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  1. #1

    Defective? Elec Heat Air Handlers

    Hello,

    I am an AC contractor. I did a change out on an apartment complex of some air handlers (dx open case, twin squirl cage, ceiling mount, hide-a-way type.) The air handlers have electric heat strips with a r22 evap/coil w/ txv's. When winter began I got numerous complaints of no heat. The heat strips are cutting out on the high limit safety disk and the fuse-links. The manufacturer is not being very cooperative in rectifying the problem. The heating elements are the ones that look like long "U" tubes. They are over-heating from not getting much air across them coming out of the two 4" x 6" blower ports.

    Has anyone else out there used these units and have had the same problem. I replaced one of the air handlers with another brand unit with the curly-cue type heating elements that are located right in the air streams of the two 4x6 blower ports and it runs just fine.

    If anyone had or has this problem also, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,002
    Your talking about furdown units, if your have a high limit issue, I would think you probably have an air flow issue, either return or supply. You can check for return air flow issue by removing the access door, supply might be a little trickier, since most of those go into a ductboard chase hidden above the Sheetrock. Is the coils clean? I doubt it's anything to do with the equipment.
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  3. #3
    Thanks Mr. Bill for your reply. However, these are brand new units coils are clean. Air flow is very good Air flow was measured with a magnahelic actual clocked in at .2" wc which is the rated s.p. Motor rpm at or a little over. Amp draw at or a little under. CFM verified with capture hood. Heat fails on a table top test with no static pressure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,990
    are these 1st company units?

    if so there are a special kit to use with heat pumps.

    the new ones are as follows;

    blower blows air thru the heater then the coil which causes high temps

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gravity View Post
    are these 1st company units?

    if so there are a special kit to use with heat pumps.

    the new ones are as follows;

    blower blows air thru the heater then the coil which causes high temps


    Thanks Gravity for your response. These are not 1st Company manufactured units. Also, they are not for, or are they connected with any heat pumps. They are up to 8Kw heat strips, which for the few minutes they stay engaged the values of the strips actual read resistance coupled with the voltage yields the appropriate amp draw for the rated Kw's. Which also matches the data on the name plate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    North Carolina Piedmont Area
    Posts
    449
    What is the actual CFM that you are delivering from the air handler based on a total sum of the supply air grilles?

    Have you calculated your temperature rise based on return air and actual supply air temperature?

    What is the high temperature limit set point? Are you exceeding this temperature limit due to low air flow?

    Have you checked that you are running at the correct fan speed?

    CFM= BTUs/hr (electric heat input) divided by 1.08 X Temperature Rise.

    BTU/hr =CFM X 1.08 X Temperature rise.


    Trouble shooting is not part of the repair…understand the symptoms and you will find a solution.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    130
    just throwing this out there, are they using stack sequencers? Are they wired correctly? 1st stage heat comes on and passes power to the fan, 1st on, last off?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by alcomech View Post
    What is the actual CFM that you are delivering from the air handler based on a total sum of the supply air grilles?

    Have you calculated your temperature rise based on return air and actual supply air temperature?

    What is the high temperature limit set point? Are you exceeding this temperature limit due to low air flow?

    Have you checked that you are running at the correct fan speed?

    CFM= BTUs/hr (electric heat input) divided by 1.08 X Temperature Rise.

    BTU/hr =CFM X 1.08 X Temperature rise.


    Trouble shooting is not part of the repair…understand the symptoms and you will find a solution.

    The actual CFM's captured is equal to the manufacturer's posted cfm output per the .2" wc. Heat strips also cut out while running the blowers in high speed and low speed on heat. Both heat strips only remain on for a few minutes, not long enough to perform a temp/rise test. We are certain about adequate air flow for two reasons: on a charge check sub-cooling and superheat measurements are right on the money, and; we removed this brand unit and replaced it with another brand (w/ curely-cue heat strips also reated a nominal air cfm's @ .2" wc) other brand runs perfectly in heat mode without cutting out everytime.

  9. #9
    Thanks for your comments, alcomech, This is what happens: T-stat request heat, Blower starts 1.5 amps for about one minute or so. Then amp draw clocks in 19 amps or so indicating first ht strip engaged. In about another minute or so amp draw is at about 36 amps second strip engaged. In a couple of minutes back down to about 18 amps, one strip and blower only. Unit blowing only luke warm air. Second strip never comes back on. Always find either high temp safety open or fuse-link failed. Also, have lost both strips at times on some units.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,292
    For apartments are you sure the second set of strips are even needed? 5KW of heat is plenty for most apartments around here, not sure about where you live.

  11. #11
    J-Calc's indicate the need. Anger from the tenants verify the need. The 2 ton units have only 6kw's; also 2 strips, 3+3. Can't keep both strips running here either. Seems like if the other brands can run specified KW's so should these.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    385
    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith 2 View Post

    The manufacturer is not being very cooperative in rectifying the problem.
    Sounds to me you've eliminated all but a design problem. Just what is the mfg offering for an explanation?

  13. #13
    When I first complained to the manufacturer he said just like everyone else (in this forum above) must be air flow. After arguing the issue for a few months by phone and emails, reps from the manufacturer came out to several apartments and verified we were correct in that we had adequate air flow. The verbally told me just remove and replace the safeties with higher temperature values. I said that I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to do so. This is something the manufacturer should do In as much as they are responsible for the integrity of their ETL (UL) label. At this point they declined to replace the safeties. It doesn't appear they are willing to accept responsibility for the problem. I wrote into this forum to see if anyone has had a similar problem and what did they do about it.

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