Compressor Not Coming On. Painter Covered It With Dropcloth While It Was Running! - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:05 PM   #1
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Compressor not coming on. Painter covered it with dropcloth while it was running!


My outside compressor stopped running today. I now realize that the painters who were painting the outside of my house on the side where the AC compressor is, had it covered with their drop cloth for several hours while they spray painted that wall.

I started noticing the house getting hot around 3pm today. By 9pm it was 80 degrees inside. I went outside and found the compressor is not running, even though the AC fan is on. Its just blowing unconditioned air.

Any ideas of what I can do to try to get it running again? Perhaps it overheated and tripped something that I can reset? I suspect that the drop cloth may have caused it to overheat, but I'm no expert obviously, which is why I'm reaching out here before I call the technician in the morning.

It's a Trane compressor unit that up until today never gave me any problems.

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Old 09-09-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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I should note, neither the compressor fan nor the compressor are coming on. It seems unlikely they both would fail, right?

The inside unit appears to be working fine. The fan is blowing air through the vents. My Nest thermostat is set to 73 and the current temp is 80 degrees.

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Old 09-09-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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Post the full outdoor unit model number. There could be a manual reset high pressure switch in it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:56 PM   #4
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I thought it was a Trane.

Its actually a "Rheem Classic" Model RPNL-060JAZ
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
Post the full outdoor unit model number. There could be a manual reset high pressure switch in it.
Yes. According to item number 5 below, from the online manual, there is both a high and low pressure reset.

Now, how to operate it. I'll keep reading and see if it tell and I'd welcome your help there too.

Quote:
Model Features
RPNL- Series Heat Pump Outdoor Unit
1. Scroll compressor is hermetically sealed and incorporates internal
high temperature motor overload protection, and durable insulation
on the motor windings. It is externally mounted on rubber grommets
to reduce vibration and noise.
2. Copper Tube/Aluminum Fin Coils—Both indoor and outdoor coils.
3. Strong, Attractive Cabinet—Constructed of powder painted steel.
Louvered design protects the coil from damage.
4. Internal Check Valve—Provides for more quiet refrigerant metering.
5. Enhanced Compressor Protection—Features an enhanced defrost
control, auto-reset high pressure control, and auto-reset low
pressure control to provide compressor protection under abnormally
high head pressure conditions (outdoor fan failure, restriction, dirty
coil, etc.) or abnormally low suction pressure conditions (restrictions,
TEV failure, loss of charge, indoor blower failure, etc.) while eliminating
nuisance tripping sometimes experienced with conventional
control systems.
6. Drawn Painted Base Pan—For extra corrosion resistance and
sound reduction.
7. Demand Defrost Control—Provides complete defrost when defrost
is required.
8. Non-Cycling Reversing Valve—Eliminates discharge noises on each
heating cycle.
9. Hot Gas Muffler—Reduces noise in heating cycle.
10. Bi-Directional Filter Drier—Standard on all models (shipped –
not installed).
11. Service valves are standard on all models.
12. Refrigerant Metering—TEV accurately meter refrigerant into indoor
and outdoor coils.
13. The RPNL- has a 10 year limited compressor warranty.
14. All refrigerant connections are on the exterior of the unit, located
close to the ground for neat appearing installations.
15. Coil design permits compressor operation with the access panel
removed.
16. Control box is fully accessible in the upper part of the cabinet, just
under the access panel.
17. Power and control wiring are kept separate.
18. Every unit is factory charged and tested.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:48 PM   #6
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I found another copy of the installation manual that appears to be a bit more thorough and advanced than the one I referenced above. It appears to indicate that my unit definitely has the high pressure auto reset feature. Also, it appears that the "auto defrost lockout" has to be reset in order to restore power to the outdoor compressor.

Am I reading this right? I basically just need to cut power to the indoor air handler/furnace and that will automatically reset/unlock power to the outdoor unit?

Quote:
8.6 HIGH/LOW PRESSURE CONTROL MONITORING - ENHANCED
DEFROST CONTROL ONLY (Units with Model Numbers Ending
with “AZ”).
Status of high and low pressure controls is monitored by the enhanced feature
demand defrost control and the following actions are taken.

High Pressure Control – Provides active protection in both cooling and heating
modes at all outdoor ambient temperatures. The high pressure control is an automatic
reset type and opens at approximately 610 psig and closes at approximately
420 psig. The compressor and fan motor will stop when the high pressure control
opens and will start again if the high side pressure drops to approximately 420 psig
when the automatic reset high pressure control resets. If the high pressure control opens 3 times within a particular call for heating or cooling operation, the defrost control will lock out compressor and outdoor fan operation

Low Pressure Control – Provides active protection in both heating and cooling
modes at all outdoor ambient temperatures. The low pressure control is an automatic
reset type and opens at approximately 25 psig and closes at approximately
40 psig. Operation is slightly different between cooling and heating modes.
Cooling Mode: The compressor and fan motor will stop when the low pressure
control opens and will start again when the low side pressure rises to approximately
40 psig when the low pressure control automatically resets. If the low
pressure switch opens 3 times within a particular call for cooling operation, the
defrost control will lock out compressor and outdoor fan operation.
Heating Mode: The compressor and fan motor will stop when the low pressure
control opens and will start again when the low side pressure rises to approximately
40 psig when the low pressure control automatically resets. If the low
pressure switch trips 3 times within 120 minutes of operation during a particular
call for heating operation, the defrost control will lock out compressor and outdoor
fan operation. If the lock-out due to low pressure occurs at an outdoor
ambient temperature below 5F, the defrost control will automatically exit the
lock-out mode when the outdoor ambient temperature rises to 5F. This feature
is necessary since the low pressure control could possibly have opened due to
the outdoor ambient being very low rather than an actual system fault.

Exiting Lock-Out Mode: To exit the lock-out mode, remove 24 volts to the defrost
control by removing power to indoor air-handler/furnace or by shorting the two
defrost control test pins together.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:56 PM   #7
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Try cutting the power for a few minutes.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
Try cutting the power for a few minutes.
Thanks. I just need to figure out how to do that. I don't see it marked on my breaker panel. I do have a dedicated AC breaker box next to my panel that has the large pull out type breaker. I believe that's for the outdoor unit though. I did pull it earlier today and put it back in, but it did not appear to help things or trigger a reset to the outdoor unit. I also pulled the breaker from the outdoor disconnect and reset it. Still no AC.

Interestingly, I also have a light switch at my indoor air handler that appears to control power to it.

Does indoor air handler/furnace typically use a 30 Amp 220 breaker or 110?

Last edited by vestaviascott; 09-10-2015 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:14 AM   #9
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Air handler is usually a dedicated single pole 120V breaker, with a local disconnect at the unit as well (The light switch you mention). Outdoor unit is a double pole breaker, 30A is fairly common.

I'd kill power to both for a few minutes or so, in case the defrost board is powered off the 24V low voltage circuit.

None of the units I've worked on have had a defrost control, so I don't know for sure.

Edit: I'm blind, apparently. The manual snippet you posted does indeed say to remove the 24V power to reset. That should be coming from the air handler/furnace power.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:23 AM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions. I now have cold AC again. Switching the switch off at the indoor air handler did the trick. I left it off for about a minute, then switched it back on. Turned my thermostat back on and I now have cold AC. I can hear the outdoor unit running.

Apparently the restricted air flow created by the painter's drop cloth triggered the lock out condition. All that I had to do was cut power to the indoor unit (via the switch) and that triggered the reset of the lock out and restored power to my outdoor unit.

Appreciate the tips and suggestions! I was shaping up to be a hot humid night here in Bama, lol.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteve View Post
Edit: I'm blind, apparently. The manual snippet you posted does indeed say to remove the 24V power to reset. That should be coming from the air handler/furnace power.
Its ok. That was a long snippet. I appreciate the help.

Does this mean that the defrost control board is located in the indoor unit or the outdoor unit?

I could hear a hum each time I turned the switch on at the indoor unit. I presume that's the defrost control powering on?
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:31 AM   #12
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The defrost control is in the outdoor unit, but gets its power from the transformer at the air handler. The hum you hear in the air handler with the power on is likely the aforementioned transformer. They hum sometimes when they can't remember the words.

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