Thursday, August 21, 2003
Somewhere near the end of July, Lake Ashton was visited with another series of zapped A/C units. This time we had at least nine (9) residents affected. Once again the problems seemed to mostly occur in the larger Tahiti style, those containing the variable speed DC units. This brings the total to 27 homes or better than 10% of our total residences.
Many homeowners had already started inquiries regarding some reasonable explanation other than "an act of God." Besides Tradition Air, which only handles installation and maintenance, people were trying to contact Tampa Electric and Bryant Air Conditioning. I have not heard of any success in these dealings as yet. One suggestion from Tradition was to order a Zap-Cap ($34.50 installation plus $6.00 per month thereafter) from Tampa Electric. This unit attaches to the outside electric meter and is considered a first line of defense to prevent a recurrance of the lightning damage. Many residents, including myself, have bit the bullet and gone with the Zap-Cap figuring $6.00 per month is a small price to pay for protection against destruction of a $332.00 motor module.
Two questions remain concerning the Zap-Cap. First, does it work? One of our residents got hit with a destroyed motor module even though he had a Zap-Cap installed. Second, are our A/C units covered? There seems to be inconsistencies in Tampa Electric's communications. A phone call confirmed that it does but the fine print in the warranty talks of disallowing coverage for anything with a circuit board.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
On Monday evening, July 14th, a moderate thunderstorm passed over Lake Ashton about 7:00 pm and managed to disable the air conditioners for 18 separate residences. Specifically, only the motor modules were burned out while the motors themselves remained intact. The cost to repair was $332.00 per household but would have been over $600.00 if the motors were also damaged.
The following day, July 15th, our local installation and repair representative from Tradition Air, Inc arrived and diagnosed the problem. The motor modules had burned out due to an electrical storm in the area and would have to be replaced. Due to the quantity of units required, most, if not all, units were replaced on Wednesday. Each resident was required to pay on delivery and the official explanation for the failure was "an act of God".
The explanation was hardly acceptable. It has become even less so based on a number of unusual revelations. Our Tradition Air service man revealed that even though the damaged units were throughout our development, the homes affected were always on the same side of the street. Second, almost all the homes were the largest model called the Tahiti. Further, the air conditioners were all an upgraded model allowing variable speed using DC current rather than AC current.
It's interesting to note that none of people I've talked to since paid extra for an upgraded, variable speed unit. Presumably, this was installed automatically without consultation with the homeowners as an efficiency consideration for the larger homes.
Monday, August 11, 2003Looking for a Golfing Alternative
After multiple days of unending thunderstorms, our golf course finally became saturated and was closed for all play effective yesterday. Now this same condition is causing a cessation of other popular activites such as shuffleboard, horseshoes and even swimming (at least while it's raining). What shall we do?
Imagine my surprise when one of the residents, Phil Hines, came up to me after our coffee klatch and suggested a new untried activity. Phil is actually looking for participants to play paintball - you know, the game played out in the woods where opposing teams seek each other out and fire paint pellets at each other from air guns. Last I heard these pellets can leave nasty bruises all over your body if you're not agile enough to stay out of the line of fire.
I do not speak for all our residents as many may be younger, stronger, etc. than I. Nonetheless, I was unable to give Phil any encouragement regarding my personal involvement. Others should contact Phil directly. If you do not reach him at first, please try again as he may be out on the lake kayaking amidst the alligators.