Ontario Compressor lock out and installation questions

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Syl, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Background: I bought the house in 2013 with two 5 ton systems already installed sometime in 2003. I contacted the original installer of the HVAC units who is still in business and found most of the information I am about to list from them. The duct-work was retrofitted into the attic by the home owner. All of it is un-insulated in a cold attic, ABOVE the ceiling insulation but the inside of the ducts are lined with sound insulation. The entire house is like that, a real nightmare. The horizontal loop installer is out of business and their locations and sizes are unknown. Well almost unknown. One loop melts part of the driveway, not by design I am sure...

    The house: Built in 1974, slab on grade, sub-floor insulated with 1.5 inch of vermiculite (NOT from the Grace mine, thank God) 4000 sq.ft. on the main floor and 2100 sq.ft. on the second floor. 2x6 construction insulated with R-20 ish for the most part, some 2x4 with R12 ish in the newer part... Yes, that is right, the 1995 addition is less insulated than the 1974 part. Probably the same guy who installed warm air ducts outside...

    HVAC equipment: 1 Waterfurnace E series model and 1 Waterfurnace E series model with DSH. The DSH is connected directly to the electric DWH without a buffer tank.

    Historical issues: I noticed in my first few days of ownership that the lines between the DWH and the DSH were too hot (system running A/C at the time). I figured that was wrong pretty quick and shut the valves to stop heating the ground... I will be installing a buffer as described here before too long as we are soon to occupy the house.

    Now one of the units is tripping the high voltage breaker. At start up, it will try to start 3 times and then trips the breaker. I was told that the compressor is likely locked up. TX valve perhaps? I already replaced the cap with the appropriate size cap. I also tried a hard start booster cap to only an attempt at a start up. This unit had the upgraded board and a new updated compressor installed in 2007 under warranty.

    What can I do with this 1o year old unit? I can't replace the TX valve myself, if that's what is wrong, can I? I've installed a few furnaces and can diagnose much of what can go wrong in split AC systems. I am told this would be a $1000+ repair if that was the issue. The compressor has already been replaced once and the upgrade kit put in also for this unit.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  2. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Ok first if you closed valves for DSH but did not drain water from the geo side of the piping, do so immediately and also make sure the pump is not running. FYI with R22 systems we had better results with unbuffered DSH.
    Sounds like you need a compressor.
    It is common to use duct liner versus duct wrap for insulation, but you are not hurting anything if you wish to cover it outside as well.
  3. Syl

    Syl New Member

    I will do as suggested for the DSH but the unit does have a switch to turn off DSH which I turned to off.

    I heard an attempt at a startup by the compressor with the addition of a booster cap. Could it not be just a plugged TX valve?

    The unit is 410a, not R22. The model number is E060TR111NBDSSA.

    2 compressors in 10 years?

    As for duct sound liner for a Canadian climate, well that does not meet code up here. It melts the snow on the roof. They only got away with that because the retrofit install never got inspected.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  4. Syl

    Syl New Member

    OK, the tech agrees, the 2nd compressor in 10 years on this unit is done.

    Now, I am not fixing this unit, I want to swap it with a newer unit I bought from someone giving up on the technology when they had to fix the loop for the 3rd time and went to recently piped-in NG.

    I am good on the electrical side but I need help with disconnecting the loops from the unit. So I turn the valves off on the station? That leaves me with about 8 feet of lines and liquid to deal with. I just drain in a bucket?

    How do I return the fluid into the system once I am done with the swap? How do I top it up?

    I will have the replacing unit checked while in operation to see what is going on here. Is the unit working too hard? Loop too small? Or was it just plain old bad luck?

  5. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    Drain what you can but you'll have to repressurize the loop with a flush cart. If you have a non pressurized, it will be a matter of topping up. Geo is no picnic if you aren't into diy. If you get a pro be prepared to spend spend spend. Google what you don't know. You'll be surprised what you can find out there.
  6. Syl

    Syl New Member

    How can I determine if it is pressurized system or not?
  7. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Post a picture
  8. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Just like this.

    Attached Files:

  9. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    That's pressurized. You'll need a flushcart...
  10. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    In this case you might want to call in a pro unless you want to make your own flush cart, etc.
  11. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Funny you should mentioned that, I was looking it up on youtube! Can't be too complicated?
  12. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    It's not complicated. I did it the easy way and got a QT flow center, which is non pressurized. Easy as can be! I have the manifold indoors so that made it easy to flush each loop with the flow center. Your manifold is probably buried outside so you'll need the flush cart for more pumping power.
  13. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Yup, no manifold inside.

    There is no by-pass valves on the inside. If only there were isolation valves on both sides of the pumps... But that would be too easy! I am going to figure this one out, thanks for the help.
  14. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Actually, I think this is a coil loop, no manifold. This is a retrofit job...
  15. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    You mean slinky loops? There should be a manifold but its buried.
  16. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Yes a slinky. Ok, I will take your word for it. The installer is looooonnnnngggggg out of business.
  17. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Do you happen to have a good pump laying around? (and I'm not talking about one of those small utility pumps)
  18. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Oh yes, a few pumps here!
  19. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Do you just have one flow center that services both geo units or do you have two flow centers?
  20. Syl

    Syl New Member

    Two flow centers.

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