Carrier Heat Pump Control Problems

In May of this year I posted a message to this ng with the subject "Heat Pump Performance Questions" where I listed what seemed to me to be erratic control circuit performance of a Carrier Heat Pump system in a cooling mode. (Many times per day the air handler would start and run for 5 to 15 minutes before the compressor started). When the compressor did start the system seemed to operate normally, and the cooling was good. Some of the responses to this post pointed out that all HP systems probably include timing circuits meant to protect the compressor. For example the literature that came with our Carrier system refers to (1) a five minute Compressor Timeguard which will prevent the compressor from starting unless it has been off for at least 5 minutes, and (2) a Fifteen-minute Cycle Timer which prevents the start of a heating or cooling cycle until at least 15 minutes after the last start of the same cycle. It also refers to a Two-minute Minimum On Time, where a stage once turned on will not turn off for a minimum of two minutes.
These all sound like reasonable protective features to me, but I don't think they explain the performance I was seeing. At the time of my first post on this subject in May of this year our system was performing erratically (in my opinion) many times per day, with long delays before compressor startup and unexpected compressor shutdowns. None of these delays or shutdowns seemed to me to be connected to the above-described compressor protections. Then as our weather got hotter, and in fact throughout the entire summer (here in central Florida) the system performed very normally and the compressor delays and shutdowns seemed to vanish. But now that the weather has moderated, all of the problems apparently have returned. Even after the the system has been off for 30 minutes or more, a call for cooling by the thermostat often results in 5 to 15 minutes of air handler operation before the compressor starts. At other times both might start together but the compressor might stop after a few minutes (and remain off for 5 or 10 miinutes) while the air handler continues to run. Then the compressor will start and normal cooling will resume. The compressor and/or the outside fan seem to have minds of their own -- running when and if they feel like it. (I have attached ribbons so that I can easily see from inside the house if the outside fan is running -- but I can't always be sure about the compressor itself.)
The service manager for the installing dealer has finally admitted to me that this operation might be faulty (after long contending that the performance was "normal"). He says that there are two control circuit boards which might be causing the problems. He now suggests that I have them replace the two boards (which are under a 10 year parts warranty) at a cost to me of $90 labor for each board, plus a $69.95 service call charge -- total cost to me of $249.95 -- to see if this will fix the problem. At the same time he suggested that they set the new boards with no delays "so that everything starts at the same time". I'm not ecstatic about the quoted cost for a "try it and see if it helps" fix -- and his suggestion to eliminate the delays makes me a bit uncomfortable too. (If this is an acceptable tactic, then why did the original design include the delays?)
I hope to discuss this further with this service manager, and hopefully also with one or two other "experts" (if I can find one or two). I'm also wondering if it might be worthwhile for me to try a new thermostat (Honeywell this time to replace the original "Carrier" stat) to see if that might fix the problems.
As you can probably imagine -- any helpful suggestions will be greatly appreciated. For example, could these problems possibly be linked to a faulty thermostat? Would trying a new t-stat be a good first step? Sorry this post is so long -- but I thank you for wading through it and for offering any suggestions.
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Considered perhaps you have a two stage thermostat thats incorrectly wired up to a single stage heat pump system ???
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On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 13:16:33 -0800, "PrecisionMachinisT"

Thanks for your comment. The stat is a Carrier HP type, listed as appropriate for "1 stage cool, 2 stage heat", which seems correct to me (we have 1 stage cooling and 1 stage heat pump heating plus electric auxiliary or emergency heat).
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Probly best to bring in the Carrier guys--its been said many times before here its hard to troubleshoot these things over the internet, and your case is certainly no exception
And if he suspects a faulty controller from phone your conversations with him then theres probly a good reason.
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Maybe it is time to kick it up an notch. Find the local sale manager for the Carrier product. There might be an recall/known issue with that "rev" of boards. I worked for an OEM, they produced an line of products that had bad screens. They knew what dates they were produced but did not keep track of the serial numbers. DUH.... Make sure you can document all of the problems from installation The service manager for the installing company is an manager. You need the most senior tech.
I have an hard time understanding why you should pay for anything when the issue was known from "the beginning?" What kind of screwy warranty is this? Should be parts and labor for at least the first year. Especially for an high end unit.
Just my view from the cheap seats
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