Medieval-era York Stellar Plus having attitude

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Old 02-26-14, 09:53 PM
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Medieval-era York Stellar Plus having attitude

Hey all - first, huge thanks for this incredible, wonderfully helpful site. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

Second, this is about a dual fuel heat pump/LP, and I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the gas section, so please feel free to move.

Here's my lovely, late-Cretaceous York Stellar Plus.





I bought the home a year ago and am just now getting in - long story.

To illustrate my problem, I did a 45-minute test tonight. Inside temp 46, outside 19.

00:00 - Set thermostat to 55
00:15 - Thermostat reads "Heat On." No flame in unit, cool air blowing from vents
1:18 - Reads "Aux Heat On." Louder whirring sound from unit (I figure it's got to be the blower)
2:00 - Flame ignites, air still blowing cool
3:00 - Air blowing warmer
4:00 - Warm air
14:00 - Inside temp up to 50
20:00ish - Inside temp up to 51. Flame goes out, blower turns off, air a bit less warm
22:00 - Thermostat reads "Heat On," air from vents is slightly warm
25:00 - Inside temp 52
27:00 - Air from vents no longer warm and getting colder
29:00 - Thermostat reads "Aux Heat On," blower turns on, cold air. No flame
31:15 - Inside temp 51
37:00 - Inside temp 50. Vent air not necessarily cold but definitely not warm. Maybe 60 degrees?
43:00 - Inside temp 49
45:00 - End of test

So basically, everything was great at first - LP was burning away, warming the house up. Went to heat pump and the air went cold. It tried to turn the gas back on but no luck.

The thermostat is a Honeywell VisionPro - here are the programming settings.

0110 - 0
0120 - 20
0130 - 14
0140 - 2
0150 - 26
0160 - 4
0165 - 0
0172 - 2
0173 - 0
0174 - 1
0176 - 2
0190 - 0
0200 - 1
0210 - 1
0220 - E (3)
0240 - E (5)
0250 - E (5)
0280 - 1
0300 - 0
0320 - 0
0330 - 2
0340 - 0
0342 - 1
0365 - 1
0370 - 1
0372 - E (0)
0379 - 0
0400 - 0
0450 - 0
0500 - 0
0510 - 0
0520 - 0
0530 - 1
0540 - 4
0580 - 5
0600 - 90
0610 - 60
0640 - 12
0650 - 0
0660 - 0
0670 - 0
0680 - 2
0690 - 2
0700 - 0
0701 - 0
0710 - 0
Er - 91

I have cleared out that error code 91 ("Thermostat is not receiving data from other equipment") before and it does come back.

I did clean out about 2 inches of muddy junk from the outdoor unit, but it didn't make much difference.

I've tried to study the unit for any smoke signals or Egyptian simple machines which would indicate some sort of error code, but I've come up empty. The cave drawings on the inside of the case haven't been much help either.

I guess my major question is how to troubleshoot this thing - hopefully it has to be trying to tell me what's wrong with it.

Many, many thanks for any advice you can give! I truly appreciate your kindness and generosity.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 10:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If one of the HVAC guys doesn't respond I'll come back and try to give you a bit of an education on how this thing works. I'll start by saying that air-to-air heat pumps generally don't do too well in below freezing weather. Your thermostat should have an outside sensor that "locks out" the heat pump and switches to the gas furnace below a certain outside temperature.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 05:53 AM
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Thanks, Furd! Yeah, I know that heat pumps really don't have any business trying to work at these temps; they can only change the temp so much. A friend of mine has a heat pump only and during the last cold snap the inside temp dropped to 56! But it seems that the air blowing from his vents was warmer than the air from mine when it's blowing cold. Still, it doesn't make much sense why it would switch from gas, which was doing magnificently, to heat pump, and then why it would try to switch back and not get ignition. Unfortunately to this rank amateur it seems like more than a simple programming issue
 
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Old 02-27-14, 11:24 AM
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You could have a couple of problems here. Set the switch to emer heat. Get the inside temp up to say 65*. Then go back to heat mode. This will help the heat pump preform better. Then we can deal with the flame failure.

PS. the guy that installed that unit was probably wearing fur!
 
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Old 02-27-14, 03:25 PM
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Many thanks, Skaggs! I will do exactly that tomorrow and report back.

Yes, I think he left the installation manual lying around and someone used it for a flagstone in the front walk. I'm surprised this thing is still working - surely it would have sustained substantial damage during Noah's flood.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 12:19 AM
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Your furnace really isn't all that old and being part of a heat pump setup probably doesn't have all that many hours of burn time. Going by the results of your 45 minute test I would say that the furnace itself is probably fine but that you DO have thermostat problems. I am not the least bit knowledgeable on heat pump thermostats so I can't help in that respect. You could very well have problems with the refrigeration equipment of the heat pump along with your thermostat problem so keep posting and I'm sure that Houston (HVAC pro) or Jay (thermostat pro) will be along to offer their wise help.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 08:22 AM
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Good to know, Furd - this makes great sense. Funny - the thermostat looks *brand* new, and it's a 7-day programmable one, but that certainly doesn't mean it couldn't be at fault. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-28-14, 08:39 AM
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The thermostat may not be faulty but could easily have been miswired or incorrectly configured for heat pump operation. I'm fairly good when wiring/configuring multi-stage and/or programmable thermostats but I won't touch a heat pump unit.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 08:59 AM
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Ok, now that we have totaly embarassed your furnace, if you can post the serial# we can tell how old it really is.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 01:03 PM
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It is extremely embarrassed!

So I examined the cave drawings a little more closely and derived this:

ANSI Z21.64b - 1989
Model no. P2UDD16P11401C
Serial no. EBAM079877

So perhaps 1989? Or maybe that just refers to some ANSI compliance.

I just turned on emergency heat and set it to 65 - 54 outside temp, 43 inside, and something very interesting happened. The flame lit almost immediately (orange, then ignited a short while later,) but the blower didn't start for 2 minutes or so, which I always thought is what it's supposed to do rather than blowing cold air before the unit is warmed up. Chugging right along now!

Thank you guys so much for the help - I appreciate this so much.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 03:46 PM
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Ok, turned it on emergency heat and set it for 65 several hours ago and then left - it's now reading Aux Heat, no air is blowing from the vents, and it's 49 degrees inside . No errors showing since I cleared it last night.

So... where to begin? Any suggestions on how to diagnose this ailing brontosaur?
 
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Old 03-01-14, 10:15 AM
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Ok, the unit was built in Feb 1992. If you could post a pic of wiring diagram we can figure out whats wrong.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 11:02 AM
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Great!! Will do it tonight and post ASAP.

Thank you guys SO much - I appreciate this tremendously.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 02:03 PM
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Wow - talk about hieroglyphics!



And there it is! You guys are such champs.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 02:27 PM
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Smile

Hey Tasty, First thing to check is the ignition control ground. Make sure it doesn't have rust. Just disconnect the wire and clean it up make sure it is good and tight. Clean the flame sensor with steel wool. Located on the drawing bottom right. It looks like the wire going to it is purple, so you can trace it to the sensor. Sometimes they are hard to get to, so be warned! Keep me updated.

Remember your furnace propably has low self esteem so be gentle.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 03:32 PM
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Next we will eliminate the stat as the problem. Turn the power off to the system. Remove the stat so you can see the wires. Jumper or tie the R wire to the W wire. Turn power on. Then see what the furnace is doing. If the system runs OK then the stat is whacked. If it does the same thing then it in the furnace. I'm not sure how deep you want to get into this. But to move forward you will need a voltmeter.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 05:55 PM
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Skaggs, you are a gentleman and a scholar. The next time I find myself in MO, I am buying you the beverage of your choice.

I disconnected the ignition control ground (only the end with the ring connector - the other end was really in there and looked totally rust-free), and it was clean as a whistle. I steel-wooled it anyway and snugged it down tight.

I removed the flame sensor, and it also looked fine; there was corrosion on the portion of the spade connector that wasn't plugged in to the purple wire - the part that was in the other spade was shiny. I steel-wooled everything to be sure and reassembled.

I tested it again, and had the same problem. I did notice that there was a gurgling/bubbling sound from the furnace at first, which gradually either got much softer or went away.

Brilliant idea to isolate whether the problem is the thermostat or the furnace! Will do ASAP - may be tomorrow night, or worst-case Monday night.

So basically, if the thermostat is at fault, when it's bypassed, the system should be blowing hot air whether heat pump or gas?

Thank you SO much for this! I would like to try to do as much on this as I can - I used to just assume that I wasn't capable of fixing things and have slowly been proving myself wrong (with not too much destruction along the way). So as long as your patience with me lasts, I'd love to keep on!
 
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Old 03-02-14, 12:06 PM
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No worries on the gurgling, thats the refrigerant moving through the copper lines from the heat pump. It takes about 10 min. for the system to stabalize.
Glad to hear you want to keep going. As for the heat pump blowing hot air, when outside temps get below say 30*, you will be lucky to get 85* out of the furnace. That's when the LP comes on (aux heat) to help out the heat pump.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 04:21 PM
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Alright - I confess ignorance!

When I removed the stat there was a red wire to "1", a white wire to "2" and a blue wire to "3"...I foolishly assumed that r might be red and w might be white, so i jumped them... And nothing happened. I read up and discovered that it was likely red and blue that I needed... Still nothing! I started by jumping them, then took them out and twisted them together, and finally used a wire nut, but not a peep from the furnace. I waited about 10 minutes just to be sure, but nothing.

So perhaps it's white and blue that I need? But I'm going to wait for the word from you all before I do just in case! Incidentally, I put everything back and it's working the same way it was before, so it appears at least I didn't fry anything.

Also, I have a voltmeter and I ain't afraid to use it!

Thanks again, guys.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 05:37 PM
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Nevermind - I opened up the "equipment interface module" and there was all kinds of great stuff. R to W1 (I assume is surely the heat pump) made a sort of soft whooshing noise, then stopped, then didn't do anything. R to W2 (must be the gas) kicked the gas on, and it's been doing great. Will report back!
 
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Old 03-04-14, 06:01 PM
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Eminently interesting. After 20 minutes or so, the flame went out and no air was blowing from the vents. I reconnected W1 and again, nothing but a soft "click" Inside the unit. How interesting!
 
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Old 03-05-14, 09:09 AM
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OK, I see what you have now. I have only seen this once. What you have is a honeywell 3 wire stat and interface board. This was added on at some time. So disregard what I said about stat jumpering. With the stat turned off check volts on interface. Put meter on C and 1. If you have 24v then that is the power to the stat. If 0v then try C to 2 and C to 3. Then turn stat to heat and check again you should have 24v on two terminals. Those would be the ones to jumper at the stat. This way you know that the wires are good from the stat to furnace.

Hope this makes some sort of sence to you.
 
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Old 03-05-14, 09:33 AM
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It certainly does, Skaggs - I really can't thank you enough for your patience on this. Will do ASAP - I have to work until 9:15 tonight and back at 6:30 tomorrow, so may be tomorrow night!

Thank you, thank you.
 
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Old 03-06-14, 09:57 AM
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I finally found the manuel in my files ( its really just a pile of papers). You will have to test the stat at the interface module. Turn the stat to heat. Check from C to W1. You should have 24V. This starts the heat pump. Then check C to G this starts the fan. If those are OK then Jumper between R and W2. Let the unit run and see if you get flame failure. If no flame failure then the stat is shutting off the unit to soon.

If you get flame failure then we could go to the next step.
 

Last edited by skaggsje; 03-06-14 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:06 AM
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Skaggs, you are incredible. Working until 10:30 tonight so may be tomorrow morning until I get to attack this. Will report back!
 
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Old 03-07-14, 12:38 PM
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Alright! C to W1: dead as a doornail. C to G is 24v. Perhaps this sheds some light on why when it thinks the heat pump is working it's just blowing cool air!
 
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Old 03-07-14, 01:46 PM
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OK, Go ahead and Jumper R to W2. Now check to see what you have on C and Y. If you get flame failure look in the blower section and locate the black hose with a black trap. Some times this trap needs to be primed. You will need to disconnect the hose on the bottom right. Take a funnel put it in the hose and raise it above the trap and fill with water then reconnect. What happens is when the trap is dry the water can't drain from the combustion blower. This will shut down the unit.
 

Last edited by skaggsje; 03-07-14 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 03-07-14, 06:02 PM
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OK - jumped R to W2, flame on, but nary a volt between C and Y. Flame failed after 20ish minutes as usual. I'm looking for the correct hose, and I admit I'm not certain which one it is, though there aren't that many suspects to choose from.






Perhaps bottom one in top photo? Or bottom in second?

As you can see in the second, there's a sort of pump rigged up bottom right which pumps out the water when there's any substantial amount.

Thank you sir!
 
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Old 03-08-14, 10:12 AM
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The bottom hose in the second pic is the drain line. The condensate pump is sitting just out side the furnace. Follow the pipe from the pump to the floor drain. While the furnace is running watch to see if water is draining.
 
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Old 03-08-14, 11:31 AM
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Great! Should be home in an hour to test. I've heard that condensate pump kick on several times, but I'll be sure. Then I'll fill that drain hose with water, though I'm sure most of it will run out when I try to reattach it since the trap is higher than the pump, but since the idea is to get the trap wet, should be all good. Will report back - thank you sir!!
 
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