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
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.
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 ,
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).
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.
To properly diagnose your system, the tech needs to gather all the required
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
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.
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.
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.
On Aug 28, 1:39 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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.
On Aug 28, 2:10 pm, email@example.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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