Climatemaster Heat Pump in South Florida Condo ...

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Old 09-02-17, 05:38 PM
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Climatemaster Heat Pump in South Florida Condo ...

Hello from South Florida!!! ... I've been troubleshooting my condo AC unit and have run into some questions hopefully you guys can drop some knowledge on me.

My Equipment = Climatemaster Geothermal Heat Pump Genesis Compact GCV018BGC80CRTS (R22), I believe this model has the Reciprocating compressor? ... 2008 year, 40 story building ... I keep my doors closed and Thermostat 73 night and 76 daytime ... the IN/OUT pipes from the building have a normal temp around 90 F.

Initial Problem/Solution = over month ago, the cheap Capacitor blew out and drained all over the CXM motherboard .... I replaced it with a brand new CXM and new 40 MFD GENTECH capacitor (this system has separate capacitors for Compressor and for the Blower) .... the unit ran great again for couple weeks!

Actions taken so far ....
1. Cleaned the Condenser with environment friendly foam (always have a filter on and change it)
2. Drain pan and condensation pipe is clean and gets a dose of bleach every so often
3. I changed the thermostat to a new Honeywell Focus Pro5000 .... NOTHING, same problem
4. new 24V Blower Relay ... grasping at straws here??

A Tech came out ... checked refrigerant levels, Amps off the transformer, checked capacitors, disconnected and reconnected some wire off the motherboard ... and it ran great for 1 week! (I didn't even touch the thermostat for the whole weak, left it at 73F as the tech left it!)

Current Problem = Now the system turns on, Blower runs and the Compressor kicks on for maybe 20-30 seconds (cold air comes out) and then Compressor shuts off ... the Blower keeps running ... the compressor will cycle like this

1. Maybe internal overheat sensor in the compressor???
2. TXV?
3. Loose wires?
4. Weak capacitor? (I just ordered a 45MFD AMRAD capacitor to check)

I usually shut off the breaker to reset the system ... then sleep overnight ... in the morning I turn it on ... so the compressor should not be overheated??? ... but still the same cycling results

Any idea where to look at before I call another tech and at least I can point them in the right direction?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 09-02-17, 06:22 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That is not a DIY type of serviceable unit.
I don't even service these types of units.
My forum partner may have more info to add.

You mean you cleaned the evaporator..... the cold coil.

That should use a heat to water condensor coil that may need internal cleaning with acid. 90 building loop temperature sounds high but may be normal. I'm guessing the loop should be pretty close to outside ambient air. Maybe a few degrees cooler. The incoming water temp and the outgoing water temp should not be equal. If that's the case then the compressor is not getting rid of any of its heat and is overheating.

I'm a little confused.... you had a tech there last week. Didn't he charge you for service ? Why wouldn't you call him back ?
 
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Old 09-02-17, 06:42 PM
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Thanks Pete!

Yes, I did call the tech the second time (he didn't charge me) to come back and diagnose ... but after a week, I was back to the same problem.

Yes .. the cold coil I cleaned .. since these units are All-In-One air handler/compressor

Hard to tell about the IN/OUT temp .. but yes, they seem temp equal on both pipes, 2 large braided pipes come out of the handler and connect to the two large building metal pipes (the valves handles are open position on both) ... I was told that's normal temperature for this type of system, it should be about ambient temp outside (which it's summer in Miami).

Yes .. I'm guessing something in the Compressor is tripping and causing it to turn off? .... then about about 5 to 10 minutes .. it compressor kicks on again ... and then shuts off after 20-30 secs ... all the while the blower is running.

Just for testing purposes .... how long can the blow run before potential damage occurs to it?
 
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Old 09-02-17, 06:45 PM
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Those two braided lines connect the condensor to the building water loop. If the incoming water temp is 90f then the outgoing temp should be as a guess +110f.
 
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Old 09-02-17, 07:12 PM
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I put a Temp strip on the OUT pipe, just before the braided line connects .. it gets a little warmer than the IN pipe when the compressor is running, but not 110 ... maybe 100/102 on the OUT with the IN being 92 to 95?

Can that looped pipe inside the unit be clogged?

If I close the IN pipe valve for a moment .. will that create a suction effect on the OUT line?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:44 AM
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So I turned the breaker on this morning ... and the system ran with the compressor for well over 5 minutes and cooled down to about 75 .. then compressor shut off

I touched the OUT flow pipe ... and temperature was about 94 ... same as the IN flow pipe from the building ...

1. shouldn't the OUT flow pipe be much hotter at this point ... removing heat from the compressor?

2. I'm thinking maybe I can reverse flush the system condenser cooling loop? ... by connecting the IN hose to the OUT ... and then putting the other hose in a bucket? ... slowing Opening the ball valve to flow the water from the building pipe?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 10:09 AM
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It doesn't sound like you have any flow.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 10:15 AM
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I doubt reverse flow will clean the condensor. Usually it gets disconnected from the building loop and connected to a service pump that circulates a type of cleaning acid.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 04:47 PM
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In these Heat Pumps systems ... Isn't the condenser and the R22 plumbing circuit inside the compressor totally separate from the water coolant pipe loop that comes from the building? ... I should be able to flush the water coolant pipe myself by reverse flowing the hoses from the building? ... maybe something is clogging that coolant pipe systems and not carrying the heat away from the compressor?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 05:03 PM
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I don't normally work on water source heat pumps. The type you have is normally found in large apartments and commercial properties.

I do know that the building loop cooling water travels thru the condensor. I also know that these condensors can get scaled up. I would severely doubt reversing the water flow will accomplish anything but I don't know for sure. Normally a tech would come in..... connect a flushing system to the condensor and flush a cleaning solution/acid thru it.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 05:07 PM
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A unit that suddenly stops working isn't usually a scale issue.
I would say you have a flow issue. Or a clogged strainer.
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:30 PM
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I just reversed the cooling hoses from the building and flushed the IN hose into a bucket ... some dirty water can out, with some debris ... but nothing that would signal a clog in this circuit?

Connected the hoses again as usual and started system ... the OUT pipe does increase in temperature to about 102 to 104 degree compared to the IN pipe maybe 94 degree

But result is the same ... compressor runs for a bit .. Cold air comes out, and I can feel the water forming on the condenser fins ... then compressor just shuts off .. blower keeps running.

Can a weak or bad capacitor cause this intermittent on and off of the compressor? .. Its new, I just replaced it couple weeks ago
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:41 PM
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Where could I find that strainer? .. I didn't see it in any of the braided hoses when I disconnected them ... or maybe they just didn't put any in?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:50 PM
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Usually it's somewhere around the circuit setter but could be anywhere
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:53 PM
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Where are you located? The loop seems unusually warm.
What is the loop setpoint, and what is the condition of the cooling towers?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 06:59 PM
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Circuit setter ... looks like this? http://s3.supplyhouse.com/images/pro...117415lf-3.jpg
 
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Old 09-03-17, 07:04 PM
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Yes, that's correct.
Why is the unit shutting off in the first place? Have you verified it's a high pressure issue?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 07:06 PM
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located in Miami .. .it's 40 story condo building about 700 units between the two buildings

It's a newer building, 2008

water temp coming in seems ambient .. like 94 degrees
 
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Old 09-03-17, 07:10 PM
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When I brought the tech in for the initial assessment ... he checked the refrigerant pressures

however, I think this guy was not really experienced with these heat pump systems .... but the system, ran fine for 1 week ... then it just started having this problem

I may have to call a company that the building uses
 
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Old 09-03-17, 07:41 PM
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The hard part is it could be something with the buildings mechanical system causing the issue. And they probably wouldn't like you messing with their stuff.
You first need to find out why it's failing. Is it going off on high pressure, low pressure, or an internal overload issue. Does the unit even have pressure safety controls?
 
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Old 09-03-17, 08:27 PM
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Yes, it does .. you mean these pressure safety switches? they are permanently attached though ... https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tj16Ec_utaA/maxresdefault.jpg
 
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Old 09-03-17, 09:16 PM
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I'm guessing no display panel or lights to signal a fault.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 06:02 AM
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Well, when the unit fails, does one of the switches open?
 
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Old 09-04-17, 07:44 AM
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I would short the 2 test terminals on the control board for a few seconds to view the trouble code when this lockout occurs.

The outlet temperature should be 7 to 10 degrees warmer than the water input temperature.

Low water flow would result in more than a 10 degree rise in water temperature. The temperature of the water should be measured with a digital meat thermometer inserted into the Pete's plugs.

The most common cause for your symptoms would be condensate over flow lockout.

The drain pan is usually empty when I see this lockout but the pan fills up instead of draining when I pour a gallon of water into it.

I would not install refrigerant gauges on a unit unless my digital water gauge , and digital thermometer, voltage meter and amperage meter indicates that my BTU output was below the tonnage of the unit.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 08:34 AM
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I'm going to short the Test terminals and see what code comes out ... and look it up on the schematics chart

The IN/OUT water flow seems proper ... when the compressor kicks on the OUT flow Temp is probably 102 F ... and IN flow is maybe 92-94 F ... thick braided lines connect to the building pipes ... and the air handler elbows are all copper ... they look 1/2 or 3/4 ... the braided line looks to be 3/4 to 1 inch

From my understanding
1. TEST mode = quick short the two test terminals
2. EXIT Test mode = short terminal for 3+ seconds

Count the Number of LED Flashes between each 10 second pause
 
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Old 09-04-17, 11:49 AM
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So this is what I got putting into shorting into TEST mode

6 flashes of the LED and 10 sec pause ... I'm assuming this stores the last fault registered?

Fault = "Condensate overflow"
Fault Condition = "Sense overflow (grounded) for 30 continous seconds"

The pan is DRY ...
To test, Can I disconnect the wire from that condensate sensor? .. it's just 1 wire to a contact, that sits above the condensate pan ... how is the circuit complete if there is only 1 wire going to that sensor?

http://www.climatemaster.com/commerc...te-Sensor1.png
 

Last edited by JD305; 09-04-17 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:26 PM
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THANK YOU!!! Roughneck, Houston and PJ !!!!!

IT WORKED!!! .... keeping fingers crossed!

I disconnected the single wire to the Condensate Overflow Sensor ... and it's running like a champ!

How can such a simple part go bad???

The IN Flow water pipe temp from the building is as normal about 92/94 F ... the OUT Flow temp is upwards of 104/106 F which leads me to believe water flow is working fine.

Set the Tstat to 72 and it's been running down from 78 ... putting out cold air for past 30 minutes

I have to figure out what to do about rigging that wire? ... until I can order a new Overflow sensor ... the only place I found online is Ebay ... for whoa ... $15 !!!!

Is there someplace I can make a contribution to you guys? .. this site?

It wasn't until I deciphered what the manual meant by "shorting the Test pins" ... and then your comments and narrowing it down to the condensate overflow! ... which is DRY!!!
 
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Old 09-04-17, 02:31 PM
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I have seen this lockout many, many, many times.
Almost every tech thinks that the sensor is faulty because the pan is dry when they see it hours after the lockout has occurred. It is only a wire with a male spade connector on the end that seats into the primary drain pan.

It is highly unlikely that the sensor is bad....

To test you need to pour water into the primary drain pan.

You will then need to clear the drain because it is not a faulty sensor.

The drain is backed up.

The lockout will remain even after a slow drain is able to drain.

You need to clear the drain.

I repeat, you need to clear the drain.

The sensor is not broken.

Pouring water into the primary drain pan will prove that the drain is partially clogged.

Bypassing this sensor can create water damage.

I cannot tell you how often I tell this to techs and they don't pour water into the drain pan to properly test this.

Vertical units will have a clear hose in the unit that creates a large P-trap.
Horizontal units usually require an external P-trap.

P-traps are often the restriction in a clogged drain.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 02:47 PM
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Thanks Houston!

Ok .. So I have had both panels off and have seen the panel dry when the lockout occurs ... just a dribble of water and down to the drain opening and out .. nothing ever accumulates

Last month I fished a flexible brush down the drain hole ... into the flexible clear hose (which as you said, forms a kind of P-trap on these Vertical units) .. all the way out to the T-connector that is just outside the air handler

Taking the cap off the T-connector ... the pipe down and out to the building pipe is clear.

I have been pour granulated bleach onto the drain pan .. so it mixes with the condensate as it needs.

What am I missing that I need to fill the pan with water? trying to wrapped my head around this issue?

When the compressor shut off was happening .. the pan has always been completely dry.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 02:59 PM
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Is it very difficult to pour water into the pan?

You need to prove that the pan can drain water. It is usually very easy.

Water damage can get expensive. Did you say that you were in a 40 story building?


I would verify that the wire running to the sensor is not touching the hot gas line or cut.

Unplug the sensor from the pan and clean the sensor.

I don't recommend bypassing safety switches.
 

Last edited by Houston204; 09-04-17 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 09-04-17, 03:12 PM
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Ok ... I just did ... poured 2 full gallons from empty milk milk gallon ... water drains fine down into hose and out of the trap .. did not see any time where it looked like the pan was getting full.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 03:42 PM
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Thank you. The thought of you creating expensive water damage because of anything that I post would not be good.

I have seen enough water damage for a lifetime recently.

That control board is looking for a short to ground through the condensate overflow wire.
The switch has no moving parts. It is basically just a wire .

Do you have a digital meat thermometer?
Does your heat pump cool the air 18 degrees?
Is the area next to the primary drain pan wet?
 
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Old 09-04-17, 04:21 PM
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thank you my friend ... no, I definitely understand the damage of an overflowing pan ... you only have to experience it once for it to never happen again!

I do have a digital meat thermometer

The system is now running as it should, been running fine for past hours ... I usually set to about 72/73 the lowest at night ... I really don't think this 1.5 Ton unit can get the room down to chilly like the 60's

How does that single wire overflow sensor complete the circuit when it fills with water?

Maybe the sensor tip end is dirty and causing some faulty reading back to the motherboard? ... causing it to think it's overflowing?
 
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Old 09-04-17, 06:07 PM
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Dirt or rust could help create a closed circuit between the sensor and the water in the pan then to a conductive evaporator coil.

Is your primary pan metal or plastic?
 
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Old 09-04-17, 06:12 PM
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Primary pan looks white plastic
 
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Old 09-04-17, 06:28 PM
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The sensor wire usually slides into a slot on the side of the plastic models.

I service Florida Heat pumps, Bosch, Climatemaster and Waterfurnace Geo units. They are all very similar.
I think they all use that single wire condensate sensor.

I would be very surprised if you haven't already fixed the issue.
 
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Old 09-04-17, 06:52 PM
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I'm going to remove the sensor from the edge of the pan ... maybe needs cleaning?

I understand the motherboard monitors it and it expecting a certain feedback .. somehow it's tripping .... since I have it disconnected ... the AC is running perfect.

CLIMATEMASTE CXM Document

Condensate Sensor-

The condensate sensor input will fault upon sensing impedance less than 100,000 Ohms for 30 continuous seconds. The recommended design uses a single wire terminated with a male 1/4" quick connect located in the drain pan at desired trip level. Upon a high condensate level the water will short between the air coil and the quick connect producing a resistance less than 100,000 Ohms. Since condensate is free of impurities, it has no conductivity. Only the impurities from the drain pan and coil dust or dirt create the conductance. A second ground wire with appropriate terminal to the drain pan can be used with the control to replace the air coil ground path. The condensate sensor can also essentially be any open contact that closes upon a fault condition.
 
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