Model #TCH230AKA1 ICP Air-conditioner/heat pump(outside unit)

  • Heat Pump
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Question and Answers

Q:

I have a Sears Kenmore Heat Pump and I noticed last weekend that the Aux Heat was On and the Outdoor Unit was covered in ICE on the coils.

A:

Making sure that your heat pump works properly before the cold weather hits is a great idea especially since you replaced a substitute part. While you are waiting for your expert answer, I did some research on the part. I was unable to locate information that would be helpful with regards to your question at this time. Your expert will answer within 24-48 hours with detailed information. Thank you for using Manage My Life.

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Yadira B -
November 13, 2012
A:

What was the temperature outside when the condenser coil became covered with ice? If it was 32 degrees or cooler, this is normal. Your heat pump is a Temperature/Timed defrost control. What that means is that your defrost board tests the temperature every 90 minutes by default. If the temperature is below a certain point, usually around 32 degrees, the defrost thermostat closes and the unit shuts down, goes into defrost and the indoor auxiliary heat comes on. If you replaced the defrost board because of this, then there was nothing wrong with the defrost board.

There are two types of defrost controls. Temperature/Timed is the most common and then you have Demand Defrost which for some is less popular. Yours is Temperature/Timed.

Also, the defrost control board you have installed (part #1087952) is not the correct defrost control board for your TCH230AKA1. You should be using part #1087953. The board you have is for a different style of heat pump which would explain why the forced defrost is not working and you have no connections for the OAT.

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Andrew D -
Sears Technician
November 13, 2012
A:

For some odd reason that message got partially cutoff so I apologize for that. I would recommend putting the old defrost board back in place for the time being and getting the wiring back to where it was. I would be happy to help you test out the original defrost board to see if there is a problem requiring its replacement. Good job though in trying to do some preventative checks now, before the nastiness of the winter season gets here!

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Andrew D -
Sears Technician
November 13, 2012
A:

Andrew, Thanks for your response... I am little concerned that I have the wrong part. I gave the make/model # to the AC supply house. I guess they had the wrong cross reference? I tried to under the part direct from Sears but they would not sell me the part because I was a homeowner. I agree with you that the coil is expected to ice up alittle when the temperatures really drop... However it was in the high 30's to 40's. What concerned me was the Aux heat was on and the unit was still trying to heat using the compressor. The outdoor coils were solid ice, not alittle frost. There was NO heat transfer due to no flow caused by the iced coils. The original board was set for I believe 50mins. So correct me if I am wrong. If the unit was was running for 60 minutes and the outdoor coils began to accumulate ice, than the unit should go into defrost and the aux heat would come on for 10 mins until the sensor on the outdoor coil reached 50f-70f degrees? Why is the board I replaced wrong? Why do I need a outside ambient air reference? Any help would be great. Thanks Nick

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Nicholas -
November 13, 2012
A:

In order for ice to form on the condenser coil itself, the outdoor temperature has to be low enough for the condensation on the coil to freeze or the condenser coil itself would have to be dirty, impeding the flow of air through the coil.

Sounds to me like the defrost board was doing its job. If you were running in heating mode and the coils iced up, the defrost board would have sensed this after its preset 50 min run time. At that point, the fan motor outside will shut off while the compressor runs in cooling mode which means the reversing valve had to de-energize to redirect the flow of refrigerant. At the same time, the defrost thermostat should be telling the indoor unit to turn on the emergency heat strips until the unit is done defrosting at which point, the heat pump would technically resume heating.

Your heat pump condenser coil was icing over causing the defrost board to misinterpret what was happening. The coil needs to thaw out and have the system inspected and or cleaned. There is still a chance that the defrost board and or sensor could have been bad by not triggering the defrost cycle, but it can't be determined without having the right defrost board installed and the coil cleaned.

If I am going to replace a defrost board, I will also replace the sensor while I am at it. They're cheap and it's good practice.

The board you received is not for any models remotely close to the one you have. Even though the part number is only off by one digit, it is still not the right board and will not work properly. In my other post I stated that you would need defrost control board # 1087953. I would contact the supply house and find out why they gave you the wrong board. The OAT is a crucial part because depending on the design, it may be the part that tells the defrost board to go into defrost and the indoor unit to turn on the backup heat.

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Andrew D -
Sears Technician
November 13, 2012
A:

I'm 100% certain that you have the wrong part. The defrost board you ordered is for HXH and TXH model units.

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Andrew D -
Sears Technician
November 13, 2012
A:

Andrew, Thanks for the response... I will contact the AC Supply tomorrow and find out why I have the wrong part? I agree, I want to replace the sensor as well. Seems to make sense. I will let you know how I make out in the end... Thanks Nick

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Nicholas -
November 13, 2012
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