I have a 5 ton Amana Prestige II (model RCC) that the builder
installed in my home. I am the original owner having purchased the
home from the builder in May 2001. According to the warranty papers
the builder gave me, the unit has 5/10 warranty (10 on compress,
condenser, and evaporator; 5 on "functional parts").
Today I noticed the lights flickering in the middle of the day, and I
paid it no attention as I our power fluctuates quite frequently.
Later, I noticed the temperature getting out of my comfort zone, so I
checked the thermostat. It was set to 76, but the AC wouldn't kick
on. So, I checked the breaker panel, and I found the AC circuit had
been tripped. I tried to reset it, but it wouldn't stay closed.
I went outside to inspect the unit, and as soon as I turned the corner
of the back of my house I could smell a distinct burnt, soot smell.
Here's what I found:
I don't know the correct, technical terms, but it appears to me that
the "control unit" shorted and burned up. I looked at the wires and
lines going to the condenser, and they look okay to me (FWIW).
I contacted a contractor that put a unit in my dad's house. He gave
me 2 options: Replacing the entire outside unit with another R22 unit
for $2600 or upgrading outside/inside to a Ruud Premium R-410A system
I also contacted my wife's brother-in-law who works for a large
mechanical co. doing commercial ac/refrigerator service. He suggested
by-passing the controls entirely and wiring the condenser directly to
the thermostat. That sounds like the cheapest option to me, but I'm
concerned about the safety of such a modification.
What's my best course of action?