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Old 12-30-2009, 11:29 PM   #1
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freezing up in winter


Hey I got a unit that is freezing up. I checked the filters, turned on E heat for 2 days, and then back to regulat heat pump and it froze up again. I dont think it matters but Im in NC and it is not that cold here, 32 or so only at night. I know how to add freon, but never done it in winter. I did a search here and found a post that said you could not check the freon below 55 deg. I think I could put the freon tank in a bucket of hot water to add, but how do I know when it is corect - or do I just add a pound and wait for a warm day?

Thanks for the help

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Old 12-31-2009, 05:23 AM   #2
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freezing up in winter


I would expect a heat pump to freeze or frost up at 32.

Does it go into defrost?

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:34 AM   #3
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freezing up in winter


Most systems have a chart inside the condensor showing what the pressures should be based on outdoor temps. Check the pressures,defrost control, capacitor and condensor fan motor before dumping freon in.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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freezing up in winter


Beenthere - no it does not go into defrost mode. It just keeps getting more and more ice around it.

Marty s- so I can check the pressure at 35 or so degrees outside ? I know how to chec k everything except for the defrost control. How would i go about checking that?

Once again thanks.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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freezing up in winter


If after 90 minutes of continuous run time it doesn't go into defrost. Then generally its not a charge problem.
Usually either the defrost stat or defrost board.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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is there a way to check them? What is a defrost "stat"?
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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freezing up in winter


Its a sensor on the coil of the outdoor unit.
Tells the defrost board timer to start.

Need a meter to check if the defrost stat is closed.
And just jumper out the test pins on the board, to see if its working.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:38 AM   #8
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freezing up in winter


sweet I can do that. so the orange wire should go to that sensor at some point right? I will find it on the wiring diagram. Sould be shorted if not short it, and it should work then replace it? if it is shorted (then it is good) jump from that point to the board?
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Defrost sensor wire may or may not be orange.
You'll have to look to see which wires in the outdoor unit go to the defrost sensor.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:34 PM   #10
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I I ran the unit for about 70 min or so and it ran fine, but it is 45 deg outside. I checked the sensor and it was not shorted, but I didnt think it would be since it was so hot. I took the sensor out of play and replaced it with a jumper, I would think it would send it into defrost mode, but it did not. I do remember adding freon to this unit about 4 months ago, so I think I might have a leak. Cant I add freon in cold weather by sitting the tank in hot water?
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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freezing up in winter


When you installed the jumper in place of the defrost stat.
The timer reset. And has to run for X minutes before it will go into defrost.

You can charge a heat pump at any temp it can run in and still provide heat or cooling.

But. Its real easy to over charge and damage the unit.

Can you check the compressor discharge temp(vapor line coming out of compressor).

Should be around 123 to 127 degrees warmer then the outdoor temp.

EG: 45 degrees outside, discharge temp should be around 170F.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:07 PM   #12
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If you have the sensor bypassed and put the defrost board in test mode and it still didn't defrost then the board is the problem. If you added freon 4 months ago and it's low again then it's time to fix that problem before it costs you a compressor.

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