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Question DetailsAsked on 7/13/2016

My HVAC co wants $800 to change the TEV and a weak dual run capacitor on my roof unit. Sounds too much to me.

I don't know brand. It's located 500 miles away. Renter complained of noise. Tech didn't hear same noise. Tech cleaned unit and said dual run capacitor was weak. Tech said the thermostatic expansion valve should be replaced but that it would last a month or so until I am financially able. The rental is in a hot area- St George Utah.tv

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TEV generally probably about $100 or a bit less to $250 depending on brand, and probably about a couple hours by the time he pulls the refrigerant, replaces the valve, recharges the refrigerant, tests and adjusts the unit and tops off refrigerant if needed - so about $160-250 labor probably, so total maybe $250 extreme low end to more likely $300-some to $500 would be what I would expect.


However - if it lost all the refrigerant or it has gone bad from contamination or compressor scorching of the oil, that could add from $100-500 range additional, so in that case $800 would be a fairly normal charge.


WHAT was the noise is a key issue - slow starting growl or hum from the compressor or fan motor, or was it a clunking or chugging or squeeling sound when it ran ? Clunking or chugging would be something caught (like a twig) in the condensor fan or the compressor possibly slugging (taking in liquid refrigerant from the evaporator because it was icing up or not having enough air flowing over it to heat the liquid). Squeeling would normally be a compressor dying of lack of oil because you lost most or all the coolant (which carries the oil with it), or a slipping belt on a belt-driven compressor or condensor fan (a rarity these days on residential units).


Hopefully the tech checked the pressure to determine if it was low on refrigerant (and if significantly low then the leak should be found BEFORE refill or you are throwing money down the drain adding refrigerant every so often) before he said the TEV valve was the problem.


IF changing out the TEV valve anyway, capacitor should not normally (with exception of a few very odd units) more than about $100-150 installed on same visit. Half that with a cheap capacitor, though I would ask for OEM - a lot of the chinese junk these days does not have the right capacitance even when new and commonly die off fast, causing unnecesary (and unknown) wear and heating of the motors when they start. Worth the extra $10-50 to get a name brand capacitor.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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