beware maytag / nordyne hvac

rileysmom17December 18, 2013

I wanted to share my experience with Nordyne HVAC (doing business as Maytag). In December 2012 I had two completely new high efficiency AC / heat pump systems installed. In less than 8 months the blower motors on both air handlers went out.

One is a 2 ton system and one a 2.5 ton system. Air handlers are variable speed.

The air handler model numbers are B6VKMAX30K-B and B6VMAX24K-B.

The contractor who put them in informed me that they had replaced "a lot" of blower motors on these air handlers throughout 2013.

Maytag pats itself all over the back on its web site about the hundreds of factory checks that are performed before the units are shipped. yeah right

Note that Maytag offers ZERO labor warranty so it's all on you. I contacted them about any kind of labor warranty they would offer at least on the air handlers since the units were obviously defective to begin with and they just laughed at me.

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udarrell

If these are split systems on ductwork; the ductwork may be undersized along with the Return-Air Filter areas being undersized.

According to the CFM airflow setting; that could cause a variable speed blower motor to excessively increase the RPM to meet the required CFM & probably overload the motor amps, causing burn-outs.

The Amp-draw ought to be carefully checked on any motor situation...and kept within its limits.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:30PM
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tigerdunes

Not disagreeing but many dealers just want to sell systems and homeowner be damned if it is sized correctly much less if the ductwork both supply and return is a match for the system.

A real blemish on the industry...

IMO

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:52PM
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mike_home

Was the equipment bought over the internet? I find it hard to believe Maytag offers no labor warranty. I thought a one year labor warranty was standard for the industry.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 5:53PM
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jackfre

I think udarrell is on to something here. When you replace the motors do check the amp draw on both at both hi and low speeds. Otherwise, as he points out, it may not be the motors fault, but a system issue. Nordyne sells under assorted brand names, Tappan, Maytag, etc. They make good equipment. Standard manuf warranties do not cover labor. That is the contractors job to provide that first years labor warranty. Keep in mind, he sold you the system...right?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 7:55PM
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rileysmom17

The contractor increased the size of the air returns both upstairs and down. One reason why I went with his bid is because he suggested this and explained why it would increase the performance and longevity. He's been in business 30 years.

Equipment was not bought over the internet, how do you buy a compressor over the internet? Off Amazon with free Prime shipping? Didn't know you could.

I did not realize that the contractor was the source of the warranty not the manufacturer and I will say that this was not pointed out to me. I was just happy with the 12 year parts. Frankly I believed I was buying very good equipment as the best insurance against costly repairs. That's why I'm so peeved.

The contractor clearly told me that he had to replace many blower motors for Maytag systems installed in 2013. He has been using this equipment for years. So either they changed the rules on amperage and didn't tell him or they got a big lot of bum motors.

So much for their QC.

I will ask about the amp draw, thanks for that info.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:06AM
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mike_home

There are a some HVAC distributors who sell furnaces and condensers on line. Goodman and there associated brands are the most popular, but you will sometimes see others. Most manufacturers discourage this practice by not honoring the warranty. This is the reason I asked the initial question.

It looks like you are correct about the Nordyne labor warranty. The link below shows that you have to pay an additional charge if you want coverage for labor charges. The HVAC contractor should have explained this to you and given you an opportunity to buy a labor warranty.

I am still of the opinion a manufacturer should cover all costs during the first year. It sounds like Maytag chose to use an inferior motor and now the consumer has to pay for their poor choice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nordyne Warranty Agreement

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:33AM
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zl700

Bear in mind, Nordyne doesn't make their motors for their labeled HVAC equipment.
That same Gentec motor with the GE speed control is used on Trane, Carrier, American Standard, York ......................................

If it was a recognizable issue with the product, it would or will be a industry wide problem.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:33AM
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rileysmom17

zl700 are you thinking that it was something with the installation because you are in the industry and haven't heard of an industry wide problem?

I do know that when the first unit blew in June 2013 there was a long backorder for the replacement part, which kind of supports the "widespread problem" concept.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:46AM
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fluffybunnysui

So... were you actually charged a fee to have the blower motors replaced on systems that were only 8 months old?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:25PM
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rileysmom17

No. The contractor is a good guy. He actually had to have a competitor take care of blower #1 and he paid that company directly (I didn't even know about it until just now).

What you really have to gag at is this: these units are in a beach rental property. The first unit blew the first week of June. Literally, this was the first week of its LIFE in cooling mode because this was the first rental week. Before then it had run just a little bit in heating mode when I was down at the house prepping it. You could say it had about 25 miles on the odometer. The second unit lasted through 8 weeks of cooling then blew.

Maytag HVAC / Nordyne HVAC - junk until proven otherwise.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 2:23PM
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countryboymo

I have a bad feeling that the ductwork the culprit with high static pressure. The motors will burn themselves up. They also seem to be extremely sensitive to power surges or spikes. I have noticed multiple places that sell surge protection that plug directly into the motors.

I would have someone make sure the static pressures are in range and then motor amperage and line voltage.

If the above are in spec then I would seriously consider a surge protector because they sure seem to be pretty trouble free in a good installation and with clean power.

These variable motors are used in almost every brand and it seems good installers swear by them and the majority of others swear at them because they can't size and build the system right.

Here is a link that might be useful: one surge protection option

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:29AM
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rileysmom17

countryboymo your information is very helpful. I will discuss the details of the static pressures, motor amperage and line voltage and also suggest the surge protectors.

I am guessing the surge protectors have to be hard-wired in?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:33AM
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