Was I scammed?

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G'day everyone,
I recently had my air conditioner serviced. It had been working fine, the company just got around to me for my annual service. This is a residential home, approx. 2,300 sq. ft.
The young chap who serviced the system, presented me with an invoice for $793.00. He said I was 20lbs. low on refrigerant.
I attempted to look through some newsgroups related to heating and cooling in hopes to find an answer on how much refrigerant an air conditioner holds. This seems to be the best NG, with the least flames.
Hope someone may be able to give me a ballpark figure on the refrigerant.
God bless,
Ellie
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Hope you did not pay the guy yet. If it needed that much it would not be working at all.
Call the company that did it and give them your model number - ask how much freon it holds. Don't tell them you've just paid for 20 lbs. This is a good way to trap the guy.
Sounds like he charged you for the last 4 stops.
Rich
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RichK ( snipped-for-privacy@isp.net) said...

I assume that this charge included the cost to fix the leak problem AND gives you some sort of warranty for the next couple of years against any leaks?!?
Your home air conditioner is not like the one in your car, and ideally should NEVER need a top up of refrigerant unless there is some unusual situation, like you damaged a refrigerant line while moving something, or the original installation was shoddy.
Consumers are used to a garage having to top up your air conditioning, so some home HVAC contractors take advantage of this and use the same excuse. Unless you are rattling your home AC the way the one in your car gets rattled as you drive around, it just isn't going to be low on refrigerant.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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Ellen Ridenbaucher wrote:

The data plate on the outside condensing unit will tell you what type of refrigerant is used (probably R-22 or R-410A) and how much the system holds in pounds & ounces. A very rough rule-of-thumb is 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds per ton of air conditioning (plus a little extra for long line set and/or add-on filter/drier). Take a look at the data plate.
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Ellen Ridenbaucher writes:

Absolute robbery.
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Size of the home means nothing, but anyway...read on..

So you have a commercial chiller on the home? There is not a resi unit on the market that takes 20lbs..

While NO ONE here or in any other NG can tell you how much your unit holds, since no one here can read the data plate on the outer unit, or figure superheat for you....and there are NO rules of thumb on this..none, you can get an idea by looking on the outside unit, and reading the plate. It will have the INITIAL charge in pounds, or oz, and remember, 16oz is a pound. It may have more, or less than the stated unit charge due to many variables. NO ONE can tell you EXACTLY how much the unit holds, unless the charge it removed (recovered) and weighed, so do not be suprised if you get alot of "we dont knows" if you call around asking about that. SEER ratings, tonnage, lineset length, evap coil design all add to the charge factor, along with metering devices to a point, therefore, the charge for each unit varies. You can have 10 different makes of 5 ton units, various makes, and SEERs and the charge for each unit out of the box will be different.

You have not given near enough information even to look up the factory shipping charge. However, 20lbs is too much...one could take a wild ass guess and say, since even the older Intertherms 12 SEER units that were tanks only took between 4 and 10lbs depending on the tonnage, and many of your newer units are up to 13lbs, but not 20..
Questions to think about. Did the "tech" use a scale and did you see him put the jug of refrigerant on it to weigh in the charge? Did the "tech " come in and take temp and humidity readings before charging this? Did the "tech" clean your indoor coil, outside coil and blower before charging the system? Did the "tech" take ANY temp readings at all?
IF this post is for real, and not a troll, as I suspect (altho, I am sure that there are tens of thousands of people this summer that have fell for some hacks bullshit like has been described in your post) then you have several options.
1- Do not pay anything yet. 2- Contact the owner of the AC company, and have HIM come out and properly check your unit, and have him show you how it holds 20lbs, LOW...meaning, the total system charge would have to be MUCH more since you stated it was cooling ok before.. 3-If you actually are in Southern CA, and have a chiller on the home, as some did, then pay the bill and go on..LOL..20lbs would be a start on most smaller chiller setups... 4-Insist that the superheat or subcool be checked. If the company has no clue what that is, refuse to pay the bill and go on to another company that DOES know what it is. 5-Current R-22 prices in my area averages $2 pound for the refrigerant wholesale. Figuring you paid a $75 service fee, you paid roughly $36 a pound for refrigerant...And that would be ONLY if your system ACTUALLY took that much. We consider it a cost of business, and only charge if the weight used exceeds 3lbs and then, its only $5 a pound for every pound OVER the initial 3. 6-If you are in the state of NC, then you can contact the state licence board, or contact me directly, and we will send you a form that will get the fine folks out in Raliegh rollin on this and the guy that gouged you will soon find that his actions have landed him in jail with a felony charge. 7-Contacting the BBB wont do anything, so dont even bother with it.
If they cant prove to you that they weighed in the charge, that your unit takes that much, and they didnt find the leak then you can offer to pay him a reasonable service call fee, like $50 and find another company that knows what they are doing as its obvious the only thing that this one you describe here knows how to do is steal. Should you find that your unit really only holds 4lbs, depending on your area you may have legal recourse and you SHOULD press charges against this guy. If you are in central NC, at no cost we could send a tech out and he could tell you EXACTLY what your ssystem holds...I HATE scam artists more than anything.
Good luck and if it was a troll post, pretty damn good one.

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This is turtle.
He Got Over on you !
if you had a 10 ton or 2 -- 5 ton central systems you could put totally in it maybe 20 pounds.
the most I've ever put in a residentiual unit on homes is totally filling it with 14 pounds.
If the unit was working and cooling at all . The fellow could not get 20 pounds in at best 14 pound system. If the system was cooling a little. He could not have put more than 3 or 4 pounds in it at best.
I would call the Sheriff Department or city Police and file a Robbery that took place. This would be robbery by defraud of billing. if your over 60 years of age it's Default Robbery of the elderly. Louisiana has 5 to 8 years in prison for it. Then for elderly it 10 years minium.
TURTLE
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If the system needed nothing else, what would 14 lbs cost?
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Any legit, company, billing as most SHOULD:
Service Fee: Between $60 and $120 depending on the area, market, and company. Refrigerant: Depending on the area, market and company: Between $5 to $10 per pound, and thats ONLY if its weighed in, if all they do is take a jug and a set of guages back there and start pumping, absoulutely NOTHING.
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This is Turtle.
For me to say what freon cost all over the USA due to warehouse supplies and what state taxes are on each state. it would be very hard for me to set a U.S.A. price of freon. It is just too many factor to figure in to set the price for everybody in all states.
My Area of Louisiana 14 pound will get you for $100.00 or so and a $35.00 to a $95.00 service call depending where and when. Other places of the country can be Vastly different.
TURTLE
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of age it's Default Robbery of the elderly. Louisiana has 5 to 8 years in prison for it. Then for elderly it 10 years minium.<<<<
Or take them to small claims court. They would probably settle up rather than try to prove this in court. RM
PS, "if your over 60 years of age it's Default Robbery of the elderly", Now your getting personal.
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on the service truck. We just had to have a new compressor put in our AC. The system had to be charged ( I believe the system had to be evacuated first) The service man had to come out twice , first time to see what the problem was, order parts.The bill was $1900. Home warranty cost me $80. Our house is 2900 Sq. Ft. The bill dose not say how many pounds of refrigerant were used. I know from talking to service men, That he gets a commission for anything over the set fee he gets. This guy told he try's to find as much plumbing to change in somebody's house on service calls ( angle stops, toilet repair) Do some investigation. Then start making a stink. Call the State Contractors board, Some local TV station love this stuff, Better blueness association.( there pretty much a joke ) Now if your a senior you even have more power on your side. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. It's a shame what some service work has become, there is more than enough honest money to be made.
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And if you had American Home Shield, or the like, that $80 you paid went to the contractor as well....there isnt a real deductable, it goes right to the service person. BTW, $1900 for a compressor repair CAN be on the cheaper side, depending on what you have.
We aint gonna give it away, and we wont go broke so you can be cool, but, on a smaller unit, (people, your SF of the home means nothing in the price here) it would be on the high side.
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yes. Also, you are stupid.
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And you are an ignorant asshole.
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You light up a room when you leave it. No doubt your life is so dull, that you can actually write your diary one week in advance. If you called the Suicide Hotline, they'd say: "Go ahead. Do it!" Maybe you wouldn't be such a Jerk-In-The-Box if you weren't so dumb that even blondes tell jokes about you; if you weren't so grossly fat that you have to put your belt on with a boomerang, or if you weren't so ugly that even the tide wouldn't take you out. Nah, of course you would.
Anyway, I'm not really good with fools, but a friend who is good with fools wrote something down for me. Oh, yeah, "Shut your cake-hole, stupid!"
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I have no doubt that every time you open your mouth it smells like some unwashed low-life just uncrossed his legs.
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Yeah, like your mother and father. bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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Wow. Great comeback. You're STILL an asshole. The only thing that's changed is that you're a bigger one than I originally thought. I guess eventually, when science gets to view your remains, the world will discover how important contraception really was in the year before your birth.
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Why didn't your parents take a walk in those five minutes? (instead of conceiving you)?
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