• Report: #626147

Complaint Review: Coastal Air Conditioning and Services Inc.

  • Submitted: Fri, July 23, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, July 30, 2010

  • Reported By: Eric — Rockledge Florida United States of America
Coastal Air Conditioning and Services Inc.
100 Southwest Irwin Avenue Melbourne, Florida United States of America

Coastal Air Conditioning and Services Inc. DO NOT USE!!! Melbourne, Florida

*Consumer Comment: Perhaps this analogy will help...

*Consumer Comment: I am not really sure,,

*Author of original report: Also

*Author of original report: I understand

*Consumer Comment: Perhaps I can explain...

*Consumer Comment: I give up.

*Author of original report: Then Why?

*Consumer Comment: Also it should be noted...

*Consumer Comment: I'd have to concur...

*Consumer Comment: Missing the point

*Author of original report: Question

*Consumer Comment: Circuit breaker size

*Consumer Comment: Barking up the wrong tree.

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We purchased and had installed a Goodman Air Conditioning unit from Coastal Air Conditioning and Service Inc. in Melbourne, FL on 8/4/08.  Less than two years after purchasing this unit, the compressor has burned out.  Coastal came out to look at it and told us the compressor was out and that it would be $450 to fix.  I was naturally upset as the unit was less than two years old.  I called Coastal and talked to the owner, Bill, about the problem and he said that the parts were still under warranty and that the labor was not(1 year warranty on the labor).  I then did some research on Goodman air conditioning units and found that they have a good reputation for their compressors and that one burning out after two years was NOT common. 

I then called a friend, who does commercial air conditioning work, to come and look at the problem.  He checked out the unit and confirmed that it was the compressor that had burned out.  He then checked the circuit breaker and found that when Coastal installed the unit on 8/4/08 they did not change out the circuit breaker from a 30 amp to a 20 amp.  20 amp is clearly written on the side of the condenser unit as the maximum amps for the unit.  I then called Bill at Coastal to talk to him about what was discovered.  he was very rude to me at the beginning of the call, basically saying I was rude to him the day before and did not talk to him very nicely.  I then apologized for the way I had talked to him the day before.  He then told me that the only business we needed to talk about was whether or not I wanted them to do the work for $450 or not.  I asked if I could ask a question about the work and he said yes.  I then explained to him what the other air conditioner tech(our friend) had found about the circuit breaker.  He then proceeded to ask me what my point of telling him ithis information was.  He then asked if I was wanting them to do the install of the new compressor for free.  I told him, since it looked like they were negligent for the problem after all, that I felt like they should do it for free.  It was their fault after all with the way they installed the unit.  He then cut me off and said the only thing he wanted to know was whether I wanted them to do the work for $450 or not.  he said wither I told him yes or no, or he was hanging up on me.  I then tried to talk about the breaker again and he hung up on me.  This is why I am filing this complaint.  Coastal Air Conditioning did bad work when installing my unit two years ago, by not installing the correct circuit breaker, or at least letting me, the homeowner, know about it.  It is a $10 circuit breaker and could have prevented this $450 bill that I am now having to pay.  I feel ripped off and there is nothing I can do about it except inform others so that they are not ripped off also.  PLEASE DO NOT USE COASTAL AIR CONDITIONING.  They do incompetent work and will not own up to their mistakes.  I invite them to respond to this complaint, but I know that they will not as they know that I have the evidence showing their incompetent work and they can't disprove the truth.   

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2010 10:08 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Coastal-Air-Conditioning-and-Services-Inc/Melbourne-Florida-32904-6718/Coastal-Air-Conditioning-and-Services-Inc-DO-NOT-USE-Melbourne-Florida-626147. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Perhaps this analogy will help...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Okay..look at it this way. You have receptacles all over your house..right? And you can plug the items of your choice into these receptacles..right?

Do any of these items burn out from being plugged in regardless of the value of the breaker on that circuit? I would hope not or you would be going through a lot of electronics and might as well own stock in Best Buy.

 Now for example..where your TV is plugged into in the bedroom and/or living room..usually has 2 outlets at each receptacle to plug stuff in..or more if you use a power strip..correct.

But lets say your TV is plugged into the upper outlet, and your phone charger is plugged into the lower outlet. Both outlets are on the same breaker at the box. And your TV and phone charger have current ratings printed somewhere on them if they are legal for sale and use in the USA.

Now certainly the TV can draw more current then a cell phone charger..right?

But the TV and cell phone charger are BOTH plugged into the wall that is protected by a single breaker for that circuit..right? And obviously, the circuit should be able to handle the max current draw of the TV at least...right? Or perhaps a bit more otherwise the cell phone charger in addition to the TV would blow the breaker. Make sense?

So it seems this does not cause the cell phone or cell phone charger to be damaged..otherwise you would need a separate receptacle...with a specific current value rating for each and every device and appliance you plugging into the wall. Basically you would need to hire a licensed electrician to make sure the breakers current rating is EXACTLY matched the max current printed on every device and appliance you plug into the wall..or the devices and appliances would be damaged by surges...or simply the fact that the breaker is a higher value then what is printed on the device.

Make sense yet? Of course if any device or appliance you plug into the wall can draw more current then the circuit (wiring) is able to handle, it will and SHOULD trip a breaker so no wires can burn up. But as long as the devices will draw less current then the circuits max rating, and the proper fuse/breaker is utilized..all is well....that is until the device goes bad...which would have nothing to do with the number that is printed on the breaker. The number that is printed on the breaker is simply a rating....it has nothing to do with "pushing" any extra current into a device and damaging it, that is not how current works. The number on the breaker simply tells you that if this number (which is the amp rating) is exceeded, the breaker will do it's job and trip...allowing no more current to flow until the breaker is reset and/or the problem is addressed that is causing the breaker to trip.
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#2 Consumer Comment

I am not really sure,,

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

...if all your questions were answered or not.


I did not mean for the 5 year old explanation comment to be insulting, it is a figure of speech sometimes used when trying to explain something technical to others who do not understand it.

As far as being ripped off by AC people for freon, that is another story. The EPA has placed strict requirements to purchase and use freon since it is a chlorofluorocarbon and they think it is depleting the ozone layer and causing global warming. Certifications and licensees etc are required to legally purchase and sell freon, so they have some justification for jacking up the price. Thank the EPA for that, it used to be dirt cheap.

Again I will try to answer your questions. I am not questioning your intelligence by answering but can admit I may be taking for granted the fact that I understand electronics and it seems basic to me, and to others may not...

My only thing is why do they even state 20 amps max on the outside of the condenser unit?


All electronics are required to state the maximum current they can draw. Everything from an A/C compressor, to a GPS power chord for your car will have the current draw printed somewhere in it. It is law, and it is always there. The reason it is there, is so the end user or installer will make sure to plug said device into a receptacle that is capable of handling the current draw of the device, other wise it can blow a fuse or trip a breaker.

So AGAIN, I state to you..the current specifications printed on a device are there so the device does not trip a breaker, and so the end user/installer knows to use a circuit that can at the very LEAST, handle the current of said device. It is the DEVICE or APPLIANCE that can trip  breakers, not the breaker that can damage a device. In other words, the "max" current rating printed on a device or appliance, is there so you will know to plug it into a circuit that can handle the draw. Current draw is considered a "load" to an electrical circuit and it is important to know that you are not pulling a device into a circuit that can not handle the "load". If you plug a device into a circuit that can not handle the "load" (current demands) it will blow a fuse or trip a breaker depending on what is being used to protect the wires..or in the worst case cause an electrical fire if the circuit is not properly fused withing the specifications of what the wiring can handle (a breaker is really nothing more then a "resettable" fuse.


Why even put 20 amp max if it doesn't matter?


No one ever said it doesn't matter.. The reason the current is listed on the device has been stated in the replies.

But, since you guys seem to know it all, just please tell me why they put the max amps on the outside of a A/C unit.  What is the point?

See the above response and several responses prior. It has been clearly explained. If electronic devices did not put the max amp ratings on the device...how would the end user or installer know if where ever they are plugging this device into, could handle the load? Would you prefer the breaker keep tripping every time your A/C kicked on?? Or worse the wires overheat and your house go down in a blaze of glory?




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#3 Author of original report

Also

AUTHOR: eherring7 - (United States of America)

Also, thank you for your in depth explanation of it.  It was exactly what I needed.  Thanks for addressing the questions. 
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#4 Author of original report

I understand

AUTHOR: eherring7 - (United States of America)

I believe what you guys are saying.  I understand what you are saying.  You don't have to be rude and say things like explain to a 5 year old.  For a person not a double EE they don't have the understanding of how these things work and I don't think it is wrong to question it.  People are ripped off all the time by AC people.  For example Freon only costs about $10 per pound for the A/C person, but they turn around and mark it up to $25 - $35 a pound when they install it and then charge an install charge on top of that.  So, for a consumer to ask questions, I don't think it is wrong.  My only thing is why do they even state 20 amps max on the outside of the condenser unit?  It says something like 12 min and 20 amp max.  Why even put 20 amp max if it doesn't matter?  You guys have answered every question except this one.  Is there a reason they even put the max amp on the label on the outside of the unit if it doesn't even matter according to you guys?  I believe everything you guys are saying is true.  It contradicts what Goodman told me when I called them and the other A/C guy that I paid to fix the compressor, but it seems there is a consensus on what you guys are saying.  But, since you guys seem to know it all, just please tell me why they put the max amps on the outside of a A/C unit.  What is the point? 
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#5 Consumer Comment

Perhaps I can explain...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

My grandfather and uncle are both local 3 union electricians. My grandfather has been doing this so long..he actually remembers running wires through gas pipes..since the older buildings only had provision for gas..no electric.

I have taken it a step further by attending college and majoring in electrical engineering...not that I need to boast about my credentials..but my replies should prove evident that I know what I am talking about when I concur with flynrider.

I will try to respond to your questions and explain the answers like you are a 5 year old.


If this is the case, then why even install different amp circuit breakers in the first place?

Because some circuits in the house are designed to only run low draw electronics, such as lights and a TV and small appliances. Some circuits are designed to run larger draw electronics such as an air conditioner or washer/dryer. Now the breaker in the panel does not know what you are plugging in the wall specifically, or how many devices you are plugging in. But as long as the TOTAL current draw of the devices do not exceed the rating of the breaker, the breaker will not "break" or open the circuit. If any device, or number of devices total exceed the current rating of the breaker, then the breaker will open the circuit and prevent any current from flowing. The REASON the breaker is there, is so if there is a short, or any device or number of devices that cause more current to flow then the wiring of that circuit can handle, the breaker will "break" or open the circuit so the wiring does not start to burn and cause a massive fire which can cause massive damage and loss of life.

The reason they do not wire the entire house using all the same breaker (or fuse) ratings, is because of simple economics. Wire is typically copper and copper can be costly. In order for wires to handle more current before it can overheat, it must be the proper gauge (diameter), and the longer the run of the wire, the thicker in diameter it needs to be to handle the current demands. So why run wires that can handle 300amps if it is going to only run a TV or two and a few lights? If would be overkill and a waste of money.

At the same time, it would violate safety codes if they ran rinky dink wires that could only handle a few amps, to run a washer/dryer for example.


I know under normal circumstances the device only draws a certain amount of amps.  But, what about the case when there is a surge on the line?  What does the circuit breaker do then?


Glad you asked this. Because electrical motors (which is what an AC compressor is)  can certainly surge when first turned on. I don't expect you to understand the properties of an inductor (wire wrapped around another conductor), but essentially when the circuit is first powered up, it is almost seen as a short to the power source for a brief instant until the field is saturated. And this is why it would NOT be wise to hook a 20amp compressor to a 20amp breaker..as the surge would cause the breaker to pop and it would become an inconvenience and nuisance to keep resetting it every time the AC kicks on. And this is also why in many cars the power windows and seats etc are on self resetting breakers rather then fuses...so it will still operate after a surge.

So, it is actually correct to connect a device to a circuit (and breaker) that can handle more then the devices max current draw potential. 10amps over is fine. Now if the circuit was a 100amp circuit it could allow enough current to flow if the device is defective to burn something up..but the device itself or the outlet would normally have it's own breaker, fuse or link to prevent burning if this was the case. However, it still would have NOTHING to do with the device going bad...it is the device going BAD that is the source of the problem, not the other way around.

 I called Goodman and talked to them about it and they said that if their panel says 20 amps max, then a 20 amp circuit breaker should be installed.  Why would they say this then?
 

I do not know why they would say this. Perhaps you misunderstood, or perhaps whomever you spoke to does not understand electrical circuits..but regardless, it does not change the science or properties of electronics 101..the size of the breaker will not cause the compressor to become damaged. Either it will pop the breaker if it draws current in excess of the breakers rating, or it will not..but either way it is not the breakers fault if the compressor decides to take a dump. These things just happen and since it is not always easy to diagnose, ignorant people tend to blame things without justification or the credentials to do so...it is simply unfounded BLAME. Electronics are not something most understand..but once you do, it really is not that complicated.


I am not pulling it from some random web page, this is from the company that makes the A/C unit themselves.  Please explain this to me?  And also explain what the purpose of even installing different amp circuit breakers is, if it doesn't make a difference?  Do circuit breakers not help prevent a surge in amps?  Please explain to us with your vast knowledge. 

Circuit breakers do NOT help prevent a surge. Nothing can help prevent a surge. A surge protector can help prevent a device from getting damaged from a surge...but a breaker does not on it's own know a surge from a glass of soda.

Look, there are MANY circuits in your home...and multiple outlets are on the same breaker..right? The kitchen may have a few..a bedroom may have one....but the bottom line is this...the breaker does not know the current rating of each device...it does not know how many devices are plugged in . The only thing a breaker knows...is to open (break) the circuit if something on that circuit is drawing more current then the rating of the breaker,,,and the rating of the breaker is NOT DETERMINED by the AC compressor,.......it is DETERMINED by the WIRING in the house dedicated for circuit.

I can not explain it in simpler terms. I can only state that whomever is telling you the breaker is the cause of the compressor going bad..is ignorant and dead wrong.

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#6 Consumer Comment

I give up.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   If the 3 posts above your last post do not make it clear why the size of the circuit breaker had nothing to do with your compressor failure, I'm at a loss to explain further.   You seem to be ignoring the basic fact that the compressor determines how many amps are drawn.  I'm not sure where you think this mysterious "surge" is coming from, but if it did happen, it would indicate a serious problem with the compressor.

  Although Goodman recommended a 20 amp breaker, I'll bet they didn't tell you that using a 30 amp breaker would cause the compressor to burn up.  Anyone who works with electricity or AC systems knows better.

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#7 Author of original report

Then Why?

AUTHOR: eherring7 - (United States of America)

Flynrider,

If this is the case, then why even install different amp circuit breakers in the first place? I know under normal circumstances the device only draws a certain amount of amps.  But, what about the case when there is a surge on the line?  What does the circuit breaker do then?  I called Goodman and talked to them about it and they said that if their panel says 20 amps max, then a 20 amp circuit breaker should be installed.  Why would they say this then?  I am not pulling it from some random web page, this is from the company that makes the A/C unit themselves.  Please explain this to me?  And also explain what the purpose of even installing different amp circuit breakers is, if it doesn't make a difference?  Do circuit breakers not help prevent a surge in amps?  Please explain to us with your vast knowledge. 
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#8 Consumer Comment

Also it should be noted...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..if it was not already,

that the "20amp" that is clearly written on the side of the condenser..is there to let the installer know that the circuit the unit should be connected to, must be able to handle AT LEAST 20 amps...the rating is not written there for the installer to replace a 30amp breaker with a 20amp breaker at the box. The 30amp breaker in the box was there because that is what the wiring in the house on that circuit is designed to handle.

Now if there was supposed to be a 20 amp breaker in there due to the wiring code of that circuit in the house, and someone replaced it with a 30amp breaker, then they put the house in danger since the wiring is not designed to handle more then 20amps..but this still would not cause a compressor to go bad, nor would it cause a compressor to get more current then it requires, or to use more current then the max number written on it. The ONLY thing that could cause this compressor to exceed 20amps, is if it has a problem to begin with.

Look at the logic. For example lets say this compressor for some reason was using 21 amps of current. Sure it would pop a 20amp breaker and not a 30amp breaker..but why would the compressor be drawing 21 amps if it states on the side of it that it is a 20amp max unit? Anyone who understands "current" and that current is NOT the same as voltage and power but understands it's relationship to voltage and power..knows that current is determined by the device connected to the circuit..the power supply only delivers the current required by the device(s) connected to it. The fuse or breaker shuts off the circuit if the device or wiring has a problem and more current then the breaker is rated for is being pulled from the power supply... the breaker or fuse regardless of it's size does not "push" any additional current into a device..it just sits there until it is called upon to operate and "break" a circuit before the wires burn up. As..it is actually the size (diameter and length) of the WIRES that determine the rating of the breaker to use.


Is it a little more clear now?
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#9 Consumer Comment

I'd have to concur...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

That the rating of the breaker would not cause a compressor to fail.

As stated, the amount of current used by the compressor is determined by the compressor. If the compressor is drawing more current then it's own rating, it has a problem regardless of the breakers rating. As stated, the breaker is there to protect the house wires from burning DUE to a faulty compressor, short in the wiring, or any other component using that circuit that exceeds the current that the wiring of that circuit in the house can handle.

If the breakers current rating was too low, it would shut off too often. But a breakers current rating can never be too large to cause a compressor to go bad. If this unit was on a 20 amp circuit breaker and not a 30 amp, it still would have went out if it is bad..since once again, the amount of current that the compressor wants to draw, is determined by the compressor, not the breaker. The breaker does not limit current per say or add current, it simply shuts down the circuit completely if the draw of the device connected to it exceeds the breakers current rating, or if there is a short circuit.. it can not prevent a device from going bad, nor cause a device to go bad..it is really not much more then a current operated shut off switch used according to SAFETY codes to prevent electrical fires.

So it seems, whomever told you the breaker caused the compressor to burn out..also does not understand basic electronic principles..house wiring codes, or how to diagnose a faulty compressor.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Missing the point

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   The breaker is there primarily to protect the house wiring.  It is sized dependent on the ampacity of the circuit that was run to the equipment.

   The reason this is not a factor is because the circuit will only supply what the equipment draws.    If your compressor draws more than 20 amps, it's already broken.  I know you really don't want to pay for this company to install the compressor, but you're really barking up the wrong tree with this line of logic. 

   If you're really interested in circuit breaker sizing, consult the National Electrical Code.  It should provide dozens of hours of light reading.  It won't necessarily help you out in this case because you don't appear to have the background in electricity theory required to make use of the information.   It's not as simple as finding a web page on the Internet.

   Bottom line, your accusation that this company did "bad work" and caused your compressor to fail doesn't hold water.

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#11 Author of original report

Question

AUTHOR: eherring7 - (United States of America)

You say that the max is 175% and 150%, but everything I can find online says to never exceed 125% of the max amps on the side of the condenser.  This would be 25 amps, not 30.  Where did you come up with 175% and 150%?  Also, when I contacted Goodman about the problem, they said that the A/C installer should have never allowed a 30 amp breaker for that unit.  The lady told me that their official stance is that it should not exceed 20.  I am only going on what they said and what I have read on other A/C sites on the internet. 

And the circuit breaker is there to trip in case there is a surge in power.  That way if there is a surge of over 30 amps, the 30 amp circuit breaker would trip and not allow that power to the device so that the device might burn up.  If my unit uses 12.5 amps regularly to run and there is a max rating of 20 amps, then it shouldn't exceed 20 amps according to Goodman.  With a 30 amp circuit breaker, it is exceeding 20 amps if there is a surge of power. 
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#12 Consumer Comment

Circuit breaker size

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

The capacity of the circuit breaker has nothing to do with how much current the compressor gets.  The capacity of the breaker is just the ampere rating it will tolerate before it trips.  If there is nothing wrong with the compressor it doesn't make any difference what size breaker you use - even a 100 amp breaker will not make any difference - unless - something is wrong with the compressor and it's drawing too much current. Then it would not trip and could cause overheating.

In other words, the breaker is only there to prevent too much current.  Replacing a 20 amp breaker with a 30 amp breaker will not hurt the compressor if it's functioning correctly. It's a passive device.

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#13 Consumer Comment

Barking up the wrong tree.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   You need to learn a bit more about how electricity and air conditioners work before you go accusing people of damaging your AC unit.   Having a 30 amp breaker instead of a 20 amp breaker did not cause your compressor to fail.  It was most likely faulty from the factory.   

   This would explain the reaction you're getting from this company.  I occasionally have to deal with technical issues with people who don't know what they're talking about and it can get quite frustrating.

"20 amp is clearly written on the side of the condenser unit as the maximum amps for the unit."

  If that is the maximum draw, you certaily wouldn't want to put a 20 amp breaker on that system.  A compressor draws the highest load during startup.  If it's drawing 20 amps or very close to that, the unit would trip the breaker when it started.   It's common to use a breaker rated at max draw x 175%.   Yours is max x 150% which would be more conservative.  

  If your expert friend thinks this is what caused the compressor to burn up, you need to get new friends.   Maybe if you're nice to Bill and pay him to install your warrantied compressor, he might be your friend.

 

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