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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, the heat pump at my gf's townhouse was covered in ice today and had ice like the arctic in the unit too. The fan was frozen with ice and wouldn't move. I turned her thermostat to emergency heat so the outside unit would cut off. The deck is above the unit and the snow and water were melting and then hitting the unit and it has been about 34 degrees. I poured hot water on the ice to get a lot off but there is still a good bit around the compressor. Man, I am talking like ice cube ice..:crying: Any good ideas and do you think it could be just the ice melting on the unit or does it sound like a bad defrost timer or low on freon? How do you check these units in the winter? Thanks
 

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what ever else clean the deck to keep it from dripping in the unit.
 

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only thing you can do is wait for it to defrost and see what happens. if it freezes up again without water all over it you have either a defrosl problem or low charge. its probably a good idea to try to keep the water from dripping on it and freezing. if the deck is more then 4 or 5 feet above the unit you could staple some plastic up to keep the water off of it. if the deck is close to the top of the unit that could be a problem to. make sure the unit has free air all the way around and move any snow away from the bottom of the unit so when it does go into defrost the water can run away from it. good luck
 

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Mine did that a few years ago. It probably has a bad defrost circuit. Look up an HVAC supply company (not lowes or home depot) and buy a new board. It's not hard to change if you are mechanically inclined.

I was quoted $75 labor + $75 parts to have it done.

Maybe a close bye Gt'er could help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My guess low charge.
That is my guess. I have been seeing this girl for four years and this year is the first time it has done this. The severe icing is horrible inside...like an ice block. But the high pressure line has not felt really warm for a while.
 

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Ok guys, the heat pump at my gf's townhouse was covered in ice today and had ice like the arctic in the unit too.
Had that happen to mine. The icing up of the outside unit was the result of a bad ice detector. (This is the component that trips the unit into a/c mode while running emergency heat inside.)

Of course, if the coil (inside) is iced up, that is more likely to be the result of a leak. That would prevent the outside unit from heating up and melting the ice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought the last thread said to turn on the a/c?
I tried that and it would not come on because of ice. The entire unit was full of ice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had that happen to mine. The icing up of the outside unit was the result of a bad ice detector. (This is the component that trips the unit into a/c mode while running emergency heat inside.)

Of course, if the coil (inside) is iced up, that is more likely to be the result of a leak. That would prevent the outside unit from heating up and melting the ice.
The inside is fine..just the outside unit getting ice. The heavy ice was on the side where the water from the deck was hitting and then the inside got ice. I still think it either has a leak or something with the defrost like you guys are saying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mine did that a few years ago. It probably has a bad defrost circuit. Look up an HVAC supply company (not lowes or home depot) and buy a new board. It's not hard to change if you are mechanically inclined.

I was quoted $75 labor + $75 parts to have it done.

Maybe a close bye Gt'er could help?
I have never worked on a RUUD before but I guess their boards are near the wire hookups? I posted a pic of the unit. Ice heavy inside and on the one side and top but none on the dry side?:wow:
 

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that sounds like the dripping froze

when my defrost did not work it was ice everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
that sounds like the dripping froze

when my defrost did not work it was ice everywhere.
It was a heck of a mess. I had to melt more of it today. :shocked:
 

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You need to get that unit thawed out. If you have access to one of those kerosene forced air heaters, use it to warm things up a bit. If not, keep dumping hot water on it till it's gone. Once you get it thawed then you can run it and see if you have any issues. Also, STOP THE MELT WATER FROM DRIPPING ON THE UNIT!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You need to get that unit thawed out. If you have access to one of those kerosene forced air heaters, use it to warm things up a bit. If not, keep dumping hot water on it till it's gone. Once you get it thawed then you can run it and see if you have any issues. Also, STOP THE MELT WATER FROM DRIPPING ON THE UNIT!!!!
I have been dumping hot water on it and there is just a little left in the bottom right now. The water heater couldn't keep up so I had to let it heat back up. I put a tarp on the deck until I can go buy the panels and mount them under the deck using screws into the bottom of the deck. It was running earlier with no problems. I have never seen these units get this bad. The neighbor's unit was running fine and he even had water dripping on it. Maybe some units are more prone to freezing up?
 

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I have been dumping hot water on it and there is just a little left in the bottom right now. The water heater couldn't keep up so I had to let it heat back up. I put a tarp on the deck until I can go buy the panels and mount them under the deck using screws into the bottom of the deck. It was running earlier with no problems. I have never seen these units get this bad. The neighbor's unit was running fine and he even had water dripping on it. Maybe some units are more prone to freezing up?
I hope you had the power off while you were dumping water on it.

As a tech, albeit on the commercial/industrial side of the trade, pony up and get a tech out there to diagnose the issue.

Best practice, if low on charge would be to find the leak, recover the refrigerant, and repair the leak. Pressure test. Evacuate the system (vacuum pump) of non condensables (air and moisture), and weigh in the charge.

You may have other issues causing the problem such as the defrost board being bad, reversing valve or solenoid bad, all of which are most likely over your head (no offense).

It looks like a defrost problem, but the defrost board could be fine, but the components it controls could be the culprit. Save yourself money changing parts and get a tech to look at it.

FYI. Competent winter heat pump techs can be hard to find.
 

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I have been dumping hot water on it and there is just a little left in the bottom right now. The water heater couldn't keep up so I had to let it heat back up. I put a tarp on the deck until I can go buy the panels and mount them under the deck using screws into the bottom of the deck. It was running earlier with no problems. I have never seen these units get this bad. The neighbor's unit was running fine and he even had water dripping on it. Maybe some units are more prone to freezing up?
I believe most, if not all, of your problems came from the melt water refreezing onto and in your unit. Now that you have it thawed out you can see if it did any damage or if there was a preexisting problem. If the system will run, run it for a few days and see if everything appears normal. From the picture you posted I could see the coil through gaps in the ice. This leads me to believe that the melt water caused all of the freezing up of the unit. So, keeping that water off the unit will keep it from freezing up again. If the melt water is an issue you may have to have the outdoor unit moved from under the deck to a dryer, sunnier location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I believe most, if not all, of your problems came from the melt water refreezing onto and in your unit. Now that you have it thawed out you can see if it did any damage or if there was a preexisting problem. If the system will run, run it for a few days and see if everything appears normal. From the picture you posted I could see the coil through gaps in the ice. This leads me to believe that the melt water caused all of the freezing up of the unit. So, keeping that water off the unit will keep it from freezing up again. If the melt water is an issue you may have to have the outdoor unit moved from under the deck to a dryer, sunnier location.
I think you are right about the melt water being the problem. The gf has lived there for years and not noticed it yet but you know how they "observe". :rofl: Now I have to put up some material to protect it permanently or move it about six feet to the right where it is drier. I could not believe that ice buildup. :wow: The unit seems to run fine and I can hear it working normally. I guess the next few days will let me know.
 
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