Heat Pump Problem

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  #1  
Old 12-27-02, 03:26 PM
jacksan
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Unhappy Heat Pump...lost all refrigerant ?!

Trane Split System Heat Pump, 9 years old
TWR030C100A1

In this last cold spell I noticed that the Aux Heat was coming on a lot. Checked the register temp in Heat Pump mode (no Aux Heat) and it was room temp. arghhh!

Pulled the schematics and checked the outside unit and all voltages and amps seem ok (compressor runs at 7-8 amps). I then noticed that the compressor seems to be cycling on and off every several minutes. The schematics say one of the primary causes of cycling (Internal-Over-Load protection cycling) is low refrigerant. Since all of the tubing was totally cold, nothing warm
at all, I figure either the compressor isn't pumping a darn thing or it is really low on refrigerant. I don't have gauges so as a crude pressure check I briefly depressed one of the Schrader valves...nothing. Tried another then another and didn't find an ounce of pressure anywhere.

Am I correct in assuming it lost all refrigerant? What could cause this?

I did a quick visual inspection of all accessible tubing (outside and
inside) and didn't find and "oily" leaks.

What should I do next? ...presuming I want to do as much troubleshooting and hunting for leaks before calling the service tech. I also want to know possible cuases so I don't 'get taken'.

thx, Jack
 
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  #2  
Old 12-27-02, 03:56 PM
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refrigerant leak

although you do seem pretty handy, you may want a pro to check for leaks. main reason is that you wil generally have to pressurize the system, and what would you do it with? please do not get out the air compressor! LOL! you could use nitrogen, as long as the system was evacuated after repair. leak is possibly at the compressor if it is a catastrophic leak (real fast) as i assume it is since you did not mention lack of cooling at end of season.
 
  #3  
Old 12-27-02, 06:18 PM
jacksan
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refrigerant leak

Would a leak at the compressor usually mean getting a new compressor?
 
  #4  
Old 12-28-02, 06:15 AM
bigjohn
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Depends- if it's around the terminals or on the body like rusted thru, then yes. If it's on a threaded fitting, that might be repairable. Can you post a some pictures of it?
 
  #5  
Old 12-28-02, 11:31 AM
jacksan
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Found the leak

Found the leak in the outdoor unit...
The Discharge Line Thermostat wire rubbed and shorted against one of the coil lines and blasted a tiny hole in it (tip of a pencil size). This is a few inches from where the four coil lines join back together, on the opposite side from the Distributor.

I'm guessing this can be brazed.? If so, anyone care to toss a SWAG hours and materials estimate for the repair and recharge?

Jack
 
  #6  
Old 12-28-02, 11:36 AM
jacksan
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picture attached

Here's a picture of the leak location...at least I think I attached it.?

If not, here is a link:
http://home.cinci.rr.com/creek/heatpump.htm

home.cinci.rr.com/creek/heatpump.htm



Jack
 
  #7  
Old 12-28-02, 11:49 AM
bigjohn
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Didn't get the picture. It should be fixable if they're careful with the torch. I really can't put on a price but you're looking at the repair, pressurizing with nitrogen to verify the repair, replacing the filter driers, evacauting the system with a micron guage, holding the vacuum for a blank off test to verify the dehydration [I like to hold for at least an hour] and the recharhging. There's more to it than just patching the leak. Come to think of it, I believe Trane has a 10 year warranty on their coils. You may want to check into that. One of the guys here is a Trane dealer, he should know what the policy is.

Edit: I was able to see the picture at the link. That looks repairable. You see how it's before the braze joint where the coil attaches to the discharge tube? I don't the coil warranty would apply.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-02, 07:11 PM
jacksan
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Thanks John and hvac4u. The tech will be here Monday and I feel better knowing what to expect. Jack
 
  #9  
Old 01-04-03, 10:58 AM
jacksan
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Thumbs up Problem fixed

My system was fixed this morning for not too much expense, knock on wood it holds together for me a little while. He did the braze in a couple minutes, pressurized with nitrogen for 5-10 minutes, spliced in a dryer, drew a vacuum for 1.5 hours (I have a small system and it drew down very quickly), then recharged with gas. Total time was 2.5 hours, materials were $117.
Jack
 
  #10  
Old 01-04-03, 06:13 PM
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great!

you got a good deal on the price of repair too!
 
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