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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    33

    RHEEM Heat Pump and squealing noise

    Hello All, I got some good advice here in this forum a couple of years ago so I'm back with a new problem. The problem is with our 2 year old heat pump squealing when it first starts up in cold weather. The AC unit does not make this noise, just the HP. Has anyone heard of a problem like this? The noise is more common and louder when the weather is colder, and also more common at night, but does happen in daytime on cold days. It also doesn't happen if we cycle it off and on quickly, like we recently tried when service man was here.

    We had this unit installed new in spring 2006 and it is a RHEEM 3 ton 14 SEER HP/AC. It has always made the noice but I'm an idiot and thought they all did that. (Had a BAD gas furnace previously and was so thankful to have that thing out of here that I didn't really care about anything except that I now knew that I would not die blowing up in this house with that gas furnace)

    Anyway, we didn't notice the squealing in 2006 because there wasn't any really cold weather after it was installed. Then noticed the squealing on the really cold nights last winter and asked the installer about it when he was out for annual visit, and he said he knew what it was and to let him know if it continued this winter and he would replace the part that was causing this. Well, it did have the squealing characteristic this winter and we finally called and one of the fellas came out to check it out. The initial installer thought that the problem was something with the fan but the service rep that visited did not think that was it. But he did find an old hose from the old gas furnace caught in the bottom door of the HP. It has probably been stuck in there since initial installation. He thought that hose being in there was what causing the squealing and so all was fine for a couple of nights after that, and then we noticed the squealing again.

    And the service folks only get one opportunity to hear the squeal when they come out, and that is the first time we kick it on. After that no squeal. And they are coming tomorrow again, but it is not squealing today because the temps are in the 40's and 50's, so probably won't squeal tomorrow either. He still wants to come anyway.

    And this noise sounds like a valve or something squealing under pressure. Sometimes the noise is just one continuous squeal and sometimes it changes octave or whatever as it squeals along. Most of the time the squeal lasts for about 5 seconds or so, but in really cold weather it can go on for twice that long or more. And, most of the time it seems like the squeal ends abruptly. (just like a valve finally gets open)

    Any ideas appreciated. Unless a different service rep is coming this time, the last guy was stumped. And, since it will probably not do it tomorrow I don't think we will get a solution. I even tape recorded the squealing so they could listen to that but I know that will not be useful.

    Lynnie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    Is the noise coming from inside or outside? It sounds like a txv may be the problem.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    33
    The noise is inside. That is the same question the service folks asked before they came out. Then I let them hear the squeal over the phone and they regrouped and decided to visit before ordering anything.

  4. #4

    Squealing heat pump

    If it's the kind of noise that can actually wake you up at night ...I've got one of those too! I put mine in in 96 and it was a 1-1/2 ton - PGB series unit. As a contractor I've had a couple of my installations do the same thing. Sounds like a big dying pig!!! I believe it is the outdoor TXV creating the noise as this is the only refrigerant restriction in the heating mode. This noise is transmitted up the liquid line and can scare you if you don't know what it is. I'm going to change mine out this year to see if it makes a difference. Will post results. Also make sure charge is right ( these Rheem-Ruud units have critical heating charges but not critical cooling charges). Will also ask my Rheem tech rep and post his response. Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Float'N Vally, MS
    Posts
    1,877
    You really need to push your installer on the warrenty issue, since it has been doing this since day one. That being said I have seen a loose piece of tape (and a somewhat dirty filter) do this. Change the filter before the serviceman comes out and there is no noise. But you said this only does this on the heating cycle. You said it sounds like a pig not an aquarian pump so that should point to air flow or refrigerant flow. Since the serviceman ruled out airflow problems he needs to look further into the refrigerant cycle.

    Sorry I couldn't help more, but this is a problem where you need feet on the ground. Also it sounds like this is an annoyance not a no heat problem, but still a problem.
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    54
    Had a coworker with same problem on a Rheem only in winter/heating. Rheem District Tech Rep came out and assisted the service company. It was recommended to triple evacuate the system and then weigh in the charge. This was done and the problem has stayed away. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    33
    Thank all for your replies. Yes Ductman it can wake us up at night and it does sound like a dying pig. And, I re-confirmed with myself this morning that it does end abruptly. (I'm spending way too much time listening to this noise.) The service man was out 2 days ago when temp was in the 50's aaaand, no noise. But he took my tape recordings.

    would it be further diagnostic to see if I hear the noise at the outside unit also? I've never been out there specifically to listen but I think in the past that I have been outside and heard the inside noise from out there, but the noise was only happening inside.

    I don't know what the TXV is? Is that the outside unit? Or the refrigerant?

    We change out the air filter a lot. My husband is retired Env Health and Safety and he dates the things and all that. And, being the loving wife that I am, I ride his butt if I notice the date is a bit old.

    At this point the service folks are going to check with their Rheem rep. So we're hoping for a solution from them. And, this service company that installed sold to a new owner last fall, but the original owner is still involved somewhat. I think we would still have the warranty with Rheem regardless of that but I'm not sure Rheem will honor working on a squealing noise.

    And yes, we always have heat, and the noise only happens when it starts up and then stops. But it sure is loud. And, over time I can't image that whatever is causing the noise could be good for the furnace.

    Also, not even a hint of this noise from the AC, neither inside or out. And I think that the AC is just the heat working in reverse. But the noise only happens when it is fairly cold outside, so the heat comes on plenty of times when weather is mild without the noise, and it is not cold outside when we are running the AC. So it must be something that is related to being expanded or contracted due to outside temperature?

    I read some negative Rheem posts on this site the other night. That was scary.

    Here's hoping everyone has a nice day. Thanks again for the info.

    Lynnie

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