Fuel for Thought

Repair When You Cannot Replace

By Greg Huggins
Posted Sep 6th 2023 5:00AM

In the past couple of years, if you have needed parts you have probably found, like I have, that some parts are more scarce than others, but also that some parts will be on national backorder. The latter is the worst of the two because national backorder means no particular timeframe for when the part(s) will become available. There is usually a waiting list for national backordered parts as well. So what do you do when you need to replace a critical part that is unavailable to purchase?

Recently, I ran into a situation where I needed a part that was on national backorder. I called local shops to no avail. I tried several locations around the country to find this part in stock. No dice. I did find a few websites that claimed to have my part in stock, but when I called them, they said no, it was actually out of stock with no ETA on when they would again stock it. Then while searching online for this part, I found a few places that claimed to be able to rebuild my much needed part. Of the three places I found online, two said they could not repair my particular part, but when I contacted the third one, they said “of course, just send it to us for repair”.

The part in question is the circuit board for a Carrier Comfort Pro APU. Any Carrier APU owners that have had the circuit board of their APU stop working correctly know that it is, according to Carrier, a non-serviceable part that upon failure, must be replaced. A few years ago, I replaced one at a cost of $435.00, just for the part, no labor, I installed it. More recently, I have seen this hard to find part being sold in the $700 - $800 range, again, if you can find one. This circuit board controls everything, if it doesn’t work, your APU is a 500 pound brick.

After contacting First Coast Industrial Electronics, I removed the circuit board and shipped it to them along with a form from their website that must accompany the item for repair. I was told it would take 5-10 business days to repair (if it could be repaired). It was only about 5 or 6 days later when it was repaired and ready to ship back to me. At this point, they send you an email with a payment link to pay online for the repair. Two days later the part arrived back at my door. Once I got back home, I installed it and it worked perfectly.

I’m actually kind of glad that the overpriced ones were out of stock. Had it been available, I may have just purchased another replacement. First Coast Industrial Electronics repaired my part for less than $400. 

If you need a circuit board for an APU, I would highly recommend that you consider repairing yours if the replacement is overpriced or not available. 

If you would like to contact First Coast Industrial Electronic to see if they can repair your circuit board, or other electronic item, I am putting the link HERE. Their website shows that they repair Carrier and Thermoking, but be sure to call to inquire about your specific part.

See you down the road,