Heat Pump Problems and Electrical Power
How to Troubleshoot Heat Pump Problems: My heat pump isn’t working right, is there a problem with the home electrical service or local utility transformer and the heat pump circuit breaker?
Heat Pump Electric Circuit
Electrical Question: My heat pump isn’t working right, is there a problem with the home electrical service or local utility transformer and the heat pump circuit breaker?
- Is it an electrician’s responsibility to make sure the service to the home can handle a new device they install?
- An electrician was hired to install a heat pump which replaced an oil furnace.
- The heat pump never functioned properly as it was under powered which caused hard starts, etc.
- Now the new heat pump isn’t functioning properly and it has been determined that the home electrical service and the local utility transformer to the breaker box couldn’t meet the amperage requirements of the heat pump.
- Was it the installing electrician’s responsibility to make sure the service was proper?
This electrical question came from: Edward, from Grants Pass, Oregon.
Thanks for your electrical repair question Edward.
How to Troubleshoot Heat Pump Problems
Application: Heat Pump Problem and Evaluating a Home Electric Service Panel.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester and amp meter or load recorder.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electric service panel and the access to the circuits to be evaluated.
Precaution: This is a project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specifications in accordance with the local utility company or electric service provider.
Notice: Making changes to the Home Electrical Service Panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
The Heat Pump Electric Power Source
- Heat Pump Circuit
The circuit for the heat pump must be sized according to the exact heat pump unit that is being installed and by consulting the electrical circuit requirements described in the Installation or Owners Manual.
- The Main Electrical Service
The electrical panel of the home must have enough available amperage and capacity for the proposed heat pump circuit. For best results an electrical contractor may be hired to install the heat pump circuit.
- The Electrical Utility Provider
Often the electric utility company may refer to large 240 volt electrical loads at the home in order to accurately size the transformer which supplies power to a new home, and typically the electrician does not have information about the utility company transformer size.
- Installing a New Heat Pump
When the homeowner decides to install large equipment such as a new heat pump which will add a substantial load to their electrical service it would be good to contact the local utility company and inform them so they may check the size of the service equipment and decide if any adjustments will be required.
- Main Electrical Service Capacity
The installing electrical contractor should make sure that the home electric service panel has the extra capacity for the additional load of the heat pump. Typically the size of the service transformer is not known by the electrical contractor because the local utility company owns the transformer and they alone have access to the equipment.
More about Heat Pumps and Electrical Circuits
Heat Pump Wiring
Heat pumps are used for heating and cooling. Wall mounted units are great for offices, sun rooms, room additions, garages and are used in hotel and motel rooms.
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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Rheem 4 ton heat pump-in cooling mode did not go back on. I was told by the service man that came out that it was the transformer. He offered to replace it for $340.00. I found the exact same transformer online for $28 including shipping so have ordered it. I can replace the transformer myself. The rest of the circuit is live-went through it with a multi meter. It seem that the problem is electrical as there was no mechanical indication of failure: sounds, grinding, etc. The compressor is new, fan outside is new, fan inside turns like butter, had a surge protector installed four years ago.
What else could the problem be? I have new thermostat installed and will find out when the transformer comes.