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rlc5669 01-02-2011 10:48 AM

Heat Pump, dual system, all electric, compressor not working
I would be most appreciative if I could get some help with my Trane Weathertron XE 1200 outside compressor and outside fan unit that is not running at all.

I have heat which I think is only due to the Emer (auxillary) heat strips coming on and the inside air handler fan is blowing heat into the air ducts/vents so I at least have heat but I also notice that I have no A/C not that I really need it January.

The inside air handler fan seems to run most of the time rather than cutting off because I can see that the desired set temp on the thermostat is not reaching the temp inside the house.

The model # of the outside unit is TWP036C100A2 and it's a 3 ton unit as I understand from the "36" in the model number as well as the from the owner's manual.

The outside until is a little over 11 yrs old as well as the matching inside Trane Air Handler Model # TWG036A140A0.

I am located in the deep South about 40 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico about 130 east of New Orleans in South Alabama so it's real humid here in the summer and doesn't get much below freezing except maybe 3 or 4 times in the winter.

The coil on the inside air handler was replaced about 9 1/2 yrs ago by the same HVAC company that sold and installed the unit for me about 11 yrs ago. And there was another problem with the outside unit about 4 yrs ago and looking at the old repair order the tech called it "compressor inefficient, stuck bypass". A new compressor was installed.

I have had no problems in the last 4 yrs except for a bad inside thermostat and a tech replaced it with a nonprogrammable Pro 1 thermostat about 3 years ago.

I am total electric, use no propane, no gas, just electricity.

I can hear the outside compressor unit "humm" when the inside thermostat is turned on but the compressor is not running nor is the compressor fan running. So I know the outside unit has power but since I am not trained, I have not opened up the outside compressor/fan unit.

I have called the thermostat manufacturer after reading both the homeowner's operating manual and the technician's installation/operating manual. I have pulled the thermostat off the wall, hit the reset button on 3 different occasions, I have NOT bothered any jumper switches on the thermostat but I have removed the two batteries and replaced them and checked if the batteries were good or not. Also, I ran thru the tech settings on the thermostat and did not make any changes.

I have turned on, then off the 220V/240V ? main power on/off switch inside the closet door next to the air handler. I have twice pulled the disconnect elec plug/fuse on the side of my house that runs into the outside compressor unit and saw no corrosion, etc.

Any help would be appreciated and I do have a cheap multimeter that does not beep but has a digital readout panel. I just don't know what or how to test whatever I need to test. I have viewed many help YouTube videos but I just don't have the experience to narrow down all the issues.
Thanks very much for any help sent my way !

hvactech126 01-02-2011 01:25 PM

check breaker in the electrical panel for the whole house. otherwise next step is to get into the electrical panel of outdoor unit and check contactor and capacitor.

rlc5669 01-02-2011 02:43 PM

HVACTech126, I opened Main breaker box and ......
and I noticed 3 swithces, one for MAIN, one for AC, and one for HEAT.

The breaker labeled AIR was sort of loose, not definitely off or on but more on than off while the other two breakers were securely and for sure set to on.

I cut off all 220V appliances in house, to include the breakerfor the air handler inside the hall closet next to the handler, the thermostat, cut off the refrigerator, etc and then reset each of the 3 breakers in the main breaker box to the house to which the elec companies main line runs into my house.

Then I flipped the Main breaker box switches from OFF to ON and went back inside the house and turned back on all the appliances, air handler main breaker, and then went back outside to find the same breaker in the main box that was sort of loose when I first found it and noticed that it was loose again. It was firmly in place in the ON position when I turned the breaker back on.

I called the elec company, got a tech on call, he said sounds like a bad 30 or 50 or maybe even a 50amp double pole breaker, suggested I run buy another at a home supply place and then call him back and he will send a meter man out to cut off the power to the main box while I install a new either 30, 40 or 50 amp breaker fuse.

Am on the way now to get the part and will post the results once I get the new breaker switch installed.

HVACTech126, thanks very much.... you might have helped me figure out what's wrong.

I will let you know very soon. !! Thanks.

hvactech126 01-02-2011 02:53 PM

your breaker is tripping! You need to figure out why it is tripping b4 replacing breaker. most likely not the breaker! possibilities: bad compressor or capacitor or a short in outdoor unit

rlc5669 01-02-2011 03:51 PM

Hey thanks but I am sort of confused, here's why, if the other two breakers in the main breaker box to house were reset and don't now wobble and didn't kick off AND if the other breaker labeled AIR is still wobbly at the switch even after it was flipped on, off and then back on AND if it returned to the same position in the same loose state once reset, it seems like a bad breaker switch to me ? Especially since when I try to move than breaker switch back to a "fully on" position", it will not stay to "fully on", rather it wants to swing back not fully on if you know what I mean. It's like nothing is there to hold it "fully on". It still wobbles and is loose feeling ? What's your opinion since I gave you this info ? Make any sense what I am saying ?

hvactech126 01-02-2011 03:58 PM

makes sense like its tripping. if you switch it off and then back on. what happens. half way (not fully on) is tripped when tripped it doesnt reset to off

rlc5669 01-02-2011 04:49 PM

HVACtech126, here's the scoop, I was too quick ...
Yes, I was too quick, guess I didnt know when it the main breaker box AC breaker was tripping. It is cause I went to Home Depot before I read your advice on first find out why it's tripping. Bought an $8.00 40amp breaker, had utility company come out, replaced breaker and it tripped again and then again. Just like you said first figure out why it's tripping.!! Guess I wanted to bad to "git 'er done" !!

And I was too fast to do what I knew how to do, ie replace a breaker switch !! But I guess I am sort of slow on doing stuff I know how to do like check the capacator and the other thing you mentioned that starts with a C... was it connector or ?.... well I can look back on exactly what you said to find out what the other C was.

But I'm not good with digital meters, have one, a cheap one from Sears, that has black and red prongs. I've watched some YouTube how to videos but found a video with a similar unit to my Trane XE1200 Weatherton and I know how to take off the outer panel.

Think I should try to do it myself ? Or with what I've told, indicated to you about my "experience", ha, I laugh at that, should I call a trained HVAC tech..... really can't afford it, daughter has issue today wanting $200 for an emergency and I she's given me two great gr kids ages 2 and 6 and would rather see her get the money.

What do you think? Can I at least try ?

Thanks for helping me so far. Richard

rlc5669 01-02-2011 05:13 PM

By the way, I see you are still online and looks like you are reading my last reply but you could be out at that Holiday Inn fixing the HVAC ! or better yet for you, you could be at home eating, watching football !!

Anyway, I found a picture of a capacitor that's sort of a small round cylinder with 3 sets of pos and neg prongs on top and then I found a YouTube video just a sec ago by a HVAC parts house, showing contactors, single pole, double pole, one with no place for extra wires which the man on the YT video said you dont see much. I saw one with covers for the contactors and that to remove the cover, you punch out on the sides and then remove the top cover.

The capacitor is located just inside the panel on the compressor/fan other guts housing and I think the contactor is located right there next to it. ?

Am I right so far ?

kenmac 01-02-2011 05:56 PM

Looks like he's off line now. Yes, in most cases,the contactor is close to the cap. If your tripping the breaker as soon as you set it. Your compressor is probably shorted.

Marty S. 01-02-2011 06:01 PM

Shut the high voltage off to the heat pump first. Then start checking for a shorts to ground with your meter. Compressor or crank case heater are the likely suspects. The cc heater sits in a well near the bottom of the compressor.

rlc5669 01-02-2011 06:21 PM

Kenmac, yes the breaker switch is tripping with just a few seconds when I set it to ON and to you say the compressor is probably shorted and speaking of shorts, Marty S. says to start checking for shorts and that it the likely culprit was the crank case heater or the compressor.

Guess you two guys read all my comments from the beginning as well as did HVACTech126, and you can see I'm not too well versed on using multimeters but I think I will get to learning as quick as I can.

I saw some HVAC YouTube videos on how to check different components inside the compressor / fan / fan motor outside housing unit but then even if I figure out what is shorted and needs replacing, buying the parts from a parts warehouse (not being a HVAC svc / installer contractor) I will bet you 9 out of 10 won't sell the parts to me ? What do you think, should I even try to diagnose with my limited experience and then try to buy the parts. I dont think that the retail big home stores that the public buys nails, hammers, etc from have those kind of HVAC parts ? Am I right.?

Thanks to all 3 of you experienced people, at least I have learned something but honestly give me your opinion, think I can do it ? Think I can get the parts ?


Marty S. 01-02-2011 06:33 PM

A Trane part distributor will not sell to the general public. If it's the CC heater then a local Trane dealer might sell you the part and you can save the diagnostic fee and labor cost. A compressor change is not a DIY project but a CC heater replacement is easy.

hvactech126 01-02-2011 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by Marty S. (Post 561334)
A compressor change is not a DIY project but a CC heater replacement is easy.

most of the time it is easy. it may be rusted in.

at this point since you are not good with meters.... I would recommend a pro.

kenmac 01-02-2011 07:11 PM


Originally Posted by hvactech126 (Post 561341)
at this point since you are not good with meters.... I would recommend a pro.

I agree . Getting hit with 220 is not going to feel very good:no:

rlc5669 01-02-2011 07:12 PM

Hey thanks to all of you three guys, I might just take the advise that since I am not familar with meters, I might just call a Pro to diagnose and do the job but please guys dont be offended that I didn't do it myself (I just might ?) but it took at this and your help to get me where I am now plus I have a deeper appreciation for those like you who do this HVAC work. They may call you something else when they are not happy (customers) but I will call you a Pro every time.

BTW if you dont mind, check how I am doing with this.... I might need some more help if I try to tackle it myself. I think first I will check on if I can even get parts.

Happy New Year, thanks again.

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