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airheatman
airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8049
Experience:  Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
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I have a Rheem package unit (model found here: that is

Customer Question

Hi Pearl,I have a Rheem package unit (model found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c1n7v9xhow3u52l/internal%20board.jpeg?dl=0) that is roughly 6 years old. The fan will run if I switch it to manual "on" but the compressor and outside coil fan do not. Nothing comes on when I have the thermostat set to cool, even though I hear the audible "click." Consequently, we're hot. lol I went outside this morning to take a look and discovered bumblebees had established a home in the general area where I believe the circuit board is housed. Our friendly pest control technician dropped by earlier to drop a "dust bomb" on them and the internal activity is greatly reduced although I still hear an occasional buzzing when I begin removing the panel cover. After waiting patiently for the buzzing to subside, I finally got up the nerve (with a can of hornet spray in hand) and pulled off the cover. Here is what she looks like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nk1jrgu5wcqvima/Rheem%20Model%20Info.jpeg?dl=0I have two return filters that do need to be replaced and those should arrive tomorrow. But obviously that should have no impact on whether or not the system should kick on. I did check the drain from the outside and it appears to be fine. There is no standing water in the bay where the coil fan sits. I purchased a multimeter this afternoon in preparation for this endeavor but I'll need very specific directions because I've never used one. Here is a photo of my device: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jaw1qhftj21ui63/multimeter.jpeg?dl=0Where should I begin?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Is there anything else important you think the HVAC Technician should know?
Customer: LOL I think that about covers it. :-)
JA: Huh?
Customer: Well, I wrote several paragraphs and thought I covered about everything.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the HVAC Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the details and pictures. and for getting the meter.Amazing how many people want help troubleshooting with no meter.

Lets start by making sure issue is in unit and not thermostat.

LOcate the control wires where they come into unit.

Remove wire nuts from R ed and yellow and twist the wires together and see if unit will come on

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry for the slow reply...there are still a few bees buzzing around and I'm not into pain. lolPlease don't assume I know appropriate safety protocol on any of this stuff. Do I need to flip the breaker and/or anything else first? Second, Where do I find the read and yellow wires? Are these the once at the bottom left of this photo? I see more than one red and more than one yellow, also. https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8d0205saw1f6ea/More%20wires.jpeg?dl=0
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

This red and this yellow.We dont need to turn anything off, just dont let the wires touch the cabinet

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Okay. There are 2 red wires screwed together and 3 yellow wires (one with a black stripe). Do I put all five together? If not, which two or more should i group?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

yes all of those wires in the 2 wire nuts

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Okay. I heard a two or three very rapid "clicks" as I screwed them togehter. What next?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The unit did nothing other than that.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Did unit come on?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
no
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Did you leave them together long enough for it to come on or just touch and relaese?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry...the wire nut really wasn't big enough so I had to fetch another one. It is now wired together. It make the clicks again but nothing else has happened.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What should I try next?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Tell me what this light is doing

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
it is constant green.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Either of the alert or trip lights on?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Trip is red
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Ok we may have a freon issue, Low on freon preventing ac from coming on.Do you have ac gauges to connect to ports to see if we have freon in unit?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't. Can we run test the other items. It does have a very, very small freon leak but it shouldn't need a recharge just yet unless it has sprung a much bigger leak.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Our next step will be to see if we have 230 v into contactor, 230v out of contactor and 24v to the side terminals on contactor (Coil) See below

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
24 v on the contactor had no power
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We did have 240 going into the contactor
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

I am thinking we are out on low pressure switch, Lets do this. Check between the yellow and brown at the control wires coming in

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The control transformer is supplying 27 volts to the board.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No power between yellow and brown
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Is thermostat still calling for AC?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Good call! The trip is back and it is running 26 v
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK so now with thermostat on do we have 26v between yellow and brown and also at contactor coil.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We have 26v between yellow and brown but nothing at the contactor coil. I just rechecked.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK now follow that yellow wire and see where we are losing it.Leave the probe on brown (Common). All I am showing in that circuit is the low pressure switch and high pressure switch

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We have 24v at yellow wire going into control board.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK now there should be a yellow Y OUt of board lets check there. Leave probe on brown wire

Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Follow that yellow wire from board .It should go through low and high pressure switches, possibly a time delay and end up at contactor. Leave one probe on brown and check each side of those components until we find where we are losing the 26v

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I appear to have 24v coming into and out of the board.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Follow that yellow wire from board .It should go through low and high pressure switches, possibly a time delay and end up at contactor. Leave one probe on brown and check each side of those components until we find where we are losing the 26v

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
From Y on the board to the right side of the contactor, we have 26v. On the left side of the contactor, where there is one brown and one brown/purple wire, there is no voltage.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
To clarify, the right side of contactor has 24v with respect to the brown wire going to the thermostat.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

That is correct. We have the voltage to common (brown) so the brown wire is fine. We have the voltage to Y at board, but since we are not getting it at contactor, that tells us there is a break in the yellow circuit somewhere between the board and the contactor.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
One additional note of clarification...there is no LP switch as listed on the diagram. It is supposed to be between the board and contactor on the yellow wire. However, the yellow wire is wire nutted together with no switch. I don't recall any tech ever working on this...and I'm always present.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK exactly what component is in the yellow wire circuit between board and contactor?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Nothing. It is two yellow wires nutted together. There are two other yellow wires that have been cut are hanging loose.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK now if it is leaving the board and nothing in between we should have it at contactor. Remove the wire nut and make sure we are not getting a bad connection.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here is a photo
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Those wires used to go to either a low pressure or high pressure switch.They should never have been cut out. Loosen wire nut and see if we have 26v between there and brown and make sure wires are not broken inside wire nut.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We do.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Are wires making good connecton?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
For clarification, I have 24v when one probe is connected to brown wire going to therm. and other probe is on yellow wire.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

OK great. now if there is nothing else between there and contactor we should have at contactor. Do this. Remove the yellow at contactor and see if we have it there between yellow and brown with yellow disconnected from contactor.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I do have voltage on the right side of the contactor where the yellow wires connect. It is the left side, where the brown wires connect, that there is no voltage at the contactor. So, on the brown (left side), between the board and the contactor, is a LP switch (I think). The switch is attached to a large diameter copper line. I am not able to reach it tonight to check it but it is only logical that there is power going into this swithch but none coming out. Hence, I suspect I need a new (low pressure? or whatever it is) switch. If this is the case, does the refrigant have to be drained to change out the switch?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here is a photo of the switch. It's not great since it is dark but it is attached to the large diameter copper line.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Yeppers that is it. It is in your brown circuit though huh?

Now your problem is going to be one of 2 things.First is my suspicion that system is very low on refrigerant or second the switch is defective.

Either way you are going to need to connect gauges to determine.

If we are low on refrigerant we definitely do not want to bypass this one as it will burn compressor up. If switch is defective, you will have to recover the refrigerant to replace it as it is welded into the suction line. If you sweat old one out without removing what refrigerant is in system you will lose all refrigerant.

So we will need gauges or a tech with gauges either way.If low on Freon, simply charging may buy you some time.If defective switch it will require torches, gauges, recovery machine vacuum pump, etc. So that would be best left to a tech with all of the equipment unless you have acces.Either way I am here to guide you with whatever you need.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How much should one of these switches cost?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Switch is probably less 30bucks, but recovering refrigerant, welding switch in , evacuating system with vacuum pump you are probably looking at a few hundred bucks.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
This unit has had something go wrong with it every year (except possibly one) since it was installed in 2009. It sort of smells rather lemony. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Sorry you have had so many problems.I actually am a Rheem/Rudd dealer and have had pretty good luck with them,

If you have further questions, please let me know.

Thanks for letting me work with you.If my answer has been polite, professional,and thorough, please click one of the ratings before you go. If you still need help let me know!.Expert is not paid for assisting you until you rate answer.Feel free to follow up for 30 days at no additional cost. Bonus always appreciated if you feel justified.

To rate answer, please select one of the stars below.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Looking at the model info (in attached picture), do you think I have an option to respectfully ***** ***** replacement unit under warranty? If I'm going to be out a few hundred dollars, it might be better to invest that in excanging out the unit. BTW, on day one, the unit arrived with no freon. I allowed the installer to 'repair' the leak and proceed with the install. As I said, it has been problem after problem ever since. Last year the HP switch went out. After sleeping on it, I think they told me that they just bypassed it so that I wouldn't be out the expense of pulling the freon, etc.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
oops...here is the model info...
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Rheem will not replace the unit under warranty.If unit was registered at time of installation they should replace parts but will not provide labor or refrigerant.I definitely would not let them bypass the low pressure to avoid pulling refrigerant. If they bypass it and we have a leak the compressor will have no shutdown protection and you could lose compressor running low on refrigerant. Better to spend a few hundred than a couple of thousand.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
repairman came out, tapped on the low pressure switch, and the unit kicked on.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

If unit stays running and cools properly that switch will need to be replaced as it will stick again.You can bypass it like the high pressure switch is for a short time until you can get it replaced, but remember we have no compressor protection if we ever get low on charge.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I will likely keep tapping the switch until that no longer works at which point I'll have it replaced and then have the high-pressure switch replaced (and reconnected), also. Is it possible to have my unit retrofitted with with schrader valves for these switches so that future replacement wouldn't require removal of all of the freon and then recharging?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Not a standard retrofit, but I see no reason you could not have temperature cutout switches installed that would clamp to high and low pressure lines. Say one that would open at temperature over 140 degrees on liquid line and one that would open below 35 degrees on suction line.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I ask because the technician indicated that some units come with from the factory with schrader valves so that messing with freon is not required. Just screw off the faulty valve and screw on the new one. I'd like to stick with pressure valves if possible but it is nice to know that going with temp valves is a viable option.
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

I have not seen the ones he is referring to but would definitely ask him about using them .

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The YouTube video below presents a possible option that wouldn't require messing around with pulling and adding freon. The downside is that with my unit is the service ports are on the outside of the unit. However, there is a port for the thermostat wire that could also be utilized for the high and low pressure wires. I would also want to retrofit a cover to protect the switches from accidental bumps. I could also attach a quarter-turn shutoff valve that could be utilzied in case of an accident.http://youtu.be/_N-ILR0RuzEDo you see any problems with this approach?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

I supppose those might be an option .Main concern I would definitely cover them like you said though so they are not bumped.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can you help me identify suitable high and low-pressure switches that would screw into Schrader fittings?
Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Let me see what I can find.I have not used them before.

Expert:  airheatman replied 9 months ago.

Looks like the Penn P-100 switches should work.

Check out the P100AP and the P100CP

http://www.technoprocess.lu/johnson/ft_refri/06-Pressure%20Switches/02-pdp100ae.PDF

But I think both of these have to be mounted on the high side