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Condo fan coil not working properly after annual maintenance - What's next?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 22nd, 2021 11:24 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes

Condo fan coil not working properly after annual maintenance - What's next?

Earlier this week, my condo had contractors come in to do annual maintenance and immediately after that, my unit stopped working properly.

Thankfully it still cools when the thermostat kicks in for cooling, but as soon as it reaches the set temperature, it starts heating up! The vent covers get burning hot, warm air starts coming out, and when the thermostat kicks in again for cooling, the fan blows warm/hot air for a while until eventually it starts blowing cool air again. Even when the unit is turned off, the unit is heating up.

The unhelpful building manager says it should have nothing to do with the contractors and I have to look for repairing services myself. I called the contracted company, who cut me off as soon as I was describing this situation claiming poor reception, and was unreachable after I called right back. Left a message and I will probably call them again next week. I hope they can look into it, given that the problem appears to be directly related to their actions.

The nice building maintenance person looked as well and said it could be the actuator that is toast, but confirmed my fear that the contractor is probably going to deny responsibility of this even if it was related to their services. I understand that the cleaning and filter replacement should generally have nothing to do the actuator, but I do not believe it was a coincidence given that the problem happened right after.

So for now, all I could do is to set the thermostat really low so the heating part doesn't kick in. Otherwise my home is going through cycles of warm and cold all day long.

What options do I have at this point? I looked at this informative thread on fan coil repairs and see that I could be looking at a bill of a few hundred dollars or even more. Any reputable repair services that does not cost an arm and a leg, if I have to hire someone myself?

Thanks!
18 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
14997 posts
11496 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
Firstly, how old is your condo?

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8712 posts
2366 upvotes
The only 2 things causing heat is the heating element as a backup on cold days before the switch over or your motor for the fan is overheating.

does your fan coil have multiple fan speeds? Is there a noise when the fan coil is heating up?
Last edited by EPcjay on Jul 11th, 2020 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes
EPcjay wrote: The only 2 things causing heat is the heating element as backup best of your motor for the fan is overheating.

does your fan coil have multiple fan speeds? Is there a noise when the fan coil is heating up?
Yes - low, med, high (and auto).. And no, there is no noise on the coil heating up, just some slight smells (that I think is still considered normal).
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8712 posts
2366 upvotes
What kind of themostat do you have . Is it a Honeywell?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8712 posts
2366 upvotes
Not familiar with that brand.
My honeywell would indicate when the system is "on" (when the fan or heat is on). Wonder if your thermostat does the same thing
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes
EPcjay wrote: Not familiar with that brand.
My honeywell would indicate when the system is "on" (when the fan or heat is on). Wonder if your thermostat does the same thing
It sounds like pretty much the same one as mine. Even though it says Unilux, it looks exactly like this Honeywell model on their website. Who knows, it could be the same thing.

I don't know much but it seems the thermostat is working - when on cool (fan on auto) and room temperature rises enough to the set temperature, the fan and the A/C kicks off. However, as soon as the room gets cool enough, hot air starts coming out :facepalm:
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2005
1015 posts
186 upvotes
Only two things I can think of that can cause your unit to blow heated air during cooling season:

1) auxiliary heating element like EPcjay said (is on for whatever reason)
2) a 4 pipe fan coil system (heat pipe actuator opens when the cold closes)

I cant think of why either would be happening but a test you can do is set system to off, set fan to low, med or hi. Should only be blowing ambient air temp. Let us know what happens @tarteaucitron .
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes
linsook wrote: Only two things I can think of that can cause your unit to blow heated air during cooling season:

1) auxiliary heating element like EPcjay said (is on for whatever reason)
2) a 4 pipe fan coil system (heat pipe actuator opens when the cold closes)

I cant think of why either would be happening but a test you can do is set system to off, set fan to low, med or hi. Should only be blowing ambient air temp. Let us know what happens @tarteaucitron .
Thanks @linsook. When the system is off, the fan is also off and I cannot set it to anything (but this is when the unit starts heating up). When I set system to auto and fan to on (and thermostat temperature is higher than room temperature, i.e. I am telling the system to heat but heat is not on because condo controls that), the air blowing out is warm because of the previous step, and after a while it starts blowing ambient air.

This is so weird.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 9, 2003
1478 posts
285 upvotes
Grimsby
So who owns the air conditioning unit you or the condo corp?
Did you buy the condo unit new? If not get out your status certificate and see if an additional indemnity for the air conditioner is listed meaning a previous owner installed it so your responsibility.
If no indemnity is found then write to the board of directors care of the property management company explaining the situation and request repairs. Phone calls are useless as there is no proof of what was said.

With Covid your board is probably not holding monthly meetings but will/should be carrying on business via email so the property manager is obliged to forward your complaint to the board for consideration.
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2005
1015 posts
186 upvotes
Ok so you have a 2 pipe system. @tarteaucitron

Perhaps its actually not hot air blowing. It'll be best that you someone in to take a look unless you're ok with opening up and taking a look yourself.
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
7193 posts
2227 upvotes
0 downvotes
find out if its under warranty first
Say NO to the WAR!
PEACE is the answer!
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes
Owbist wrote: So who owns the air conditioning unit you or the condo corp?
Did you buy the condo unit new? If not get out your status certificate and see if an additional indemnity for the air conditioner is listed meaning a previous owner installed it so your responsibility.
If no indemnity is found then write to the board of directors care of the property management company explaining the situation and request repairs. Phone calls are useless as there is no proof of what was said.

With Covid your board is probably not holding monthly meetings but will/should be carrying on business via email so the property manager is obliged to forward your complaint to the board for consideration.
Thanks @Owbist. I bought secondhand and haven't looked at the status certificate yet, but I think the building maintenance person said something that implies the A/C was the original one that came with the condo.

I am confused then - how come the (unhelpful) building manager said I am supposed to deal with the repairs myself? Do you mean the condo should be responsible and I should insist that in writing, despite what she said?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8712 posts
2366 upvotes
In my condo, everything within it is my responsibility including the AC unit. The condo just arranges for maintenance as a courtesy as they know no one would do it themselves. Your condo is probably arranged the same way.

In my 10 years here (the condo is 17 years old), I've had to replace the fan motor, the wheel fan due to rust and the actuator valve.

Someone tried to change their actuator valve here themselves and didn't know how to turn off the water.... you can guess what happened next.
Newbie
Sep 13, 2009
70 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
You left us hanging. What happened?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
14997 posts
11496 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
you can tell from his history he doesn't post much, or maybe he likes to leave us in suspense.
Johnche wrote: You left us hanging. What happened?

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 10, 2009
198 posts
16 upvotes
Thanks for the reminder the information might help someone... I ended up paying out of pocket, to have the same contract service look at the problem, and replace the actuator. The service person also said it was unlikely the cleaning triggered the problem, but you never know.

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