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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13

    Compressor failure?

    I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction... I have two Premier 2 AT045, two speed units that were installed in 2001 but not turned up until 2007 (long story)... for about 5 months I have noticed a very hard kick in on one of them... harder compressor start and sometimes a spark noticeable if looking at the relay. I have the 10 year extended warranty on the units... so I had a GeoPro Master authorized dealer come look at it 5 months ago... they said there was no problem and charged me $85 for the 15 minute visit.

    Now, 5 months later, I find it not cooling tonight... so I went to look at the unit and the TStat diag LEDs at the unit were on (Y1, Y2, O, G), and I could feel the water running (open loop; valves open) but no compressor on. I turned the power off... waited an hour, then turned it back on... went through normal startup sequence... Y1/Y2/O/G from TStat, fan on... water starts... relay kicks in... compressor does not start as normal, but instead makes a grrr noise, and after about 6-7 seconds of that, the relay cuts off. TStat signals are still there and water is still flowing... I have to power down the unit to close the valves. No Error lights on at all... except the flashing Status light that indicates the microprocessor is running properly.

    So, my questions are... does this sound like a compressor failure or may be just capacitor? Could this have been caused by the hard start and arcing the service techs said was not a problem? (I can only compare to the 2nd unit I have which has a loud relay click but the compressor starts without that hard hit and contact bounce sound that the trouble unit had).

    Do authorized service providers use Waterfurnace parts or just go out and throw in any compressor they have? I want to make sure I get the proper quality compressor comparable to the original in the Waterfurnace unit I have.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
    Posts
    9,627
    Could it be a comp, yes
    Could it be a bad Cap yes
    Could it be a bad Contactor, yes

    did he test the Cap. Check preesurer, or check the Contactor. Did he get a volt and Amp reading.

    If I was ACTAULY only 15 min or less I double he did. Or did he look at it a wacht it run and say It ok?

    Is short sorry but we need reading.
    If you help others then you are a Success

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    121
    jscozz,

    The only way to know is to have the unit PROPERLY analyzed. It could be the start components or the compressor. The start relay should be opened and the points checked. the capacitors should be checked for proper microfared capacity. The compressor should be ohmed out to check the windings. Thats a start...

    Bergy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for the info, guys... 5 months ago when I suspected a problem with the way it was starting up, the service guy did not check anything other than watch it run, and tell me it is normal, then hand me a bill for $85. This is a WaterFurnace GeoPro Master Dealer.

    I called last night to have some come and check it now that it has failed... and it won't be until Monday that they get here... then probably a week to get any parts needed. I am very disappointed that this dealer is the closest and they are over 40 miles away.

    From your feedback I know what to make sure they check... I'll post diag details here once they finish Monday... I appreciate your help.

    The original installer installed Blue White flow meters... the clear tube with the weight riding on the rod. The stopped moving within 3 months of operation... I am sure fouled up with junk from the well water. Does anyone know of any flow meters that will not get fouled up from well water?

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Tech checked it out and said the compressor is seized... cap looks OK. He is recommending replacment of compressor, caps, and contactors.

    I'll let you all know how it turns out!

    Any recommendations on flowmeters that will not get fowled up by the well water every few months?

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    121

    Well water?

    Have you ever had your coax backflushed? If it is fouled, it may have healped the compressor go bad. Make sure they replace the filter drier at the same time as the compressor.

    Bergy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Thanks. I will ask them about that... strange thing is that this unit has only been running for 14 months.

    I am still going back to the hard starts I was hearing for a few months before it failed... as opposed to the kick in of my basement unit, this one that failed the compressor would start with a kick and then what sounded like a bounce... like relay contacts chattering for a half a second or so... like the sound a diving board makes after someone dives off of it... what would cause this?

    Jeff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    121

    Chattering...

    Sounds like it might be the potential relay of the start componenets.

    Bergy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    92
    js: ditto to all the previous posts.

    Plugged flow meters could indicate well water that does not meet the requirements for a pump and dump system. If the flow meters are in fact, plugged, you can be sure the coax is also affected, which affects operating pressures, efficiencies, and compressor cooling. The installing contractor should have had the water checked before installing a pump / dump. If the water is "bad", these problems will be a constant maintenance problem. There can be a lot of downside to well water open loop systems.

    A WaterFurnace dealer will be required to source his parts only from Water Furnace. Your heat pumps have Bristol hermetic compressors. There have been a lot of reliability issues with the 2-speed compressor. Assuming the compressor is the culprit, the WF dealer can get you a free upgrade to a scroll compressor with a new control board and emerson comfort alert. BUT you really need to pay attention to your water flow / quality.

    The servicing dealer gets a small labor allowance from the factory, but it is not enough to cover the costs of the replacement. If the dealer you called (be careful, I think you got a drive-by diagnosis) is not the original installing contractor, you can expect to pay some labor charges.

    Another thought on pump / dumps: Yes, the first cost is attractive. If you are not returning the water to the same aquifer (return well, etc.), please consider the following scenario: hard winter, 4 ton system @ approx 2 gpm. 8 gpm = 480 gal per hour = 11,520 gal per day = 345,600 gal per month!! That is an unforgiveable waste of a precious resource. A lot of hacks in our area do this to be "competetive." Makes me nuts. Best of luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Guys, I really appreciate all of your feedback.

    A couple questions... I have found that the Waterfurnace "worry-free" warranty is not as worry free as I thought it was! As you had said below, they only have a labor allowance... not 100% labor coverage.. and it is based on rates at the time the unit was manufactured... not today's rates... so, the vendor is saying they need to replace the compressor, both caps and the contactor. What is a reasonable labor rate to do this... it is old refrigerant and it has to be recharged with old stuff also.

    I looked in the unit and the compressor is a Copeland scroll (CTH1-0275-CSU-280)... when you refer to "coax" are you referring to the water piping in the unit or something else? You said there is some way to get a free upgrade to the current control board and emerson monitoring on the compresor? Mine is already a Copeland compressor...

    Bergy, "potential relay of the start components"... is that the contactor or a separate relay that is not currently on their replace list above? Is the filter drier a device around the compressor? What does it look like? What does it do? I am guessing they do not replace it by default without me asking for it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    92
    js:

    re: compressor. CTH1 is a piston compressor, NOT a scroll compressor

    re: warranty. The labor allowance is not the issue. We stand behind all our installations 100%. We would not charge the customer a dime for an in-warranty compressor replacement. However, we won't donate a nickel to our competitors warranty problems. Call the installing contractor. He is required to honor the labor warranty, especially if your water is "bad." Installing a pump and dump system with "bad" water will void ALL warranties. The installing contractor could have some legal liability here.

    re: start components. If you ask for the scroll upgrade, you well get all those components free.

    re: coax. This is the coaxial heat exchanger- the heart of the system. Did your vendor check it for proper flow? How about the pumps?

    re: filter drier. A competent service tech would ALWAYS install a new filter drier. Is your service tech competent??? From what you have relayed, I've got my doubts.

    re: vendor. This guy gave you a 15 minute diagnosis practically from his car. Did he:

    attach gauges?

    measure water pressures?

    take water sample?

    test refrigerant for acid?

    If not, CALL SOMEONE ELSE.

    It seems you are focusing on compressor replacement details. While this is important, I'd put my efforts into looking for the root cause of the problem, not the resultant symptoms. If the water flow / pressure / quality are ok, fine! If they are not, your new compessor will meet the same fate.

    Again, best of luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Again, thanks for the quick info...

    This dealer is a GeoPro Master Waterfurnace dealer! Not that that means much...

    The 15 minute glance check was last October when the hard starts were occurring... the visit 2 days ago he hooked up a device to the refrigerant lines... as far as I know he did not test water pressure or coil flows. He did comment that there were no water test points installed in my attic on the water lines... there are test plugs in my basement where the valves are, but he did not hook up any test equipment there. Are these plus for temp detection only? How is flow in the coax tested?

    Is this scroll upgrade from a recall somewhere? Emerson? Waterfurnace? What can I reference to give the dealer the info they need? Or is the scroll upgrade additional cost for me?

    What is the job of the filter drier?

    Problem with the original dealer is that I had issues with them over the installation... duct work, etc. and have not used them since. Others I know have also had issues... My assumption was this was a Waterfurnace warranty not partially a dealer warranty. But, I would almost rather pay a small amount of labor to a competent service tech than have incompetence for free...

    What is a reasonable amount for labor to replace a compressor? It is a horizontal unit and looks to be pretty easy to get out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    13
    Also, my water test show only 36.4 ppm Total Dissolved Solids... and 0 ppm hardness. The Waterfurnace install manual says that at 125ppm or greater there is a need for regular check and possible cleaning. My coils are cupro-nickle. At this level of TDS and only 14 months of water flow, is this still a possible problem?

    I am dumping back to the same aquifer via return well also.

    My theory on the flow meters is that the friction is between the bob and the rod... mine are stainless steel rods... my pH in the water is pretty low... 4.32 on the untreated geothermal water. I am guessing the rod is being corroded... but the cupro-nickle heat exchanger should not be affected by this... right?

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