Friday, June 1, 2012


Well, today we received word that the ERV that died a few weeks back needs a complete overhaul - the claim is that all the motors and electronics are cooked so the repair costs are about $500.  The interesting part of this is the day this unit decided to die we had a lightning storm and a bolt struck in the woods about 50 feet from the house. It wasn't a direct strike on the house and our power is underground.

 The only issue we initially noticed was that the internet had died so I went to check the fuse panel at which point I found the ERV wasn't working.  The fuse was OK and the unit was humming but nothing was working.  We were headed out of town the next day so when we returned we shipped the unit back to the manufacturer for repair/replacement.

 From what we are being told all the electronics boards in the unit are "fried" as are the 3 motors. Other things that should have had similar failures would seem to be the Ground-source heat pump, computers, televisions, DVD players, the refrigerator, our microwave speed oven, and the DISH TV system.  Nothing else died except a power supply on the internet modem (which is on a different circuit than the ERV) and a 10 year old wireless telephone.

It is now time to figure out how best to approach this - repair the current unit and hope it's not a trend or replace it with another manufacturer's unit.  One thing that I also have to figure out is if there should be a surge suppressor installed on this unit.  One of our service technicians for another system said "we don't use those because the cause problems" which is the first I've heard.  I'm tempted to buy one of the suppressors that has a high dollar value replacement warranty and put it on that.

My other concern becomes things like the GSHP which is much more costly and is direct-connect 220v so putting one of those smaller surge suppressors on it isn't as easy.  I may have to spend time and money to get a whole-house surge suppressor installed. The local power company will install one with a "motors only" repair policy meaning that if there is a surge, the only covered items are motors in washers, dryers, refrigerators and HVAC units.  No electronics are covered.

More research necessary on this one is clearly warranted.

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