Jump to content

A little trouble shooting help, please?


chrisprickett
 Share

Recommended Posts

I went to look at a potential rental property yesterday (for me) and when I looked in the side yard, the condenser was running, and had iced over.

I asked the seller why she had the a/c on (it was about 60 out) and she said she didn't. Sure enough, the thermostat was off and the air handler wasn't running. I shut off the power to the disconnect, and told her to get an HVAC guy out there to look at it.

She aked me if that would cause her electric bill to be highicon_speech_duh.gif And said it bill had been very high the last 4 months[:(!]

The house is only 11 months old, split system heat/ a/c. I'm thinking a condenser that has been running non-stop for 4 months is pretty much toast.

Questions: What would cause the condenser to run when it's set to be off, and also, is the condenser worth fixing?[:-football]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

If it was iced the compressor was running, not only the condensor fan. If it was running 24/7, man that'd be a high bill. Most of these units have relays that handle the current that actually runs the compressor when the thermostat calls for cooling. The relay could be stuck closed, or more likely, there's a short in the thermostat wiring or in the thermostat itself. See if she's hung pictures on the wall above the thermostat... could be a nail intrusion.

from here down is an edit...

It wouldn't be a thermostat problem or it'd be cold in the house. But the thermostat input on the unit could be shorted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

I agree with everything Chad said, except the likelihood. It is most likely a contactor (relay). The relay points start out pitting and then arcing and eventually welding together.

To help prevent this in the future, gently clean the points every spring with emery cloth.

(too late for this one)

New contactor cost vary, but generally under 100 bucks.

New condenser? $1,500 range. Plan on that one.

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by a46geo

Chris,

Now, I am assuming you are wrong and this is actually a heat pump. There was a similar topic on another forum along with a photo. Did you see that post & photo? Did the condenser you saw freeze like that?

I can't for the life of me picture a condenser freezing unless it is acting as the evaporator in a heat pump application.

For a condenser to freeze, the pressures inside would have to be low enough to boil condensed refrigerant which would then be too low to condense refrigerant vapor. The unit can't absorbe heat and freeze up without a supply of condensed refrigerant. Hence, if it can't condense refrigerant, where is it getting condensed refrigerant to boil off into a liquid and absorb heat and cause the freezing in the first place?

If it is a A/C only, the condenser coil could not have been frozen, however the suction line and compressor could be a solid block of ice. If that is it, a lot of liquid refrigerant has been pumped through that compressor. Now, if this is true, it may very well be a scroll compressor (to do it for 4 months) in which case you may not want or need to replace it.

The last thing to look into is warranty. Unless Chad is correct and its a nail shorting the t-stat wires, what ever is wrong may be covered.

I hope that is clearer than mud

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

George you make me think,

It if wasn't a scroll compressor that thing would have slugged refrigerant a long time ago and grenaded. If it was in heat pump mode and stuck on, that'd make sense as there'd only be airflow through the condenser/evaporator (inside) as the thermostat called for heat and the system would seem to be functioning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

In addition to what everyone else said.

It was probably a heat pump. They need to go into a defrost cycle every so often. Perhaps there is an issue with the circuit board that is preventing it from going into the defrost cycle. The house is only 11 months old. They may not have used the heat last year at this time and that means she didn't turn on the heat until October of this year. My guess is a manufactures defect preventing it from going into defrost.

This is an issue that she would not even be aware of today since it is 76 degrees outside in January. [}}:-|>>] Sorry Kurt, I couldn't resist. [:-bonc01]

I'm going to go for a ride on my bike now, maybe I'll go to the lake or the river or... ... ...[}:)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input guys. NOT a heat pump. Gas fired furnace, split system- furnace, coil, air handler in attic, condensor in yard.

The icing was at the condensor and the t-stat was OFF. The blower wasn't operating.

If you want to come out and trouble shoot the problem, I have to warn you: Temps dipped to 72 today, could be as low as 70 tomorrow[:D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll go with the contactor theory. I've seen this happen numerous times. Here in S. Florida lizzards get into the controls and fry. Sometimes there's enough lizzard juice left in the carcass to complete the circuit for quite awhile and the condensor freezes up.

NORM SAGE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by hausdok

What do you say folks?

Should I eject Chris from this board for inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on the rest of us? [8]

Chris is just trying to live up to his name...Prickett, meaning a small prick [:D]. Whether that's literal or figurative, I couldn't say [:-magnify][:I]. Thanks for the weather report Chris! [:-weepn]

Brian G.

It's Even Been Cold in Mississippi [:-cold]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

I am not trying to speak down to you. We both know how bad "Chainsaw Roberts Air Conditioning is. I have seen them connect a heat pump to a gas furnace before. (Just because there is a gas furnace installed doesn't mean a heat pump wasn't the unit on the truck that they installed.

With the stat off, I would have to say a nail or some other short caused the issue.

At least she didn't need it today with the temp at 13 degrees [:-dev3](76 degrees 7+6 = 13 degrees) yea that's it. It was 13 here today[:-bigmouth][:-spin][%|:-)][:-thumbu][:-sonar][:-sly][:-slaphappy][:-party][:-bouncy][:-bonc01]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all, 1st time here. It is not unusual to have gas heat on a heat pump. Here in Kansas today it was 59 deg.

Anyway a heat pump has a secondary heating source. It could be electric or gas or oil or LP. Check the T-stat to see if it has a Emergency heat or auxillery heat switch. And somtimes they have lights to show what is on.

Also you cal look at the condenser and it will have alot more stuff like plumbing/reversing valve/accumulator/ECT... Also they will have 6 or 8 wires to the T-stat not the basic 4.

Just my 3 1/2 cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...