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  1. #1
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    Aug 2018
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    Goodman Heatpump outdoor icing

    I live in a cold climate in North Central Washington.
    I have a 16 Seer heat pump with a propane furnace for aux heat.
    All units are Goodman.

    I had the outdoor unit set for lockout at 25 degrees F.

    We typically have very low humidity. Lately we've had very high humidity and temps around 22 to 35 degrees.
    I noticed recently ice had built around the lower part of my outdoor unit. About 6 inches wide around the bottom of the unit. Not sure how long its been there.

    I have switched over to emergency heat as a result but my question is this;

    Am I running it too cold for the lockout temp? Could the ice be from unusual high humidity while running at below 30 degrees?

    Or is this most likely low freon?

    The unit is only about 1.5 years old. None of the refrigerant lines have been messed with and its not been disturbed, impacted or otherwise moved. So I can't understand why it would be low on freon.

    After researching this unit I found the suggested lockout temp to be 34 degrees. My thermostat only adjusts that temp in 5 degree increments. So I will change that to 35.

    How should I defrost the unit? (Its forecasted to be very cold in the next week, into the single digits so it won't go away on its own)
    I'm also told the gas furnace cannot assist in automatic defrost cycles. Not sure why.

    What say the forum? Low freon or have I been running it in too low of temps in high humidity? (90% lately)

    Thanks for any tips,

    M

  2. #2
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    There’s no need to defrost it if you’re not using it.

    We can use our heat pump down to 25* under normal conditions. But weather conditions were unusually wet and cold here for a couple of weeks and we had several calls from customers with ice on their heat pumps. The abnormal weather was what led to the icing.

    Is your heat pump elevated by legs or mounted on a wall bracket? It should not be sitting flat on a pad because ice can build up inside the unit unless a provision is made for draining.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2004
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    Not aware of any Goodman heat pump that suggest locking it out at that warm of a temp. Who, told you that.

    The ice band could be from a low refrigerant charge, meaning your system is leaking refrigerant. Or, it could be that the defrost termination temp is set too low. Or, that the heat pump is not raised off the ground/pad enough to properly drain the condensate/water from defrost cycles.

    The lock out temp for a dual fuel heat pump system, should be at what ever outdoor temp the heat cost more to operate then the gas heat. Whether that is 40 degrees, or 5 degrees outdoor temp.
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  4. #4
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Not aware of any Goodman heat pump that suggest locking it out at that warm of a temp. Who, told you that.

    The ice band could be from a low refrigerant charge, meaning your system is leaking refrigerant. Or, it could be that the defrost termination temp is set too low. Or, that the heat pump is not raised off the ground/pad enough to properly drain the condensate/water from defrost cycles.
    How do I check the defrost termination temp? What should it be set at?

    Thanks so much!

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    I'll check on that thank you!

  6. #6
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    Termination temp is on the defrost board.
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  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Termination temp is on the defrost board.
    Is that on the outdoor unit?
    Is it adjusted with a pot or electronically?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKP View Post
    Is that on the outdoor unit?
    Is it adjusted with a pot or electronically?
    Sorry, we're not a DIY site. So I can't tell you any more than I have.
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  9. #9
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    Thread Starter
    How can I know its defrosting correctly?
    Since I have a propane aux heat, I was told it will not temper the cold air of a defrost cycle, as the flame is too hot for the coil.
    Typically with an electric aux heat, doesn't that activate during defrost cycles to temper the cold air generated by the defrost cycle?
    But with propane aux heat, how does it then defrost? Does it just energize the RV and run without the indoor fan blowing? Is it supposed to run the outdoor fan?
    How long is the defrost cycle supposed to last for? Can they be programmed to happen at specific times? Or does it always only respond to the defrost sensor?
    I'm trying to see what might be happening that is wrong. We can't get contractors out where I am at, I live very rural and not even Fedex and UPS will come up our road in winter.
    I cannot run on aux heat all winter, I'd run out of propane.

    So first I have to see if there is something happening that is not expected behavior with a typical heat pump with a propane aux heat system.

    What is to be expected with a defrost cycle from a unit that has propane aux heat?
    1. Does it use the indoor fan?
    2. Does it use the outdoor fan?
    3. How long is a defrost cycle typically?

    Can anything with defrost be controlled by the thermostat in the house?

  10. #10
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    The indoor fan stays running.

    The outdoor fan stops running during defrost.

    Defrost time varies with how much frost is on the coil, and how warm or cold it is outside.

    The homes thermostat has no control over defrost.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    On a typical Heat pump/gas furnace system, defrost is initiated by an adjustable timer on the defrost control board. it also uses the defrost temperature sensor to verify that conditions of the heat pump outdoor coil verify a need for defrost (icing or frosting). usually this timing is a 30-60-90 minute thing. It will try to go into defrost every 30 etc. minutes. Only if the defrost thermostat verifies that the outdoor coil is iced or frosted.
    When defrost is initiated, the reversing valve in the outdoor unit is activated, the outdoor fan motor is turned off, the indoor fan is running and the outdoor coil is flooded with hot gas which melts the ice-frost. On installations of heat pumps & gas heat, a part called a "fossil fuel kit," or now in the 21st century, a "Smart Stat" indoor wall thermostat, will identify that the outdoor unit has switched to defrost, and will in most applications, cycle on and off the gas burner to "temper" the air coming out of the floor registers. It would be cold air if it's not reheated by the gas furnace. Because,,,when in defrost your heat pump reverses itself, and becomes an air conditioner. The air coming out of the registers is cold, the outdoor coil warms up, the outdoor fan is off, allowing the outdoor coil to melt ice or frost, and the gas furnace is cycling on and off to keep the air coming from the registers a tiny bit warm, or at the very least neutral. If you don't witness these conditions, then it's time to call the man. By the way,,,,most any Defrost Termination Switch that I've seen, is preset at the factory, and is not adjustable. Obviously the amount of time to defrost the unit completely will vary by outdoor temperature conditions, and the amount of ice-frost on the coil. Defrost is initiated by time-temperature, and is terminated by temperature. If for some reason the defrost termination sensor hasn't recognized a warm coil after so many minutes(varies by manufacturer),,then the defrost timer switches the unit back to heating.
    One way to outthink people is to make them think you think. They'll think you're not really thinking what you're trying to get them to think you think...........

  12. #12
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    I hope you really don’t expect you’ll never need to get a technician to come to your house. HVAC systems, especially dual fuel systems, require careful set up and maintenance.
    There are numerous things that can affect defrost. Observation alone cannot determine whether it’s working properly.
    There are methods of controlling the dual fuel system which will allow the furnace to temper the air during defrost, but you’ll need a technician to do it.

    Have a good, emphasis on GOOD, tech assess your system.Once he knows what you have, he can explain how YOUR system is supposed to work. He can tell you if any improvements are needed and arrange for service during favorable weather conditions.
    AOP Rules: Rules For Equipment Owners.

    Free online load calculator: http://www.loadcalc.net/


    There = not here. Their = possessive pronoun. They're = they are
    It's = contraction of it is. Its = the possessive form of it
    Too = also. To = expressing motion. Two = 2
    Then = after that, next. Than = indicates a comparison.
    Questions should end with a question mark "?" Statements end with a period "."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdean1 View Post
    I hope you really don’t expect you’ll never need to get a technician to come to your house. HVAC systems, especially dual fuel systems, require careful set up and maintenance.
    There are numerous things that can affect defrost. Observation alone cannot determine whether it’s working properly.
    There are methods of controlling the dual fuel system which will allow the furnace to temper the air during defrost, but you’ll need a technician to do it.

    Have a good, emphasis on GOOD, tech assess your system.Once he knows what you have, he can explain how YOUR system is supposed to work. He can tell you if any improvements are needed and arrange for service during favorable weather conditions.
    Like Dean says "Call the Man!"
    One way to outthink people is to make them think you think. They'll think you're not really thinking what you're trying to get them to think you think...........

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