View Full Version : OT - Heat Pump Replacement

07-30-2017, 04:32 PM
I bought a house last summer and had to add three pounds of freon almost immediately. Tech put in a die so he could track the leak. Last week, he came back and it was down two pounds. Not good. Leak detected at expansion valve which he says can't be replaced. The core is aluminum and a new expansion valve cannot be welded into the AL core. System is a dual stage unit with a gas backup for emergency heat, which is also outdated. I wanted a second opinion from someone that installed a system for me many years ago, and I have some trust in him. He stated that I can replace the core, but then I'll invest about $1500 in a system with the old R22 freon, and with an outdated but still working gas furnace The outside is a Goodman, and appears to be in good shape, about 9 years old. Both have given me estimates : a Bryant for $4600, and a Tempstar for $5000. I would do away with the gas furnace. I live in upstate SC and when it gets very cold, I fire up my wood stove in the basement. I'm still waiting for details on the units. I don't mind replacing the unit if I need to. Hard for me to believe that someone can't weld/braze/solder a new valve onto the core. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

07-30-2017, 05:12 PM
...Fire up wood stove

Will you be there forever, what would selling impact be without central heat? Any age issues with you if you can't haul firewood anymore?

07-30-2017, 05:26 PM
If you need to have A/C, bite the bullet and get a new unit. Check to see if you can get any rebates. Check Costco, if that's an option.

07-30-2017, 05:41 PM
Goodman heat pumps are mediocre units and, at 9 years it's starting to age - not to mention that freon 22 is expensive, as well as being unfriendly to the environment. There is a reason it's been banned for new construction. It may now be banned for any type operation or system.

I really doubt you will use enough gas to warrant a dual system unless you live above maybe 3' feet but there are not that many places in SC. Just replace the unit with a modern heat pump. The tech will size the electric elements appropriately for back up and emergency heat. Anyway, I'm not an expert but that is likely what I would do.

07-30-2017, 06:48 PM
IMO you have to replace the whole thing... my experience... my goodman A/C and Heat pump work, my problem is that the core tray has a leak and is at the back of the thing.... cant patch it and the radiator thing that is attach to it needs to be replaced... we put 2 window units around the house plus 2 large recirculating fans and we had no problems so far for the last 2 years summers... we are waiting for the heat pump to die to replace the whole thing now.

In your case you are like screwed because you really need the heat...

IME goodman stuff isnt bad the problem is that how happens with bicycles, find the guy willing to do the repair you want is hard, for them is easier to replace the whole thing .... $$$$ :)

The other thing is that the part that needs to be replaced maybe not available either??? never meant to be replaced and sometimes you find out the hard way that maybe the thing is not even in the market, solution is to swap the whole thing...

Good luck in this one...

07-30-2017, 10:18 PM
Thanks for all the responses. The system is really made up of three different systems. I can replace the core, but it is about $1500. The result is that I still have an outdated system that might fail again in two weeks.
I guess now the decision is whether to spring for the variable speed fans and compressors. I had one in a house years ago and it was nice. The TempStar that was quoted may have that feature. Bryant has one but it is more expensive that the $4500 quoted. The guy is supposed to call me about the cost of the Bryant.
As for living here, this is my retirement home. I hope to live here for a long time. Although, I found out today that two old friends have cancer, and both are in later stages. We are not promised tomorrow. But, If I do awake tomorrow morning, I'm taking a bike ride on a gravel road that follows a river through horse country with my new riding buddy!
Thanks again,

07-30-2017, 10:53 PM
Just noticed you're in Tryon. That's a really nice cycling area, and its a popular equestrian place too. I've ridden all over the Tryon/Saluda area including the the annual biking events there. I always considered this area to be a bargain for a retirement area, as it's not overpriced like most of the popular WNC areas.

The more features in the modern heat pumps the more that can go wrong. I believe the interior fans are typically variable speed, and perhaps brushless DC. The compressor though, I think I would stick with the basic type and not variable speed because it would likely be variable AC, and being mounted outdoors introduces other potential issues.

Tandem Rider
07-30-2017, 11:31 PM
Home heating and A/C units are assembled from off the shelf components. Compressors are from only a few manufacturers, as are the motors, the expansion valve, switching valve, etc. The manufacturer pretty much just makes the case it all goes in and assembles it.

Most expansion valve leaks are from a failed gasket, these are generally available. If this is leaking, that could be why you are short on refrigerant. R22 and all other refrigerants do not harm the environment as long as they are contained in the system and don't leak out.