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12-18-2011, 07:26 PM #1Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Rheem - strange operation in heat
OK, so here is the deal...
Out of the blue during not a very cold night my unit tripped the breaker.
So I got problems... I call someone out.
What was happening was the outdoor unit was freezing up and not kicking into defrost. But it was not all that cold.
The automatic thought is that there was a system leak and I lost refrigerant. But after some eyes besides mine were on it I found out that is not the case.
It was kicking on in heat and building up head pressure... which would have tripped the breaker again if not stopped. The line out of the compressor to the condenser starts to frost up on the outside, etc.
On cooling it operates perfectly.
I had a good guy here, but not very much money to work with, so I let him do what he could for what I had. Fair enough.
He took some time to show me what it was doing, and some time to check things on the outdoor unit, cycling heat, cool, defrost, etc and checking things I know little about.
Then he went on looking for something stuck/blocked.
By the time my money ran out, the symptom had improved a lot, but I still worry.
He showed me what it was running at and what it was doing at the end and that was it.
So right now, it kicks on, it frosts that same line but never the condenser. It builds some head pressure slowly and in a few minutes the frost just goes away. Runs fine in heat and repeats the same thing over and over. It has not tripped the breaker since. The only thing I can notice is that it gets very slightly louder, like a tad more compressor noise as it runs. But it seems stable where it is now.
What do you guys think?
He says that nothing looks near in the condition things do when they typically need replacing.
Seems like something not opening completely or something clogged up that ended up somehow getting partially dislodged or something. Confuses the average guy like me because it runs fine in reverse on cool.
Ah well, I probably sound like an idiot by now so I will shut up and see what you guys think.
12-18-2011, 10:18 PM #2
heat pumps can frost up when they first turn on. the unit needs time to equalize the pressure thru the system. this is why you see the frost go away in a few minutes.
the thing with rheem units is the need to adjust refrigerant charge for winter and summer. i usually need to remove refrigerant in winter and add refrigerant in summer time(may have that reversed). what type of filters are you using and do you check them on a monthly bases?
12-18-2011, 11:28 PM #3Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
3M changed regularly.
The only thing weird with air flow is I have not been able to figure out my fan speed since I had this unit and thermostat installed. The previous unit was just a regular unit, not a Rheem. The fan has multiple speeds and a wire to plug in for A/C speed and one for heat speed.
It was simple when the old unit was installed. Ran higher speed on cool, lower speed on heat. Now it seems to not make much difference.... I don't think it would hurt to slow the fan speed down some somehow?
12-19-2011, 10:52 PM #4
u do not want to do this for heating. u need to move roughly 400cfm per ton in heating. the airflow needs to be set correctly. if the air is to slow, or you use a really restrictive filter it can cause the heatpump to cut out on high head pressure
12-20-2011, 09:27 AM #5
The "purple" and a few other higher MERV 3M filters can be too restrictive despite what the advertising says. I wouldn't use anything more than the "red" package or light blue ones. I think those are roughly MERV 8 equivalents. Pulls out dust, pollen and most typical irritants. air filters aren't dust collectors. I 'd be suprised if they remove anymore than 5% of the dust in he air of your home before it settles to the floor.
Heat airflow should normally be the same as cooling airlfow. A good service tech can check static pressure and compare it to the fan curve in the data sheets and confirm the airflow based on hte selected speed tap.
01-04-2012, 09:07 PM #6Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Thanks for all of the help guys.
This unit really trips me out. It's gotta have something getting stuck or something causing some sort of blockage or restriction I would think. Or something has to be way weird.
It ran all the way to 12/24 without another hickup... Then kicked the breaker on Christmas Eve morning. It was not even cold really so I just cut it all off a while and turned it back on that night before the temp started dropping in the house and making more work for it.
I figured I would make the call Monday, but then tried to hold out until payday on friday. But there again it ran fine the whole time.
It snapped off pretty cold here and all was still fine, got colder at New Years and ran fine through nights in the teens. Then on Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 it kicked the breaker again. I smelled the emergency heat not long after I got home. Funny part to me is it ran through the coldest night we had then tripped off in the afternoon after when it was not so cold.
I kicked it back on and it has ran fine waiting on service, but now tonight it has ice all over the outside coil... but is somehow heating still and is not kicking into defrost....
I just can't imagine for the life of me what would cause this sort of random operation. It is almost like there is a piece of trash in the system that is sometimes blocking flow, or some sort of valve or metering device malfunctioning. Yet I can't imagine how that would happen or be the case.
And I still am not sure why it doesn't defrost itself out there... unless it is a timed thing and it don't run long enough at one time or something.