Outside unit continues to run

dovetonsilsFebruary 21, 2014

Every now and then, the outside portion of my heat pump continues to run even though the house has reached the set temerature. The inside blower turns off. When this happens, there is nothing I can do to stop the outside unit short of closing the breaker and turning it on. Even setting the thermostat to off doesn't stop it. Then the heat pump will work properly for a couple of weeks. Happens in cold and hot weather.

I an very leery about calling a repair man. I got stuck a couple of times when I discovered a problem but the problem stopped when the technician came. I wound up paying a total of over $600 for changing the ouside fan motor because I was charged when he could find nothing wrong the first visit. I told him the fan stopped before he came, but it was running when he came and he had no problem charging me $130 for that visit plus the charge when the fan stopped again that afternoon.

Should I simply wait until I have a permanent failure? I don't catch the outside unit acting this way right away, can this damage it? Thanks

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You could have a short in the control wiring or the contactor is sticking. Look at the contactor and see if the contacts are pitted and/or black. If it is change it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:44PM
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???? Happens in cold and hot weather. ?????
+1 on what Steve said,if what you are saying is fact. On the other hand what you described is common during cold weather for air to air heat pumps defrosting. If the contactor is sticking,yes it can severly harm the compressor. Forgive me for doupting your accuracy but I find it strange anyone who frets over their system as you say you do would alow it to continue from one season and through the next before asking.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Steve - Thanks. Next time the unit does this, I am going to see if both the fan and the compressor are running. So far, all I have done is look out the window and observe that the fan is running. If only the fan is running, good chance it is the contactor, right? Short in control voltage circuit would affect all contacts, I assume. Also, if the problem only affects the fan, I am not in a hurry to fix this old system.

Klem - Thanks. As I tried to describe in my post, I am a little gun shy when it comes to calling a repair man for an intermittent problem. If I call him and the heat isn't working and he leaves with the heat working, good. But if I call him and the problem can't be demonstrated at the time, I feel cheated when he comes, spends 10 minutes, leaves saying there is nothing wrong but when he comes back again the $130 "truck fee" from the first visit doesn't apply to the repair (see original post above). As for fretting over my system, there is no doubt I am near the end of the life cycle for this R-22 system and don't want to spend any more than I have to fixing it up. I would have replaced it already but for the fact that the fancoil is in a very tight crawlspace (I think you reponded to my post last month).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Does your thermostat take batteries? If so, when's the last time you changed them?

This was my problem when this happened on on of my units :/

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:48PM
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docno - Thanks. My thermostat doesn't use batteries. However, it appears that I have a hard failure now. The outside unit stays on all the time as long as power is applied. Now I feel comfortable about calling for service. Hopefully, it will stay broken until he comes.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:36PM
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