Leaking Unit

This is the second time in 2 years that I had to fill my 3 ton unit with 7 lbs of freon. I was charged 300 dollars. Was this excessive?
I was told by a repairman that he would have to charge me 97.00 per hour to find the leak and that it would take over 6 hours to do. His final assessment is that it would be easier to have the unit replaced because I have a cheap Carrier builders model that would be nearly impossible to repair. He wants to charge 4500 for a Ducane 4 ton unit. He says that a 3 ton unit is too small for my 2500 sqaure foot townhouse.
I have been trying to reasearch the internet to find any truth in what he is telling me but details on pricing is hard to find.
I live in Illinois and only use it during super hot days.
If anyone has any comments I would love to hear it.
Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It depends on the time the tech took getting to site and works on site. Domestic top ups vary greatly between tech as far as price goes.

This seems excessive. However finding a leak can be time consuming. Have a general look yourself. Look for oil leaks (however small) as they are a good indicator of gas leaks. If you can locate the leak this could save time (read money). A small system (10.5kW) should only take a couple of hours max and maybe another couple to repair and top up.

Lazy option by tech. To correctly size new unit, a heat load needs to be performed. Sight unseen I cannot be precise on adequacy of current unit size. However, based on experiance, the current unit is undersized, as is the unit you have been quoted. This of course depends on zoning (if any) as well as other factors.
Best to find a good (read not usually cheap or small) service tech.

Best of luck based on the attitude/experiance of some on the net.

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about right

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no
under normal circumstanses, it shouldn't take much more than 2 hours to do a leak search and find the leak. (hint - he needs to start at the evap coil)

Maybe so... but hard to say without a whole lot more information. FWIW, Carrier had some problems with leaky coils.

Have a complete Manual J heat load/loss calculation done, then a Manual D to make sure that you ductwork will support the higher air volume from the bigger a/c.

Good luck... its just not there.

ok
You might want to find a real tech, not just a low-bid equipment sales person.

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I hope you have a nice weekend!
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On 27 Jul 2006 20:53:29 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Define, "Excessive".

Gezzhus H Christ man. Pick up the damn phone. Call 3 reputable hvac contractors. Explain the leak situation and pricing and see what they say. Impossible to repair? Whats so impossible about replacing a leaking Carrier evaporator coil? (Oops, I guess I let the secret out about Carrier) $4500? Thats fine. Now what did the other 3 reputable hvac contractors say about replacing your system and their pricing? 3 ton is too small for your house but a 4 ton is better? Cool. Sounds great. NOW, how is he going to modify all of your ductwork to handle the additional 400CFM of air your system will need? Oh my. Someone needs to make a few phone calls and do a little homework. Bubba

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Thanks for everyones input. At the time of my posting I was in the process of setting up several appointments with different contractors for a replacement estimate. I just needed more information so I can make an intelligent decision. As I stated earlier the information on the internet regarding central units is limited. I cannot find any web site that discusses the reliability of the different brands, or which ones to avoid.
And as I suspected, the second contrator that came through today told me something different.
I have 4 more appointments set up within the next 3 days.
Thanks again.
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On 28 Jul 2006 15:10:16 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Get 10 more after that. By then you should be thoroughly confused. Bubba
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Find a repairman who will repair the unit or buy a new one.
The repairman you have is doing all he can to get you to buy a new unit....he probably gets a 1/2 percent commission on new equipment sales. He will make the leak search cost an arm and a leg in order to encourage you to go ahead and replace the unit.
He is in fact "fucking you over" every time he comes by to gas the unit up...he is trying his best to cheat you out of money.....think about that the next time you see him.....have a large sharp knife ready too.....he is sticking you...you might as well stick him back.
you are not a man if you let him do this to you and your family....he is taking food out of the mouth of you and your family by not performing an easy repair.....he is stealing from you.
call him back.....buy a nice large kitchen knife like the tv cooks use.......
stop that bastard from cheating you and others...the courts will understand your crime of passion.
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On 29 Jul 2006 16:22:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

1/2 of a percent you say? His boss is one cheap fuck if that's the case.
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