Buyer Beware!

Recently, we were called to investigate damage to a residential air conditioning unit. The allegation was that the unit was destroyed by fire.  Upon examining the unit, no evidence of fire was found.  That is, there was no evidence that any wiring or controls were burned and the compressor and condenser were both undamaged (as far as fire was concerned). However, during the examination of the unit, the compressor was found to have blown a terminal and caused its destruction. Most HVAC technicians will recognize this scenario. The possibility of lightning causing the damage was also explored and eliminated because there was no lightning in the area at the time of the compressor failure.  Instead of replacing the compressor, the homeowner had the entire unit replaced with a unit of greater capacity.  In doing so, the homeowner assumed that the insurance company would pay for the new installation which amounted to more than $8000.00.  Without a covered loss, the insurance company denied the homeowner’s claim leaving the homeowner to  absorb the entire cost of the new installation.   The lesson to be learned here is that you do not want to commit to a major purchase unless you can handle the expenditure if your insurer denies your claim. In this case, the cost to replace the compressor and recharge the unit would have been in the neighborhood of $1200.00 to $1500.00, which is significant lower than the new unit.

Advertisements

California Gas Line Explosion

Earlier this year, one of the local television stations in the Nashville Tennessee area reported on a gas explosion in a residential neighborhood. (The story can be found on our website at www.rjhill.com – click on WSMV I Team.) In that report, the gas company denied any wrongdoing even though the line was clearly their responsibility. One of the things that came out of that investigation was that the age of the pipe was approximately 20 years old at the time of the explosion. With miles and miles of pipeline, the gas company has the responsibility for making sure that the line is safe and not leaking. Safety is an obvious issue and it is in the gas company’s best interest not to have to pay for property damage and personal injury as a result of an explosion. Now, we are hearing about another gas explosion, this time in San Bruno. It has been reported that the line involved was installed in 1948 and was a 30 inch line that was classified as a high risk. Why then, do gas utility companies, let their gas lines get to the point where public safety is compromised? Surely, they consider human life more important than their pipelines. Is the economics such that the replacement of aging pipelines is more expensive than paying for property damage, personal injury and wrongful death claims? Is keeping the gas company profitable more important than spending money on pipeline improvements? The public needs to know.

%d bloggers like this: