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Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Posted by auggie1020 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 8:48

Hi All: I had posted back in August and was trying to evaluate which system to go with in Atlanta. I wanted high effeciency and was advised that this was overkill but...well, I'm sorry to report that I went ahead with the 20 SEER Bryant 280ANV04800 Heat Pump; CNPVP6124AT coil with Evolution Extreme Zoning and 97% 987MA60100V21 97% furnace and it has not worked out. I wish I had seen Tigerdune's post before buying but I got injured and had to have surgery so was not in shape to be checking posts etc. In any case, tt seems that the company that installed the systems cannot get the zoning to work correctly (too much barometric pressure/air to the smaller zones and the heat does not work variably). To fix this, they installed manual bipass dampers and disabled most of the airflow. Now when it calls for a lot of heat in one of the zones, the furnace shuts down and gives a code 33 error message. It is a true mess. I think the company that sold me the units just does not have the expertise and training to properly install and maintain this type of high-end system. I just have learned that they are not a factory authroized Bryant dealer and the distributor has been out and says it is an "equipment selection and installation problem" not an equipment problem and they are no help. Just thought I would pass along my sad story so no one else falls into this trap. If anyone has any advice for me at this point I would love to hear it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

I am sorry to hear about your problems. This is another example of how a poor installation can ruin a top of the line furnace.

What is the the contractor's response concerning the code 33 error message? What are the plans to address it?

The Bryant/Carrier Evolution/Infinity zoning controls are advertised as the best on the market. But the installation requires the contractor to know how to install a zoning system.

If you have no confidence in this contractor, then you may have to hire a Factory Authorized Bryant or Carrier dealer to come in and fix the installation. The duct work may be too small for a 100K BTU furnace. It may require extensive duct modification to make the zoning work properly.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Auggie

First of all, sorry for your trouble.

Just to be clear, the system you installed is for downstairs? As I recall, you were looking at two separate systems initially. Or 1 system with zoning controls for both floors? Please clarify.

I hope people read this and can possibly profit from your trouble, not
financially of course but HVAC education.

Many dealers say it does not matter whether they are authorized for a specific brand or not. I say it does give the homeowner a measure of protection against the trouble you have encountered.

I doubt you will be able to get any quality help from the installer. And you may not want it. Other dealers unfortunately don't want to step in and clean up another's mess.

What type of zoning controls was installed? Evolution? Zoning controls are not for the inexperienced. I always recommend that a homeowner go visit a
similar zoning job to help verify dealers' qualifications and experience in this area. I can't recall but I don't believe zoning controls were part of your first thread.

I would hope you ave written documentation even anecdotal of your experience from the date system was installed until today.

If things are as bad as you indicate, this would be my course of action. I would find out who is an authorized dealer for your area and try to find out their reputation in the marketplace. Call the owner and go see him. Be organized and not be emotional. I think a face to face makes more of an impression than just outlining your issues over the phone. Youshould be prepared to plead for help if not beg. Sorry that's the truth.

That's my best advice at this point.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Tigerdunes: I installed two of these. One for upstairs (aprox. 2200 sq. ft) and one for downstairs (about same square footage). The upstairs has the Evolution Zoning the dowstairs does not. The zoning controls are evolution.But, now they have installed two large bypasses that are running from the smallers zones to the air supply to the larger zones, so I think the zoning doesn't know what to do. Can you confirm whether best practices prohibits bypasses with the evlotuion zoning syste. I think it is. I have all documentation of calls they have been out on and more. Thanks and yes, I posted the follow up so that others would be aware!


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Auggie

So the problem is with the upstairs system? How many zones were set up?

I would say the sizing on the furnace is ridiculous. May be true on condenser as well. Ductwork is in attic? Where is furnace located? In attic? Were any load calcs performed by installing dealer for best sizing? If so, were you given written copy? Did you even ask for a load calculation?

The Evolution zoning is still regarded as the best integrated system in the HVAC residential market. I won't comment on the zoning because I have not seen it.

You truly need an authorized Bryant dealer experienced in zoning to come out and survey what you have.

In your last conversation, what does installing dealer have to say about your concerns?

Post back.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tiger Dunes: The problem is upstairs where 4 zones were set up. The ductwork iand furnace are in the attic. Load calculations were done and it was a close call between a 3 ton and 4 ton unit (since no 1/2 ton units in heat pumps) so they went with the 4 ton, which I think may have been a mistake as the upstairs unit has the 4 zones which some people have told me would allow reduction in size of unit of about 25%. Is that true? A Carrier factory rep is coming in a couple of weeks. Any tips on what to cover with him. I personally think the blower is just too big and there is no way to reduce the CFM's to the two small zones (which are 10 by 15 bedrooms whith each having a dump in the hallway leading to the bedroom).


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

I believe that the service company we use is a Carrier dealer. They came in and got our current Rheem/Ruud system running 7 years ago after hack HVAC sub to hack GC walked off the job on our remodel.

They've provided good service since- in fact they were here Friday, after our fan died Thursday. It was a motor control board for the variable speed fan, and originally they thought they'd have to order one. That'd left us in the cold for this chilly weekend. Fortunately, they located one that could be configured for our fan and put that in on Friday.

Shoot me an e-mail and I'll pass on their info.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tiger Dunes: The problem is upstairs where 4 zones were set up. The ductwork iand furnace are in the attic. Load calculations were done and it was a close call between a 3 ton and 4 ton unit (since no 1/2 ton units in heat pumps) so they went with the 4 ton, which I think may have been a mistake as the upstairs unit has the 4 zones which some people have told me would allow reduction in size of unit of about 25%. Is that true? A Carrier factory rep is coming in a couple of weeks. Any tips on what to cover with him. I personally think the blower is just too big and there is no way to reduce the CFM's to the two small zones (which are 10 by 15 bedrooms whith each having a dump in the hallway leading to the bedroom).


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tiger Dunes: The problem is upstairs where 4 zones were set up. The ductwork iand furnace are in the attic. Load calculations were done and it was a close call between a 3 ton and 4 ton unit (since no 1/2 ton units in heat pumps) so they went with the 4 ton, which I think may have been a mistake as the upstairs unit has the 4 zones which some people have told me would allow reduction in size of unit of about 25%. Is that true? A Carrier factory rep is coming in a couple of weeks. Any tips on what to cover with him. I personally think the blower is just too big and there is no way to reduce the CFM's to the two small zones (which are 10 by 15 bedrooms whith each having a dump in the hallway leading to the bedroom).


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

auggie

You might have better results by reducing the two small zones into one zone. I have no way of knowing if that's even practical or acceptable to you. Small zones with large size HVAC can be problematic. Size of ductwork should be noted.

Obviously, the Carrier rep needs to review the complete installation including ductwork, zoning, and all settings.

Let us know what the Carrier rep finds and advises for solutions and improvement. I certainly would want to know the qualifications of the Carrier rep as far as zoning and zoning controls.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

In 2003, an installer who used Trane infrequently ( I did not know this at the time) installed the units at my new house. Some problem with the controls that he could not resolve- but he kept fiddling with them. I contacted the Trane rep who told me that he could not recommend one dealer/installer over another. So I asked him if he would install Trane if he was building a new house. Obviously his answer was an enthusiastic yes. So I asked him who he would choose for an installer. And he told me who had done his house just a year earlier. That installer did come to my premises along with the Trane rep, changed a thermostat, added a dual-fuel control, checked airflow volume by DeltaT and the system has worked perfectly since then except for two failed capacitors.
So do get the Carrier/Bryant rep involved if possible.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Hi All: I had the Carrier rep out and they did a very detailed load calculation. What they are saying is that the minimum CFM for the furnace is over double the cfm requirement for the smallest 2 zones BUT they think I need 3 1/4 tons of cooling. If I attached a load calc, would anyone be able to read it and let me know if they think I could get by with a 3 ton unit? Any ideas on how to better insulate etc to be able to go to the 3 ton unit and keep the 4 zones.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Auggie

Well, I assume you have given up on any help from installing dealer much less having equipment removed short of a lawsuit. Correct?

What exactly does field rep recommend? An accurate load calc after the fact is nice, I assume it is broken out in detail for each zone. But what exactly does field rep say are your options?

Why not combine the two small zones? Is it not practical or something you just don't want to do?

I'll give you my thoughts on reducing upstairs cooling load. You may can get it down to a 3 ton. But here is my experience. I don't want to be borderline sized on cooling for an upstairs system in Hotlanta. I suspect you would be helping one problem by creating another.

Have you even thought about shutting off the zoning controls altogether to see how upstairs system would perform? Just a brainstorming thought.

IMO

This post was edited by tigerdunes on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 7:54


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

You stated that the minimum air flow of the furnace is more than twice that is required for the smallest zones. If you were to reduce the AC from 4 tons to 3 tons, then that is only a 25% reduction in air flow. You would have to go down to 2 tons in order to get close to the maximum air flow for the smallest zones.

Is this correct or am I missing something?


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Well on low stage, a three ton gets down to two ton, around 800 CFMs if set up correctly.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

That could work assuming the Evolution Controller has the intelligence never to go to the high stage when the smallest zone is calling for cooling. I would be curious to know if it has this capability.

I would be interested in seeing the details of the second floor load calculation. I would want to know what was the outdoor and indoor design temperatures. At 2200 sq. ft a 3 ton unit in Atlanta would seem undersized for the second floor. It could mean you would not be able to maintain a indoor temp of 75 degrees during the afternoon on the hottest days of the year. I would be surprised if Carrier agrees to swap out the 4 ton unit for a 3 ton even if you did improve the insulation.

I think you should investigate Tigerdune's advice and combine the two smallest zones. You would have a high confidence level the solution would work.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tiger Dunes: The installing company is working with me and has agreed to make the situation right. The house is set up in such a way that the zone needs vary quite a bit so we need the 4 zones. My options are taking out the furnace and going with 3 zones and using the existing 4 ton 280 HP for cooling and heating; or installing a 3 ton HP with or without a furnace and running 4 zones which is my preference. Personally, I have lived with the current 4 ton HP/100K BTU furnace for a heating and cooling season and they seem like overkill but that is just my impression. I think as users go, we don't tax the system as we don't like it too cool in the summer (most zones are set at 75 or 76) and not too hot in winter (70 or 71 most zones). Also, since we are using zoning, doesn't that cut down on the total tonnage needs for the system?


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

I would ask the installing dealer what the advantage would be to your issues if any by removing furnace, keeping the 4 Ton HP, combining two small zones and installing best choice Infinity air handler. It's my idea that I doubt you used any nat gas at all from your furnace this past winter.

I luv buying things you don't need or will ever/seldom use.

Just curious. What is the heating load for upstairs system based on recent load calc?

You still have not elaborated on what the Carrier rep's recommendations and options were.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Dbl post.

This post was edited by tigerdunes on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 11:00


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

The Infinity/Evolution certainly knows to run only at low stage when a single zone is calling.

I'd go down to 3 tons if it were me since that does help some. Peak load occurs usually around 6 pm - most people aren't trying to sleep upstairs at that time. The system would catch up by bedtime for most people

Zoning can mean the tonnage goes down a bit but 25% is a bit optimistic but each situation is different. The Heat gain is still the same, you are just able to optimize a little bit more so you can save on tonnage.

You know, the really easy thing to do is adjust the bypass on the dampers. So when zone 1 is calling, you allow 10% of airflow to zone 2-4. It doesn't fix all problems but it releases some pressure and costs nothing. You can allow 20% or whatever you want to the non calling zones. Now - whether this is acceptable to you is a different story. We sleep at 65 and had an infant in another bedroom at 76. So if we did that, the infant might sleep at 72 or something. What are your expectations on the difference in temps or how different are the loads?

There are definitely some standards on zoning and no 4 ton system broken to 4 bedrooms is going to work correctly. They just aren't designed for that. You have to bleed some of the airflow to all the rooms. You can bleed some airflow to the downstairs if that is practical - basically a dump zone. While Infinity/Evolution can help, it can't supply 1 bedroom or 4 bedrooms and do it right.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tiger Dunes: The laod calc says the heating bthu is 79,337. If I go with the 3 ton 280 Heat Pump, is there one air handler that is better than the others? It seems like there would be only one choice, no? We actually used the furnace a lot because we prefer the furnace heat over the heat pump because it feels less drafty. It is more of a comfort thing than economy and since the furnace is so efficient (97%) is is not too much more money to run than the HP so we had it programmed to heat at anything below 40 degrees.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@David: That make a lot of sense. Messing with the bypasses caused a lot of problems including the furnace shutting off.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Auggie

I find that load calc for heating highly questionable? This is the latest load calc performed by Carrier rep?

You still have not said what the Carrier rep recommended and your options. I would think this would be mighty important.

I shouldn't have to tell you this but the programming you have on this system defeats the purpose of even having a DF system. I am completely confused on what you were trying to achieve with this equipment selection.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

The carrier rep never made any recommendation directly to me. I think he basically told the installing company that the furnace and heat pump were too big to work with the 4 zones and he told them to do a detailed load calc, which they did, to determine the exact needs. What about the system/programming defeats the purpose of having a duel fuel system? What I want is a variable speed heating and AC system.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

The installing dealer has proposed swapping out the 4 ton system and going to the following:
Outdoor unit: 280ANV036000
Gas Furnace: 987MA42060V17
Evaporator Coil: CNPHP48T21 (This is the existing coil. It will match the new 3 ton system).

I think this will work, though I wonder how the evaporator coil matches the 3 ton furnace.Does anyone know? All input/thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

100k of heat for ATLANTA where it rarely goes below freezing? I'm calling fudged input values on the load calculation. A well insulated 2200sqft house can easily get by with a 3ton AC and 50,000 BTU 80% furnace in Atlanta. If it were my house I'd skip zoning and do a 15 SEER 2 ton heat pump for upstairs and a 15 SEER 1.5ton AC for downstairs/80% furnace between 40-50,000 BTU. Gas savings won't pay for the 90%+ furnace in Atlanta w/o substantial rebates/tax credits.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Auggie

The new system is an AHRI matching system.

5158906 Active Systems EVOLUTION EXTREME PURON HP BRYANT HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS 280ANV036****A CNPH*4821A**+UI 987*A42060V17*** 33800 12.70 18.90 34400 12.40 32800 1 HRCU-A-CB 212 535 Yes

I really think the two small zones should be combined.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Thanks servicetech. I agree and will do what I need to firm up insulation etc. The house was built in 2000 so it is decently insulated but I plan on doing some things to help on that end.
@Tigerdunes. Thanks for you help! They have told me that the minumum airflow on the furnace is too much, even if the two small zones are combined. Same with the 4 ton HP.

By the way, does anyone know what a good duct loss % should be. The Byrant Evolution Extreme does a duct loss calculation upon demand and it now registers 10% loss. Since I am going to a smaller system, I wonder if 10% is a lot and may be something to look at in tweaking the new system. Thanks!


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

Well if the airflow is bad for combining the two small zones, then what is it for the two small zones by themselves?...I would say worse wouldn't you?...something not right here.

IMO


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

@Tigerdunes. What Carrier is saying is that each zone has to be able to take roughly 25% of the maximum cfm of the furnace AND the minimum CFM output for the furnace has to be as low as the smallest zone requirements, So, just in regards to the furnace, going from a 987MA66100V21 (minimum heating CFM 725) to 987MA42060V17 (min heating CFM of 415) bring the output down to where all zones will work variably.


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RE: Top of Line Bryant System a Total Nightmare

I am sorry for your trouble but I am not buying until I see the numbers.

Refresh my memory on the size of each of these two zones.

So what is the cooling and heating load of each of these two zones?
Recommended CFMs for each?
Minimum CFMs system is able to deliver?

If feasible and I see no reason why not, what would be the heating and cooling load for combined zones and recommended CFMs?
And the minimum CFMs system s able to deliver?

If accurate, numbers always tell the truth.

IMO


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