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Old 07-12-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Last summer my then one year old heat pump kept our house at whatever temperature we set it to. This summer, it has trouble keeping the interior temps below 78...

We live in Mississippi, and this summer's highest temps have been around 100.

Earlier this year, when the cooling season first started, the inside coil froze up. We called out the contractor, and they replaced a widget under warranty. No more freezing, but the system does not put out really cold air.

The temperature measured at the closest register during the middle of the day was 67 degrees, and in the middle of the night was closer to 60. Also, last summer condensation would accumulate on the nearest register (it is in a bathroom) when someone would bathe. This summer, no condensation forms when someone showers...

The system ends up running continuously all day, and it puts out a steady flow of water from the condensate drain.

I am pricing having more insulation blown into my attic - the stuff that is there is 20 years old and has compacted down some. It is about 8 to 10 inches deep in most locations. However, the insulation hasn't compacted significantly over just one year's time...



Any input would be appreciated.. Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


If it's only 2 years old and it's performance has degraded then get the contractor out to look at the unit. It should still be under warranty.

Heat pumps are designed to have long run times. (so they can reduce humidity).

About all you can do is check the filter to ensure your getting good air flow.

What's your delta T and ambient? Temp of air return - Temp of outlet? If it's around 20 degree on a real hot day with good air flow then it's in the ballpark of "normal". Only a thorough system evaluation will say for sure.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Delta T is probably in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 degrees with an indoor temperature of 78 and outdoor temp of 95. I'm guessing on the outlet temperature because the nearest point to measure without making a hole for a thermometer is about 8 feet away down the ductwork.

The airflow through the system is great - no icing and I keep the filter changed every 30 days..
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


When's the last time you cleaned the outside coils?
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Yep. Check your coils. Could be dirty.

Could also have a leak, and the charge is low.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:07 AM   #6
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


I have not cleaned the outside coils. I did look through the louvers of the outside unit, and I cannot see any accumulation save for a small amount of grass in the bottom two or so inches. As for charge level, i cannot say. But a technician is supposed to be out today to look at it. Thanks for the input, guys!
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Dust/dirt. Gets in between the fins where you can't see it. And insulates the fins from giving off as much heat as they should.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


The technician came out and check the unit. He was there less than two hours, according to the time between when he called for the location of the key and when my spouse went home for lunch.

I called their office this afternoon to find out what the tech found. An office employee called me back and said that the tech found a valve that was not adjusted properly, and to let them know how the system is working for a few days.

Unfortunately, she did not know anything technical about this valve, it's function, or how or why it was misadjusted.

You know, I work at a dealership as a technician... It's odd to be on the receiving end of technical service...

Any idea what the tech may have done? Next time, I will take a vacation day and watch over the tech's shoulder...
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


the only valve i can think of is the TXV or thermostatic expansion valve. this is located on your indoor evaporator coil and controls the refrigerant flow into the coil. however, i'm no expert on these things but the one i have in my unit is not adjustable and is set from the factory for the type of refrigerant in the system. i guess some are adjustable. if that is the case and it wasn't adjusted properly, i could definitely see how this would cause a serious performance issue.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:02 PM   #10
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Ok, I'll buy that.

Would it be possible to adjust the thermostatic expansion valve to compensate for other factors - such as a low freon charge or dirty outside coils? Is adjusting the TXV a real fix, or is it a patch to cover up another cause? And if it is a real fix, how did it get to the point where it needed to be adjusted anyway? It was cooling fine last summer...
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


what was the "widget" they replaced under warranty? was it the TXV? i would assume that the tech would have checked the pressures on the high and low side to make sure that it wasn't low on refrigerant. that's pretty standard issue. you need to call and find out exactly what they did and what they adjusted.

if the widget replaced was the TXV, maybe they didn't adjust it property on the install. so you went from frozen coils (too little refrigerant in the evaporator) to possibly too much refrigerant in the evaporator (not enough cooling).
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:45 PM   #12
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


If it kept your house cool last summer.
Then the TXV really didn't need adjusted now.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:00 PM   #13
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


According to the office employee the widget was a contactor. Again, she was unable to say which contactor it was, and was unable to explain why a failed contactor would cause the evaporator coil to ice up...
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:14 PM   #14
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2 year old Trane XR13 won't keep up


Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselGuru View Post
According to the office employee the widget was a contactor. Again, she was unable to say which contactor it was, and was unable to explain why a failed contactor would cause the evaporator coil to ice up...
If the condenser's contactor sticks shut. When the indoor fan stops running. The coil becomes to cold and freezes over.

Its actually a very common thing.
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