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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    7

    Goodman 2 stage unit performance issues

    In spring 2011 I had two Goodman Model DSCZ160241 2 Stage / 2 Ton compressor units, paired with two Goodman Model AEPF183016: 2 Ton variable speed indoor air handlers installed in my home (2,000 sqft townhouse). Electric heat pumps.

    I am constantly getting ‘Compressor Locked Rotor’ codes on the compressor units. However, even when the units are working, I’m not getting anything that feels like warm air out of the registers (unless the aux heat kicks in, which is does constantly, even at mild temperatures). I’m getting some heat differential out of them, but to the skin it feels like wind-chill, not heat. That doesn’t seem right to me.

    My question is (when the compressors are actually working) are the following performance numbers normal for a system like this?

    Outside Air Temp: 45 degrees
    Inside Air Temp (intake): 72
    Air Temp at register: 81
    Insulated Line Temp: 88

    Outside Air Temp: 37
    Inside Air Temp: 72
    Air Temp at Register: 77
    Insulated Line Temp: 85

    Additional Background:

    The units have been trouble since installation, but the installer kept insisting they were working as intended or it was just the insulation in my house. Finally when a $650 electric bill rolled in, I climbed up on the roof and found out that both of my units were actually coding 'compressor locked rotor' and the compressors were completely nonfunctional, and I was working off of 100% aux heat.

    That began a dozen trips from the installer to tweak the charge or tell me to just turn the breaker on and off to reset the system when the compressors locked up. My electric bills continued to be just as high as they were when I had two 25 year old units ($600-$700/mo Nov-Feb). My systems never turn off and even when it’s 55 degrees outside, I’m only getting heat when it (frequently) switches to auxiliary heat.

    I finally had a third party come in and do a wire-by-wire review of the install and they found all sorts of things wrong with it: the thermal expansion valves installed on the system were incorrect (for a system twice its size), the system was wired as a 1 stage, the air handler speed was way too high and the thermostats were programmed for a different kind of system and the 'drier filters' were installed on the outside instead of the inside. I had everything confirmed by the Goodman regional tech who came out and worked with the third party I hired.

    The goodman tech & the third party fixed everything except the thermal expansion valve and the drier filters. The installer came out and fixed those last two items.

    Unfortunately, the compressor locked rotors are back on one of my units and I'm getting the performance numbers listed above on the one system that is working (air is cold to the skin, insulated pipe is luke-warm/cool to touch).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7
    Also, thanks in advance for any advice/insight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,169
    Hate to say this... the management of this site does not allow specific DIY information to be posted... liability issues you know.

    If you have a third party person who seems to know what they are doing... I suggest you hire them to find and repair the issue.

    This sounds like a DIY Goodman install (we see lots of those). Honestly some folks think they can do this just by reading a manual. A number of us PRO's tend to make a tidy living bailing them out...
    Get a Pro... you may save yourself replacing (at your expense) the equipment if it was not purchased and installed by a licensed Pro in your are. Goodman website says no warranty unless done by Pro's.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7
    The installation was done for $$$$$ by an HVAC contractor licensed in Washington DC, (at the time was a 2011 angies list service award winner), with all appropriate permits pulled.

    The units are fully warranted, the Goodman regional tech has been to my house twice, and even picked up the labor for one of the third party (also licensed in DC) visits and provided the replacement thermal expansion valves.

    Hopefully that puts the 'DIY' issue to rest.

    Pricing isn't allowed
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 03-11-2013 at 05:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,663
    Locked rotor sounds like charging or non combustible issues or maybe even restriction issues. Did you have the airflow checked this could also create high pressure situations in heat mode. You probably are suffering from some ductwork and return issues just for starters on these units, good luck, let us know what happends.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7
    The installers are out again today, talking with goodman trying to figure things out. First floor unit is non-operational with the same compressor locked rotor. On the one that is 'working', I'm only getting a 10 degree heat rise with 50 degree outdoor temp. Just looking at other HVAC threads, that kind of a heat rise is more typical of a 10-15 degree outside temp.

    I'm trying to get some outside outside perspective here, this has been a 2 year saga with this install. I've taken 6 days off of work this year alone for service calls.

    I did have the airflow checked when the third party did their review - the dip switches were all wrong on the air handler and it was crushing out twice as much air as it should have been. They adjusted that, and the goodman regional tech confirmed the setting. They're tweaking the charge for the millionth time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,169
    I will take your word on this... your site name does raise some issues in my mind. Understand we have a LOT of DIY folks come in here trying every line they can to get tech information. One of the largest loss issues in the industry is DIY folks who screw up equipment.

    Sounds to me like Angie's list did not do you very well. I have always wondered about going to a website for a referral... seems to me friends/family are the better place to get a referral...

    My advise: Ask the Goodman tech rep to find you a Goodman approved contractor to fix your issues... and make them (Goodman) pay for it.

    Side note: IMO the good thing from this is Goodman will know the contractors in the area who do bad work.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,663
    Quote Originally Posted by DIYDC View Post
    The installers are out again today, talking with goodman trying to figure things out. First floor unit is non-operational with the same compressor locked rotor. On the one that is 'working', I'm only getting a 10 degree heat rise with 50 degree outdoor temp. Just looking at other HVAC threads, that kind of a heat rise is more typical of a 10-15 degree outside temp.

    I'm trying to get some outside outside perspective here, this has been a 2 year saga with this install. I've taken 6 days off of work this year alone for service calls.

    I did have the airflow checked when the third party did their review - the dip switches were all wrong on the air handler and it was crushing out twice as much air as it should have been. They adjusted that, and the goodman regional tech confirmed the setting. They're tweaking the charge for the millionth time.
    Checking dip switches is one thing but what about your actual airflow as in return and supply inch water column? Your total cfm and static pressure.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by toocoolforschool View Post
    Checking dip switches is one thing but what about your actual airflow as in return and supply inch water column? Your total cfm and static pressure.
    Thanks, I don't even know what that stuff means, but I will ask about that. I know they did a load calculation or whatever they do to plan the ductwork.

    But just so i'm clear on the fundamental operation of my heat pump - if I'm only seeing an 11 degree heat rise on a 50 degree day (right now), the system probably isn't functioning correctly. Moreover, should my aux heat be coming on at all (let alone constantly) on a 50 degree day on a 16 SEER system?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
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    You should have at least a twenty degree heat rise, I can't give you specifics though. It is obvious your system is malfunctioning just by your electric bill alone.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    21,169
    Quote Originally Posted by toocoolforschool View Post
    You should have at least a twenty degree heat rise, I can't give you specifics though. It is obvious your system is malfunctioning just by your electric bill alone.
    Mostly agree with this... in practice if the ductwork is not right some systems are more like 17-18 D temp rise. Measure this at the unit, rather than at supply and return vents.
    And no, if the outdoor temp is more or less 40-ish or above (depending on lots of things), including temp spread between T-stat and actual indoor temp (HP's tend to go into elec when the spread is wide... including if one tries to use a programmable stat and do recoveries of more than 2-3 D) you should use HP heat and not elec heat.

    Get someone to do a TESP test (total external static pressure). If they do not know what that is... well some of us at H-talk would wonder if they are qualified to do this work.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    Probably over charged.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7
    They worked on the systems for a few hours. The upstairs system, which was working but not well, is now working a bit better. They said it was overcharged.

    The compressor unit on the downstairs system, which wasn't working, is totally shot apparently. They are going to replace the entire unit under warranty (approved by Goodman), and the labor is all covered under my two year installers warranty.

    I'm a little worried about the one compressor burning out after less than two years, since the remaining one was set up in the exact same improper way. Hopefully the usable life of that one hasn't been decreased, and the systems will finally work as intended.

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