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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern California, foothills.
    Posts
    213

    Heat Pump, After major burnout.

    I've already posted two questions about heat pumps this weekend,
    so I know I'm pushing my luck, perhaps squeezing the good-nature
    of the helpful forum veterans. Sorry, but this one may save some
    more pain.

    We have a Trane heat pump. Major compressor burnout.
    The thing even blew a hole through one of the electrical
    terminals at the compressor. Very stinky.

    Compressor was changed. Evap coil was changed. It had
    a big leak and a bunch of fins were dissolved--nobody
    really can figure that one out.

    Changed the compressor, of course. As stated in earlier
    post, little filter-drier was removed and big blue 163S was
    put on the liquid line. Much, much purging with nitrogen.
    Used the acid-neutralizer stuff for good measure and
    superstition.

    Put on gauges, start unit in cooling. Gauges don't budge.
    Check reversing valve. 24 V at wires to solenoid.
    Remove wires. Add. Remove. Add. Rap on reversing valve
    body with large crescent. Clicks but no wooshing.
    Three of the four reversing valve appendages were
    very warm. Fourth closer to ambient of maybe 53 F.
    Based on my assumption that a max of two appendages
    should be warm, I concluded the reversing valve is bad.
    We will schedule a replacement pursuant to senior tech
    approval.

    My question is whether even with such major reversing
    valve failure, could THAT account for the gauges not budging
    the needles, or should we also suspect check valves are
    stuck open? (In case you haven't seen my recent posts,
    you should know that I don't have experience with
    such problems on heat pumps, that I'm only going
    with what I've read.)

    One more possibly relevant point. The outside unit has
    a TXV. When we changed the inside coil, we noted it did
    NOT, absolutely, no mistake, did NOT have an orifice.
    The coil installation instructions and Trane Help-line both
    said it SHOULD have an orifice and specified its location.
    We obtained and installed the orifice. Senior tech
    said he did not know how it could have functioned without
    an orifice. We did not ever observe operation of the unit
    prior to the burnout, so we can't say how it functioned,
    good or bad.

    Is the reversing valve replacement likely to bring total success?
    Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central WA
    Posts
    1,650
    Which pipes were hot? Where were your gauges attached?

    Also I have seen a system operate without a piston or txv before. Pressures and temps look like crap but it will cool. There is enough pressure drop across the distributor tubes and through the coil to get refrigeration.

    Sometimes if you get a strong enough magnet you can force that valve to shift. You also might try stopping the fans to get your pressure up and force that valve to seat on its own. I don't know your experience level, but are you familiar with the internals of these valves and how they function?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,051
    Rev valves can be damaged during compressor failure.

    Believe it or not compressor manufacture actually recommends new accumulator and Rev valve on every burn.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern California, foothills.
    Posts
    213
    I had my gauges low-side on suction and high-side on liquid...service valves
    as one would with typical a/c. No, I didn't actually write down the pressures.
    Hot pipes were the top one and the two on the left. The one on the right, I believe
    it went to the evap coil, it was about ambient. I didn't put a thermocouple on any
    of them.

    I've seen a cutaway of reversing valves. I understand they need the pressure to make them
    switch, that the solenoid just opens/closes the little tubes.

    This compressor was a warranty replacment. I didn't talk to Trane but I'm sure our boss
    would have gladly accepted a reversing valve were it offered. The owner was not interested
    in paying for anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.

    So the gauges not budging could be blamed entirely on the reversing valve? The check
    valves are not a concern?

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,335
    Sounds like when you find the problem , you will then know WHY the compressor went bad in the first place ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,755
    You might have some clogged check valves and filter driers if they weren't changed too.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    kansas
    Posts
    145
    A 163s drier how about a bi flow not your main problem however
    Honeywell you can buy better but you cant pay more

    I told my wife when i die to sell my fishing stuff for what its worth not what i told her i paid for it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by georgelass View Post

    This compressor was a warranty replacment. I didn't talk to Trane but I'm sure our boss
    would have gladly accepted a reversing valve were it offered. The owner was not interested
    in paying for anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.
    So the compressor was under warranty but the RV was not? I would have stated in the quote that the RV should be replaced and that a suction line filter drier must be installed at a minimum. Also state several filter drier changes may be needed and after start up that all valves(TXV, check) will be tested for proper operation and recommendations made if replacement is needed.

    No orifice is what caused the compressor failure.

    Good luck, add that suction line filter drier when you replace the reversing valve.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,366
    One of the problems dealing with heat pumps is that there is no way to know if the RV if good without a good running compressor. I got in the habit of whenever a compressor goes bad to tell the customer that there is always a possibility of a bad RV that caused the problem but no way to be sure until the compressor is replaced. There's always other possible causes of the compressor damage but an RV is the one I fear the most.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern California, foothills.
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by crazzycajun View Post
    A 163s drier how about a bi flow not your main problem however
    I thought the 163S was simply the 4-ton, 3/8 inch, sweat, and then it came in
    uni- and bi-flow?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern California, foothills.
    Posts
    213
    I think that if we had our druthers, we would have simply got a new condenser unit rather
    than remove the old copper filter-drier, the reversing valve, maybe the TXV, and the
    compressor. But the owner didn't want to pay for anything but the most basic of labor,
    and we couldn't guarantee him that anything was wrong except the compressor.
    I don't believe he was interested in likelihoods. Our senior tech agreed that the no orifice
    was the likely killer. It did last for eight years without raising any eyebrows.

    Over the years, our company has evidently done a bunch of compressor burnouts
    without having to do the much more expensive suction line filter drier additions and
    removals, and everything worked out fine from most accounts. It is hard to tell
    the customer that they will need all of that extra work a couple of weeks down the
    road so we don't try. Like I said, they have managed thus far even though in an
    ideal world, the recommendation would be otherwise.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,793
    An RV stuck in the middle will cause the head and vapor pressures to be the same while the compressor runs. can also cause the comp to over heat and eventually fail.

    163S is just the size of filter, and sweat connection indication, weather bi flo or not the designation doesn't tell you.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    kansas
    Posts
    145
    I didn't see the hpc in the post i assumed just regular 163 my appologies to the op
    Honeywell you can buy better but you cant pay more

    I told my wife when i die to sell my fishing stuff for what its worth not what i told her i paid for it

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