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  1. #1

    Trane XR11 heat pump making weird clicking noise sometimes..

    I just purchased a townhouse that is equipped with a Trane XR11 heatpump condenser out back. The system seems to be working as it should but I noticed a strange noise while I was getting the trash ready today. The fan started up (only the fan spinning.. no compressor) and ran for about 45 seconds or so. Then it made a strange clicking noise like a relay chattering or a contactor trying to pull in or something. It "clicked" 4 or 5 times then stopped as the fan continued to run. About a minute later it did the same thing with the clicking and stopped.. The fan spun for the entire time and then the compressor started and the system ran fine. I was outside for a few "cycles" and the next few times that the heat pump came on it started like it regularly did without the "clicking" issue. I have absolutely no HVAC experience so I am really not sure if this is a normal sound out of a heat pump so I figured this would be the best place to figure it out

    The indoor unit has a install date of 2005 on a sticker from the company who put it in. Everything looks like it was taken care of and runs fine like I said so the noise that I heard might be something normal, but this is my first heat pump so I am really not sure! The condenser unit is clean and free from any debris and I cannot see any abnormal movement to cause the noise.

    Any ideas on what may be causing this? Thanks a ton in advance! It will definitely make me stop running to the sliding glass door every time I hear the heat come on to see if its making noise! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    phoenix az
    If only I could diagnose your problem from my house, I would make millions!!! LOL

    Call a qualified tech to take a look at it and they will be more than happy to tell you what that clicking sound is.
    "Do not let what you can't do interfere with what you can do"

    "Do what you can do the best that it can be done and no one will ever know what you can't do"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Ocean Pines, MD
    Start problems, could be a relatively easy repair for an experienced tech.

  4. #4
    I have a service call in for hopefully this week but I am not sure how fast they can get out since I am a "first time" customer and its not a emergency. Especially considering how cold its been and that its only a few days before xmas LOL. I was hoping it was something that I could check on my own or give the tech a heads up on once he arrives. I am a electrician so anything along that route would be a no brainer for me, but as far as the rest of HVAC goes I am clueless. It's strange that it only happens every so often so I was honestly hoping it was something that it is supposed to do, but I am just not sure.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Cary NC

    Frown Check for ice build-up in the fan housing.

    I had a XL17 condenser unit installed last week, and I've got a similar situation. The HVAC company diagnosed the problem as ice build-up in the fan housing. I can bang on the case and dislodge it, which helps for a while.

    Since your post is dated in December, this may be happening with your unit, as well. When a heat pump is operating in the HEAT mode, outside air is pulled across the coils and is chilled ten to fifteen degrees. Even if the ambient air temperature is above freezing, the air exiting the unit can dip below 32 degrees. If it is raining, ice can form on top of the unit, and on the "ring" surrounding the fan blades.

    I'm certainly not pleased with this aspect of my brand-new XL17, and the service company does not have an answer. I feel this is a design defect. I suppose I could build a roof over the unit, but I'd have to go pretty high in the air so it did not impede the air flow--and water still could blow in due to the large gap.

    Another possibility is creating a Brine (salt water) solution to spray on the fan housing, to prevent ice formation, but this might promote rust. Plus, I'd still have to go outside in the cold and rain to deal with a problem which should not exist in the first place.
    Last edited by PFF; 02-05-2011 at 05:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Athens GA
    If uit sounds like a relay chattering,thats probably what it is.
    Could be on the defro9st circut,could be a loose wire connection,could be a low voltage problem ,could be a bad relay.
    Something is not right and you were right to call for service.
    It is most likely not a very expensive repair.Good luck.
    If you think about it ,it would be nice if you reported back to us on what was found.

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