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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    19

    Question Carrier Infinity shuts down for hours when power goes out temporarily

    We have a Carrier Infinity, installed less than a year ago. EVERY time the power goes out, the unit shuts down for hours, sometimes a whole day. The display says "system malfunction." The error code is usually "contactor short." Yesterday it was "high pressure switch open." The contactor has been replaced twice, although it probably wasn't necessary either time, because by the time the tech got here, the unit was functioning again. He replaced it anyway, because of the error message, which seems logical, even though the unit was then fine. Today we had another thunderstorm and the power went out for a few seconds. The Carrier service rep told us this morning NOT to flip the circuit breaker, just to leave it, as to avoid a lockout. After waiting 4 hours, we decided to flip the circuit breaker anyway, since in the past, that is the only thing that seemed to reset the system. When we flipped the circuit back on, the error message was gone AND the unit came back on! This does not work right away, only after several hours, which is why I think there must be some internal lockout timer. Two techs have been out MANY times and can not duplicate any issue. If we just leave the system on when the power goes out, the fan stays on. The air is warm of course, so we end up turning the system off on the control panel. In addition, after we wait a while, we end up flipping the circuit breaker. The system then runs beautifully (after a 3 or 4 hour wait), until we have another thunderstorm. So, we have tried both just leaving it and waiting for it to reset on its own (like Carrier and the dealer said), and we have tried to "force" a reset by flipping the breaker. I do not think it is a contactor, unless it is possible that we need a stronger one, as one tech recommended. Is that likely? IS THERE AN INTERNAL LOCKOUT (other than the keypad lockout)? IF SO, HOW DO YOU RESET IT and WHAT WOULD CAUSE THE SYSTEM NOT TO RECOVER WHEN THE POWER FAILS FOR A FEW SECONDS? Isn't a properly running unit designed to withstand a BRIEF power outage? We have a surge protector from our utility company on our main line. Could this create a problem? The utility company engineer says not. Could this be a software issue with the Infinity controller? All settings appear to be correct on the control panel. Any info I could share with our tech would be appreciated. He is competent, but may not be as familiar with the Infinity system, as he has only worked on a few of them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    CA-Bay area
    Posts
    5
    It could very well be a software issue. Your A/C sytem is designed to lockout for a period of time when power is interupted to save the compressor from having to start up while system pressures are high, but it will usually re-set with-in an hour or so. And it's not unusual for a tech to not be familiar with the infinity system, there just aren't that many sold. I've worked on A/C systems for 18 years, and have installed less than twenty. It may be time to get carrier national involved to find out what is happening, because these conditions are not common.

  3. #3
    I knowing about the details of the Carrier control boards only basic understanding of the HVAC systems in general.

    But I have designed control board with microprocessors for industrial purposes. And some time they can be confused with a surge or very short drop in power. And that sounds like what might be going on here.

    I don't understand why, but people have been know to get upset when the control for a whole line of newspaper printing presses lock up in the middle of a run. It is not like they have a deadline <G>.

    Or they make a couple of miles of duck tape with out any adhesive.

    A Whole House surge arrestor, installed at the main panel by and electrician and verification of the ground electrode system (grounds rods) might help this, but no guarantees.

    And fixes for the board included change in the low voltage inhibit circuits, watch dog timers, and self testing rebooting.

    But this is all speculation. I don't even know what kind of control board that you have.

    But if my speculation is correct then Carrier tech and also the engineering departnment need to be involved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    74
    We had a similar lock out happen to our new Bryant evolution (carrier infinity)system after the power went out for just a second. The code was 74- no 230v to compressor. After calling the company they told me it is normal, the system goes into a self protecting shut down mode and to reset the system just turn the power off at furnace for a few minutes then back on again. Everything is back to normal now, but Im wondering do I have to do this every time the power goes out for a second.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19
    Thanks! We have done that, but unfortunately, it does not reset for several hours, and usually not until we flip the breaker. Once we do that, it still takes hours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by mdawgy View Post
    It could very well be a software issue. Your A/C sytem is designed to lockout for a period of time when power is interupted to save the compressor from having to start up while system pressures are high, but it will usually re-set with-in an hour or so. And it's not unusual for a tech to not be familiar with the infinity system, there just aren't that many sold. I've worked on A/C systems for 18 years, and have installed less than twenty. It may be time to get carrier national involved to find out what is happening, because these conditions are not common.
    THANK YOU! We hope to get Carrier out here next week.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    196
    If it's conclusively resolved to be a power quality issue and nothing else resolves the problem, then you could put all your Infinity equipment behind an uninterruptable power supply. It'll cost serious money, but there are a number of ways to make even air conditioner sized loads virtually immune to power glitches.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    I have the Infinity, and earlier this year we had the power company working on the lines out in the front of our house cutting the power off several times thru out there time while working on the lines and I never experienced anything like your describing..... When the power was turned back on after a brief interupt in the power supply the furnace would start running within several minutes, and the only error codes showing up on the controller would be the one saying the power was lost which ever that one is. It also didn't matter if I cut the power at the panel, the furnace itself, or if the power was lost due to a power surge from lightening, the furnace would resume on it's own within minutes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by DanW13 View Post
    I have the Infinity, and earlier this year we had the power company working on the lines out in the front of our house cutting the power off several times thru out there time while working on the lines and I never experienced anything like your describing..... When the power was turned back on after a brief interupt in the power supply the furnace would start running within several minutes, and the only error codes showing up on the controller would be the one saying the power was lost which ever that one is. It also didn't matter if I cut the power at the panel, the furnace itself, or if the power was lost due to a power surge from lightening, the furnace would resume on it's own within minutes.
    Thanks so much. That is very helpful information, as we are also trying to rule out any main line power issues. Our utility company is in the process of replacing some lines, but sounds like that should not affect it. Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Feet View Post
    If it's conclusively resolved to be a power quality issue and nothing else resolves the problem, then you could put all your Infinity equipment behind an uninterruptable power supply. It'll cost serious money, but there are a number of ways to make even air conditioner sized loads virtually immune to power glitches.
    Thanks. We would like to avoid that, as you said, it would be costly. We thought that with such a nice system, we would not have these issues. Hopefully Carrier wil figure something out!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by force1 View Post
    We had a similar lock out happen to our new Bryant evolution (carrier infinity)system after the power went out for just a second. The code was 74- no 230v to compressor. After calling the company they told me it is normal, the system goes into a self protecting shut down mode and to reset the system just turn the power off at furnace for a few minutes then back on again. Everything is back to normal now, but Im wondering do I have to do this every time the power goes out for a second.
    Thanks! We have done that, but unfortunately, it does not reset for several hours, and usually not until we flip the breaker. Once we do that, it still takes hours.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    I should also note that I did not mess with my Breakers, or the power switch at the furnace. When or if the power did go out I left everything as it was and when power was resumed it simply turned back on with out incident. Also when turn the breaker off that powered the furnace the same is true, that when I flipped the breaker back on there were no issues.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by astone View Post
    Thanks. We would like to avoid that, as you said, it would be costly. We thought that with such a nice system, we would not have these issues. Hopefully Carrier wil figure something out!
    Do forget my idea of getting a whole house surge protector and verifying the ground electrode system. It should not be too expensive. Some power companies provide them for a $5-8/month fee and also warrant any equipment damaged by surges. And with digital controls in refigerators, microwaved, washers, and TV's, satelite receiver, home theater and dozen of other things it is might not be a bad idea.

    That can help with it is a surge problem. But not if it is a quick drop out problem. On longer off times all voltage go to zero and everything stop. And when power returns to start fresh.

    But it the power briefly drops it can reach a point where it can run right, but not low enough to for the circuit to force it to restart. It is not suppose to do that but some the tolerance on the parts cause this and the design needs to be tweaked.

    And it should be possible to make a few changes in the unit wiring to separate the power to the control power from that to the compressor and power the control board with a $99 computer UPS.

    But that is far from standard and it will require a tech that is willing to go off the beaten path to try.

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