1

A local A/C company was offering a deal on a home heating/cooling "check-up". I've never worked with this particular company before, and I've had some bad experiences in the past (different home, different state) with stuff like this. I wasn't there when the guy did his inspection, and the result was:

Condenser fan motor drawing high amperage. Advise to replace soon.

$350 - 10% = $315.

We have other rental properties in the area, and I'd like to establish whether these folks are reputable so that I can continue to do business with them in the future.

Can anyone with A/C or HVAC experience suggest a way that I can confirm that this isn't just a manufactured or exaggerated problem, and that the cost is reasonable? I'm not against calling another tech from a different company out to see if s/he returns the same diagnosis...

  • 1
    A fan motor if old just may need a bit of oil or grease, Remember they don't get paid much for .25c worth the oil or grease but get a full days wadges to change out the motor that most can't or don't want to do. – Ed Beal Mar 20 '16 at 21:59
  • 1
    I recommend searching for contractors using a 10 year old Yellow Pages. – Harper Mar 20 '16 at 23:08
  • 1
    Did they list the reading? If they didn't list all the readings they took (good and bad) then that's a ding against them. If they did and it is 5% (barely) above range, that's a different thing than it being 50% above. Also, what is the consequence of breakdown? Do you have an obligation to have the A/C working within hours of breakdown that would require an extra costly service? If so it might pay to prevent it. – Jeff Meden Mar 21 '16 at 16:30
1

If a motor is drawing a very high amperage it is not unreasonable to advise a repair. If the motor cannot be cleaned, or it has been cleaned and still drawing high it may show an imminent failure. So you could replace the motor while they are at the home, usually with no additional labor, or maybe have an emergency call in the future where you will now be charged labor in addition to the motor. It is worth checking around with other customers of theirs to see if they are trustworthy or not. Hard to tell off one diagnosis.

1

I'd say you have two courses of action.

Test it yourself

If you have the proper tools and knowledge, you could test the motor yourself. Compare the readings you get, against the manufacturer's specification. If the motor can be cleaned, oiled, or greased. You could do that work, and see if it helps. However, you might find that the only way to perform maintenance on the motor, is a complete tear-down and rebuild. If that's the case, replacement might be the more cost effective choice.

Get a second (and third) opinion

If you don't have the tools and knowledge, or maybe just don't have the time. Getting a second and third opinion from other companies, would give you an idea if this is actually a problem.

When you contact the other companies, don't tell them about the results from previous companies. If they don't find the same problem, ask them about it at the end of the inspection.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.