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Old 08-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


It's miserably hot in Texas this summer and my 18 month old heat pump seems to have problems cooling when the outside temperature is 104 and above. Once it goes down outside, the heat pump will start producing cool air again. Know what the problem is?

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Old 08-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


if the liquid line out of the condenser smaller raw uninsulated one is hot to super hot the condenser is dirty...10F is typical on the discharge rise into your face from the inlet air thru the coil out there...what happen is the days temp and sun beating on the condenser causes the discharge pressure to rise up and along goes the suction...normal is 260PSI hi suction at 60-55 PSI how's the insulated suction at the furnace? might consider hosing out the condenser from the bottom coils up easy with the spray if you have fins...could bend them but lets hear back on that LL being super hot or what...just for your info air handler should alway be in range of an 18F drop from entering to supply at the coil

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Old 08-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #3
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


Does the supply air temperature actually change, or does the house just get warmer?
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #4
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


To Missouri Bound: The temperature outside rises starting at about 82 in the morning and ending up at around 108 -110 in the afternoon. Tough on any system, I know. At around 104 or 105, the cooling just stops. temperature in the house goes up to about 85, then 88, then 91. Fan in the top of the condenser still turns but apparently the condenser has essentially turned off. Air from the vents inside goes from cool to room temperature. I've learned this is what will happen in the heat of the afternoon, so I turn the system off rather than let it idle. Enlighten me on what the supply temperature is.

To Biggles: I am not well versed in the PSIs and the suction and don't think I have any gauges with which to check anything. Coming out of the unit in the yard, I have two insulated lines (one large, one slightly smaller) and a copper line that has a blue cylindrical "dryer" on it. Right now, the temp outside is 105 and I still have the unit off. I assume the line I should check for heat is the copper line. I don't have louvers. Mine has an interior mesh with a grill-like outer covering. The brand is Comfortmaker. In looking down through the fan blades, there is a black center column and 3 cylinders of various sizes with multiple tubes running from one to another. Some leaves on the floor of the unit.

Thanks to you both.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


The outdoor unit fan always runs? I'd have soeone check for low gas, and subsequently for leaks. Compressors can shut off for a multitude of reasons, high or low pressure, an internal overload can shut it down, thermal protection. You will need someone to troubleshoot it now, while the temps are high. And the supply temp is the temp of the air entering the room....which should be cool. Heat pumps have many controls and often resistance heat. Has this always happened or is it a new thing? Perhaps your thermostat is calling for ememgency heat. Too many issues to diagnose in a chat forum.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


Thanks Missouri Bound.

Yes, after the cooling through the vents ceases, the outdoor unit fan continues to run -- like part but not all of the system is working. This all started when the temperatures started getting so high, every day. So in the last 2 or 3 weeks. We've had 106 to 110 consistently for a while.

I'm taking all your suggestions to heart -- sounds like the simplest solution would be low gas. Simple would be good.

After suffering for a while now, I'm calling the local company who installed it first thing Monday morning. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


..and you said it's just 18 months old? Surely there is some warranty on the unit..I'd ask aggressively about that.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:21 PM   #8
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


Thanks, there is a 5 year warranty on the unit. I will definitely pursue that. You've established for me that it should handle this heat. I would have to look up the size, but surely .... in West Texas... they sold me the right size. Right?
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


The installer should have done a load calc. and a bit of homework before choosing the size of the unit. He installed it with a 5 year warranty...he needs to back it up. Any refrigerant leaks that have occured in just 18 months are due to a poor installation or defective equipment.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


Great. Thanks for the info. I will be sure and stress that it is under warranty when I call tomorrow.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:17 AM   #11
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


If you have a coil leak. Don't expect it to be a cheap repair, only the coil is covered, not the labor or any incidentals, such as a new liquid line filter drier, recovering the refrigerant, new refrigerant(or additional over what it has left in it), etc.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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Sigh. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:25 PM   #13
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


What make is that heat pump?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


It's a Comfortmaker.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #15
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Summer cooling with a Heat Pump


Just wanted to let everyone know. I called the a/c people -- the installers from Jan. 2010. Same technician came out who was here at installation. His suggestion -- with gauges in hand which he never used -- was to turn the thermostat down to 76 and leave it there. Premise being that the objects in the house would cool down and help keep things cool for the remainder of the day. I had my doubts. Slightly gullible, yes; stupid, no. About 3 p.m. when it got to 107 outside, compressor shut down, outside fan running, no cooling. 87 inside. About 6 o'clock as the outside temp began to fall, the compressor, intermittently, started working, until, finally in three hours or so, the inside temperature was again at 76. Same as usual, except I had it set cooler by 5 degrees.

I had used 15 kWhs more than the days I turned it off at 2 or 3 p.m. and back on about 6:30 with the same general results.

Today, I got a bill from the company for a $65 service call. Phone call to the company! Monday, a different technician is coming out, sans new service call charge. I was told "the coolant should have been checked, and..." I agreed.

If anyone is still interested in this, respond and I'll let you know after Monday.

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