Outside unit frosts up and wiil not go into defrost mode. Outside temperature is 16 .Placed in air conditiong mode to defost outsideunit.Furnace is running on auxilliary heat .Went to this automatically.
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Your question does not include what type of system you are asking about, but the assumption is that it is a heat pump. The loud humming is the compressor running by itself while the fan is off.
This is the typical way a reasonably new heat pump operates:
There is a coil temperature sensor that initiates a defrost period to eliminate the frost/ice build up on the outdoor coil. In the defrost mode, the outdoor fan shuts off and the reversing valve in the heat pump reverses the direction of refrigerant flow to warm the outdoor coil. The same coil temperature sensor senses the temperature of the external surface of the coil and tells the defrost control when the frost is gone initiating another 'reverse cycle' to put it back into heating mode. In the heating mode, the outdoor fan runs again.
If you have the heat pump installed where snow drifts accumulate, you will have a problem extracting heat from the outdoor air, and coil frosting and freezing will be exaggerated. If you have excessive ice build up due to a defosting issue, the ice can actually stop the fan from rotating, but you would hear loud bangind and rattling for hours first as the fan blades come in contact with the ice.
If you do not have drifts, but continually have an excessive amount of ice build up, either the sensor is possibly faulty or the defrost control board is faulty. The sensor's clip could easily have been knocked loose from the coil by ice and is no longer sensing coil temperature and if so the result would be the lack of defrost initiation.
The unit is defrosting. This is normal for heat pump systems, and they do it worst when the outdoor temperature is between just below freezing up to about 45 degrees F. The more humid it is outside, the more frost builds up, and the more the outdoor unit will defrost. Below about 25 degrees, most of the water is on the ground (not in the air), so the units will not have to defrost as often when it is that cold outside. If you are curious, you can monitor the unit on a cool, foggy day to see if it is actually building up frost, or if the unit is set wrong and defrosting on a false alarm. IF THE UNIT DOESN'T LOOK VISIBLY FROSTY, IT HAS BEEN SET TO DEFROST TOO OFTEN AND IS WASTING ENERGY! A TECH CALL TO REMEDY THE UNNECESSARY CYCLING WILL PAY FOR ITSELF QUICKLY!
While the outdoor unit is in this mode, it should be steaming and making a buzzing noise. This verifies the frost is being boiled off of the outdoor coil.
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Here are the SoleusAir error codes...
e2 Room temperature outside of working range of unit (too cold).
e3 Faulty coils - Repairs needed.
e4 Internal frost in the unit - Defrost.
e5 General failure - repair needed.
e7 Reservoir full - Empty the reservoir.
If the unit is freezing up (frosting) you may want to check (clean / replace) the filters.
This sounds like a heat pump. If so, it sounds that the unit is not staying in the defrost mode. Heat pumps have a temp sensor so when the outdoor unit goes into a defrost mode, this temp sensor takes it out of the defrost mode when the temp reaches a set point to ensure there is no more frost. Usually about 51 degrees as a general rule. I would start there.
try running the air conditioner in defrost mode. set the temperature to warmest while air conditioner is on, for about two minutes. then slowly move the lever towards cold, all the while having the vent set on outside air. once you move it toward cooler, move the vent switch towards recirculate from outside air.
when you have it on defrost, open the engine hood and push the air conditioner button. watch the lines and see if they begin to build frost. if not, move the slider toward cold a little bit at a time while watching the lines to see if they begin to build frost. if they do start to build frost at any point after running the defroster in A/C mode for a bit, you can always try positioning the temperature control towards the middle or run only the outside instead of recirculating vent.
You post is not clear as to where the freeze-up is occurring. I'm going to assume the outdoor unit is frozen up.
Heat Pumps don't generally freeze up at 60 degrees. If the ice around the unit has an uneven pattern (for example a thick spot around the center or at the very bottom) could indicate a low refrigerant charge. If the ice is even throughout, it may be one of the following:
*Sticking Contactor*.....turn the system off at your thermostat and check to make sure the unit outside shut off. If it doesn't turn off, it is likely to be the contactor.
*Failed Defrost Thermostat*.....if the defrost thermostat fails "open", the system will never go into defrost.
*Failed Defrost Control Board*......this could also prevent the system from going into defrost
*Failed Reversing Valve*........put your system in COOL mode and check to see if it will blow cold air inside approx 16 - 22 degF lower than room temperature.
*Failed/Failing Condensor Fan Motor*.......ensure the condenser fan motor is running during heat and cool modes. The condensor fan motor will not run in OFF/Satisfied Mode or in Defrost Mode.
I hope this helps. Good Luck! :-)
Yes, it is normal with a heatpump, you run the outside unit in cooling and heating.
It is also normal when the outside unit goes into defrost for the outdoor fan to shut off during the defrost mode and to see steam coming out of the outside unit, while it's melting the frost or ice, then the fan will come back on.
If you are referring to the outside unit freezing up, the issue is in the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle works something like this: The unit reverses the flow of freon causing the inside coil to blow cold air into the conditioned space and the outside coil is now working like an a/c unit, it gets warm to melt the frost/ice. The inside unit electric heat strips come on so you do not notice the cold air being blown in. The fan on the outside unit stops running to allow the coil to get good and warm.
Now the unit should go into the defrost cycle every 90 minutes or so. It should not terminate the cycle untill the coil is clear of frost. There is an "Klixon" type termostat that measures the temperature of the outside coil. This is most likely the problem. It is prematurely terminating the defrost cycle. I'd start there first.
Hope this helps, Let me know if I can be of any further help.
Check rear wall of freezer by feel for frost. Heavy, even frost indicates likely problem in the defrost system. Unplug unit. Defrost heater (in freezer behind rear wall panel), defrost thermostat (same area-must be checked at freezer temperature) or Defrost timer-located lower back outside of unit. Near compressor. Do continuity test on heater and defrost thermostat and if they show continuity (good), replace defrost timer. If not, replace the one that tests bad.
Defrost coils fully. Reassemble.
Please let me know if I have helped with comments and rating.
Refrigerator will work about 7-10 days after being defrosted until thick frost builds up again cutting off air flow to both compartments