outside unit wont go off


  #1  
Old 02-26-03, 06:36 PM
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outside unit wont go off

I have a problem with a Reem heat pump Today I heard a racket coming from the backyard, I found my outside unit frozen so bad that the fan was hitting ice. I shut down the inside heater switch but it kept on running.
Next I flipped off the breakers outside next to the unit and it went off. I took the garden hose and removed all the ice and flipped it back on. Heater works again kinda.
The problem is I shut down the inside switch again and waited about an hour and went to check on the outside unit to my dismay it was still running (not frozen up)

We just had a big ice storm here in Dallas but I don't think that's the problem. OH yea last summer the coil in the attic froze up and I defrosted it with by running just the blower across the coils.
I need help the unit is vintage 1987.I think it might be low on freon but why wont it shut off?
Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 02-26-03, 07:29 PM
firsthvac
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There are two probable causes to your outdoor unit not shutting:

1) The most common cause is the compressor contactor has welded itself shut or become stuck in the run position. The solution to this is to replace the compressor contactor. However, keep in mind, the cause of the closure should be determined if at all possible. While in many cases, it is simply pitting of the contact points, it is possible a higher than normal amount of current may be running through the unit.

2) The second most common cause is a short across the contactor controlling circuit, whether it be the wire itself or the the thermostat.

A simple way to narrow the cause of the problem is to shut off the indoor unit power supply. If the outdoor unit continues running, the contactor is most likely at fault. If the outdoor unit shuts off, then the control circuit is the more probable suspect.

Since you suspect that your refrigerant is low, call a reputable service company. A quality experienced repair technician should know what to look for and be able to repair it in less than an hour for most cases.

Hope this helps ya...let us know how it goes
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-03, 10:01 AM
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firsthvac is right

my money is on the contactor.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 10:29 AM
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here is what I did so far

Well I turned off thermostat on the wall went outside unit still was on.
Next went to the air handler and turned off breaker to it that did not shut off outside unit.NOTE:airhandler coil was frozen solid.
I flipped on airhandler breaker again so I could run just blower to defrost it and went outside to turn off breaker on compressor.
What do you guys think?Relay stuck?and is it frezzing up because of low freon?
 
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Old 02-27-03, 10:46 AM
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i am no prophet

but is see a 240 volt contactor with a 24 volt coil in your future. that is almost absolutely your problem
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-03, 10:53 AM
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i called

I called my heating and a/c guy he will be here today or tomorrow.
Were is the contactor located and are they big bucks?My wife is sitting here already making comments on how cold it is .
I have the blower on now trying to thaw out the coils before the guy gets here.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 11:03 AM
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contactor

depending who you called, 65 to 125 bucks. good luck.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 11:09 AM
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good deal ill let you know

I will keep you up to date on the outcome I see you were a Marine Semper Fi.
USMC 1971-1975
 
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Old 02-27-03, 02:18 PM
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its fixed 286 dollars later

Well, here is what happened found a little low on freon about 2 pounds. Also the contactor was sticking on so it was replaced with a new 32 amp 2 pole. He also said that the defrost board is on its last legs and the run capacitor is leaking but might last a little longer. The part cost the most at 217.83 the rest is the service call.
You guys were correct with the diagnoses it was that contactor.
I am just wondering why so much for the part I could have replaced it myself if I could buy one.
If that cap goes out I sure will replace it myself the service tech said I could buy one but was unsure of the price.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 02:44 PM
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michael,

here in atlanta the charges for that would be......48 for the service call, 125 for the contactor, minimum of 85, probably 125 for the freon and an acid wash on the coil (in my opinion it MUST be performed on all freon services to reduce liability of blowing up a compressor by too high a head pressure). looking at 298, maybe 10 to 15% cheaper by a reputable company. sounds like the low pressure situation prevented the unit from defrosting. get your own capacitor, under 30 bucks at grainger. look for defrost board at www.heatcoolparts.com
 
  #11  
Old 02-28-03, 04:55 PM
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Thanks guys

I wish to thank you guys with all your help You were right on the money about the contactor.I have saved the site for parts in my computer for future use.I see that the contractors really jack up the price on parts.
Thanks again guys keep up the good work.
Michael
 
  #12  
Old 02-28-03, 08:24 PM
firsthvac
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just a rebuttle about contractors jacking up prices...

Please don't think all contractors are money grubbers. Our experience with many who do price gouging as spoken of about the cost of the service call for michael either lack business management skills, have a high cost of call backs or are just plain greedy and do not truly care about the work they are doing. Good reputable contractors know better than to charge exhorborant prices because the reputation of having a costly service is not conducive to a long lasting well-thought of company.
We have been in business over thirty years and avoid excessive pricing. Most of the contractors we know have been in business just as long and stay busy year round because of being known as having fair prices.

For example, had you been in our area (Arizona) and used our service, your cost would have been as follows:

Service Call $45 includes the first hour of labor (time it takes to diagnose and inspect the system)
1 Extra Hour of Labor (R & R Contactor, Refrigerant Charging)
2# Refrigerant 22 $18
30 amp Contactor $30

Total Cost $128 + tax on the parts

Strangely enough, a friend of mine in Maryland just had similar service done on his heat pump. The cost for a service call, 40 amp contactor and coil cleaning...$165.

Don't just take the first service company that can get there...call several and ask questions before choosing one. A few extra minutes on the phone could save you hundreds of dollars.

A note for my fellow service techs who are charging excessive costs for parts...wholesale pricing doesn't vary that much across the country as testified to by national distributorships such as Johnstone, Grainger, Robertshaw, and so on. Please don't try to justify your pricing by saying your costs are more than ours, we know better as we too have to shop for parts and materials. If you'll bait the hook properly...you'll catch more fish and never go hungry.
 
 

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