Outside unit runs for 10 mins then shuts off


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Old 05-08-09, 07:32 AM
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Outside unit runs for 10 mins then shuts off

We have a very old Heil heatpump system (probably from when house was built in 81) that has a slow refrigerant leak that we get charged every year and one visit lasts the summer. First guys that looked at it said it was likely in the inside coils as they are rusty and cruddy.
Guys came Wednesday and recharged with 3 lbs (2 ton unit) and cleaned out the fins outside etc... He did that, came in and filled out the bill and left (without checking it out or anything)
Didn't run the ac that night since it was still cool outside, just fans & windows. Next day we turned it on in the am (set to not kick on much) That night, wow was the place getting hot. Turns out the inside fan was running, but the outside unit was totally silent. Went out and pushed the red 'reset' and the unit kicked back on. Ran about 10 minutes and shut itself off again. Tried same thing in the am. Turned on, outside unit ran (without hitting the outside reset) ...for about 10 minutes. Then turned it off, went outside and pushed the reset. Had them turn it back on, no joy. Waited for another few minutes and it was able to come on without the reset.
The inside pipe , the copper one that normally freezes over when it doesn't have coolant, was very warm (close to hot really) to touch..when the compressor is running. When it's not (and just the fans are running) it doesn't get hot.

Also of perhaps importance, in the winter a professional relative (a relative that is a professional, not a person that gets paid to be an uncle) said that the problems I am having with the heat was a bad reversal valve/unit. Sounded like a relay was chattering and finally engaged whenever the compressor outside was trying to kick on for heat. Guy that was over the other day said that was not worthwhile fixing...full system replacement was needed for that (we got by in the winter using just the strip heaters.)

Could the reversing valve be the cause of the compressor not working now? Is that part truly a oops total replace! kind of repair? Has my time run out on that system? Our situation is such that just 'get a new system' is not an option, don't have the money, couldn't get a loan to save my life. Any guidance would be appreciated!
 
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Old 05-08-09, 07:53 AM
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A 28 yr old heat pump, yeah its time to be replaced. You have a signifigant refrigerant leak, your running on back up heat,(that can't be cheap) your uncle thinks you have a bad reversing valve, and now its tripping on high head pressure.

Replacing the reversing valve would not be cost effective and is not the problem your having now.

The cruddy coil and more the likely filthy blower and air filter may be the cause of the unit tripping out now.

Regardless, its time for a new unit, any $ you put into it is probobaly a waste.
 
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Old 05-08-09, 10:13 AM
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Surpisingly not

My bills in winter are far lower than summer ones. House is well insulated and gets a lot of sunshine heat in the upstairs living area. Works for us in winter and against us in summer. Guess it's window units because there's no way I can afford the estimated $8000 for a new central system (even with the tax rebate)
 
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Old 05-08-09, 11:17 AM
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I know the economy sucks, however, you should be able to get a builder grade R-22 system, re-use existing line set, (after its been isolated and leak checked) whip, pad, disconnect, and stat if all in good shape for 3k - 4k
 
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Old 05-08-09, 12:46 PM
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your reversing valve is either powered in the cooling or heating mode,and to flip to the other mode all you have to do is pull the coil wire on the 3-way reversing valve and it will swing from H/C or to C/H with a wooosh sound.the compressor runs on either call for heating or cooling the reversing valve setting depends on the stat setting heat or cooling.try the system in the heating mode and see if it stays on without trips or resets..if the outside is warm to hot the evaporator that is outside in the heating mode will have that as a better load.if you know the unit is in the cooling mode and it has been tripping you are short of freon.....if it doesn't trip in the heating mode you might need more freon he might not of max'd the charge out to handle the cooling cycle....check it out.if your in the heating mode the insulated line into the air handler should be so hot you can grab it...if it is warm like warm slightly warm you are short of freon.in the cooling mode you should be doing an 18f difference in the air running thru the fan section and out on the condenser you should see a 10F rises on the entering air and the air blowing in your face on a system fulling charged.
 
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Old 05-08-09, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyfrag
My bills in winter are far lower than summer ones. House is well insulated and gets a lot of sunshine heat in the upstairs living area. Works for us in winter and against us in summer. Guess it's window units because there's no way I can afford the estimated $8000 for a new central system (even with the tax rebate)
maybe get one of those mini split systems. each one can heat and cool up to 3 rooms. no pipes to run through the house just a 1 inch pipe going up the side of the house and into the wall.
 
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Old 05-09-09, 10:56 AM
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A key thing to keep in mind is that a unit that old is probably around a SER 8, while a new one would be a 12 easily. I believe that means you would operate a new one for 33% less.
 
 

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