Airhandler on continuously / compress not coming on

Help! I have a roof mounted heat pump system. It had a pretty much broken honeywell mechanical thermostat installed but had the following symptoms:
In order to get the compressor to kick on an cool, I had to crank the thermostat down to the min and tap the mercury switch thingy at the end of thermo spring to make sure it made good contact. The compressor then comes on fine.
The air handler however won't turn off without cutting off the breaker. I suspect the person who wired the thermostat didn't have any idea what he was doing judging from some of the other wiring in the house.
My handyman tried to wire up a new digital thermostat first by matching up colors (nothing worked) then by trying to determine what each wire was for and hood them to the correct spot on the thermostat. We are now in same the situation as with the mechanical. Airhandler runs continuously, and the compress will not come on since I can't manually ensure the connection is made as I could with the mechanical one.
I have read some stuff here that say if the air handler is running all the time it might be a relay, or control board. Does wiring problems seem more likely in this case? Is there a way to wire the thing to produce the symptoms I am seeing?
Any help would be GREAT!
Thanks!
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On 20 Jul 2006 20:36:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

First replace the thermostat, then the control board, then the compressor, then the lineset, then the contactor, then the capacitor, then the outdoor fan, then the indoor fan, then the heat exchanger, then the evaporator coil. Finally, add 52 pounds of R503 to it. I guarantee you this will fix it.
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Al Moran wrote:

Well.... ok... ALMOST any help would be GREAT! ;)
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Sure it wasn't 53 pounds of 502?
More seriously, read t he sheet that came with the thermostat. Should be very, very helpful.
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Christopher A. Young
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A "handy man" IS NOT an HVAC technician, nor is a a proctologist a dentist. Call a *competent* HVAC tech to 1) correct all the problems 2) clean and service the system, 3) correctly balance the refrigerant charge and finally 4) write you an invoice.
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Noon-Air wrote:

Thanks Noon-Air. This is good but obvious advice. I guess I should ask more direct questions. Does this seem like a wiring problem or a bad relay or what? I have absolutely the worst track record with professionals and tradesmen. They all seem to take me for a ride so I would like to have at least some idea what the problems COULD be and how much it may cost to fix before contact them.
If it's just not possible to to even get an idea in this manner then so be it. I absolutely intend to have a qualified service person out to fix it.
What is experience telling you all this could be and what can I expect for a bill?
Thanks SOOO much!
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It could be wiring, it could be a relay, it could be a board, it could be a sequencer, it could even be <gasp> the thermostat. Without actually *seeing* it, theres no way I can tell exactly whats wrong with it.

To find a *competent* technician, call the supply house(s) that handle the specific brand of equipment that you have and ask them "Who's the best tech you got"(who would they call to do work on their family's home??), talk to the local building/mechanical inspector(s) and ask them the same question.... they can't really tell you a company name, but they can nod yes or no if you ask about XYZ company or ABC company. Ask the folks that you go to church with...who do they use??

No idea.... it will vary depending on where you are located, and whats wrong with it.

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That is some good advice.
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Thanks to all for the info. The guy is on the roof now. We'll see how it goes!
Moe Jones wrote:

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On 20 Jul 2006 22:43:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

That Venus is not properly aligned with Mars. You can expect to pay right around 1 billion dollars.
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