My Trane XL1400 heat pump 'died' over the weekend. The repair person
from the company that installed it said the "compressor shorted to
ground"... and that it was basically time for a new unit.. This unit
was installed in 1993 - so - 13 years... He then arranged a Sales call
(who said they couldn't get out here for 4 days!!)
Later in the afternoon, I contacted an independent guy, that's been in
ac for a number of years and is just recently starting on his own
business - he came highly recommended by my electrician (who is a
friend that i trust). This second person basically said "This is a
Trane - a top of the line Trane - your air handler is in good
condition, and the outside unit is in good condition... minus the
compressor - i'll be happy to install a whole new unit if that is what
you want, but you can just replace this compressor for a fifth of the
cost and be fine"...
The 'new' compressor would only have a 1 year warranty on parts and
labor.. Several times I kept questioning on if replacing the
compressor would be the way to go - and each time he pointed out that
the rest of the unit was in fine shape... (even saying he'd be happy
to do the job so that he could take the old unit and put it in his
A key factor here is that we've only been in this house 1 year, and the
previous owners had a few service calls on the unit - always for
tripping the breaker and for putting new start caps on..
Well - the unit was on a 'dual breaker' that controlled both the
compressor AND our dryer! Also it's an old 150 amp panel w/ aluminum
wiring (running the heat pump, a pool, a jacuzzi, and the whole
house).. Even the home inspector recommended replacing (upgrading)
the panel before we moved in... That is being done this Friday...
The electrician and the second guy both felt strongly that the way they
had this wired could be the main culprit behind the electrical problems
this unit has had - and that upgrading the panel could certainly go a
long way in alleviating that.
Given that - any second opinions out there?? I'm about sold on just
replacing the compressor - granted i know nothing about heat pumps and
hvac, but when they took the unit apart, it was
verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry clean - i was shocked and how good everything
looked! Makes it tough to just say 'haul it away' and drop $5k on a
new unit - but - am i just asking for trouble by not replacing the
I still have 3 other companies coming to give me estimates on a full
replacement - just so i'll have some figures (including the original
company 4 days from now - ??!!?.)
sorry so long - thanks for any feedback!