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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Framingham Ma
    Posts
    41

    GE Zoneline 5000 short compressor runtime

    This unit was not cooling well. The compressor would run for about a minute and then be off for about 5. After removing the unit and cleaning the coils with water and some coil cleaner on the condersor coil, it ran continuously for about half an hour. When I checked on it again it was back to the short compressor run time. There are no access ports. The filter drier was cool. The capillary tubing was sweating and the hot gas line was burning hot. It was in the 80's outside. The discharge air was 51 deg. F into a 73 degree room. It was manufactured May '88. The unit would reverse itself and go into the heat pump mode. I have not worked on heat pumps before. I know that very often you need specific pressures and temperatures as well as superheat and subcooling values to really know what is going on. The amp draw of the unit in cooling was 7.2 and the compressor FLA is 6.9. One leg of the 208 measured 7.0 amps. I suspect that the units amp draw is too low. Has anyone seen this result with an old GE zoneline? Would you recommend soldering on access valves and checking the charge?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southern, CA
    Posts
    520
    My guess would be something broke loose and now you've got a restriction, causing the compressor to cycle on overload. It got better when you cooled the cond coil cleaning it. Its probably switching into heat to defrost itself, because the restriction is also trying to ice the evap coil. Considering its age, forget about the accesses and recommend a replacement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Framingham Ma
    Posts
    41
    Thanks for your input. The compressor did seem very hot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Framingham Ma
    Posts
    41

    Zoneline 5000

    I ran the unit in heat pump mode on a 90 degree day to try to clear up a possible restriction somewhere. It provided plenty of heat and I am assuming it did not resort to auxiliary electric heat. The unit then cooled off the hot room somewhat but stopped providing cool air after about thirty minutes of run time. I could not stay with it while I was at work the whole time. I suppose that if it is restricted in the capillary tubing then refrigerant flows in the same direction regardless of which mode the unit is in either cooling or heating and this would not clear a restriction. This is the first heat pump I have needed to repair. The vent indicator is on all the time even though the vent is manually switched to off under the front panel on the chassis. By the way what effect would it have on a heat pump if the outdoor grill is covered in the winter?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southern, CA
    Posts
    520
    A heat pump does reverse the refrigerant flow, through the coils and liquid line that connects them. It sounds like whatever is stuck may be acting like a check valve, moving out in one direction, plugging it in the other. Or depending on how its piped its running the same, you just haven't noticed the temp of the outdoor coil in cooling. I wouldn't run it long in heat when over 70 outside, heat pumps don't like it much, and you've already got enough problems with it now. Or shall we try for a overtaxed electric run between the breaker panel and the unit?

    Cover the outdoor coil? It will ice up and possibly damage it further. And repairs are likely to be close to or more than a new one, which is why the recommendation for a new one was made.
    Last edited by Coolmaniac; 09-09-2008 at 05:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Framingham Ma
    Posts
    41
    I appreciate your response Coolmaniac. We have been putting a wooden cover over the unit in the winter for number of years. I thought that it would still get enough contact with cold air but it would definitley cut down on the air flow. Cold air has frozen and damaged steam pipes to our through the wall units which have a steam coil above the inside air discharge. We cover many of these units but only two are heat pumps. If there was something I could do to fix the unit such as add some charge then in might not be too expensive. Since the unit does cool well for a period of time it is probably not low on freon. I understand that having an outside contractor come in remove it and fix it and bring it back would be very expensive.

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