View Full Version : Question: replace bad compressor or get new heat pump?

05-12-2005, 02:27 PM
The compressor motor has fried on my 27 year old GE Weathertron heat pump.

A HVAC serviceman came out to check it and said I could get a replacement compressor for about $600 with a one year warranty.

He did not recommend doing this.

His suggestions were complete system replacement, including the heat pump on the outdoor slab, and the air handler in the basement.

Option 1: mid-efficiency Trane system (11 series) for about $3300 with 10 year warranty on compressor, 5 years on parts.

Option 2: hi-efficiency Trane system (14 series) for about $4500, 10 year warranty on compressor and parts.

Any help from you experts would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

05-12-2005, 07:00 PM
27 Years Old? It's time to say goodby. You have gotton your use out of it. Get the new equipment. The prices do not seam that bad. When a compressor fries an acid like substance is introduced into the refrigeration lines. If not cleaned correctly and checked it will work its way back to the replacement compressor and start on the motor windings. Burnouts are time consuming repairs and I am suprised the replacement is only 600.00

Ask them if the price includes changing the line set also.

Where do you live? What is the winter low temp range?

05-14-2005, 05:15 AM
Thanks for your help and interest, RABadger.

Actually I have only been in the house 2 years, so someone else got the lion's share of the heat pump. Boy they knew how to make them last 30 years ago, eh?

I live in south central VA between Roanoke and Lynchburg. The house is single story with basement, 1650 SF. Current system is split with heat pump on outdoor slab, SE side of house, and air handler in the basement.

The Trane customizer software at their website tells me the following for the zip code:

Number of days / year above 75° 153
Number of days / year below 40° 91
Typical hot days temperature 86.4 F
Typical cold days temperature 34.5 F

I have not been able to contact the serviceman to see if the replacement included new lines. Will report to you when he responds.

Thanks again!

roger g
05-15-2005, 05:48 AM
Like Badger says, make sure they change the lineset ( copper tubing) no matter what they mightr say. You want a complete new job and a warranty that goes with it. I never found old linesets that were compatible with new sizes.. I always found guys that figured something would work were NOT the guys installing it and definitely NOT the person who was paying for it.


05-16-2005, 08:58 PM
Thanks for the tip about replacing the lineset, Roger G and Rabadger.

No, the prices did not include the lineset.

He said he will replace the copper tubing for an additional $125. He says this is a good deal since new tubing is expensive. Also, he said he is giving me a good price since my basement is unfinished and the old copper tubing is exposed and easily removed from the ceiling joists.

Based on your input, Rabadger, I am opting for a new system and am leaning towards the 14 series because of better energy efficiency rating.

Again thanks to you both, since I would never have known about the lineset being contaminated with acid. You helped me dodge a bullet, proof that this forum pays big dividends to its members.

05-17-2005, 04:50 AM
125.00 Is reasonable for the line set.

Good Luck and thank you.

05-27-2005, 08:30 AM
Thanks again, Richard and Roger.

I would not have known to replace the copper lines, nor would I have thought of getting a variable speed blower fan.

The new blower does appear to be getting some of the cool basement air upstairs, which is an issue aired (pun intended) in another post.

The cost for the new Trane 14xi, variable speed blower, replacement copper lines, new heating coils, new thermostat, and removal of old unit was $4725 including tax.

I am attaching a pic of the new air handler. I like the condensate plumbing and pump at lower right of unit.

05-27-2005, 08:46 AM
How do you like the vairable speed?

roger g
05-27-2005, 02:14 PM
Is the variable speed fan one of those super expensive to replace DC motors.


05-27-2005, 07:58 PM
Yes I do like the variable speed blower, Richard. The house seems much drier.

I honestly don't know whether the fan motor is DC or AC, Roger. I had not even entertained the thought that the motor might be DC.

Here is a link to the Trane variable speed air handler webpage:


However, if the fan does fail, there is a 10 year warranty on all system parts.

For an additional $400, I can get a 10 year warranty on labor. I would need to sign up within a year.