Help me diagnose this problem - stuck reversing valve? Nothing at all?

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Old 11-17-11, 08:36 PM
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Help me diagnose this problem - stuck reversing valve? Nothing at all?

I noticed when I got home today and cracked the window that the heat pump was making a pretty conspicuous hissing noise. The vapor line inside was extremely hot (much hotter than I believe it should be). I did some searching and found that the reversing valve could be at fault. I tried a few things, like shutting it down for a while, but it always seemed to happen again. Here's the exact order, from a cold start.

1) Turn the heat on.
2) The heat turns on, the vapor line warms up, and the blower is running.
3) The blower stops.
4) The vapor line gets very hot, and the outdoor heat pump eventually starts to hiss.
5) If left alone, the system will alternate between working and hissing.
6) If I shut the heat off, the blower will run until the system is cool (a few minutes).

I have never heard the noise before, and I have been outside in cold weather plenty before. It seems very unusual. I tried turning on the A/C for a while as I saw a recommendation that that might "unstick" a stuck valve, should that be the case. It has been OK since then (and the A/C worked flawlessly) so I tend to think it isn't the compressor. Is it the reversing valve? Was it simply stuck and is no longer? I am considering bringing a tech out to do regular maintenance and check the system but if that's a waste of money I won't bother. I am curious as to what this might be.
 
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Old 11-18-11, 05:20 PM
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The key apparently was step 3. The relay was fine and the motor was still getting power, but it wasn't spinning. With no airflow over the coils, the hot got hotter and the compressor built up pressure. Just needed a new blower motor.
 
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