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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    11

    Question Heat Pump - Fix or Replace

    Hello,

    I have a 12 year old Trane XL-1400 heat pump. The outside unit is a TWY036A100A3. Up until recently it has worked well. Maintained twice a year. Maintenance history: changed a relay in the air handler a few years ago (aux heat), new TXV last year. More recently failed a fan thermostatic relay in the outside unit that controls the 2-speed fan. For a few hours, the compressor would come on along with the fan but the fan would turn off in a minute or so. Compressor would struggle and then turn off. I assume it may have repeated the cycle once the thermal interlock reset. No more than 3 hours of this before I noticed the failure. See my other thread for details.

    About two weeks later, the crankcase heater failed (shorted to ground). Popped the 40 amp fuse in the outdoor box. Serviceman disconnected the crank heater from the 240 line for now.

    My serviceman is still waiting on parts from the factory to fix the fan control. He wire around the faulty relay to keep my a/c running on one fan speed.

    Looking for advice from those of you who work on these systems every day. Is the Trane nearing end of life? Is the couple hours strain on the compressor during the fan failure something to worry about? Should I fix the known problems including the crankcase heater and press on, or start to think about a full system replacement this fall?

    OBTW, for what its worth... the outside unit is under a tall (10+ ft ) deck open on all three sides, so it's been protected from direct sun, rain and snow but has good airflow around it.

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,299
    That may still be the American compressor at that age. Probably has a few years left in it. Crankcase heater failures are very common and not a big deal. I'd just leave the fan wired on 1 speed anyway.

    As for running without the fan, I've fixed the Tranes on both sides of me due to fan failures and they ran longer than that before I got them shut down. Actually the guy beside me called and pointed out that his neighbor's machine was making a funny noise. We went to his house and asked if he noticed it getting warm. He said he was just getting suspicious. This was several years ago, both are 20+ years old going strong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    Fix her up. Little things like those are like buying a new battery or tires for the car. When the engine,ie compressor, dies then you think replacement vs repair.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,586
    It's a crapshoot dude. Who knows what will happen. Your condenser might run another day, week, month, year or decade. Who can predict how long a 12 year old system will last is lying to you. Hell, as of late. Who can predict a 1 year old system will last you or cause you repairs in the near future. Everything is made in a 3rd world country now. Who can trust them, they put lead in our kids toys.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Ocean Pines, MD
    Posts
    6,996
    Minor problem. But don't ignore having that heater replaced. That can kill that compressor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Having the outdoor unit under a deck will recirculate the discharge air. that won't kill the compressor but will reduce the efficiency and capacity.

    I have measured 20 degrees above outdoor ambient inside enclosures even if it was partly open. Covered on the top is the worst. Being it is 10 feet up helps, but I would recommend that you measure the air near the outdoor unit then out in the open (while it is hot outside).

    If there is little difference, then don't worry about it. If there is a large difference, I would consider moving the outdoor unit out in the open. JMHO.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    35
    I would defiantly repair the crank case heater. I wouldn’t be to concerned with the damage that occurred with the fan issue. We see units overheating and left on for days and working for years. You just never know.
    for your peace of mind I once toured the Trane factor where they had a compressor running for something like twenty years covered in 2 feet of ice obviously slugging liquid into the compressor and it was continuing to run 24/7. not exactly overheating but a testament to there compressors.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    390
    Quote Originally Posted by turner_mech View Post
    . . . I once toured the Trane factor where they had a compressor running for something like twenty years covered in 2 feet of ice obviously slugging liquid into the compressor and it was continuing to run 24/7. not exactly overheating but a testament to there compressors.
    you know they change that compressor every couple of months, right?































    j/k, i have no idea!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Quote Originally Posted by drewski11 View Post
    you know they change that compressor every couple of months, right?






























    j/k, i have no idea!
    It ran for years like that. It was nick named "Snowball" They finally retired it. Climatuff compressor.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,157
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Neill View Post
    It ran for years like that. It was nick named "Snowball" They finally retired it. Climatuff compressor.
    Wasn't it one they got back under warranty as failed?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    DFW -> Texas
    Posts
    446
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckcrj View Post
    Wasn't it one they got back under warranty as failed?
    Yes.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    DFW -> Texas
    Posts
    446
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckcrj View Post
    Wasn't it one they got back under warranty as failed?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    11

    Under the deck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Neill View Post
    Having the outdoor unit under a deck will recirculate the discharge air. that won't kill the compressor but will reduce the efficiency and capacity.

    I have measured 20 degrees above outdoor ambient inside enclosures even if it was partly open. Covered on the top is the worst. Being it is 10 feet up helps, but I would recommend that you measure the air near the outdoor unit then out in the open (while it is hot outside).

    If there is little difference, then don't worry about it. If there is a large difference, I would consider moving the outdoor unit out in the open. JMHO.
    Kevin,

    Great suggestion. I'll make some measurements. Where would you suggest measuring the air temperature? Maybe off the ground half the height of the unit and say two feet away?

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