A big zap and a spark. And BF diagnosed the AC problem, while leaning against the wall as I chanted "I TOLD YOU not to touch it!" and hoped I didn't need to call the paramedics.
Turned out, our AC problem WAS caused by a wiring issue, but not the aluminum v. copper that the AC dude has alluded to. We discovered a junction box in the basement, and when BF got near it, he found that it was producing heat. He touched it a couple times to determine that it WAS hot. Then got zapped. And the AC turned off.
We immediately called the electrical contractor, told them what was up (again) and they agreed to have the electrician come over before 6pm. When we discovered the issue, it was Friday afternoon and I was damned if I was going to let that spark producing junction box go all weekend. He showed up around 4pm. When he opened up the box, he found a hot mess (seriously). He apologized profusely and accepted blame for the issue -- their company had wired the house improperly when it was built. He said there is normally no junction box in this model house, but that they must have been short some wire and patched it. So, he didn't bother to come in the house to look at the junction box the first time he came out. Since he fixed it, the AC has worked with no issues. And the house hasn't burned down.
This is certainly the biggest issue we have had with Ryan Homes since building the house. What concerned me the most is that our new point person for repairs instructed us to just reset the breaker when it tripped to keep the AC running all weekend. I'm fairly convinced that had we done that, we would have been dealing with a fire situation at some point over the weekend. What concerned me second most is that it was up to me and BF to sniff out the issue and resolve it. We had scheduled a joint meeting between the AC and electric contractor for Monday, but it felt like we were pulling teeth to get it scheduled. Certainly, nobody understood the potential seriousness of the issue. Except me and BF who were faced with the possibility of spending another 100 degree day with no AC in our 9 month old home.
Our 10-month inspection is coming up this week, and it will be the first time we meet our new Ryan Homes point guy in person -- and we are already off to kind of a rough start what with all the pissed off emails and phone calls and whatnot. I hope he can make the repair process smoother and easier than he made the AC problem.