Home Air Conditioning Question

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Gents: Home Central AC went bad over the weekend & almost 100% the compressor is gone (locked up). Unit is a 14 yrs old 3 ton Amana Model: PGD36C0702E with Copeland Scroll Compressor. Am I better off replacing the whole unit or just replacing the compressor ? I've been told that prices drop in the winter which is understandable because supply vs. demand. Anybody have experiences with this ?
 
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14 years old, replace the entire condensing unit if indeed the compressor failed. Make sure capacitor is still good and there are no wires burnt off the compressor before it's condemned.
 
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If the compressor is humming and not running, check the capacitor. They do fail, and would produce that effect.
 
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14 years old , replace it all, condensing unit and indoor coil, make sure they evacuate the system completely of all old freon.
 
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You will have to replace it all outdoor: compressor/condenser/fan; indoor: airhandler/blower/evaporator with the new non R410A refrigerant. Should be under 3G's for 3 tonnes, IIRC
 
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if it's 14 years old there are significant efficiency gains available. I strongly advice you get a quote on replacing the entire unit, inside and out. The new soft start air handlers are models of quiet and energy savings. Our system purchased a couple years ago nearly cut our bills in HALF!
 
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Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
You will have to replace it all outdoor: compressor/condenser/fan; indoor: airhandler/blower/evaporator with the new non R410A refrigerant. Should be under 3G's for 3 tonnes, IIRC
No you don't. What is your budget? You can buy a replacement compressor or you can buy a condenser unit using R22. Both still readily available. Save the R22 charge and reuse. A replacement 3 ton condenser is less than $1000.
 
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Replace entire unit with an Energy Star system. There are both state and federal tax incentives + as you mentioned this time of year you can reap a discount too. R22 is on the way out. We have a 3 ton heat pump and between federal, state, power company and manufacture rebate we got a great deal. Just make sure that the new unit is not an R22 unit and is Energy Star rated.
 
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If you replace, take a look at the size. If your current unit had a low duty cycle, strongly consider a smaller capacity replacement. If you have improved your windows, roof reflectiveness, insulation, etc, a smaller unit might be more comfortable.
 

SigQAEngineer

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Thank you guys !! I got couple contractors coming out next couple mornings to give me estimates for compressor replacement vs. cost of entire unit. I will definitely keep your advice in mind. Cheers.
 
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When my compressor gets too hot, the overload switch will open up and cut the power to the compressor. I finally figured out that if the condensing unit is in direct sunlight and if the ambient temperature is up over 100F, then it's time to go cool off the compressor with a garden hose before the overload switch opens up.
 

SigQAEngineer

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Fixed. Located a reliable AC guy from Yelp who came out this morning & found out the "capacitor" was burned out. 30 min he was done. I got my AC back !!
 
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Yeah, either replace everything or the entire unit. The capacitor will probably fail soon after the compressor is replaced, so do the whole thing. If it were me, I'd just replace the system with a R410A because the Freon is going away soon. (No political comment here, just the fact).
 
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Originally Posted By: SigQAEngineer
Fixed. Located a reliable AC guy from Yelp who came out this morning & found out the "capacitor" was burned out.
Congratulations! Capacitors are easy to check and capacitance meters are inexpensive. Many DVM's have this function. Another usefull item on older equipment is called a start kit. In plain language it's simply a larger capacitor with a relay that assists in the compressor starting quickly (when it's pulling the most power), leading to longer life. My compressor failed to start one day and the tech demonstrated this would fix it. That was about 15 years ago. Still works great.
 
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Good to know (that it's only the motor run capacitor). LAstly, 1 thing to add (my experience) RE: 3-in-1 capacitor (Supco makes them, ref: RCO-410 to 810 typical). I'd normally resort to checking for shorts, opens, etc. on single-phase compressor start windings, check/replace motor-run caps first to see if it restores the functionality of the compressor. If rotor locks up badly and/or still experiencing intermittent hard starts after replacing with fresh new motor run capacitor, then resort to using 3-in-1. It does give a stronger kick to the torque-start the compressor. So far: I've used 3-in-1 and fixed 3 freezers (all due to brownouts)...only 1 (the 4th one) experienced such serious lockup that nothing works (not even the 3-in-1) so we decided to dispose it and get a new one instead. Q.
 
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