Labor estimate to replace a Lennox HP Compressor

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Hi,
I have a Lennox Heat Pump model HP-27-042 (http://lennox.com/products/overview.asp?model=HP27 ) and the compressor died in it.
Luckily there is a warranty on the part, but I need to pay labor to have it replaced. (I don't have an annual contract, but based on the cost estimate I got, I would have broken even anyway I think).
In any case I got an estimate of $650 to replace the compressor, and while to my non-HVAC professional eye, it looks like it could be time consuming (i.e. doesn't look real simple to just swap it in and out) $650 struck me as kind of high. I am going to try to get a 2nd quote, but figured I would check with the pros in here to see if that was at least a reasonable ball park number.
thanks in advance for any input or advice.
- Lynn B.
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lbecker wrote:

$750.00 Flat rate
PS- Blow me
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wrote:

Thanks for the $750 part.. that was helpful. Trying to double check my quote. My estimate was actually $750, but the company I use was very cool in knocking of the $100 fee to diagnose the problem.
Not sure what caused the PS part? Care to elaborate? Was this not a cool question to ask on alt.hvac ?
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The question would be better answered in alt.home.repair.
My flat rate for that job is $780 unless it's a severe burnout which adds $500.
- Robert
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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 17:06:01 GMT, "American Mechanical"

Ahh.. my bad. Thanks for taking the time! I cross-posted over there (alt.home.repair) because I was not sure.
Sorry... thanks again for the helpful information.
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lbecker writes:

That is not a fair price, but you are being victimized by the "parts not labor" warranty scam, and the trade protection racket.
Replacing under warranty means you gotta go thru the factory's dealer network, which literally goes to school to learn how to manipulate and gouge you on price.
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Nope. I can get the warranty part simply by walking in to the wholesaler and giving them the MN and SN even if I'm not one of their dealers.
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HeatMan writes:

They'll hand you an expensive part for nothing more than two numbers. Right. And Chrysler will give my local teenage grease monkey a new engine for my car.
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No, dumbass. They put the part on my open account and credit me back when the old part is returned and warranty paperwork turned in. You better stick to screwing the grease monkeys.
- Robert
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Actually, you as a homeowner can do it too... It works like this..
You go to the Lennox supplier You show them your EPA card that shows that you have half a clue about what you are about to embark on.. You give them the model and serial number of the unit You give them the old compressor that you claim is bad You give them a check for the cost of the compressor in CASE its NOT bad, and check out time from factory..normally another $150 or so..plus a new cap, not covered under warranty in this case..oh...and a jug of 22, since you cant buy it in little cans any more... They give you the paperwork back, a cap, a compressor, and a jug of 22... You wait 5 months for your refund, IF and only if the compressor was really bad.
And as a son of a Chrysler dealer, and ex-service manager for Chrysler, actually they can do that as well, but the difference is, the dealership wont charge you a dime in labor for a warranty engine swap out..altho, the dealership is charged for it. And yes...they will hand over an engine to your local grease monkey...but the question is, why in hell would you want ANOTHER hack working on your stuff???
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Steve@carolinabreezehvac writes:

That much I can believe.
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Not really. Richard..you really dont know a damn thing about running a business do you?

LOL!
Nope. He does not. Any licenced legitimate HVAC company can replace that compressor, however, it helps to know 1-IS it really the compressor? 2-If it is, what is involved in the units replacement?
The reason I bring this up, is that I just came back from a call, on, ironically, a 10 year old Lennox unit. It was not due to the fact that 3 other companies had been out and deemed the compressor dead, (2 of the estimates stated on the invoice, shorted to ground) but due to the fact that no one would come out and repair it. I was refered to this guy by another old York customer that was friends of his, and when I got there, I didnt know about the other 3 estimates, nor, that it had been looked at previous. When I got there, sure enough, the compressor was dead, and the customer told me that somethings TRYING to run, it makes a noise and the lights dim... Ok...fair enough, it SURE sounds like....umm...could be...might be...the CAPACITOR! After checking the Copeland scroll, (looked really good for a 10 year old unit) and finding none of the windings shorted, I took the cap out of its holder and sure enough...it was swollen. Snap, crack, BOOM. Replaced it with a new cap, and the unit ran like a champ. After another 20 minutes of checking, the unit was deemed fit enough to continue out the summer. Total bill? $300? $250?
Nah...a grand total of $65 on a Sunday, and hes back in biz...
Now..had it been, lets say...a new unit, still under warranty, and the compressor really WAS bad.
I would not have touched a job like that that will kill a good 5 hours of time or more for under $500..
I also have to state that over 90% of the time that a field tech condems a compressor..warranty or otherwise in MOST areas, its a capacitor, or other problem.
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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 22:11:25 -0400, "Steve@carolinabreezehvac"

thanks for the additional info. Yeah, the big old capacitor in mine was gone and leaking... and replacing it did not solve the problem...
hard to say what the cause and effect was (the cap went bad and then the compressor went bad, or vice versa).
The wires feeding in around the compressor had melted a bit (the insulation)
I am comfortable with the technician's opinion on this one being the compressor...
By way.. it is HOT here in VA without A/C... yikes.
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It was pretty rough down here below ya today too...that tropical storm really laid the humidity and heat our way.. Hope you get it all worked out.

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Steve@carolinabreezehvac writes:

I suppose you want to whine about how much it costs to put a truck and tech on the road.
While I have some business experience, I admit it is limited to competing fairly and without artificial barriers to entry. You may be right: I don't know much about the inside of your collusive, anti-competitive, and protected trade. I do know that the alt.hvac cronies are the meanest bunch of roustabouts in the NNTP universe, and don't fairly represent the HVAC biz.
I dunno what it is about fixing stuff for a living, but whether it is AC units, or garage doors, or brain surgery, you all seem to think your labor is worth many times what mere mortals can do, but you need all kinds of barriers and licenses to force people into paying it.
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writes:

This is Turtle.
Richard , Your a Hack Maginet if i ever saw one or heard one reply on the newsgroup. All the Hacks out there listening to what is said and they are smilling like a mule eating briars. I'm not joking at all here.
TURTLE
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TURTLE writes:

Spoken by a rare gentlemen among scoundrels.
It appears by "hack" you mean "do-it-yourselfer who knows what he's doing". And I do like to make them smile, mules as we may be.
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Now youre being silly....and stupid...
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This is Turtle.
No I'm not referring to you as doing any of the work but if you think that you can do everything that a real profession hvac tech will do in all repair. well your kedding yourself. Your ganging up all hvac people as hacks when only about 1/3 are hacks, 1/3 are uneducated enough in the business to do it right, and 1/3 is real hvac service professionals. Now if you gang them all and call them all the same. When you do need some help professionally, you will probley call the hack for he will be the cheapest priced and agree with you on any decission made about the system. The Hack knows that if he let's you decide how it will be done. You will screw it up enough to get to sell you a new system when it comes apart later.
TURTLE
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TURTLE writes:

I don't mean to lump the whole lot together. In any service business, you have some that are technically competent, some that aren't, some who are competent but with no head for business, and those who are crooks with excuses why they're not. On top of that natural order, you have the government contractor licensing, the EPA licensing, in some situations the unionization, in collusion to bar entry to the trade and to maintain prices. And on top of that, you have the manufacturer's restraint-of-trade practices for price maintenance, which happens in every industry that sells costly equipment (white goods, farm equipment, cars, used to be personal computers before they got cheap), with manufacturer's constantly influencing dealers to stop discounting and competition.
Every bunch that wants government to enforce licensing talks about "protecting the consumer" and "raising standards of professionalism", but in reality it is all bout restricting the market, raising prices, and picking who gets to practice the trade. Doctors, lawyers, barbers, manicurists, morticians, tile-setters, etc. The chief determinant of which enterprises are free of this and which are lousy with it is the simple aspect of how easy it is to lean on people trying to do it. You can police the drywall trade, you can't software over the Internet.
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