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Old 01-06-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


My 12 year old Trane XE1200 heat pump stopped working the other week, and it would trip the breaker everytime i reset the breaker.

I called in a HVAC tech from the local yellowpages, and they could not find the problem after replacing a bunch of parts (t-stat, therm, defrost board, capacitors), and did some rewiring. So i called in my friend / HVAC tech to diagnose the problem, and he was looking at the wiring at the heat pump unit. He replaced the contactor, but it would still trip the breaker. He then saw the two wires (red and black, thick) coming out of the unit (maybe the compressor or fan?) that connects to the contactor.

It is a 2 pole contactor. The black wire coming from inside the unit attaches to pole #1 on the Terminal side, and the red wire attaches to pole # 2 on the Low side.

He removed the red wire from the low side on pole # 1 of the contactor, and pressed the test button on the contactor, and the unit started! I went to feel the heat registers indoors and they were very hot (hotter than aux heat alone, so i know the heat pump was working). Thinking he somehow fixed it (by removing a wire?) we went back outside, and we noticed the motor capacitor starting to smoke, and it literally exploded. It was a tight roll of paper inside that popped out.

Now, he said he will come back next time, but does anyone know what the exact problem woudl be? Could it be a bad capacitors ? He suggested that the compressor could be the problem, but why would there still be heat when the unit was on?
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:23 PM   #2
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


hard start capacitors do fail like that. nothing more, nothing less
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


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hard start capacitors do fail like that. nothing more, nothing less
Do you know if it is safe to replace the capacitor and keep the unit running with the one wire disconnected?
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


well, you need to know what the wire went to?! if it is the black capacitor, then you need to replace it as a kit with the relay. was the wire red or purple that was removed? check your crankcase heater. They are known to have the wiring fail and short out.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


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well, you need to know what the wire went to?! if it is the black capacitor, then you need to replace it as a kit with the relay. was the wire red or purple that was removed? check your crankcase heater. They are known to have the wiring fail and short out.
Yes the capacitor is black (145-175 mfd, 330vac). What do you mean as a kit? I was planning to replace the capacitor. it was a red wire that was removed. (There is a purple wire, but that wire is already removed and tapped off from before).

I am guessing it is the CC heater since all other functions work. How do i find the specs to replaced the CC heater? Thanks for your help
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:59 PM   #6
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


that is a start capacitor, not a run capacitor. replace both the capacitor and the potential relay

CC heater
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


Thank you hvactech126. I am just guessing it is the CCH. Is the CCH suppose to be powered only when the contactor is pulled? Because the way it is wired now, only when the tstat calls for heat are these two wires in a connected circuit.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:58 AM   #8
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


So as it turns out, the red wire that was disconnected was actually one of the three wires for the compressor. Apparently the crank case heater was disconnected awhile ago (snipped off). I am assuming with the wire disconnected, it caused the capacitor to blow up? What is the reason for a short like this in the compressor?
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:05 AM   #9
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


ok. cc heater is on incoming side of contactor. It is powered 24/7 so you don't slog the compressor with liquid. As far as your wires to compressor go, on the compressor is the electrical box. remove this cover and ensure that the short is not in the wiring. then next thing to do is ohm the compressor windings. Also check the windings for shorts to ground. this may be best to leave to a pro. However, there are a lot of compressors that are falsely condemned. Research your contractor b4 choosing. Average life on a HP or AC is 12 - 15 in my area.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


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Originally Posted by hvactech126 View Post
ok. cc heater is on incoming side of contactor. It is powered 24/7 so you don't slog the compressor with liquid. As far as your wires to compressor go, on the compressor is the electrical box. remove this cover and ensure that the short is not in the wiring. then next thing to do is ohm the compressor windings. Also check the windings for shorts to ground. this may be best to leave to a pro. However, there are a lot of compressors that are falsely condemned. Research your contractor b4 choosing. Average life on a HP or AC is 12 - 15 in my area.
Thank you for your responses!

Last question. If I somehow get the HP to work with only 2 of the 3 wires connected on the compressor, is it safe to leave operating?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


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Originally Posted by swiffy25 View Post
Thank you for your responses!

Last question. If I somehow get the HP to work with only 2 of the 3 wires connected on the compressor, is it safe to leave operating?
NO.

That start cap exploded because when he removed that wire. The start cap was running the compressor.

The problem is probably in the potential relay.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:03 PM   #12
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


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NO.

That start cap exploded because when he removed that wire. The start cap was running the compressor.

The problem is probably in the potential relay.
Would a failed potential relay cause the breaker to trip instantly when tstat calls for heat/cool?
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:06 PM   #13
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


Yes it can.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:28 PM   #14
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


I have just replaced both the capacitor and the relay. However, calling for heat still continues to trip the breaker. I have basically replaced everything in the control panel that i can replace, other than the fan relay. I am out of ideas.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:15 PM   #15
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Trane Heat pump capacitor exploded!


cc heater is or is not hooked up? compressor could be shorted to ground. if you take one component out of the circuit one at a time you can find out what is shorted. remove the component completely out of the circuit by removing the wiring from the contactor and or capacitor. start with cc heater, then fan, then compressor. are you sure you have everything connected properly? if you have replaced the dual run capacitor (if it uses one) and you hooked the fan and compressor up backwards it could cause the compressor to pull too many amps.
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