More fun with a Heat Pump

A month or so ago, I had a company replace the reversing valve on my heat pump (Carrier brand), and it worked fine for awhile.
For the last several days, though, it's not cooling like it should. It works for a few hours, but then I'll notice it getting warmer and warmer in the house. The pump is still running, just not cooling.
I've tried turning it off for an hour or so, and then turning it back on. While it does seem to cool off then, it cools at a rate of about 1 degree every two hours, until nightfall. Then, the house cools down, but probably because it's cool outside rather than the heat pump working.
I looked at the inside part today, and there was a small puddle of water in front (say, 6" diameter, maybe 1/32" deep), beneath the water pump section. I noticed that the water pump had a lot of condensation on the outside, and so did all of the PVC pipes that lead to it.
I went to replace the filter, and it was damp, too. Not soaking wet, but definitely damp. It's a paper filter, and it was wet enough that it ended up coming out in 2 or 3 pieces.
I dried off everything, then went back and hour later and it was just as wet as before.
Any thoughts? I'm broke as a joke from all of the home repairs I've had to do this year, so I'm hesitant to call out the repair guy, but at the same time my electric bill is $100 higher this month and will probably be worse next month! I just can't win here.
TIA,
Jaso
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It's very possible that you have a leak on the new reversing valve. Get the company back out to have a look... it might turn out to be a warranty item.
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sounds like a refriderant leak . moisture inside could be from the evaporator freezing , then thawing when you shut it down ,
kjpro already called it , get a hold of the company that installed the reversing valve , sounds like they might have a bad solder joint ,

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On Aug 23, 7:03 pm, snipped-for-privacy@-insightbb.com (The Freon Cowboy) wrote:

Thanks, guys. They're coming out later today to check it out.
- Jason
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dont disappear now , let us know what happens
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The repair guy said that the Expansion Valve has gone bad now. He added 2lbs of refrigerant, but said that the pressure didn't change, which was unexpected. He said that this wasn't uncommon after a reversing valve goes bad, either.
To be more specific, he said that the Power Element inside of the Expansion Valve had gone bad, but when he called to get a price, it would end up costing more to replace the Power Element alone than to replace the entire Expansion Valve.
For this one, Parts + Labor = $369 (in addition to the $79 diagnostic fee that's already paid).
Blah.
- Jason
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Was he only using a set of gauges? Or was he measuring line temperatures too?
When they brazed in your new reversing valve, did they purge with Nitrogen?
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I don't know the answer to any of these questions. I know that the repair guy was using gauges, but unless the device used to measure line temperatures would be small or built in to the gauges, I didn't see anything like that.
When they replaced the reversing valve, I wasn't home (my wife was), so I have no idea if they purged with nitrogen.
If you can explain the relevance of these questions, though, I would LOVE to go into this more aptly armed with knowledge. I hate to be the sucker that pays for a part that I don't need (with money that I don't have), when it could be something minor.
Thanks,
Jason
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To properly diagnose your system, the tech needs to gather all the required data. Such as:
SP/LP - The pressures on the system (requires refrigeration gauges). SLT/LLT - Temperatures of the refrigerant lines (requires thermometers attached to each line).
If your tech didn't read the line temps, he doesn't know what's going on with the system. These measurements allow the tech to figure the superheat and subcooling. This is very important troubleshooting data.
This is just one example, there's other data that he should be gathering too.
BTW, not using N2 while brazing is one way to oxidized the inside of your copper lines. This oxidation could have plugged up your TXV. *But, without a full set of readings and other troubleshooting, everything on this end is going to be a guess.
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Thanks for the details answer, I really appreciate that. Having not witnessed it, I can only take their word for it at this point, but I called and they did confirm that they (a) purged the system with N2 when they replaced the reversing valve as standard practice, and that (b) they did read the line temps.
Is this true, or are they just telling me what they want me to hear? I have no way of knowing. Unfortunately, my area is saturated with shady businesses that would lie in a heartbeat to get a nickel, BUT, this company has been around for awhile so I don't guess that I have much of a choice but to trust them.
The only alternative, of course, is to pay someone else another diagnostic fee to confirm, but even if they did find that the problem was with the reversing valve repair then you can be sure that the first company would just deny it.
Jason
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Hiring a second company to find the problem might be a good idea... cause if the first company is wrong, this would tell you who not to use in the future.
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Just play dumb. Don't tell them you had someone else look at it. Don't tell them you had that valve replaced recently. Don't tell them what the other company said it was. Make them figure it out for themselves.
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On Aug 28, 1:39 pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

As another update...
I had originally set up a time for them to come and replace the expansion valve on Wednesday, but I'm going to call and postpone it.
When the repair guy came to diagnose the problem, he added refrigerant and said that the pressure didn't register, letting him know that it's the expansion valve. However, I've noticed since then that the heat pump seems to be working just fine! For the last several days, it's held a consistent temperature and isn't running all the time, and where condensation was forming before, it's dry as a bone.
The only thing that changed was the addition of refrigerant. It's been 90+ degrees outside with a record drought, so it's not like there are cooler temperature coming in to play. My only thought is that the added refrigerant temporarily made up for a leak somewhere... which is what you guys suggested in the first place.
But at this point, I'm not willing to spend $400 when I have significant doubts.
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My wife and I are relocating to North Carolina as soon as our son graduates from HS. On our future house list is "MUST NOT have a heat pump."
Dick
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Hey, if you want to spend more money on heating your home, that's your choice. However, relocating to NC where HP's are the norm, good luck finding a home. LOL
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Did I mention that I'm in NC? I don't remember saying it, but you might have just read my mind. I'm on the Western side, about half way between Boone and Winston. Weather is generally mild during all 4 seasons, and while it's still small town living, you couldn't ask for anything better.
In this area, you won't find a newer home without a heat pump. You can find plenty of older farms, converted farm houses, etc, but that certainly wouldn't be a choice to save money!
To be fair, my parents home is an older home like that, and they use wood heat and window air conditioning units. While their electric bill is lower than mine, the house is also about 1/2 the size, so I don't know that we could make a side-by-side comparison. Plus, they spend a lot more time and money in the winter in gathering wood (and still freezing), so I guess that I would rather pay extra for stability.
If you're coming to this area, then my suggestion would be to buy a newer home. All of the mortage companies push a "home warranty" that covers the breakdown of appliances, and I would STRONGLY recommend it! It's around $500/year, which sucks, but I haven't had a full year yet where I didn't spend at least that amount on something. I had that warranty the first year as a "free gift" from the bank (this was back when they were begging people to take out a loan), and it covered a broken refrigerator, freezer, and all of the food. I didn't renew it after that, but really wish that I had.
- Jason
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See Dick. See Dick avoid heat pump. Smart, Dick, Smart!
--

Christopher A. Young
(Using backup computer. In a couple
  Click to see the full signature.
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Hey Dick I have easy solution for you move in KJPRO area he will take good care of you just make sure that you have 5 gallon of Vaseline handy
Tony

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Just because you can't figure out the problem, doesn't make my rates outrageous, you fucking hack!
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On Aug 28, 2:10 pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Dick Adams) wrote:

I think you may want to check your utility bills and recheck your position. I live in SE Virginia and replaced my Natural Gas furnace and Central Air System with a York High-Effi heat pump. My utility bills dropped by more than 50%. Last winter my highest electric bill was 213 and an additional 12 dollars for nat gas (still have a gas cooking stove). My neighbors with gas heat had 250 in Nat Gas and an additional 150 for their electric. In the summer here, my electric bill was close to 300 dollars...now they are about 125. I have heard a lot of people unhappy with heat pumps, but I sure like mine.
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