Emergency Light flashing Trane Heat Pump

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Old 01-17-05, 09:05 AM
Carltine
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Question Emergency Light flashing Trane Heat Pump

Walking by the Thermostat a month ago I noticed the emergency light was flashing consistantly. I got on line and read that the filter (which is sponge like and washable) might need to be cleaned. I turned off the furnace and cleaned the filter. This seemed to correct the problem. 3 days ago I had a service tech out to sell me a whole house humidifer. He explained that the inside fan should be in the "on" position all the time to maintain optimum heating and money savings. So...I switched the fan to on. Several hours later the emergency light is now flashing. I cleaned the filter...again...and the light still flashes. Also. Husband says the compressor outside is never turning on. We get heat but I'll bet I'm paying about $50 an hour to the ele. company. Service will be out tomorrow ($85 charge to walk in the door). Any suggestions on problem? I'd like to have some knowledge to analyze what the service tech recommends as a fix. ele heat pump Model TWV030B140A and central A/C. Temp in Pa. has been 20 to 50 degrees. Unit is 11 years old. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-17-05, 10:33 AM
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What he will find hard to say. Its like why the outdoor unit didnt run thats the first. When its on that big copper pipe to the coil shoulf be hot or warm. The defrost board? its lot of ifs here. that washable filter I get it out of there and use a good pleated kind change it every 30 to 90 days. caan also be with that old filyter that the coil inside could need to be cleaned.

ED
 
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Old 01-18-05, 06:08 AM
Carltine
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Ed.. Thanks for the info. Service guy just left. He charged me $129 and this is what he did. He took my thermostat cover off and blew on the thing. This (he claims) corrected the flashing light problem. Here is what makes me skeptical. He said there are no coils to clean inside or outside. He said the only thing I need to do is keep the filter clean. He recommended I buy an electrostatic filter rather than use the "sponge" filter that came with the unit. He also said that the big copper tube will not be hot or even warm to the touch unless it is above 40 degrees outside. The reason being that the heat pump isn't working below 40. Does that sound right to you? He said what I have is a very large electric base board heat unit that happens to have a blower on it. I'm really not even using the unit outside at all. Gosh I sure hope this saves someone else from having to spend $$ for a puff of air! Great site and I will continue to visit. I have found a wealth of info and I appreciate what you do!
 
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Old 01-18-05, 09:09 AM
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If you have a heat pump and it sounds like you do then there is a coil in your air handler that needs cleaned every year or two. Your heat pump for some reason may be set to shut down at 40 but they will run down below freezing without a problem they just get less efficient. The temprature of the air coming out of the vent has nothing to do with where you set your stat at. The heat pump has no idea where it's set at, it just gets a call for heating. The outdoor unit extracts heat from the outdoor air and the refrigerant in the system absorbs this heat then it is blown out into your home. The temps coming out of your vents depends on the temps outside. The colder it is outside the cooler the air coming out of the vents and at 40 outside air temp the large copper line should be pretty hot.

Another thing there is no way I can think of that blowing the dust out of the t-stat will stop the emergency heat from coming on. I guess anything is possible but I just wonder if he disconnected the e/heat or the connection to the light so you wont see it flashing. Flip your switch on the stat to emergency and see what happens.

Lastly the washable filters are junk and so are electrstatic in my opinion. I would reccomend that you get the $5 dollar pleated filters and change them every 30 - 90 days depending on how dirty they are.
 
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Old 01-18-05, 12:58 PM
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Im with Matt here . You say you have a heat pump. the outside unit should run anytime you need heat. I know of no heat pump that shuts off as it get colder out.BUT BUT like if you have gas or oil back up on the heatpump then they will turn off at a set temp outside and heat with the other fuel. For the blower on 24/7 its ok if you think you need it. But its more to help even the heat out in the home, like with a to hot 2nd floor. And for sure you have a coil inside with the heat pump are AC that can be dirty after 11 years with that foam filter. Lets us know what else you find out on your unit. You get about 3 time more heat from the heat pump for a dollar as you get from the electric strip heaters for the same dollar. look into a good humidifier for on the unit and good pleated filters
post back here

ED
 
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Old 01-19-05, 12:23 PM
Carltine
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Thanks again for your help. I just walked by the t stat and it is again blinking red. It has never done this in 11 years and I sure hope it is something simple. I will be getting the filters you recommend as I have no faith in the service guy that came out yesterday. Yes, I do have a heat pump and I supplement with a ventless propane fireplace which I can't tell you how much I appreciate it! I will have a good humidifier installed (hopefully Friday). It is snowing here and about 20 degrees (burrrrr). I should add that when I flip the t stat to emergency heat the light is solid red. Also..the aux heat light comes on (as I guess it should and always has) when the furnace kicks on. It is on for a short time and then the light goes off. I will feel that pipe again. I think it stays cold. My best guess is that those coils are probably disgusting as I didn't know they existed...ooops! Are they silver in color and directly behind the filter? My furnace is set up that behind the door at eye level is the blower. Below that I can flip the cover open and there is the filter and I think behind the filter is the coils. I sure do appreciate you helping me out and giving me some knowledge so that I don't get taken to the cleaners on this...I think I will ask for my money back from this yahoo who says I don't have coils! He works for a national store chain too!
 
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Old 01-24-05, 10:19 AM
Carltine
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Ed and Matt, Friday the installer came out to attach the humidifer to the air handler. He showed me where the coils are. They are clean! In order to install, the circut breaker was turned off. Consequently, the thermostat went back to normal operation (with no blinking red light). 24 hours later..blinking. I am going to take a shot in the dark and figure the thermostat is bad. Once I get dug out (from the snow storm) I am going to replace the stat and see if the problem is corrected. In the mean time I have heat and I will let you know if my heat bill is out of this world. The service tech said he would come back (free of charge) and hook up all the stuff on my outdoor unit to see that there is freon and all that stuff. He said it was too cold to test right now. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-24-05, 04:55 PM
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When the light is blinking is it cold (below about 35) outside? I'm betting the blinking light is the aux. heat kicking in.

On most of the units in my rental houses the light will come on or blink when the aux. heat is coming on automatically as needed (when the switch is in the normal position). When you move the switch to the emergency or aux. heat position the light stays on.

From what I've read a modern heat pump can operate in straight heat pump mode down to about 24-35 degrees (outside temp) in a well insulated modern home. An older heat pump or less insulated home will require the aux. heat strips to kick in when it is warmer outside (like 35-40 degrees).

I think having the fan set to "on" helps keep a uniform heat throughout your house, but doesn't really help the heat pump work better. I'm a beleiver in set it and forget it. Heat pumps work slow and steady. They just keep circulating the air warming it by a degree or so on each pass so they seem to work better when they are left in the auto position and you set the temp and leave it alone. Turning the heat down when you go to work may allow the house to cool to the point that the heat pump cannot catch up without turning on the aux. heat strips.

I just happened to be looking at several heat pumps yesterday and today. The coils and metal hoses inside the unit are sometimes warm and sometimes cool. My HVAC guy said that heat pumps occasionally run in reverse to thaw out the outside unit. Also, when it is really cold outside and the heat pump cannot extract any more heat from outside so the metal tubing is cool feeling (most of the heating is coming from the aux. heat strips). When it is a bit warmer outside (like 40) and the heat pump is working than the tubing feels warm.
 
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Old 01-24-05, 05:44 PM
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Turning the heat down when you go to work may allow the house to cool to the point that the heat pump cannot catch up without turning on the aux. heat strips.
Thats why we tell people not to try and use a programmable tstat on a heat pump. What you save on the set back you will pay for on the pick up with the AUX heat on.

The coils and metal hoses inside the unit are sometimes warm and sometimes cool. My HVAC guy said that heat pumps occasionally run in reverse to thaw out the outside unit.
All heat pumps will at some time go into defrost mode. thats like and AC that is to melt any ice off it. also at this time the outdoor fan will not be running. If the weather is just right you will also see smoke comeing up from the out door unit . its not smoke its steam is all.
Now heat pumps can run and run to warm the home . what ever the outside temp is. But when it comes to they cant keep up and the tstat shows a 2o drop then that will turn on the AUX heat.

just info ED
 
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Old 01-24-05, 05:51 PM
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One other thing is I would toss that washable filter. After a while they don't come clean and restrict airflow. You're better off with the $5 dollar pleated and replace them every 30 - 90 days depending on how dirty they are.
 
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