Rheem Heat Pump Question

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  #1  
Old 01-05-05, 08:26 PM
jphavener
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Rheem Heat Pump Question

I have been lurking here for a day or two reading posts to see if I could get an idea of what to look for to help diagnose the problem I think I am having with my heat pump. So far I have found some threads that had similar problems and have checked some of the things that I see everyone asking about.

I know how the heat pumps are supposed to work, I've had thermodynamics and understand the concept. Although I understand the concept, I am more of a paint by numbers kind of person. I need to actually see they system running to really understand what is going on. Since I have never experienced them first hand, I would like to ask if someone can explain to me the sequence of events that should happen when the thermostat calls for heat, maybe being a little specific to a Rheem unit, if possible?

Now to the problem. As I have already mentioned, I have a Rheem model RPKA-036JAZ heat pump unit with a Rheem gas furnace b/u system(can't find the model #). I also have the Rheem thermostat that I would assume is the original. When it calls for heat, it turns on the auxiliary heat source(the aux. light on the t-stat lights and the gas furnace fires). I get warm air at the register as long as the aux light is on. When that switches off the blower stays on and the air at the register becomes rather chilly(no thermometer so I am not sure exactly how chilly). As far as I can tell, the blower never turns off. The room temp will drop until the whole cycle starts over again. It basically acts like a gas furnace only the blower never turns off.

Like I said before I have been lurking to try to find things to check out and this is what I know:

1. The outside unit never seems to turn on. I had a feeling that it might be low on refrigerant so I also tried to check it on the ac setting. It didn't work then either, but I might not have given it enough time to come on. It was pretty darn cold when I was trying it and I didn't stay out there very long.

2. The larger copper line does not get warm.

3. I have checked the main breaker for the unit at the house electrical box but that is the only one I know to look for. Any other breakers or fuses I should look for?

4. Filters are clean; I change them every 30-45 days.

Is there anything I can check to see if it is low on refrigerant other than having a tech come out and check for me? Maybe a low pressure safety I can check to see if it is tripped?

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to make sure that I included everything I knew.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-05, 05:41 AM
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There could be fuses in the outdoor disconnect.

If you take the t-stat off the wall and jumper R+Y+G the outdoor unit and blower should come on. If it does you have a problem with the stat but I don't think that's your problem.

If it's low on refrigerant and it is equipted with a low pressure cutout this will disable the system if it's low on refrigerant, and the only way to check the level is for an hvac tech to hook up to it. You could depress the contactor at the outdoor unit momentarily to see if it kicks on.

Another thing to look for is if the outdoor unit has a time delay relay on it they do go bad.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-05, 08:10 AM
jphavener
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The outdoor disconnect doesn't have fuses. I looked at it yesterday also. I don't remember what the name on the piece was but it was just a plug with copper pins that plugged in and completed the circuit.

I will try the jumper on the tstat but I agree that I don't think that is the problem.

I will also try the contactors momentarily and look to see if it has a time delay relay.

Other than that, I think everything is pointing to low refrigerant so I guess my next step would be a call to the good old service man.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 01-07-05, 11:32 AM
Trob
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I have a Rheem Classic XI heat pump. Have you checked the outside reset button? It is the high pressure limit switch. When the freon pressure gets too high, it trips the switch to keep from overloading the compressor and you have to manually reset it. I usually have to do it two or three times a year, usually more in the winter for some reason. It is a small red rubber covered button on the outside of the case on the bottom. To see if it is the problem, you can disconnect the power, take both leads from the switch apart and check for continuity through the switch. If there is no continuity, the switch is keeping the contactors from kicking in. I check also by taking a tool with an insulated handle and pushing the contactor down for a second to see if the pump will come on.

Another problem I have where I live is ants. For some reason, ants like to live near the pump. Sometimes they will get between the contactor points and get fried. Enough of them, and you can't get continuity when the points close. One time it was a spider. Disconnect the power and use a piece of sandpaper or an emery board to clean the contact points.

I need a reset button if anyone has one. I hit the red button cover with a weedeater and lost the small black plastic reset button. I used to be able to stick an icepick up in there and reset it, but no longer. I hate to pay for a replacement switch, as you have to do a freon dump and recharge to change it out. At least $75 labor, $50-75 freon recharge, and the price of the switch. One repairman told me I could just jumper it out because it is a scroll compressor, but I don't want to tear up my compressor.
 
  #5  
Old 01-08-05, 12:47 PM
jphavener
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I will check out the high pressure reset switch. I didn't know that was there.

Thanks.
 
  #6  
Old 01-08-05, 03:50 PM
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Wink

Will the compressor run if you push in the contactor???

ED
 
  #7  
Old 01-09-05, 07:18 AM
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If your head pressure switch is tripping in the winter only it is normally caused by lack of airflow in the indoor airhandler. Which could be a dirty indoor coil, dirty filter, or closed/blocked vents. Another cause could be over charge of refrigerant.
 
  #8  
Old 01-16-05, 01:12 PM
Trob
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Did you get it going??
 
 

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