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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Advice Needed: Heat Pump Compressor Shuts off for 45 minutes every 4 hours

    Hi, could someone help me with a problem I’m having with a compressor shutting off intermittently. Not getting any straight answers from my contractor. Warranty is about be done, so hoping someone has some ideas.

    - Geonergy GA36 3 ton heat pump, single stage heating + cooling, regular compressor (Not a Scroll) – I believe is same a GeoComfort Systems
    - Auxiliary 10 KW electrical heater, second stage
    - Open loop – circulating water from well, Honeywell actuator opens/closes the valve that circulates water
    - The thermostat sends the signal to turn on the compressor to the actuator, which in turn sends to the heat pump
    - White Rogers Thermostat

    After running the heating for exactly 4 consecutive hours, the compressor shuts off for 5 minutes and then attempts to restart. I can hear the “contactor” shut off at 4 hours exactly (sounds like a spark). Then at 4:05, the “contactor” opens but the compressor stays idle. Only around 40 minutes later the compressor starts again (I don’t hear the “contactor” opening).

    I shot video for 13 consecutive hours with the thermostat setpoint far above the temperature of the house, so it called for heat the whole time. I shut the breaker for the 10KW auxiliary off so it was heating only with the compressor. The compressor shut off every 4 hours. I analyzed the video, see below.

    My understanding is that the compressor should be able to run constantly all day if needed because it is internally cooled by the cool refrigerant that it sucks in to compress.

    13 hours video – Result:
    - Stopped/restarted 3 times:
    o 4:00 hours (idle for 43 minutes)
    o 8:05 hours (idle for 10 minutes)
    o 12:10 hours (idle for 38 minutes)
    - Breaking down the 1st time the compressor stopped at 4 hours:
    o 4 hours: compressor stops
    “Contactor” appears to close (spark sound)
    o 4 hours 5 minutes: compressor attempts to restart
    “Contactor” appears to open (spark sound), compressor does not start
    o 4 hours 43 minutes: compressor restarts
    No sound of “Contactor” opening, compressor starts

    - Replaced Thermostat (formerly a Climatouch – same issue with both thermostats)
    - Replaced Actuator (was faulty once when did not send signal to heat pump)
    - There are no error fault codes in memory on the heat pump (no blinking lights)
    - Thermostat is sending 24 volts to heat pump motherboard (C+Y pins) through the actuator at all times
    - Issue occurs in cooling mode also
    - Issue is not new, has been there since installation
    - The water circulating the open loop is working fine, never had a problem, well is sized properly, good flow
    - Pretty sure the refrigerant charge is OK (heating and cooling effectively), last time guy checked it he said it was good
    - Airflow seems OK, the flow in house is good and I change the filters

    - Geonergy Installation Manual – includes wiring schematic
    - I would have uploaded a 1 minute mp4 video to the thread, but the site said it was an invalid file

    I called the manufacturer and they said it was normal for the unit to shut off for exactly 5 minutes after 4 hours. But it is not normal that it stays shut for 45 minutes. I'm trying to pinpoint further before I do a service call.

    I hope that I’ve provided enough info, I’m not an expert on this stuff. Thanks in advance for your help!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    what did the technician say he checked and okayed or not okayed on the unit?
    It's not if your doing it right it's whether your doing the right thing that is important.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Is this system heating your home or not. That part you left out. You need an experienced technician to go through you system just for maintenance and to see if it is working correctly, which it very well could be.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    This is for my home, sorry forgot to mention that.

    The technician did not say anything last time was over, since was so intermittent had no idea whether it was a problem. This only happens when it is cold enough outside so that the compressor runs for 4 hours without setting off the 2nd stage auxilliary and does not heat the house to the Thermostat set point.

    It happened enough that I finally set up a video camera to see what was going on. My experience with the contractor was pretty bad. I would prefer to line up my ducks before calling them again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Then call another contractor and speak to the service manager or technician about the problems you are having first before they come over. If they are interested enought to take the time to talk to you then they could be the company that looks into your system from front to back.

    They need to check the working of the entire systems including pressures, temperatures, voltages at certain points which will tell them what is going on inside of your system. From that point they can find out if there exists a problem.

    None of us are there to do those tests and that is what needs to be done first and foremost.

    Let us know the results.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Finally figured out the problem. FYI the Geonergy heat pump is a rebranded Climatemaster unit distributed in Canada.

    The electronic card in the Heat Pump shuts off the compressor for 5 minutes after 4 hours continuous use. This is normal according to the distrbutor. That is why the compressor shut-off at 4:00, 8:05, 12:10 hours/minutes and attempted to restart 5 minuates later.

    The compressor is a Copeland that has a thermal protection against internal overheating. The Geonergy distributor put an insulated sound blanket over the compressor, causing heat to build up and tripping the switch. Once I took the sound blanket off, the compressor started normally.

    One thing I did not understand is why the compressor only delayed starting up but did not actually shut down when overheating. I had some back and forth with Copeland customer support and they said that it is working normally. They mentioned something about inrush current but I did not quite understand. Anyways just care it is working well.

    Glad this is finally solved!

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