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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    32

    Heat pump compressor keeps failing

    Hi, I had two Weather King 2.5 ton heat pumps with electric heat strips installed a little over 2 years ago. About 3 months ago the upstairs heat pump breaker flipped and the compressor wouldn't turn on.
    I had someone replace the compressor and everything seemed fine until about a month ago when the upstairs breaker flipped again and the compressor wouldn't start.

    Today I had a different tech have a look and he said the compressor is bad again. He recommended I have an electrician look at the wiring to make sure there aren't any problems before he installs a new compressor or he's afraid it will fail again shortly.
    The downstairs unit has been fine for over two years.

    Do you guys have any ideas?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,359
    Why are they failing? This has to be answered first.

    WAG something’s wrong with the installation. Find another contractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Why are they failing? This has to be answered first.

    WAG something’s wrong with the installation. Find another contractor.
    I hear you. I just paid $ just for the tech to tell me to get an electrician. Now should I pay another HVAC tech just to tell me the same thing maybe? I find the last guy more reliable since he turned down a $+ compressor replacement job from his quote. He also recommended I call Rheem but they won't do anything of course since the contractors are responsible.

    For what it's worth the power company has been doing work on our block the last few months. They've installed a huge pole with what looks like quite a few large transformers. The first contractor said a surge over so many minutes could ruin the compressor. The second contractor said the power issue was a possibility but need an electrician to verify.
    Last edited by beenthere; 12-27-2013 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Prices

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    32
    The last contractor also said the supply wiring looked like it may be a little undersized. It looks like the standard 3 wire white jacketed home wiring. I think they reused it when going from the two 2 ton air conditioners (gas heat) to the two 2.5 ton heat pumps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Springville, NY
    Posts
    3,865
    what does the breaker size say, what does the wiring jacket print say, what does the condenser rating plate say for breaker size/amps?
    Political Correctness, the language of wussies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC_Marc View Post
    what does the breaker size say, what does the wiring jacket print say, what does the condenser rating plate say for breaker size/amps?
    The breakers are 20A on each leg so 40A total for each pump. I'll have to check the wire gauge and condenser rating and get back to you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Springville, NY
    Posts
    3,865
    you may have 2 separate breakers but the total is still only 20.
    Political Correctness, the language of wussies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,062
    Quote Originally Posted by sqwerl View Post
    The breakers are 20A on each leg so 40A total for each pump. I'll have to check the wire gauge and condenser rating and get back to you.
    Take a picture of the outdoor unit nameplate and the wiring at the disconnect going to the unit showing the wire type. Also the circuit breakers in the panel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,855
    The failure(s) could be related to poor installation practices. Improper charging, improper evacuation, poor oil return, contaminated refrigerant, mismatched equipment the list goes on. You need to determine what is killing the compressors in "this" system.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,793
    Okay. So you had 2-2 ton A/Cs. Then someone installed 2-2.5 ton heat pumps. Did they ever check to see if the duct work was big enough for the 2.5 ton heat pumps.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,618
    Oh....wait....YOU DON'T ADD THE BREAKER SIZE TOGETHER TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH POWER IS FED TO THE UNIT. Two 20A breakers does not equal 40amps. Sounds to me like you've got the main feed wire undersized to each heat pump and yes this could cause premature compressor failure. Especially if the failure unit is much further from the breaker box!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    32
    See if you can see these attachments. The 4x20A breakers are for the heat pumps. The two wires running outside best I can read say 12/2 W/G 600V UL. That's the only useful numbers I can find. Sounds to me like common household 12 gauge wiring and TOO SMALL.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    1,537
    Quote Originally Posted by heaterman View Post
    The failure(s) could be related to poor installation practices. Improper charging, improper evacuation, poor oil return, contaminated refrigerant, mismatched equipment the list goes on. You need to determine what is killing the compressors in "this" system.
    Agreed! You need to find a Company that can give you a answer to the question. What's killing the compressor? Without that you wil be spending $$$ to replace just to have it go fail again!

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