Heat & A/C not working at Remote Summer Home

Problems related to residential installations.

Heat & A/C not working at Remote Summer Home

Postby middlebass » Mon May 23, 2011 2:04 pm

I just got back to a remote summer home that has been completely powered down since last October. A heat pump runs an all-electric heating and A/C system. It ran for about 5 minutes after powering up and then stopped. It eventually came on once more by itself for a few more minutes and that was the end. It's VERY expensive and complicated to get a tech out here.

Last summer the A/C gave out and a friend suggested I replace the circuit board and capacitor. I did that and everything worked fine. The relay is a bit rusty, but when I press it the fan comes on. A friend helped me check the freon/coolant and that was fine.

The lights on the thermostat indicating that the heat or A/C would be on are now off, but were on correctly when the system ran for the few minutes.

Where should I look next? Are there any more "simple" parts that anyone would suggest as a possible fix? The circuit board and capacitor both look very good (unlike the old ones last year) but I have no way to test them.
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- Heat & A/C not working at Remote Summer Home

Postby 4ftBanger » Wed May 25, 2011 7:23 am

Wow... Asking for a miracle eh?

Without means to test it's going to be really hard to figure out. If there are no lights on the thermostat then I'd suspect either a power issue or bad thermostat.

The thermostat should have 5 or 6 wires attached - (If you short out the wrong terminals you can cause more problems so be careful with the wiring.) Put a jumper wire between the R terminal and the G terminal - If you have power to the system and low voltage to the thermostat then the indoor fan should come on (might be a time delay of a minute or so) If this works and the thermostat doesn't then you need a new thermostat. If you still get no fan then I'd start looking for a little fuse - like a car type - on the circuit board. If you have a split system (one indoor unit and one outdoors connected together) then this fuse is probably inside the indoor unit. Also try the jumper wire at the unit (again R to G) to make sure you don't have a broken wire somewhere.

Next step, unfortunately, would be to call someone with test equipment.
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- Heat & A/C not working at Remote Summer Home

Postby middlebass » Thu May 26, 2011 9:48 am

Thanks for the tips. I went into the crawl space and checked accessible parts on the furnace and found that one of the 2 60amp circuit breakers seemed bad. It hadn't tripped, but didn't feel right when I turned it off and on, and felt worse after switching it twice more. Then it wouldn't stay in the on position at all. I'm on a small island but went to the mainland yesterday and was surprised that both Home Depot and Lowes didn't have the breaker. At least they recommended an electrical supply dealer who did! I replaced the bad breaker last night and had heat!
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