Heat pump icing up

Hello. I have a 12 year old Bryant heat pump (3 ton 661A model) that gets covered with ice a few times during the winter. It's done it twice so far this winter. It obviously has something to do with the unit not defrosting properly, but the HVAC guy I've had out to check it out (several times) always shows up just after I've defrosted it (by just letting it thaw out). Since it's not iced up while he's there, he says he can't check out the defrost control board(?) or other things that could be bad and causing the problem.
I've read a couple of web posts describing this same model heat pump, and the person said he replaced the defrost control board, which fixed his problem. He also mentioned the reversing valve, but ended up not needing to replace that. Are these parts things a tech should be able to swap in and out easily? Or are they expensive?
I do notice this unit making a clicking sound (rhythmically, every second or two) every once in a while. But usually it sounds pretty normal. Could the clicking be related to the defrosting/reversing thing?
Since the heat pump is 12 years old, could it be close to the end of its useful life? It'd be a shame, since it seems to do a good job of heating 95% of the time; it's just the iced-up times that make me need the aux heat for a day or two to defrost it. Any advice? Thanks.
F
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wrote:

Stop defrosting the thing manually and let the guy see it for himself. Then he can tell you, "Hey, I cant work on this. Its full of ice". Id rather it not have ice on it when I come. Otherwise, I have to charge you $75 per 1/2hr to thaw it out. I let my customers know that BEFORE I show up. The board CAN be checked out. So can the defrost sensor which Id recommend changing if you change the board. Yes other things can cause it. Bad board Bad sensor Stuck/Sticking reversing valve Incorrect refrigerant charge Outdoor fan not running. Outdoor fan running backwards Bad capacitor Blah, Blah, Blah and on and on. Is it expensive? Thats relative. Whats expensive to you? Are you getting the part at wholesale and fixing it yourself or are you calling a professional out to fix it? I dont know about the clicking. Maybe you could hum a few tunes for me. 12 yrs is not young for a heat pump. Especially that Bryant 661. 8-12 yrs is a general age for heat pumps but Ive certainly seen some GE's out there that are over 25 yrs old. Ive also seen some Bryant crap barely make the 5-6 yr mark before crapping out. Get and estimate and fix it or replace it. Bubba
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Bubba-
Thanks; I get the message. I'll have it checked by another guy (or two). It certainly works well almost all the time though; hope it's not done.
F
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In a pinch you can force the condensor to defrost by putting the stat into cooling mode and setting the inside temp to about 40 degrees.....the ice should all melt off it in about ten minutes doing it that way. Cold air will blow out the registers while that is happening.
Or you can just shut it off and melt the ice by spraying lots of cold water on the coils with an outside garden hose, really no reason to 'wait 2 days' for it to defrost.......
Most defrost boards will have a jumper selector for timer......30 minutes 60 minutes and 90 minutes--suggest have a tech set it to 30 minutes for the time being.
--

SVL



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Hi PrecisionMachinisT, hope you are having a nice day
On 27-Jan-05 At About 07:56:28, PrecisionMachinisT wrote to PrecisionMachinisT Subject: Re: Heat pump icing up
P> In a pinch you can force the condensor to defrost by putting the stat P> into cooling mode and setting the inside temp to about 40 P> degrees.....the ice should all melt off it in about ten minutes doing P> it that way. Cold air will blow out the registers while that is P> happening.
This won't work due to the fact the outdoor motor will run. the only way to defrost it is to also stop the outdoor motor. This should not be attempted unless you know what you are doing.
-=> HvacTech2 <=-
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