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Old 04-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #31
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Hoping so.
It did seem odd to be frozen when the heat was on. Warm ait was coming out, as far as i could tell, since we woke up comfortable and not chilly.
Your strip heaters could have been on, and kept you warm, while the heat pump was running in cooling mode.

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #32
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Your strip heaters could have been on, and kept you warm, while the heat pump was running in cooling mode.
Hmm. So you're saying heat can come out into the various rooms while inside the unit its getting frosty?

I wonder - this was on a cold rainy day - make any difference? There were cold rainy days all winter but it seems like an odd coincidence - like the moisture outside could have any bearing on the inside of the unit? (remember I know nothing).

So the guy didn't show up today but I'm waiting to hear back - he was called in by the contractor (remember, new home) so it may not be till tomorrow. In the meantime, I took out the old filter again and noticed the ice was gone. Probably all melted. I took a photo looking down into the unit and only saw a small puddle. By the way, there is no drain at the bottom. I also took a photo looking up. Both are attached. I wiped away any excess moisture by wrapping a paper towel around a fly swatter , put in a new cheap filter (in case it gets iced again, I went with a cheap one for now), and turned the unit back on to see if it occurs again. It will also help bump up the temp in the home for an hour or so since its been chilly with the heat off due to this issue. I will go check it before bed tonight. May leave it on over night, but am wary and might turn it off...unsure yet.

See attached pics.

BTW - if it was a refrigerant leak, would I have found any of it anywhere? I only seem to have noticed water from the melted ice.

PS - would any of this result in mold? Or will the act of the fan or whole unit running simply dry out any leftover droplets?

See 2 photos attached - looking straight down and looking straight up - its all i could do to stick the camera in where the filter goes.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:51 PM   #33
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I was thinking the same thing, how could the heat strips be on and there be ice?

No need to worry about the water in the unit, it'll either evaporate when the unit is turned back on or go down the drain.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:14 PM   #34
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I was thinking the same thing, how could the heat strips be on and there be ice?

No need to worry about the water in the unit, it'll either evaporate when the unit is turned back on or go down the drain.
The strip heaters are after the indoor coil. So they can both be on. If he RV got stuck in cooling mode during defrost, the indoor coil will freeze up. Could also be an intermittent short, that kept the RV energized.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:18 PM   #35
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I knew that...

Geez, I'll just shut up until he comes back and says it is indeed a leak, than I'm going to scream from the top of my lungs, I TOLD YOU SO!!

Not enough pressure being in low speed to hold back any of the possible elecrically heated air, huh? Static pressure like?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:22 PM   #36
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I knew that...

Geez, I'll just shut up until he comes back and says it is indeed a leak, than I'm going to scream from the top of my lungs, I TOLD YOU SO!!

Not enough pressure being in low speed to hold back any of the possible elecrically heated air, huh? Static pressure like?
Have you ever seen a condenser coil freeze up because of a leak? Remember, in heat mode the inside coil is the condenser. So even if it has a leak, the indoor coil would be receiving hot gas from the compressor. So something had to have the RV in its cooling position, so that the indoor coil was the cooling coil.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:00 PM   #37
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I certainly have seen the lineset frozen up all the way up to and including turning the compressor into a block of ice in cooling mode on regular (non heat pump) systems.

Hypothetically, since the heat strips are downwind, for lack of a better term, of the evaporator and the system was running in cooling mode during call for heat and then the evaporator turned into a block of ice, wouldn't the unit trip out on high limit without any air being able to push the electrically heated air out?
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:05 PM   #38
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I certainly have seen the lineset frozen up all the way up to and including turning the compressor into a block of ice in cooling mode on regular (non heat pump) systems.

Hypothetically, since the heat strips are downwind, for lack of a better term, of the evaporator and the system was running in cooling mode during call for heat and then the evaporator turned into a block of ice, wouldn't the unit trip out on high limit without any air being able to push the electrically heated air out?
You saw the compressor frozen, but not the outside coil.

Some air was making it past the coil probably, since the house was staying warm. The strip heaters have thermal switches usually, which will cycle the strips on and off as they get to hot, and then cool back down.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:10 PM   #39
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Someone say strip heaters? Ta da!! Intertherm downflow modular electrical box and heat srips, at your service. Which is the thermal switch?

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:14 PM   #40
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Left side, the ones with a red wire on both sides.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 PM   #41
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Both of them? Top left and under it on the left? And they are the same thing pretty much as high temperature limit switches in gas furnaces, right? I mean they do the same job overall..?
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:28 AM   #42
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my vote is that the thermostat is wired wrong. I think that the ac system is runnin when there is a heat call. The call is not satisfied, so the emergency electric heat comes on..... just my thought....
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:11 AM   #43
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Both of them? Yes
Top left and under it on the left? Yes
And they are the same thing pretty much as high temperature limit switches in gas furnaces, right? Yes
I mean they do the same job overall..? Yes
You got it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:43 AM   #44
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Small update:
Last night I put a new, cheap ($4) filter in - went cheap in case it got wet again. Turned the heat on set to 69. I checked it when I went to bed (10pm) and again this morning (6am) and there was no ice or frost.

So in my mind, either:
  • The outdoor wet weather had something to do with it (excess moisture of some kind? No idea what I'm talking about).
  • It was the filter after all, even though they say 90 days and it may not have even been that long.
  • Its coincidental that it worked last night - maybe it takes awhile to freeze up again and there is another issue at play?
I've asked the hvac guy to come anyway to check for any obvious issues. I do appreciate all of your insight!
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:50 AM   #45
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Almost didn't have to run the heat last night, but I did anyway to keep an eye on the unit. Still no more frost or ice. Hmmm.

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