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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Late last week, our 4 ton Carrier heat pump decided to go bump in the night. The next morning, I looked at the breaker and it was tripped. I looked over the heat pump and didn't see any apparent reason for it, so I reset the breaker and it attempted to start, but the breaker popped again.

So I called the original installer (contractor). The heat pump is just over ten years old and JUST out of warranty by seven months.

The company was quick to respond and checked out the thermostat, which is very intelligent and able to diagnose system problems. They opened up the electrical panel for the condenser and found that some mice had set up housekeeping. But there was nothing else apparent to see.

So, the technician put the system into a test mode, reset the breaker and all hell broke loose. A great cloud of refrigerant and oil blew out of the compressor, the breaker tripped, and we ran for cover.

So after the smoke cleared the guys opened up the compressor section, removed the compressor jacket, and there were the culprit(s). A whole family of field mice had been living nicely, nestled in and around the wiring harness that powered the compressor.

Did you notice that I said "had been living"? They were a bit cooked. I'm not sure if one or more of them decided to make a meal of the wiring insulation, but it was their last meal as a family.

I am resolved to invest in some moth balls in the future to help keep these critters away from my NEW SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR INVESTMENT. Do you remember that I said the old pump was out of warranty?

Yeah, 7 thousand bucks worth.

When the new one was installed, the guy told me that it really was a shame, because these things usually run for 18 to 20 years without any problems. Oh well. At least I'll be comfortable while hiding out in my house from COVID-19.
 

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Sometimes home ownership isn't all it's cracked up to be. Did you get an extended warranty this time? Sometimes that extra cost is worth it.
 

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My younger sister just had her gas furnace replaced this last weekend , and she had someone do it for her... it was an over 90 per cent efficiency model, used plastic piping through the walls for intake and exhaust ...
She also has her gas water heater replaced at the same time, both were just over fifteen years, but both were rusted out due to a leaky drain pipe in the furnace..
Bill was right on ten grand [canadian] for everything ..
 

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I have a neighbor that had a similar problem. His AC unit came on and tripped the breaker and when they opened it up they found a snake had curled up in it and when the unit came on the snake got decapitated.
 

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I feel your pain. ;) I just dropped around $19,000 on a new furnace and A/C, and also a second split ductless system to do my loft and train room. I hope that's the last of that spending for the foreseeable future! :)

BTW, moth balls will only last at most for a few months if there is any air opening, so you'll have to keep replacing them. If mice can get in, clearly there is an air opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I feel your pain. ;) I

BTW, moth balls will only last at most for a few months if there is any air opening, so you'll have to keep replacing them. If mice can get in, clearly there is an air opening.
I think the little buggers are magicians. They can get through a very small opening.
 

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Mice hate dryer softener sheets. I have them stuffed in certain areas of my Jeep.


Also, steel wool or copper wool can be used to fill holes and keep mice out. They won’t chew it...


My daughter’s Jeep had mice in the air filter...this was their house...

Tom
 

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My Alfa hibernates in the winter. A few years ago, mice made a nest in the air filter.

Many years ago, they made a nest in the cooling fins of my parents Cub Cadet riding mower. Lack of cooling destroyed the engine.

Neither one of those instances was as bad a financial hit as what Bob just had.
 

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I have had my share of critter vandalism. Twice mice chewed up all wiring underhood
of my wife's Explorer. Squirrel chewed through the gas hose from tank to engine on my truck. There is more. Just got a letter from StateFarm saying I have a high rate of claims.
None my fault. May be time for poison peanuts. Hate to because we have dogs and cats in the area.
 

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I think the little buggers are magicians. They can get through a very small opening.
You bet, smaller than you might imagine.

Mice are found in buildings more often than rats because they are smaller and are able to find more available entryways into a building. Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger - or about the width of a pencil.
 

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You bet, smaller than you might imagine.

Mice are found in buildings more often than rats because they are smaller and are able to find more available entryways into a building. Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger - or about the width of a pencil.
In other words, if their tiny little heads fit....they're in! :eek:hwell:
 

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Late last week, our 4 ton Carrier heat pump decided to go bump in the night. The next morning, I looked at the breaker and it was tripped. I looked over the heat pump and didn't see any apparent reason for it, so I reset the breaker and it attempted to start, but the breaker popped again.

So I called the original installer (contractor). The heat pump is just over ten years old and JUST out of warranty by seven months.

The company was quick to respond and checked out the thermostat, which is very intelligent and able to diagnose system problems. They opened up the electrical panel for the condenser and found that some mice had set up housekeeping. But there was nothing else apparent to see.

So, the technician put the system into a test mode, reset the breaker and all hell broke loose. A great cloud of refrigerant and oil blew out of the compressor, the breaker tripped, and we ran for cover.

So after the smoke cleared the guys opened up the compressor section, removed the compressor jacket, and there were the culprit(s). A whole family of field mice had been living nicely, nestled in and around the wiring harness that powered the compressor.

Did you notice that I said "had been living"? They were a bit cooked. I'm not sure if one or more of them decided to make a meal of the wiring insulation, but it was their last meal as a family.

I am resolved to invest in some moth balls in the future to help keep these critters away from my NEW SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR INVESTMENT. Do you remember that I said the old pump was out of warranty?

Yeah, 7 thousand bucks worth.

When the new one was installed, the guy told me that it really was a shame, because these things usually run for 18 to 20 years without any problems. Oh well. At least I'll be comfortable while hiding out in my house from COVID-19.
Jeez! Sorry to hear about that, Bob. I just walked out and looked at mine. We’ve only been here a few months.

Looks like someone installed fine mesh hardware cloth on 4 small openings at each corner and all across the front, so there either was a previous problem or they anticipated it.
We’ve had mice build nests in the interior and engine compartment of two cars.

I’ve read different things about the life span of heat pumps. I hope the 18-20 year is true because ours is 12. Good luck going forward.
Dan
 

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It's unusual for a heat pump to last 18-20 years, that's normally the figure used for A/C units. Since a heat pump has to run all year, they typically don't last that long. FWIW, I've had heat pumps in three houses, and only one of six units ever lasted more than 15 years.
 

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Not good to read about your heat pump. I got 21 years out of my furnace and A/C unit. Both replaced in 2015. Never had a heat pump.
Mice. If you can find where they are getting in, steel wool will stop them. They won't touch it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's unusual for a heat pump to last 18-20 years, that's normally the figure used for A/C units. Since a heat pump has to run all year, they typically don't last that long. FWIW, I've had heat pumps in three houses, and only one of six units ever lasted more than 15 years.
Both the service technicians told me the same thing. The Carrier system I have is their top model and it will run efficiently down to 32 degrees. Then the gas furnace (95% efficiency) takes over. It really is a great system and delivered tip-top performance over the ten years, until now.

I had no reason to doubt what they said. At that point, they didn't have to try to sell me something.
 

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I feel like I'm comfortable on borrowed time with my Heat/AC system. The air handler was born in 1985 and the outside unit
was a replacement 16 years ago. Both run 24/7 the
year round here in Florida. But to make sure they get all the TLC they need I have them cleaned and maintained twice a year.
So far no uninvited residents, but I do notice that the
plastic cover of the the flexible natural gas hose feeding my
Generac has been totally eaten away by a mammal with
a strange taste. The gas man says it's still safe.

Don
 
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