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Thread: Unusual heat pump behavior

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member algjst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

    Default Unusual heat pump behavior

    Hi everyone. I recently had something unusual happen to my heat pump. It's a Trane Executive and it's the original heat pump that was installed in my home 25 years ago.

    The problem I'm having seems to be related to the very cold weather we had last week. Because of the cold weather and windy conditions, my heat pump was running almost non-stop for several days. Late last Friday evening I noticed that the condenser fan was not running. It was not a defrost cycle because I went outside and checked the coolant lines and they were cold. While outside, the fan started running again and then seemed to slow down and speed up. Then after a couple minutes, the fan ran progressively slower and slower until it stopped. I turned the breaker off and then tried turning the fan manually, but it wouldn't move.

    At that point I thought that the fan motor had seized up, so I switched the system to emergency heat until the next day. The next day I turned the system back to normal mode. The compressor started, but the fan did not and the fan still could not be turned manually. I switched back to emergency heat, but since it was the weekend, I thought I'd wait until Monday to call the repairman. On Sunday the weather was a bit warmer, so in the middle of the afternoon, I decided to try the heat pump in normal mode one last time. The outside unit started and the fan was running again at normal speed. It's now 4 days later and the heat pump's been working fine.

    Anyone have any idea what would cause the condenser fan motor to seemingly seize up and then run normally two days later?


  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member Failure2Comply's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Virginia, USA


    Sounds like the outdoor fan bearings are going bad, I would also replace the run capacitor. A twenty-five year old unit is a Trane branded GE Weathertron, great unit for its time. It is a 10 SEER if that, upgrade to a new Trane 15 SEER and save some utility bucks.

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