Fair enough but as a consumer and presented with a failed oem board then
replacing it with another fucking overpriced , prone to failure, POS oem
product is generally the very last option that I'm willing to explore....
Screw it drill a couple 4 new holes into the can, fit up a generic defrost
board and get hustling onto your next service call.
First off, thanks to everybody for the advice. I'm going to be digging
through the yellow pages tonight to get some wholesalers to call, and yes,
I'll be following up with the BBB, too.
Some quick answers and clarifications:
* The condenser unit is a Coleman EVCon. It's about 10 years old. Some
research online leads me to believe Coleman is a York brand. I have
no idea what make the air handler is.
* The $350 for the defrost board included installation. When he made
the diagnosis on Saturday, the tech warned me that he'd have to find
out the price on this particular board, but that the book in his truck
showed boards listing from $130 up to almost $500 for just the board.
I don't know what the hourly labor rate is, but I'm guessing it's at
least $100. We got the quote on Monday, and that's when we asked to
get an estimator out to do the quote on a new system.
* The 75 feet of run line has been universally regarded as stupid because
the condenser is so unnecessarily far from the air handler. This is
the opinion of everybody who's looked at my system. I'm no HVAC
expert, so I have no opinion. Seems everyone here agrees that 75'
doesn't have to be stupid, and it depends on the specifics of the
installation. I can tell you that the run line doesn't go under my
slab. It's buried underground and runs outside the footprint of the
house from the condenser in the back yard, under the wall, through the
front yard, underneath a sidewalk that runs from the front door to
the driveway, and in through the garage wall.
* The "rust" on my evaporator coils is probably just corrosion by the
wrong name. I did see evidence of corrosion when I looked. To my
untrained eye, I thought I saw copper tubing in a gray metal frame.
I couldn't tell whether the gray metal was steel or aluminum. At any
rate, the tech who identified the corrosion problem told me he'd seen
coils last for years looking worse than mine, but there's no way to
know for sure when it'll fail.
* The system is 10 SEER, and my electricity bills in the summertime are
at least $200 more than in the winter. I'm guessing the difference is
almost entirely from my AC. Given that nobody's making 10 SEER stuff
any more, parts are harder to get, and when that coil goes, I'll have
to replace the system anyway.
* Speaking of the drip pan, since the humidity went up in the Phoenix
area at the beginning of July, I've had problems with my condensate
drip line, which supposedly drains into the sewer, although the
estimator told us he's seen other houses in our area where the drip
line simply went into the dirt under/near the house. My current line
is about 2' of 1" PVC that goes to a T fitting. One half of the T goes
through the slab and I can't see where it ends. The other half is open
to the air. The clogs seem to be occuring in the part between the air
handler and the T fitting, so I can replace that myself. However, if
the problem occurs after the T, I've been told it'd be $500 to put in a
pump and a new drain line that runs along the garage wall and out the
front wall of the garage.
* Also on the list of unwise repairs I've done on this unit is the new
contactor that I had the tech install on Saturday. The old contactor
had been installed when the same tech replaced my compressor last
summer, but the contact points were pitted and there was a lot of
carbon built up. That was $200 I should have saved until getting the
defrost board quote and deciding whether to fix or replace the unit.
By the way, is my year-old compressor worth anything?
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