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Member Since 23 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 21 2010 07:30 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Subcooling and leak repair

06 December 2010 - 01:21 AM

Hi John!
Saw your post.
Couple of quick thoughts on your post

– remember, the IOL is a thermal device. It could reset independent of a winding issue. The only real way will be to try and start the compressor and run it for a short bit. As an electrician, I’ll tell you it’s never a good idea to short cycle (on/off) a motor for testing. Give it 30 seconds or more before shutting it of.

-- with only 2 additional pounds charged to a system that was underperforming, I don’t think you overcharged it.

-- with regards to testing the unit as a whole now that the OL is reset, first off, I’d just try and start it. A 30 second run will not be detrimental to anything. What it will do is verify the the basic condition of the motor. If the motor is toast, ie, non-operable, might as well know it asap instead of spending a bunch of time testing stuff.

-- as for testing caps, you can test the cap itself using a multi meter. Most Flukes, even the low end ones, have cap test features. I googled “ testing for bad run capacitor” and here are a few sites with info off that search. The top one looks real good, the others are kinda various forms of the same info – I just threw a few up. Same info is basically applicable to start caps, you can google it too, I didn’t.





The best way to test the start relay is to look for voltage across the relay leads:
SHUT: When the relay contacts are shut, there is no difference in potential (electrician mumbo – jumbo) and your measured voltage will be zero between the leads - EVEN THOUGH ELECTRICITY IS FLOWING THRU THE CONTACT. You can verify that voltage is present by taking either of your test leads to ground on the unit. You should see voltage to ground when you do this to either of the leads .

OPEN: When the relay contacts are open, you should be able to measure a voltage across the leads of the relay. (and yes, more jumbo, there is now a difference in potential). Secondary method of to verify this is that you’ll be able to see voltage to ground on one relay lead, but not the other. This is because the contacts are open and voltage is only on one side of the relay – the contact hasn’t closed to pass it thru to the other side.

However, what if you approached it from the standpoint it was decently charged and the low performance symptoms were caused by something other than charge? In that case you’d have added 2 pounds extra to a charged system, not enough, I think, to dump the compressor. Could your problem be a bad tvx on the heat side? It’s late an I gotta run, but explore that path too. The need for clean coils mentioned earlier by one of the other fellows is also an excellent point. Coils are major players and need to be in good health (clean, able to pass heat (ie .. h ave fin material )

K gotta go
No spell check, hope it’s ok!

In Topic: Subcooling and leak repair

05 December 2010 - 07:10 PM

Hi John
Regarding your charging methods, I'm not sure I'm following you, but you say the compressor tripped an hour later - did you have the bottle hooked up and charging the whole time? Was this bottle standing upright (charging gas) or turned upside down (charging liquid)? An hour seems pretty long, especially if it was upside down and you were charging liquid. Then you definitely put too much in. Out here in California, I did HVAC for a refinery for about 6 years. Mostly heat pumps and computer room (liebert) units, a couple of chillers. When we added freon, we'd almost always charge liquid and often use hot water (poured over the bottle) to increase the charge rate. You charge to the outside coil and wait a bit before starting the unit. (You are charging liquid straight into the system, so you don't want to charge to the compressor cause compressors don't like liquid; liquid can't be compressed and damages the compressor valving) We'd also use a charging scale to accurately see how much freon we were putting in.

I'm guessing you haven't heard of the hot water trick, and thinking no body mentioned a charging scale... don't know where you're going to go from here, but I'd recommend a scale in all future ops. You can buy one ($$$) or just get creative with something cheaper, like a decent digital fish scale. Tie some line to make a place to hook and weigh the bottle around the handle or the holes in the base ring of the bottle, depending on how you're going to charge from the bottle. Either way, once hooked up, with lines etc.. and ready too go, BUT BEFORE YOU BEGIN CHARGING take a reference weight. Charge a few minutes, stop and weigh. Doesn't matter if all the crap is hooked up when you weigh, it is every time, the only thing changing is the freon going out the bottle and into the unit- that's the weight change. If you're doing liquid, stop often to weigh!! (like every 60 seconds, til you get a feel for how much is going in) You won't believe how fast it goes in, especially with hot water! Better a few extra stops and a good charge than not enough and an overcharge.

In this way you'll have a reasonably good idea of the amount you added. Somewhere in your data / name plate there should be some sort of capacity mentioned. I have been out of the AC stuff for awhile, but the guys here can probably chime in with more info on system capacity. One thing to remember (as i recall) is that manufacturer's freon system capacities are for equipment only, ie.. they do not take into account the length of your line set (the copper lines carrying freon to and from the building). I also seem to recall some companies as also having charges listed for standard 25 or 30 foot line sets,but i could be wrong.

I'm not sure of your compressor type, but if you've charged enough to trip the OL you may have damaged the internal valving in the compressor, something to think about. If so, you could bleed off, start operating again only to find a different set of circumstances because the compressor is now damaged. Hope not. Just thought I'd mention it.

Good Luck, hope it goes well!


29 November 2010 - 12:30 AM

No, it wasn't, seriously. I'm a journeyman electrician and yeah, it sounds crazy, but these things are just taking off. I'll try and find the video and get back to you... ;) the other sites mentioned have some good info too. This is the Nutnfancy video on Youtube for the 4Sevens Shotshow booth I originally mentioned:

I did look at the Flashlight buyers for just a bit (have to get up at 4 am, its 9.35 here) but i noticed it was last updated in June 2007 (at the top of the page) so ?? . I also noticed a reference at the bottom of the page to the same forum I mentioned the CPF, ro CandlePowerForums, so the guy looks legit. Maybe he left for CPF?/ haven't had tome to look, but Regus, I'd check out these others lights. They're just amazin'.

I'll try to get back in the next few days.. by the way, did you see my last post at Robertshaw? ... sorry again!

k, thanks, see ya!


28 November 2010 - 01:34 PM

Hi all
Applianceman, I saw your comment today.

I want start by apologizing to Reggie for getting on his case during my initial inquiries. No excuses. I have rough edges that do not always serve me well. My fault, my poor judgment, period. So Reggie, I really do apologize for getting on your case. I don’t come by here all the time and these new posts come to my attention via the email, like this one, which made me take a minute an look back at the entire string. Not my best day, it was an entirely wrong approach, pretty darn rude. Hope you’ll take the time to stop and share should you see me up here Reggie, I’d appreciate you’re thoughts anytime!

With regards to the Robertshaw, I had that figured out the first day, so I am ok now, but I really appreciate you taking the time to add a thought. As I said in my original post, I work in an oil refinery doing instrumentation / electrical control and have used other robertshaw products. Design changes like this are not uncommon and have been a trend over the years as manufacturers try to save a buck. Sometimes it seems insanely silly or stupid to see what they do, but they do it none the less. Having that 3rd terminal to land wires on was a nice touch. My guess is they saved a penny, maybe, eliminating it. My old unit was rated 24 volts, clearly labeled, so yeah, the terminal missing on the new unit was a head scratcher. I looked at the idea it was a millivolt unit, but as soon as I checked the old unit, there it was, clear as day on the label: 24 volts.

Sometimes I think we all forget to look at the obvious, simple possibility and that’s what I did. I PRESUMED the terminal had to have an electrical function directly associated with the valve. It didn’t. I tested and knew it had no connection to the other 2 terminals, nor was there continuity between this terminal and the body of the valve. I still didn’t get it because I was focused on trying to find a path or explanation for what I PRESUMED was the answer, that this terminal was somehow a functioning part of the valve’s electrical circuit. Well, it wasn’t, and as soon as that idea crept into my and I got my mind around it, I worked it through. A great lesson on troubleshooting and how you can screw yourself not thinking big picture, full view. Presuming the answer and trying to fit the facts to the presumption is not the right way, but I’d guess most everyone reading this and doing service work has had a similar experience. It’d be wonderful if my brain worked well enough to remember all these little lessons when I needed them, not afterwards!!

K, take care,


23 November 2010 - 01:57 AM

What does "stands off ground" mean? Or "dead"?

hi jb!

In the post you refer to I was discussing the electric circuits associated with the gas valve and the fact that I couldn't (at the time) clearly see how the contacts or terminals on top of the gas valve were configured.

When I said the one terminal was dead, number 2 I believe it was, I meant that I had no continuity between the number 2 terminal and the number 1 and 3 terminals. In other words, there was no path for the electricity to flow between the #2 terminal and the other two terminals. This was a bit puzzling to me initially because the robertshaw is built with all three terminals side by side. I ultimately figured out that the purpose of the #2 terminal was simply to provide the installer with a place to land two wires when running the control circuit or loop. In other words the #2 terminal was connected to nothing, it was just a point to land 2 wires running in the control circuit. The "puzzle" had arisen because my new robertshaw gas valve had only 2 terminals instead of the original 3. Without a wiring diagram I was confused and didn't was to wire it the wrong way and smoke a brand new gas valve.

When the term "stands off ground" is used it means that the circuit is not referenced or connected to ground. Typically, one side of most, but not all, electric circuits are referenced to ground or earth. An explanation much beyond that is getting into some fairly technical aspects. Since I am not sure of your back ground / expertise, please allow me to stop here. If there are further points of interest wiht this topic, write and i'll try to help / answer.

take care


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