatuff" compressors a different design?
Only reciprocal compressors.

Trane uses scroll compressors on its residential HVAC systems. A "Climatuff" scroll compressor is just a Copeland compressor that's been painted a different color.
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by quantAndHold »

RickBoglehead wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:42 am There are shortages of everything due to the pandemic.
It took eight months for a friend to get a La-Z-Boy recliner. No fabric available.

My Starbucks the other day didn’t have any dragon fruit in it, cuz being out of Starbucks ingredients is a thing now.

Aluminum car and truck wheels are fresh out right now, too.

Welcome to 2021.
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Leesbro63
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by Leesbro63 »

My JennAire oven has been out for 3 months. One of the two parts did come in, but the other one still has not. Welcome to 2021. :|
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ironman
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Re: Reasonable time to wait for HVAC warranty parts

Post by ironman »

Follow up post, after some barking the installers were able to source the part. I guess the moral of the story is the world's best warranty is only as strong as the weakest link in the supply chain. Fingers crossed my other household mechanical devices last until covid19 can no longer be blamed for every manufacturer's woes.
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