My sister is a thousand miles away and I can't go look at her problem.
She had her evaporator (apparently an A coil in the furnace?) replaced with the home warranty, of course there were all sorts of extra non covered charges, but it stopped cooling.
So then they told her the condenser needed to be changed out too, another visit charge plus another set of non covered charges.
Now, in the list of extra charges here, they have to send an electrician to change out the 30 Amp breaker for a 25, because if the condenser pulls more than 25 amps it will burn out and be destroyed.
Say what? Really? Plus they're claiming they need to pull a separate permit for the electrical work which will cost her an extra couple hundred bucks.
My BS detector is going off here. I work in an engineering department. But my section doesn't do residential anymore and I don't know enough.
They tried to sell me a home warranty when I bought a house about 12
years ago. I looked at what it covered and the 'co-paynent'. Decided
that it was not worth anything. Just as my dental insurance after I
turned 65. They charge over $ 500 per year and the max payout is only
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Your BS detector seems to be working well. Local code probably does
call for getting a permit but for a small job is should be about $20,
not hundreds. Changing a breaker is a 5 minute job so the electrician
is going to charge his minimum that could be $75 to $100. If I was
close I'd do it for a slice of pie if she just made one.
Home warranty is a rip-off, IMO. Put that premium in the bank and you
will be way ahead in a couple of years even after a job like she has
now. Sounds like they botched it to begin with.
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:18:54 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
IDK why she needs a home warranty service. Seems to me she just needs
a local, reputable service company for the things that she has covered.
In this case, it would be a local HVAC company. You call them out,
they tell you what they think needs to be done, if you don't like it
you're free to call someone else. With the warranty company, you're
stuck with the company they choose to use. They probably find the
cheapest guy they can find, then he makes up for what they pay him
by adding on extras wherever he can. This is like any insurance
situation, you're paying for the work, plus the insurance company's
overhead, their profit, etc. That makes sense when it's a large
ticket item and you can't afford to self-insure or take the risk.
I've heard very few people here that are happy with any of these
I'm sure she needs help, but a pay as you go is far cheaper. That
insurance company is not in business to help people, their goal is to
make money from them.
She needs to find a local handyman type that can either do the job or
knows a reputable person to call for the big jobs he can't handle. Home
warranty companies do that for you, but they use the lowest priced
materials with the lowest wage workers and all the non-covered fees.
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 12:12:34 AM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
IDK about $20, here the min for anything in NJ is probably $50, I'd
expect to pay at least that much. But the problem may not be what
the municipality charges, but that many contractors add their own
fee for handling it on top of that. Which I guess they have a right
to do, because they do have to make a trip over to the office to
get one quickly or fill it out, mail it, etc. I agree a couple
hundred sounds high.
If the OP knows the model of the new eqpt, they may be able to pull
up the install instructions on the internet and find out what size
breaker it calls for. Typically they have a range specified, ie a min
and a max. It the 30A is within the range, no need to change it.
The new eqpt is probably more efficient, so it will work with a
smaller amp circuit, but if they give a breaker range and you're
within it, you're OK.
I agree with the advice to avoid the home warranty companies for
a lot of reasons. One reason is that they've now changed out the
whole AC system. At that point, if it were your own system, depending
on the age, it might make more sense to get a whole new system,
ie including the heating/air handler part. Would be interesting if
the OP would let us know what this winds up costing. And how much
she's been paying and for how long.
Just checked. Plumbing minimum is $25, electrical $40. Homeowner cn
pull the permit and save the add on costs.
My guess is the insurance company tried to get away cheap replacing the
evap coil and later realized more was needed. Just a guess, but a good
HVAC tech would recognize the problem and recommended a more efficient
unit, not the cheapest to buy.
The diagnosis should be done by the tech, not the "insurance" or
warranty company.. Sometimes the companies "own" the techs but usually
they are subcontractors. You still don't have the opportunity to
select the contractor (in many cases, at least)
Agreed! When the salesman is selling the extended warranty, they claim it covers everything.
Later, when you have a claim, you'll find the warranty is filled with a bunch of weasel words and your particular failure is not covered.
I'm not an electrician, but that sounds fishy. The circuit breaker isn't
there to protect the load so much as it's to protect the wiring to the
load. E.g. if I have a branch circuit that has only a 100W light bulb
plugged in, I don't put a 1 Amp breaker on the circuit. Sure the bulb
will fry if it pulls 20A, but it won't do that. It's a 20A breaker
because I have 12ga wire.
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 9:42:13 AM UTC-4, Mark Storkamp wrote:
The install instructions and/or the rating plate for the eqpt
typically spec the min circuit
ampacity and the min and max for the breaker. If 30A is in the range,
then it's OK. I agree with you that the reasoning the tech apparently
gave is BS. The unit isn't going to pull any more or any less because
of the breaker size, nor will it burn out. And the overcurrent
protection is actually handled inside the equipment.
I agree with the other posters. The still have the train on the tracks so
you are getting good advice. Also your BS detector seems to pegged out and
The company didn't diagnose nor repair it properly. Have your sister protest
all the charges and demand a refund of costs including the policy. I know
good luck but I would tell them she intends to go to the "news"
organizations with a timely consumer expose. Have her talk to the neighbors
and find a reputable co and pay as she goes.
th the home warranty, of course there were all sorts of extra non covered c
harges, but it stopped cooling.
visit charge plus another set of non covered charges.
to change out the 30 Amp breaker for a 25, because if the condenser pulls m
ore than 25 amps it will burn out and be destroyed.
rmit for the electrical work which will cost her an extra couple hundred bu
But my section doesn't do residential anymore and I don't know enough.
On the nameplate of the condenser it will say something like "Maximum Fuse
Size" or Maximum HACR Breaker". To use a higher rated circuit breaker woul
d be a code violation, invalidate the warranty, and it would fail inspectio
n. Many of the newer energy efficient models only require a 25 amp circuit
breaker. I recently discovered a homeowner had his 20 amp condenser on a
50 amp circuit breaker. I showed him the nameplate on the condenser and he
agreed to let me replace the breaker.
Getting a permit and having the work inspected is a good idea. How else wo
uld you or your sister know that the work was done to code?
On Friday, August 19, 2016 at 3:54:21 PM UTC-4, John G wrote:
Interesting. I've looked at a lot of nameplates but didn't remember that part.
I just looked at mine, and sure enough it has a minimum size and a maximum size. Both are the same, 20 A (and my breaker is a 20 A).
Is it really a code violation though?
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