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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7

    Trane XV80 Constantly Freezing

    Hello,

    I had this Trane put in about 6-7 years ago. It cost nearly $, I think about a 4.5 ton system. I've had freeze ups on this baby since the very first year. I have repairmen come out every single year to address it. Every time they find something, I think, finally, it will be fixed. Then, it freezes up again.

    I get a block of ice that is sometimes nearly 3 inches thick covering the entire coil after a day of cooling. The repairmen have checked freon multiple times, filled it, and it still does the same thing.

    I've read a number of posts but they seem to point toward the same things, lack of freon, draining, filter issues. I really would like this thing fixed, once and for all.

    Any ideas? I'm waiting again for the repairman to come hopefully today.

    Thanks,
    Eric
    Last edited by beenthere; 07-15-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,520
    "IF" they fill it, it has a leak. "IF" it has a leak it will continue to be a problem till the leak is fixed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    Well, last year they did in fact find a leak. A piece of tubing near the compressor outside had a leak. They replaced, filled and still continues to freeze. But, I understand what you say below.

    When they found the leak, I thought, great my troubles are finally over. Not so true.

    Eric

    Quote Originally Posted by kls-ccc View Post
    "IF" they fill it, it has a leak. "IF" it has a leak it will continue to be a problem till the leak is fixed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,520
    Freeze ups are generally caused by lack of refrigerant to the evaporator or low air flow. Now, there are many problems that fall under these two categories, and the are not mutually exclusive, meaning you can have a combination of several of these problems.

    The XV80 has a variable speed motor so if it is set up properly that should pretty much eliminates air flow problems.

    You say you think it is 4.5 ton. Trane does not make a 4.5 ton, it is either 4 or 5 ton. Post model numbers of the equipment and we can tell what size it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    Thanks. I'm sure you are correct. I just recall, I had a 2.5 ton before which was way under what the house needed. You may ask why, I am not entirely sure since I bought the home that way but my guess is, with an extension added to the home, they did not also update the AC unit. When I had it put in, I also had them run vents to the extended area (flexible tubing beneath the floor of extended area). All in all, the house has never cooled to what I think it should. As a result, I've had a wall unit installed in the extended area, plus 2 other units on second floor. This is a 1958 Cape Cod home. Probably way more than you need to know....but FYI.

    It was estimated that I would need 4.5 tons, so, since I can't tell, it's probably a 5.

    I'm am aware of the variable speed fan. In fact, it went out last year and had to have it replaced. I know there was a delay because when the AC folks received the motor, it had to be programmed. There is definitely a noticeable "ramping up and down" while it works.

    Eric

    Quote Originally Posted by kls-ccc View Post
    Freeze ups are generally caused by lack of refrigerant to the evaporator or low air flow. Now, there are many problems that fall under these two categories, and the are not mutually exclusive, meaning you can have a combination of several of these problems.

    The XV80 has a variable speed motor so if it is set up properly that should pretty much eliminates air flow problems.

    You say you think it is 4.5 ton. Trane does not make a 4.5 ton, it is either 4 or 5 ton. Post model numbers of the equipment and we can tell what size it is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    Quote Originally Posted by kirkeric View Post
    Thanks. I'm sure you are correct. I just recall, I had a 2.5 ton before which was way under what the house needed. You may ask why, I am not entirely sure since I bought the home that way but my guess is, with an extension added to the home, they did not also update the AC unit. When I had it put in, I also had them run vents to the extended area (flexible tubing beneath the floor of extended area). All in all, the house has never cooled to what I think it should. As a result, I've had a wall unit installed in the extended area, plus 2 other units on second floor. This is a 1958 Cape Cod home. Probably way more than you need to know....but FYI.

    It was estimated that I would need 4.5 tons, so, since I can't tell, it's probably a 5.

    I'm am aware of the variable speed fan. In fact, it went out last year and had to have it replaced. I know there was a delay because when the AC folks received the motor, it had to be programmed. There is definitely a noticeable "ramping up and down" while it works.

    Eric
    If the existing duct was not upsized to accomodate the jump from 2.5 to 5 tons, this may be the source of your freezing problem. I say this even with your included info about additonal ducting added to accomodate the add-on living space.

    Why? Because if whoever added duct to an existing duct that was sized for 2.5 tons, that is nowhere near the same as removing the 2.5 ton sized duct and putting in duct sized for the total area to be served by the larger unit. Think about it like this. Take a soda straw and blow on it. Now jam another soda straw of the same size onto the end of the first one and blow through both of them. Did it become more difficult to move air through both? Of course.

    Now imagine that the first soda straw is larger in diamter than the second one. Blow through both of those. It will probably be easier than the two smaller straws. You will also feel more air emerging from the end of the second straw. This is because the first straw offers less pressure drop to the air before it gets to the second straw.

    That you lost an ECM motor since the system was installed tells a lot. Unless it was due to power surge or lightning, it was more likely due to it trying to overcome the resistance of an undersized duct system. OEM ECM motors are commonly programmed to maintain a constant RPM. If static pressure is higher than it should be for the blower wheel attached to the ECM motor, the motor will ramp up to compensate. As it does it will use more power, and it will run hotter. If the ducts are bad it will over time cook the motor, and the motor (most commonly the module) burns out.

    I think your ducts are your culprit for the freeze-ups.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    Well, this is very interesting. There was some small modification to the duct work but certainly not throughout the house. Particularly the old stuff going to the second floor. Now, keep in mind, the second floor never amounted to but a dribble of airflow (thus the reason for adding wall unit). Also, the added duct work is just a small dribble of air.

    Understand what you are saying, the system working harder with the resistance. Although, it seems I would get a blast of air. Hmm. The main vents in the home seem to have a good quality of thrust. For some reason yesterday it was blowing harder.

    So let me ask, would there be much impact if I close off the vent to the extended area? They did install a couple vent controls in the duct work to adjust the air flow.

    Or, are you saying that even if it were pushing air thru the 2.5 ton duct work alone, it would continue to struggle?

    Thanks,
    Eric

    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    If the existing duct was not upsized to accomodate the jump from 2.5 to 5 tons, this may be the source of your freezing problem. I say this even with your included info about additonal ducting added to accomodate the add-on living space.

    Why? Because if whoever added duct to an existing duct that was sized for 2.5 tons, that is nowhere near the same as removing the 2.5 ton sized duct and putting in duct sized for the total area to be served by the larger unit. Think about it like this. Take a soda straw and blow on it. Now jam another soda straw of the same size onto the end of the first one and blow through both of them. Did it become more difficult to move air through both? Of course.

    Now imagine that the first soda straw is larger in diamter than the second one. Blow through both of those. It will probably be easier than the two smaller straws. You will also feel more air emerging from the end of the second straw. This is because the first straw offers less pressure drop to the air before it gets to the second straw.

    That you lost an ECM motor since the system was installed tells a lot. Unless it was due to power surge or lightning, it was more likely due to it trying to overcome the resistance of an undersized duct system. OEM ECM motors are commonly programmed to maintain a constant RPM. If static pressure is higher than it should be for the blower wheel attached to the ECM motor, the motor will ramp up to compensate. As it does it will use more power, and it will run hotter. If the ducts are bad it will over time cook the motor, and the motor (most commonly the module) burns out.

    I think your ducts are your culprit for the freeze-ups.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    Quote Originally Posted by kirkeric View Post
    Or, are you saying that even if it were pushing air thru the 2.5 ton duct work alone, it would continue to struggle?

    Thanks,
    Eric
    It will likely continue to struggle because the 2.5 ton ductwork is getting air from a 5 ton air handler. THAT is the problem I see based on what you've posted so far.

    "Dribble of air" does not sound encouraging to me for the distant zones. That you have added separate cooling units to these rooms doubles the evidence that there is not enough total air movement through the original and addional ductwork to satisfy the volume air requirements of your air handler/furnace. If the ducts were sized correctly for the entire house, including the extended areas, you would not need the separate cooling units at all.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,040
    If I may suggest something. Read what you've posted and think about what you've read in this forum about AC problems and what are the common remarks by the pros.

    You've had constant issues with the system from basically day one. Three potential reasons jump out as the root causes. #1) And this one covers a lot of different things........ the original installer either didn't know what they were doing or didn't care, a sale is a sale. #2) Somehow all of the subsequent service people you've had out to fix or look at your system are for whatever reason not identifying the real/bottom line issue(s) and are just there to put a band-aide on it, get paid and move onto the next call. #3) You're the unluckiest person alive to have constantly had issue after issue with your system.

    My signature line below my post I think sums up your problem.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    All,

    Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm sure that's the source. I did however in looking at the main vent exiting the unit and the damn thing was only 1/4 way open. So, I've opened it up. That said, I appreciate all the help.

    Eric

    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    It will likely continue to struggle because the 2.5 ton ductwork is getting air from a 5 ton air handler. THAT is the problem I see based on what you've posted so far.

    "Dribble of air" does not sound encouraging to me for the distant zones. That you have added separate cooling units to these rooms doubles the evidence that there is not enough total air movement through the original and addional ductwork to satisfy the volume air requirements of your air handler/furnace. If the ducts were sized correctly for the entire house, including the extended areas, you would not need the separate cooling units at all.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    Quote Originally Posted by kirkeric View Post
    All,

    Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm sure that's the source. I did however in looking at the main vent exiting the unit and the damn thing was only 1/4 way open. So, I've opened it up. That said, I appreciate all the help.

    Eric
    I take it you opened up a damper. I know you just did this, but has it helped improve air flow in the "dribble" zones?
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7
    Yep,

    that's what I meant, the damper. A noticeable airflow change. I wouldn't say significant but probably easier on the machine.

    Eric

    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    I take it you opened up a damper. I know you just did this, but has it helped improve air flow in the "dribble" zones?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    2,520
    Is the blower quieter now? As said by others if the duct is restricted that motor will run itself to death trying to move enough air which makes the system noisy.

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