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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help

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06-26-2014 09:33:21

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How about posting the hard to read wiring diagram? Maybe someone can read it? That 15 microfarad cap can't transmit enough current to burn terminals/connectors/wires at only 3/4 of an amp. There is more to this story.

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06-26-2014 10:32:55

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 09:33:21  
All help is most welcome JMOR. I found an enlarged diagram in my files. Each copy comes out a little fuzzier, but larger helps. I was able to trace where the wires went, that's how I learned the capacitor had nothing to do with the pump. Connected only to the compressor meant I was beyond my knowledge.

Sure would like to learn the remainder of the story. Resistance tests on the black capacitor confirmed George's belief that the pairs of spades on each side are connected. There is no difference between the new and old capacitors. I haven't yet tested the old one for spark, but a new capacitor wasn't able to get the compressor to start.

My assumption was that the compressor that fried the capacitor drew too much current. No? The compressor that's now installed doesn't do anything to the capacitor, simply refuses to start.

Rummaging around my shop I came up with a 4 mfd 370 v. and a 189-227 mfd 125 v. Have not tried a spark test on them.

If we can get that heat pump currently installed to start, and ideally get the old heat pump compressor serviceable, I'll be an ecstatic camper.

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George Marsh

06-26-2014 15:03:02

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 10:32:55  
VA tom,
Your 189-227 mfd 125 v might work for just a second or two wired in parallel with run cap. If the wiring inside compressor is good between common and run and common and start, then the larger cap should knock it loose.

Try it and post back,

FYI, the average life expendency for a heat pump is less than 15 years. That is the average, not to say some people will have better luck, some not.

In your case, the compressor is used all the time, so your compressor may have used up all it hours.

As for air conditioning, I won't live without one where now in Indiana the dew point temps are around 70. Open up the house and everything will get damp, expecially the basement. Dampness will cause mold and mildew. I have to run the A/c. It really doesn't cost that much. My average 12 mo electric bill last year for a total electric 2000+ sq home, no heat pump, and workshop was only $134/mo. I might be cheap, but I think it's the best money I spent. George

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06-27-2014 07:10:11

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to George Marsh, 06-26-2014 15:03:02  
Thanks George. Sometimes it doesn't take much to confuse me.

This did it, came back from my shop with the wires to connect that extra capacitor. Then I looked at the wiring diagram again. The Run wire goes directly to L1, hidden interconnection on the black capacitor. Confirmed that with those resistance measurements you suggested.

Only the Start wire has the benefit of that 15 mfd capacitor. Did you mean in parallel to the Start cap? What you wrote was "wired in parallel with run cap", doesn't appear there is one.

Knowing nothing about these, I'm hesitant to experiment without expert help. Yours is appreciated.

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George Marsh

06-28-2014 11:46:21

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-27-2014 07:10:11  
Yes, one side of the start cap goes to the start terminal of comp and the other side goes to the run side of comp. That will mean the two capacitors are in parallel. Only power up for a second to two. Compressor should start if it's not locked up or burned up internally. If compressor is good, then order a HS kit from ebay or get from a person in the HVAC business. Doubt if a supply house will sell to you. Wish you had a larger voltage on start cap, so if it doesn't blow you should be good, if not you will have a little excitement.

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06-26-2014 15:59:54

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to George Marsh, 06-26-2014 15:03:02  
Thanks George. I'll try that in the morning and report. Appreciate your lifespan information. This heatpump was only used when we needed hot water and only for 5 months per year. Run about 300 times per year for a few hours. Run time dependent on interior temperature.

I of course have no idea about the quality of these units, just that they fit into our situation very well.

If this thing is only stuck from sitting so long, fantastic! Though I'd still like to pursue repair of the other one. I mentioned finding comfort with spares, of almost everything.

We completely agree on dehumidification, but not ac. If your ac is primarily dehumidification, the only complaint I'd have is the initial cost of it.

That's exactly the case of the other PAHS just down the road here. His house temps are the same as mine, his ac is primarily a dehumidifier. He needed that initial expense to get a mortgage. I didn't. I've never paid more than $50 for a dehumidifier. Cheap, I understand.

A passive dehumidifier would be ideal, but the closest I've found are "air wells". Haven't tried one yet. Interest in them is getting water in arid places, but what they do is condense water out of the air. That's dehumidification.

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George Marsh

06-26-2014 18:05:23

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 15:59:54  
You have no idea how much water my two dehumidifiers in the basement and my Centeral air removes form my house.

One time my condensation pump on a/c failed and I put the water in a 30 gallon plastic trash can. It didn't take very long to fill the can.

I know cheap elderly people who don't air condition. Their house smell from moldy carpet, furniture, beds. You can call it indoor air polution. No thanks.

I worked on commercial furnaces and large chillers at Bethleham steel Burns harbor, In. Paid my way trough college doing that. I learned if you have a well built home, Air conditioning is very cheap.

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06-27-2014 04:48:19

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to George Marsh, 06-26-2014 18:05:23  
Actually George, I have a very good idea. You keep talking about it. I also deal with folks in a wide variety of climates, from arid to extremely humid, beyond Indiana.

A good approach would be to examine where your excess humidity comes from. Is it air changes bringing in outside humidity? You know what happens to rh when you bring hot air to a cooler environment. Is it water put into the air by your house and/or occupants? Take a look at the source(s) and you may be surprised.

We agree, dehumidification is critical, ac can be and often is used for that. The cost is always higher than simple dehumidification. With both, it only makes sense to examine the need and try to reduce it. Depending on your house configuration, you might find ROI on a heat pump water heater very short. Combination units (with tank) are widely available. I fault the manufacturers for not stressing that free byproduct (cool dry air) we find so beneficial.

We accomplish a total air change every 2 hours. I bring in dehumidified air this time of year. My house is slightly pressurized, air leaks go out. We're also careful about adding humidity from the way we live here. Our house doesn't add any water to the air, but that is a common problem.

You're confusing your elderly acquaintance's problems with lack of dehumidification. Controlling the temperature with ac is not the same.

Go one step farther George, consider how an even better designed building doesn't need air conditioning. There's one in Indiana, Chicago area. Another project waiting for an excavator SE of Terre Haute. As everywhere humid, controlling rh inside is a necessity. An Atlanta house got an interesting combination of systems, but no ac needed or bought.

We go for simpler, maintenance-free (if possible) systems with low upfront cost. Makes for easy living. No worries about a failed condensate pump for instance, if there is none.

The Oklahomans (Tulsa and Norman) found that attractive, almost as much as a house that won't blow away in a tornado.

OK, I'm off my soap box now. Time to get back to my cheap effort to salvage these heat pump water heaters.

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06-26-2014 11:19:04

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 10:32:55  
Can you tell me:

1) what are the 3 devices to right of FAN?

2) what are the 2 rectangular blocks at upper right?

3) where do 3 heavy lines exiting drawing to right go to/come from?

4) 120 0r 240 volt?

5) what is that between upper rt of left block & upper left of right block?
This post was edited by JMOR at 11:29:38 06/26/14.

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06-26-2014 12:29:07

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 11:19:04  
5. Oh, crap. You just found a difference between these two heat pumps. It's a jumper wire, L2 to H1. My original heat pump had that jumper removed as directed in the lower diagram Fast Recovery Hook-up. I didn't notice it was present in the replacement heat pump. Time to try to decipher my notes from 13 years ago when we wired that switch in. Crystal clear at the time, but that wasn't yesterday.

I'll go pull that switch out. I think there're 8 wires going to it. All I did was label carefully, and make notes where each one went. Wasn't looking forward to trying to figure out what we'd done 13 years ago. It worked great, leave it alone.

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06-26-2014 12:02:58

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 11:19:04  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Anything I can do to help:

1. Closest is labeled LAS, no clue what or where it is. Middle is labeled IL and appears to be the indicator light near the fan outlet that lights up if the pressure switch has been activated. Right of that is the pressure switch with reset. Leaving the heat pump running too long raises the pressure (I guess) until the switch shuts everything down. Then the light stays on until the reset button is pushed. There is a component hanging down behind the coils with wires going to it, may be LAS.

2. Connection blocks with both spade and large wire connection.

3. Lines 1 and 2 and common from my electric panel. L1 goes to the compressor capacitor and the water pump. L2 goes two terminals on the relay (left of the comp cap).
4. 240 is fed into this, but only 120 is apparently used for the compressor. Remember, this was designed as add-on to a standard tank heater and was supposed to use the tank heater control to turn it on and off. As that didn't work with my Whirlpool tank heater, it has been rewired with a separate external switch that T_Bone and I laboriously figured out 13 years ago. The switch is drawn in on the below first diagram (Energy Savings Hook-up), unlabeled, just a circle between L2 and H2.

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06-26-2014 12:35:47

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 12:02:58  
OK, I'm coming along. I added a #5 question later. Take a look at it. Also, when you try to start it & compressor only humms, does the fan & pump run?
On the cap, one side should have the red wire from the L1 terminal AND the red/run wire from the compressor on it and the other side of cap, only the yellow/start wire to compressor.

Is that the way you have it?

My opinion is that this all runs off 240v. I see no NEUTRAL & fan, pump, compressor are seeing L1 to L2. Relay is switching L2.
I see no thermostat? What turns it on & off?

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06-26-2014 14:07:08

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 12:35:47  
"I see no thermostat? What turns it on & off?"

Sorry, I wasn't clear. That is the switch T_Bone and I added, in the photo on the right of the heat pump. My lovely wife hasn't complained all these years of not having automatic hot water.

It was only when I replaced a leaky tank heater that I discovered the mismatch between components (heat pump and new tank heater). With a new tank heater just installed I preferred not to remove it and buy another one with a different control.

Which probably is why manufacturers now mostly (only?) only sell tank heat pump water heaters, not add-ons. I wouldn't mind IF the tanks lasted like the ones of old. I got 13 years out of the heat pump, haven't had a tank last that long recently.

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06-26-2014 13:46:40

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 12:35:47  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I expect you've seen my later answer to 5. This is gonna strain my brain. Lots of wires, turns out there were two jumper wires between L2 and H1, the old heat pump was missing only one of them.

As this all started with a dripping/smoking capacitor, it was only connected to L1, along with comp Run. Yes, L1 and comp Run were connected to the same cap terminal. Yellow (comp Start) went to the other side of the capacitor as the diagram shows. I just checked the defunct heat pump, the wires aren't long enough to do anything else.
Both fan and pump make noises, but don't stay running without the compressor starting.

I got the wiring diagram from the relay. Not helping me. The terminals are not numbered. Whatever the box between 0 and 1 is, it's intact on both, 39 Ω.

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06-26-2014 14:08:12

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 13:46:40  
OK, I understand the relay, but not what is controlling it. What is the source of the pressure switch that the pressure switch is monitoring? Is it a freon line (large/suction , small/high pressure or water pressure? Did you just turn it on and let it run continuously or is there something that automatically cycles the thing?
I am about to send you a re-draw of the diagram that a human can actually read. My e-mail is open in MODERN VIEW & if you would like to chat, send me a phone number & I will call you.

This post was edited by JMOR at 14:27:44 06/26/14.

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06-26-2014 14:48:07

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 14:08:12  
The relay is a mystery to me.

The tiny copper line to the pressure switch goes to the same place as a similar line that goes to the coils. I guess that's freon.

If we left it running continuously, the pressure switch would turn it off. That made me nervous, so we measured water temperature at a faucet and turned it off around 120. Bit of an inconvenience, but we aren't people who need everything done for us.

It is annoying if the first showerer doesn't remember to turn on the heat pump. Only a short delay every summer until we get into the swing of things.

Dehumidification in the house isn't automatic either. We measure it constantly, turn on dehumidifier(s) as needed. Had one die this year, grabbed one of my spares a friend had given me. He'd said it worked great, until the control failed. Bought another control which failed soon after. He gave up and bought a different brand.

I wired around the control, bypassing it entirely. Now it's on or off, only on high. Works perfectly for us, my wife's delighted. Far stronger than the one that died.

Heat pump is similar.

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06-26-2014 15:02:47

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 14:48:07  
When you try to start it, you said that fan, pump, compressor try to run, but since compressor won't start, that the fan & pump won't continue to run. What is shutting them OFF? Are you shutting it down manually? Circuit breaker opening? Or what? Circuitry looks like fan & pump would continue to run even if compressor won't start & that compressor's attempt to start would eventually open it's overload protector (that "extra part" you mentioned near compressor "C" terminal.

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06-26-2014 15:34:41

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to JMOR, 06-26-2014 15:02:47  
I let it try several cycles before turning the switch (the one we added) off. Circuit breaker has never tripped. The black wire to Fan comes from terminal 4 on the relay. The black wire to Pump comes from terminal 8 on the relay. I guess the relay refuses to latch leaving them cycling?

That's the other component next to "Comp C", it's a relay. Took a headlamp to read it, sorry. Labeled CR on the wiring diagram. Makes sense, compressor relay. Along with the fan and pump. Your 240 v. guess looks better as we go along.

Ooooh, I'm a dummy. The terminals aren't labeled on the relay, but the wiring diagram shows which is which. 1 on the relay goes to H1, 0 goes to pressure switch and indicator light. The other side of the pressure switch goes to H2. Still not sure how it works, but I'm getting closer.

Got lost on your drawing and was just attempting to figure out your open email. Greatly appreciate the offer, I'll figure it out.

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06-26-2014 15:40:04

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 15:34:41  
I failed to find an email address for you JMOR, but I think I just posted mine. I'm getting a little fuzzy myself by now, but sure would like to talk if you have time tomorrow, or soon. No problem for me to make the call.

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06-26-2014 11:18:58

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 Re: Heat Pump Water Heater- Need Help in reply to VaTom, 06-26-2014 10:32:55  
Resistance checks on both compressors came in about the same. Common to Run, 10 and 11 Ω. Common to Start both 10 Ω. Start to Run 12 and 16 Ω.

Compressor frame to each wire on both compressors was infinite.

Using a headlamp I did see that the block in the diagram to the left of the compressor capacitor (COMP C), that the compressor common goes to, is indeed a relay. The diagram doesn't tell me anything about what it does, but there is a diagram cast into the plastic housing if that would help anybody.

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