Chasing down a Trane Heat Pump rumble and a condenser drip


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Old 12-11-20, 09:15 AM
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Chasing down a Trane Heat Pump rumble and a condenser drip

I've got 2 unrelated questions on a Trane XL1400 3T roof mounted electric heat pump.

Q1. New this week, on a previously issue-free unit since '06 when it was installed, is a low toned rumble from the inside air ducts emanating from the roof unit. Its a low rumble similar to some sheet metal that might be vibrating. Its clearly originating from some fan related action. Its not a screech, or metal to metal grind.

It does NOT occur when its on fan only. It DOES continue after the heat cycle shuts off and will then go away when the blower fan ends its spin and stops. I've looked for aliens, small children and neighbors pulling pranks, and none were to be found.

I have pulled a few side covers off and traced the sound origin to the area where the motor is located (but is not visible). I can see the squirrel wheel rotate, and there is no interference there, nor any apparent noise from that. The motor must be mounted above (and out of sight) from that particular panel viewpoint.

So, is my next step access to the motor by removing the entire top? Can I then view downward and start my continued noise diagnosis? I'm anticipating to see something similar to this at the 6:12 mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=ALak4ANZnn4


Q2. Is dripping normal from the condenser tray to the outside world via some weep holes in the bottom of the unit onto the roof during a heat cycle? See picture for the two drip streams. I've never been on the roof before during heating season (very sporadic here in Phoenix) and would have never observed condensation dripping this if it ever dripped off the edge of the roof (when viewed from below).


The temps here are in the upper 50's in the morning, and is 68-ish in the house. As a data point, it did rain yesterday (first time in 110 days), and it is moist outside with fog (gasp) reported in the valley.

Thanks in advance!!!
 
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Old 12-11-20, 10:46 AM
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Trane XL-1400 is just a group and tells us very little about your model.
The model number will be 10-15 digits and on the ID tag.

I see an XL-1400 gas pack but no heat pump.
Just to confirm..... you have a completely self contained unit on the roof..... is this correct ?
The link you left is to the gas pack and is different.

The compressor will be mounted directly below the condenser fan that you can see from the top of the unit. There is usually an access door to get to the compressor. One problem you may have is that the rubber feet under the compressor may have worn out.
 
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Old 12-11-20, 12:20 PM
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The model is WCY036G100BB per the sticker placed on the paperwork (Installation Operation Maintenance manual) tho the suffix is BA on the preprinted Service Facts paperwork.

"Just to confirm..... you have a completely self contained unit on the roof..... is this correct ?" Correct. No further air handler, or downstream functionality other than ductwork.

Agreed on the YT video link being gas, my OP referenced electric in the opening line. I added that link only for a visual reference. I'm totally convinced there is no vibration coming from the compressor, either through listening, feeling the outside chassis and observing. Its all on the opposite side of the unit where the noise is. Thats where the motor is, wiring, capacitors, etc are located.

Its turning out to be a nice afternoon today, so I'll take a shot at removing the top cover for my next level of inspection.

Thanks
 
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Old 12-11-20, 01:21 PM
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Well, off came the screws , and I could pry up one side of the cover to get a pic and shoot a short video, tho I cant load it here. The takeaway is that the blower motor is jerking mostly one way, but does rotate another way for a second or two before starting and stopping shortly, then cycling back and forth again. It wont spin on its own for more than 2 seconds. Once power is off, the motor will spin freely by hand. No resistance from the motor or wheel at that point.

I' presuming there is a control board that might be in the mix as well. Pic attached.


 
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Old 12-11-20, 01:35 PM
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You have to load videos at a place like you tube and link them here.

That is an ECM (electronically controlled motor) and based on your description....is failing.
 
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Old 12-11-20, 02:22 PM
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Thats what I am surmising based on some Youtube searches. Ouch...those things are 'spensive.

Well, I guess that closes this question out. Now, about the dripping in the previous question. Any thoughts on that?
 
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Old 12-11-20, 03:09 PM
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Some water dripping from the condenser is normal. Especially a heat pump that uses a defrost cycle. The system defrosts when it detects ice on the outside condenser coil.
 
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Old 12-13-20, 05:05 AM
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I'm now in the evaluating my repair/replace options for this ECM motor.

1. Single speed replacement - $500-ish - not my first choice to be limited to 1 speed. Installed
2. Mars replacement ECM unit - $850 - will need to be programmed. Has a 1 year warranty. Installed
3. Trane replacement ECM unit - $1000-ish - will need to be programmed. Installed
4. Used OEM Trane module, numbers match - $110 - unsure if programming required - 14day warranty. My install
5. New American Standard module and motor -$600ish - Online order. My install

There is some savings for me to install. I am totally comfortable with the mechanical part, but not sure about the programming, nor what seems to be a "need to dial it in" that I am hearing from a local tech. Airflow, torque, etc.

So...

Q1. Can a used ECM unit, Option 4, really be a plug and play and offer a viable solution, or are there programming considerations I should be aware of with a used unit.

Q2. Presuming option 5 can be ordered with the appropriate programming for the Trane XL1400 unit, is that just a plug and play installation?

What would I need to know about programming as a DIYer?
 
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Old 12-19-20, 01:25 PM
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A new aftermarket motor arrived this morning, with just a few dozen screws to put the top back on, she's 'a heatin' up a storm again (quietly) tho.



Thanks Pjmax!

This forum is super helpful for us DIY'ers.
p
 

Last edited by handyandy2; 12-19-20 at 01:26 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-19-20, 05:49 PM
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Good job. Thanks for letting us know how you made out.

 
 

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