FHP Genisis IV fault code

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by rgrayson, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    I have a FHP SX060 Genisis IV, horizontal ground loop system, installed 1996. I have never had any problems with it until now. My problem is the compressor contactor kicks in but the compressor does not come on. Sometimes it comes on in 1st stage, but never in 2nd stage. All we hear is a humming noise coming from the contactor. This last for about 5 sec and then the contactor kicks out and the control board flashes fault code "7". The contractor who installed it came out and said the start and run capacitors were bad and replaced them. Same thing. He now said he doesn't know what the problem is and is going to call FHP tomorrow. I told him before he came out that it was falshing fault code "7" but he can't find his manual to look it up. Can anyone tell me what the fault code is and any hints on what the problem may be. It is Thursday night and he will not be able to come back until Monday. I've been running on heat strips for a week now. I'm contemplating calling another sercive company but there are not to many locally who deal with geo units or FHP units.
  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I missed this post.....


    I think your guy was right about the run cap, if he tested it. If there is not a dead bug under the points of the contactor, then I guess that the cap is bad again and the compressor windings are flawed and causing the failure. I carry a very large box of various run and start caps on my truck because I live in First Energy land and they blow up alot.
  3. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    Compressor problem

    I have (with some help from the contractor) determined that the compressor is bad. He said that's what the fault code indicated. Seems correct to me based on my investigations as well. A little dissapointed that the compressor failed at 14yrs but even more disappointed/shocked at the cost to replace it. My contractor said $1800 for the compressor alone because it is a OEM compressor (Copeland CTL1-0350-CSV-270) plus $400 to install. We have parted our ways, not necessarily over price but because of is lack of responsivness and my lack of confidence in him. I basically did most of the diagnostic/research on the problem including calling FHP and Copleand tech support. I have since found a replacement compressor on ebay for $400. Brand new with gurantee but no warranty. I know it's gamble, but but I can go a lot of years on heat strips (which I am doing now) for $2200 if it does not work. I recently found soemone at work who does refregeration work for a living (where I work) and has a side business. He is familier with air source heat pumps but not geo's. He does know the concept. He and I will do the install. Is there anything "special" about the compressor install for a geo that we need to be aware of that a normal tech may not be aware of?
  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Show me>>>

    test numbers when a mego-meter is used to test the windings on the comperssor. Show me what the caps tested at compaired to value printed on their bodies. Give me voltage in and voltage out orver the contactor. If the contactor makes with out bugs or spider webs on the contact points what is the amp draw.

    Your refrigeration guy should know how to do all that and know what it all means.

    You are in no hurry as tax credits are extended for Geo. If I knew all the numbers I just asked for and the compressor is bad, (you are correct 14 years is short lived on Geo) I would tend to recommend a new unit.

    The taxing is very possitve. I do not think it wise to toss that kind of time and money at an OLD machine.

    Cortland is not that far from me.
  5. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    More on diagnostics

    First, thanks for taking the time to help me......

    Did not use megometer. You keep referring to the contactor. I don't think that's the problem and here is why. Contactor will pull in in 1st stage, Compressor pulls about 12A. Then slowy rises to 14A over a minute or so. Voltage at the compressor terminals is solid at 232V. After about 3 min the compressor begins to "cycle". By that the I mean the humming sound it usally makes is not constant. Current also begins to cyle high/low up to > 100A peaks. I am using an amp clamp on T1 terminal at the compressor. After about 30 sec of this cycling compressor "locks". Current is high (could not measure as amp clamp was not in auto ranging mode) but at least > 100A. Can hear compressor "humming". voltage still OK mabe a volt or two less than before (drop do to high current). Then contactor "kicks" out and system faults out.

    I bought the replacement compressor today so there is no turning back on the repair.

    I know there is a 30% tax credit for new units. I'm guesing a new unit will cost me at least $5K even with the credit? Couple that with what I spent on this system and I can't see any savings. I have to get more life out of this one. I also though of buying a new unit now and just sit it in the basement until the one I have finally goes. Then I have the replacement ready to go. I have a 5ton unit. However it could be I get 10 more yrs out of this one and the "new" one is "old" or obsolete by then.

    You say you are close to Cortland. Are you willing to come out for a service call at some point? I have never felt my loop is correct and I have some other concerns. For instance, if he system was running a usual today, with the temperatures in the lower teens as it is now, the system would be on 2nd stage for 24hrs never shutting off. heat strips on/off occasionally. This would have been this way probably since Tuesday. Can't really measure EWT or LWT since ports are blocked but LWT line would have frost/ice on it as well as the exchanger coil inside the machine. Air temp at top of plentum would be about 80 deg.

    My electric bills have been OK over the last 14 yrs but only because OE give me a special rate. Without that I would be sunk. Maybe everyone gets that I don't know.
  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Now I feel better

    With the numbers you are giving me I will buy into the diagnosis. The will be a number next to LRA on the manufacture's name plate and that will be the number of amps being drawn when the thing stops, sould be near 100. It sounds like the refigerant is washing the oil out of the bearings, or the bearing are just failing.

    I will also buy into the money numbers, but my opinon is based on over thirty years of servicing heat pumps.

    Sure I will look at the end result.

    Keep every thing clean, add or change the filter dryer, pull a good vacume or triple evacuate then weigh in a charge allowing additional refrigerant for the dryer.
  7. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    While I agree there may well be a problem with the compressor, if the contactor were to drop in and out several times in fairly quick succession (every few seconds) the compressor current value could act as described...basically multiple starting inrushes against unequal refrigerant pressures. That will quickly lead to tripping the internal overload, and the compressor would then stay out of action for awhile while the overload cools back off.

    If you haven't replaced the contactor recently, consider doing so - they are a wear-out part, especially on larger units

    A 5 ton compressor likely has an LRA a bit above 100.

    Before ripping out the compressor I'd totally rule out the contactor as well as upstream low voltage controls and lockouts by TEMPORARILY bypassing all of them:

    First manually activate system blower and pump(s). Get the reversing valve into heating mode (this may well be its deenergized state); Jumper or otherwise ensure continuous pump operation; put blower into 'on' mode at thermostat. With disco off, install jumpers (10 ga or fatter) between T1 and L1, T2 and L2.

    Fire everything up - Monitor everything closely - amps, LWT, LAT. Low refrigerant could be causing it to go out on low suction pressure or temp, so consider having a guage on the suction service port during this test (I would).

    Initially configure it for continuous low stage operation If everything runs steadily try switching between low and high stage...something in that function may be causing a problem.

    This involves close proximity with lethal voltages and dangerous pressures so standard disclaimer applies - do none of this unless you are comfortable with all of it.

    Mark - you have much more boots-on-the-ground time than I, so please point out any flaws you see in my reasoning.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  8. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Like Mark said...

    replace the filter drier at the same time. Also, a TXV is cheap. We always replace the TXV when changing a Geo's compressor.

  9. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It occurs to me that if the system has the older style contactor with exposed mechanicals, you may be able to hold it in using the eraser tip of a pencil or similar non-metallic tool...do that the moment the compressor begins to act as described - much easier than my jumper advice above.

    I just want to be certain the problem is truly in the compressor before you go to the massive effort of replacing it. A $400 compressor could likely be resold to the losing bidder for $399...
  10. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    I'll show the guy who will do the install all your sugesstions. I'll also do some more checks on the contactor since the install will not be untill Jan 1. I have one more question for bergy. You said:

    "We always replace the TXV when changing a Geo's compressor"

    I'm not familiar with "TXV"? What is that?
  11. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    Possible Cross contamination?

    I was just down looking at the system. Could it be possible that there is an internal leak where water from the heat exchanger coil got into the refrig lines? I would think the compressor would not like this and may experience the problems I describe. Everything is dry inside the unit. I see no external evidence of any leaks.
  12. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Thanks for the details. I do so much stuff by rote or instinct in my old age I forget to give a path to what I am thinking. Maybe I wont teach, I'll just keep pushing contactors in with my fingers untill I get recycled.
  13. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Yes that is VERY possible and would cause what you discribe. I used to use a quick tool from Carrier that read acid and moister content of a system, but it required "bleeding" a very small amount of refrigerant into the ozone. I pitched mine when I sat for the EPA universal refrigerant handling exam.

    My point for you was be sure of your diagnosis before the surgery.

    Changing compressors is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of hard physical work with lots of things that can and do go wrong.
  14. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    Point well taken....I've got nothing now except for heat strips using about 200KWH/day. We will look for the contamination when we begin the replacement. If I find any evidence of it I'll put the compressor back on ebay and buy new unit. Do you sell units??
  15. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Thermostatic Expansion Valve. It varies the size of the restriction between high and low sides to maintain proper superheat across evaporator. This aids maintaining efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.

    Standard on virtually all newer geo and airsource systems.
  16. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I can

    But before I would let you buy one I would need a few hours in your basement. My hope is trading my body for money, (tough day and four in a row I am whipped) that I have learned how to not make mistakes. Or at least not make many or dumb ones.

    I post here some times with a juanticed eye and forget to smile when I type, so please forgive any arogance you may have noted. I would be happy to lend a hand to keep First Energy from getting your kid's educational funds, or the funds for your retirement.

    I send them a check for more than they send me every month. They just bought most of PA and some major NY and West by God. It was a merger.

    I remember Standard Oil.
  17. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    For Mark

    I'd like to have you come and take a look if we can work it out. I don't expect free advice forever. Can we talk offline, maybe tomorrow...getting kinda late for me. My phone is 330-638-4429. Hope it is OK to post that here?
  18. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I am off to bed soon. Would love to help. I am adding outdoor reset ot a boiler for part of the day tomarrow. Give me a dall wen you are ready.

  19. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Keep us advised - want to know how this works out...right or wrong.
  20. rgrayson

    rgrayson New Member

    Will do

    Will do.....Compressor should be here this week and due to holidays We are not able to install till jan1. The guy who will do the install was here yesterday to take a look at it. From his "experience" he is real sure the compressor is the problem. His "trained ear" heard things inside the compressor to support this.

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