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Condo Fan Coil Maintanace. Valve stuck open - $275 to replace?!

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  • Nov 10th, 2017 10:15 am
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[OP]
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Dec 16, 2004
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Toronto

Condo Fan Coil Maintanace. Valve stuck open - $275 to replace?!

My condo performed fan coil maintainable today free of charge, hooray. They left a note behind saying that my fan coil valve is stuck open, and that I should repair it at my own expense. For more info I am to call such and such number.

Call them up, they said when a valve is stuck open it could be one of two things, and if I am changing it is best to replace both. Lady listed the two things (neither of which was the valve btw), and it would be $325 to change. but GOOD NEWS, they have a promotion right now, 50 bucks off if I pay cash.

I can leave cash, or cheque made out to cash, and they will fix everything.


double you tee eff. sounds more fishy that Nigerian emails. Anyone have any experience with this?!
Rar.
14 replies
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Apr 29, 2001
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Do you currently or in the past have problem with your A/C units?

If not and everything works as is, then there's no need to worry.

If on the other hand, you have experience intermittent malfunction with your unit.

Open up the Yellowpage or call around your friends, for a reliable local A/C contractor referral.

Usually they charge a small fee for inspection and cost estimate, this way you have an idea if it needs to be fix or not.
Mark77 wrote:
Nov 16th, 2011 9:37 pm
That's not very nice....and you're missing out on a lot of valuable knowledge if you ignore me. Your loss.
[OP]
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Dec 16, 2004
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Toronto
Thanks. It works fine now. Was told that if I dont use it condensation can cause damage quickly, and of course a broken pipe would land me in a heap of trouble if water goes downstairs...
Rar.
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Dec 29, 2009
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t10 wrote:
Aug 9th, 2010 4:21 pm
Thanks. It works fine now. Was told that if I dont use it condensation can cause damage quickly, and of course a broken pipe would land me in a heap of trouble if water goes downstairs...

How did you get it to work fine?
Deal Guru
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Aug 20, 2005
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Here's what I don't understand, the condo arranged for the free maintenance on the fan coil. They wouldn't do this, if it wasn't part of the common elements. So why are they asking you to pay for the repair? The condo is responsible for repairs to the common elements caused by normal usage. Unless they can prove that the damage was due to your negligence, they should be fixing it at their expense. Please review your condo documents as there should be something stating whose responsibility the repair is.

I'm on my townhouse condo board and I know that some board members will sometimes automatically state that it is not the condo's responsibility when it is. Once I was told by my property manager that an expensive repair was my responsibility until I pulled out the declaration and proved otherwise.
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Apr 28, 2004
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Cheap Cat wrote:
May 4th, 2012 3:54 pm
Here's what I don't understand, the condo arranged for the free maintenance on the fan coil. They wouldn't do this, if it wasn't part of the common elements.

When I lived in a condo, they would arrange free maintenance for everyone (unit owner could opt out) because no one would've actually done it on their own. Problems would arise (flooding units below) from lack of maintenance, which cost the condo even more in insurance costs/deductible. Hence, an annual "free" maintenance ensures all unit equipment are in working order or the owner can be notified of potential problems.

My maintenance included changing the intake filter, which I seriously doubt anyone would ever do on their own. This alone saves the condo a lot on energy costs.
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Jan 11, 2004
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Cheap Cat wrote:
May 4th, 2012 3:54 pm
Here's what I don't understand, the condo arranged for the free maintenance on the fan coil. They wouldn't do this, if it wasn't part of the common elements. So why are they asking you to pay for the repair? The condo is responsible for repairs to the common elements caused by normal usage. Unless they can prove that the damage was due to your negligence, they should be fixing it at their expense. Please review your condo documents as there should be something stating whose responsibility the repair is.

I'm on my townhouse condo board and I know that some board members will sometimes automatically state that it is not the condo's responsibility when it is. Once I was told by my property manager that an expensive repair was my responsibility until I pulled out the declaration and proved otherwise.

Nope.. my condo does "free" maintenance on the fan coils. At first they wanted people to pay with notices on when they would do it and for unit owners to leave $$ at management, probably most/a lot didn't do it. So they did it for "free" which means it'll come out of condo fees.

I can see why, while the coil is inside the unit, overall HVAC of the building would be affected by all the individual units and lack of maintenance, cause face it, people won't do anything unless it broke and if you're a renter, you'll care even less.
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Jan 11, 2008
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It will all depend on your particular set of condo documents, but I've owned units in 6 different high rise condos over the years. Every single one of them performed the fan coil maintenance each year at their expense, which included changing the filter and some sort of cleaning. However, if something was broken it was the responsibility of the owner (which could be verified through the documents). For high rise condos, I think this is very common.
Newbie
Feb 8, 2011
1 posts
Toronto
Cheap Cat I have the same exact problem- where in the condo declaration is it generally found? I got slapped with a $740 bill.
Newbie
Sep 19, 2017
1 posts
I know this is an old thread but we could really use some help. We have been told that our actuator is sticky and that's why constant heat or air conditioning blows out and ignors the thermostat. If we leave the heat on in the winter it gets to +30 degrees even if we set it to 22 and in the summer when we run a/c it goes to 16 no matter what we set the thermostat to. Our condo does "free" maintenance as well and these are the people that said the actuator is sticky.

Apparently it's a big problem in our buidling and many units have had it replaced (at $250 a pop plus tax) however even with it being replaced the problem comes back every season or two. Is this how often actuators actually need to be replaced or is this some sort of hvac contractor scam? We are so frustrated! Any comments will be appreciated.
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Jan 6, 2011
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PG1248 wrote:
Sep 20th, 2017 8:20 am
I know this is an old thread but we could really use some help. We have been told that our actuator is sticky and that's why constant heat or air conditioning blows out and ignors the thermostat. If we leave the heat on in the winter it gets to +30 degrees even if we set it to 22 and in the summer when we run a/c it goes to 16 no matter what we set the thermostat to. Our condo does "free" maintenance as well and these are the people that said the actuator is sticky.

Apparently it's a big problem in our buidling and many units have had it replaced (at $250 a pop plus tax) however even with it being replaced the problem comes back every season or two. Is this how often actuators actually need to be replaced or is this some sort of hvac contractor scam? We are so frustrated! Any comments will be appreciated.
Sounds like stuck open but could be any of the 3 things, actuator, valve or thermal stat, or all three.

Write to your board to ask the mgnt to:
1. Have different fan coil service contractor to have a different view. Confirm they come twice/yr when switched over
2. Check the coolant quality, could be dirty thus keep clogging the fain coils

These comes and go, mostly due to faulty/shitty actuators motor or overworked to death for some reasons. They could last 5yrs or more or just 1, very hard to get rid of.

Competent contractors will tell you when it happen and organize quick fix. Incompetent ones just pretend to work thus problems you described, unless it's you who declined offer to service.

Me no expert but been screwed for long enough by same issues.
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Dec 15, 2011
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PG1248 wrote:
Sep 20th, 2017 8:20 am
I know this is an old thread but we could really use some help. We have been told that our actuator is sticky and that's why constant heat or air conditioning blows out and ignors the thermostat. If we leave the heat on in the winter it gets to +30 degrees even if we set it to 22 and in the summer when we run a/c it goes to 16 no matter what we set the thermostat to. Our condo does "free" maintenance as well and these are the people that said the actuator is sticky.

Apparently it's a big problem in our buidling and many units have had it replaced (at $250 a pop plus tax) however even with it being replaced the problem comes back every season or two. Is this how often actuators actually need to be replaced or is this some sort of hvac contractor scam? We are so frustrated! Any comments will be appreciated.
I feel your frustration. My condo board approved HVAC guy is telling me that my actuator is "sticky" also but I am not experiencing any problems with the system. They are quoting me $200 - $300 to replace it. I checked online and the actuator itself is only $50. It has 2 positions. One position for hot and one for cold water? Sounds pretty basic. I wonder if it is possible to just manually move the switch on the actuator to either position? Cold for summer and hot for winter. I took a look at my system and it's so basic. The fan at the top and below are water pipes and the actuator. I don't understand why the fix is so expensive.

If the actuator fails prematurely I would try contact the manufacturer if possible. I found my model online and it is made by Honeywell. They must have a warranty. It's crazy to be replacing this every 2 years.
Member
Jan 7, 2006
201 posts
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Toronto
When I lived in a condo, my fan coil gave me problems as well. The approved contractor quoted me a ridiculous amount to replace the fan motor, fan relay, Honeywell aquastat (this is your actuator i believe) and Honeywell combination valve (the aquastat opens and closes the valve by pushing down on it, the valve itself screws into the water supply line to let water into the coil when pressed). I was quoted around $1500, plus the diagnostics fee of $400... I bought a condo because I didn't want to deal with house ownership problems!

I ordered the fan motor/relay from the manufacturer (looked them up from the stickers on the coil covers), and ordered the aquastat and combo valve from Wolseley (they're a industrial supplier... google for a location near you). Everything was under $200 in 2012.

The system is dead easy to disassemble and reassemble with basic tools. When working on the fan coil, there usually is a switch to kill the power to it (or find the breaker in the unit panel). Also look for two levers/faucets to shut off the water supply (1 hot, 1 cold), you'll need to shut off the water if removing the combo valve. But if doing just the aquastat/actuator, you only need to kill the power.

I don't have the part numbers anymore, but if you take the cover off your fan coil, there usually is a diagram on it listing all the part numbers.

Big warning: if you aren't comfortable with basic plumbing, don't do it. You can cause a flood with an endless water supply blasting out.
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Dec 15, 2011
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I talked to my neighbour and the scammer HVAC guy replaced her actuator earlier this year for $280. He tried to sell her a thermostat while installing it. Now he's telling her it's sticky again. I'd like to know what happens when the actuator stops working. Will it cause additional damage? Will the system just stop blowing the right temp air?

I found this thread. This person's HVAC wasn't blowing the correct temp. He simply turned the breaker off and on to correct the problem.
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Apr 16, 2007
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I also have a condo fan coil unit (aka “heat pump”) and the blower recently starting making a squeaky sound intermittently (comes and goes). I am hoping this is just the fan/blower motor bearings that need to be replaced (it’s about 11 years old). However, the company said it could be the entire blower, which is a whopping $650 replacement.

I haven’t had the actual diagnosis yet, that’s next week. Anyone have ideas on what this squeaky sound could be? Other than the sound, the blower works perfectly (strong air, no issues starting up) so I’m afraid I’ll get hosed To replace the entire blower when it might just be the bearings.

Also, can ANY HVAC contractor do this or do you typically need the same people to do the work that put the original install in at the condo. If it can be anyone, anyone know a more affordable company?

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