An outside compressor unit took one of my two zones down yesterday, but looking at the bright side I just bumped the ground floor a few degrees and opened all the doors upstairs and all sorta' ok again. The wife might have even been found to be sleeping a few inches closer than usual. My 'amateur hour' testing brought up nothing except the 'first time ever' wrinkle of a blown fuse on the control side.
The original small privateer outfit who had installed the current units (and does all my service) wasn't available, so a clearly with-it 'Brad' came out from the same outfit in '06 that had done a bang-up job reviving my then 18yo original installation before the aforesaid replacements that same year. This Brad impressed me tracking everything down quickly while volunteering to explain his attack. Sure enough, no 24v., and he found a busted control board. A saved invoice from '15 didn't show which unit had had its control board replaced, but the part price that was $160 back then is now $1,700!
I had repeated several times to Brad that given that price my focus would likely tilt on replacing the compressor unit, and only
the compressor unit. Well, I just wrapped up with a salesman from the same co. He'd first asked if he could go downstairs and I figured fine, he can get that out of his system first and then we can focus on the compressor. He quickly moved into the classic, This has all simply got to go! We'll need to replace Everything!!
Him: "Hmm, your humidifier is installed in the wrong place and we prefer bypass design v. your motorized unit. We have a great promotion right now that incorporates the humidifier into the total package."
Me: (Smiling in LOL) "Along with what sounds like the business case to replace the entire system did you receive insights from Brad yesterday encompassing only the replacement of the outside unit?"
Him: "He went over some things, but I don't remember any of the detail."
Me: (Transitioning to fulltime smiling mode)
Then his eyes lit up when he when he spied the model plate with reference to R-22.
Him: "Oo too bad. They don't even have R22 anymore, and they don't make compressor units anymore for R22."
Me: "Well Jim. That's certainly a surprise as I could have sworn these were installed using the safer and cheaper R410. Oh well, let's envision converting to R410 then, just as they do for cars from R12 to R134."
Him: "Oo too bad. R410 systems run at much higher pressures than old R22, and your old air handler can't take it."
Me: "Ok. Let's envision swapping out the A-coil with a new compatible one. That's still far less labor intensive and equipment cost than the 'all-new approach'."
Him: "We find that it costs about the same to replace the A-coil rack as it does to install a whole new airhandler."
Me: "Ok. Let's move outside to run down the compressor side of everything."
Him: Immediately leads off with, "We'll install all new linesets and whips and junction box." Then his jaw dropped and the look of abject sadness:
He bore up well to the bad news, and spent the final stage of his presentation with a glossy 5 wholehouse proposals. Bottomline, to get anything better than my current SEER15 system will cost right at the exact same $$$$$ as both zones did 16 years ago. I'll see whether he follows through with agreeing to quote tha alternate for replacing just the conpressor. I'll gladly run the backup elements for the time it takes to rope in my go-to guy. These are Colemans, and the absolute best of everything possible then. They were an offshoot of York, but now no longer in the biz. So the biggest ? will be making sure York (and any others) will warranty when hooking up with another brand's equipment.
It took til the 5th Friday this week, but I think I win First World Problem of the Week?