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Thread: Repair or Replace Heat Pump?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DeweyBeach's Avatar
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    Default Repair or Replace Heat Pump?

    I have a Carrier Tech 2000 SS heat pump system that is around 14 years old. It was top-of-the-line when new. The air handler fan was replaced about 5 years ago, the evaporator coil in the air handler was replaced about a year ago when it leaked, and now the condenser tank in the compressor has sprung a leak. My HVAC tech tells me that replacing the condenser tank will cost about $1000 installed, and that a new system, including new compressor unit and air handler components, etc., will run closer to $7000 or $8000 installed.

    The big question: repair once again and try to get a few more years of service, or replace the whole system?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    In the Trades MaintenanceMan's Avatar
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    Condenser tank? Is he referring to the accumulator? Never heard one called that before....

    Prices vary some from region to region, but $1000 to replace an accumulator, I'd get another price/opinion personally.
    Last edited by MaintenanceMan; 02-24-2009 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The efficiency of systems has improved considerably in the intervening years. Depending on the evaporator coil they replaced and the refrigerant used, you may not be able to just upgrade the compressor, but if the air-handler is in good shape, other than the piping and coil, you should not need to replace it. Seems a little high, but then I don't know your area or the size of the unit. It was about 2-years ago, I had a upper middle end Trane unit replaced for about $4500, but I did not change the evaporator coil or piping. This was 15 SEER unit, 2T (a/c only). Some are available up to around 18-19SEER (not sure if they rate heat pumps using the same system). Feds have mandated higher and higher minimums for the efficiency, and it's likely you couldn't install a new one (other than a repair) that didnt' have better efficiency than what you have.

    So, depending on your utility rates, it migth be better to upgrade. Payback could still be a long time, though. Compare the efficiency of what you'd have with a repair verses replacement. Then run some numbers to see which makes more sense.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member DeweyBeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaintenanceMan View Post
    Condenser tank? Is he referring to the accumulator? Never herd one called that before....

    Prices vary some from region to region, but $1000 to replace an accumulator, I'd get another price/opinion personally.
    Yes, accumulator is the word I should have used. Thanks.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member DeweyBeach's Avatar
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    Went back into my file... The exitsting unit is a 2 ton heat pump with a 14 SEER rating. The system has R-22 in it. FWIW the air handler is a Carrier FK4BNF003.

  6. #6
    DIY Member rayh78's Avatar
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    Get a few other quotes
    and if you go new try to take advantage of the $1500.00 tax credit from the stimlus bill

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that we are 6 months away from the last production of equipment using R22. So if 8 months from now, you need a new system it will be quite a bit more expensive. You will need all new inside and out. If you opt out of replacing line set, the special flush will cost about $200 plus labor. You may need to upgrade the ampacity of the electric supply to the heat pump.

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