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Old 01-14-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
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iced over condenser

my daughter and s-i-l took our rv to the cotton bowl last week and had a good time. i told them not to operate the heat pump under 45 degrees. the snow and ice hit on monday and they got home on tuesday. i think they forgot about the heat pump since right away i noticed the entire condenser face had iced over. said they didn't, but i think maybe so, does anyone know if it damaged my unit or did it just ice over and hopefully will work ok after thawing out? any new good or bad on this situration is certainly welcomed.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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The condenser icing over probably didn't hurt anything. The bigger question is: "why did it ice over." It should have shut down when it can no longer heat to the set temp.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:12 AM   #3
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condenser

thanks kix, makes me feel a little better knowing it might not be hurt. if anyone might know why it iced over, would appreciate furthercomments.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Low charge or lack of airflow usually cause icing.

First and easiest is to clean both evaporator and condenser coils.
Check and replace air filters.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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It should not of hurt anything but I'm with above post it should have gone in defrost cycle and melted unless a lot colder than 45 you didn't say if you had two units if you do the other one kept it warm enough so your gas heat did't cut on. Rv heat pumps aren't worth anything in cold weather.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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It may have operated properly.

A frozen coil will not hurt the unit, unless it keeps running til the liquid freon makes its way back to the compressor.

These basement units do not have a defrost cycle.

If the unit shut down due to the cold outside coil, as it should have, then maybe it hasn't had a chance to melt off naturally yet due to cold outside air temps.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:15 AM   #7
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A heat pump will sometimes ice the condenser in cold weather. It should go into defrost mode and clear itself.

You just experienced a very good reason to never loan your RV to someone that has limited knowledge of the operation of an RV.

Ken
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:27 PM   #8
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Condensers do not ice, evaporators ice.. However when the A/C is in "Heat Pump" mode the outside coils are indeed the evaporator coils.

now the problem.. A well designed heat pump, or air conditioner, has sensors that sense with the outside temp is too low and take the proper corrective action should you do something dumb inside.

NOT ALL ARE WELL BUILT.

I have seen heat pumps designed to operate at lower than normal temps though.. And the outdoor coils do ice up on those units.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:05 PM   #9
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condenser

thanks to everyone who replied. i went up to the barn today and the heat pump is working fine and no ice. uh and yes, i will take the family myself next time.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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It is not at all unusual to see some ice on the what is called the condenser when in heat pump mode. Yes it is now operating as an evaporator when it is in reverse cycle mode (heat pump). If it ices solid, something is wrong and it needs to be checked.

Ken
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