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Old 11-01-2018, 05:53 PM   #15
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From what I've seen on my units at some point close to outdoor temp of 35 degrees the units revert to ac( not defrost cycle) operation and won't switch back until they get into the 40s. Heat pumps are capable of producing heat well below the 30s ambient.the air coming out however is lukewarm and since there's no auxillary heat to assist it ends up just making you feel colder
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:58 PM   #16
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Good day georgiann no,
First, the heat pump does not use Freon - only the A/C side uses it. Stay away from this clown - "So called RV tech." He does not know JACK! The A/C - Heatpump combo that you have is controlled by a controller board located in the unit. Its hard to determine your root cause problem since the unit is working now. Could be a problem with communication between the 5 button thermostat, the controller board, or power. For now - "Let a sleeping dog lie" - watch it and let it run normally. If the problem arises again, get a reputable RV tech to work on it. Be cautious - as you have found out there are many "clowns" (i.e. so called RV Techs) out there that do not have the knowledge or experience even to touch a RV.
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2008 Newmar Kountry Star 3960, Spartan K2 Chassis, Cummins ISL 400HP, 2014 Chevy Captiva
If a heat pump doesn't use Freon then just how does it work?
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:50 AM   #17
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If a heat pump doesn't use Freon then just how does it work?
It does...he mis-spoke
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:59 AM   #18
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First off, could the Original poster, post the make AND MODEL NUMBER of the unit, that would be great.

Next. as far as I know, there are no **SERVICE VALVES** on an RV a/c or heat pump. without service valves you would have to have a piercing valve recovery tool to remove the existing refrigerant before you could physically cut into any refer lines ~~~ THATS THE LAW! If you simply cut into an a/c/heat pump(HP) system and release the freon, you would be in violation of EPA rules and if caught (unlikely) could be subject to fines and penalties. you will need a manifold gauge set and a recovery machine with a recovery tank. The recovery tank has to be for whatever particular refrigerant you have in the system (R-134a, R-410a, R-22 and so on) you can not mix refrigerants in the same tank, trust me, no one will take the tank for legal recycling

The small RV systems are closed, 'critical charge' systems. Too much or too little freon and it will not work correctly, although it may 'kinda' work if you're close.

Next, in the HP world, there is no such thing as 'cold air' meaning, relative to a refrigerant temperature, outdoor ambient air has heat in it, down to -5F. Most freon (generic term for refrigerant) works at MINUS 40F so any air above that temp technically has heat in it.

How does an air conditioner work? simply put, an air conditioner works by taking a liquid and changing it to a vapor and then taking that vapor and changing back to a liquid. Anytime a material changes state (vapor to liquid) it either absorbs or rejects heat....simply put.

In a heat pump, they use a Reversing valve to change the direction the refrigerant moves to or from the compressor. However, at some point, it gets too cold outdoors for the refrigerant to do its job economically. (determined by the engineers designing the system) Manufacturers then add electric heat strips (some of us just call them a 'toaster package', LOL) as a back up to the system to provide an extra boost of heat to make you more comfortable at an economic rate.

If you try to cut into a system and add service valves, you are wasting your money, it will cost more than the system is worth. You would have to braze in the service valves and pull a vacuum, then recharge the system with the correct amount of freon. you're looking at a minimum of 4 or 5 hours at $40 to $60 an hour, plus the cost of service valves and freon.

Now, back to the original issue.

Next time this happens, go on the roof and see if something is blocking the coils, if nothing is blocking the coils, THEN call a mechanic

sorry for the long winded post, I hope this helps
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:08 AM   #19
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How do you add the valve without opening the system? And once opened, you have to go thru the purge and vac down process before you add Freon; we can just blow off the flush. Then, once vac'd down, you gotta put in a whole new load of Freon and oil, in the right amount and proportion. It's be more fun and economical to disconnect that old one and throw it off the roof. My mom just replaced her 15,000 btu AC (not heat pump) unit and it cost less than $1200 installed.
Sir, There are two possible ways to add a valve. You can install a saddle valve which is a two piece valve that clamps around the refrigeration tubing. once installed you turn the knob/screw which pierces the pipe. Yes, it is leak free when installed correctly.

The second method does involve opening up the system silver soldering a fitting on vacuuming the system and so forth.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:25 AM   #20
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Sir, There are two possible ways to add a valve. You can install a saddle valve which is a two piece valve that clamps around the refrigeration tubing. once installed you turn the knob/screw which pierces the pipe. Yes, it is leak free when installed correctly.

The second method does involve opening up the system silver soldering a fitting on vacuuming the system and so forth.
sorry to say, in 30+ years of doing HVAC work, I have never seen a saddle valve last very long. too much vibration for a mechanical fitting to work. Brazing in a valve is the only sure way to install a valve and have it leak free.

BTW, when brazing (you can silver solder small systems like an RV rooftop unit) you MUST run nitrogen through the system while brazing or you will get oxidized particles in the system which could block small orifices. Also, you must add a filter/drier to the liquid line to further protect the compressor
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:59 PM   #21
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With roof A/C units in the $500-$700 range, I have to believe spending $300-$500 to revive an old unit would not be a good investment. But that's just me.

I suppose if you have the skills and tools to DIY it might make sense. But if that's the case you wouldn't be on here asking questions about it.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:28 PM   #22
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I just replaced the reversing valve on one of our Dometic heat pump units. It's only about a 15 min job.
Dometic | 3310714005 | Penguin Reversing Valve Solenoid Coil Harness. Price was $34.95
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:55 PM   #23
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I just replaced the reversing valve on one of our Dometic heat pump units. It's only about a 15 min job.
Dometic | 3310714005 | Penguin Reversing Valve Solenoid Coil Harness. Price was $34.95
REALLY, I'd love to hear how you did this in 10 min.

could you please post your procedure

wait, I just re-read your post, you just replaced the solenoid coil? you didn't replace the reversing valve itself, correct?
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:16 PM   #24
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REALLY, I'd love to hear how you did this in 15 min.

could you please post your procedure

Wait, I just re-read your post, you just replaced the solenoid coil? you didn't replace the reversing valve itself, correct?
Yes. I didn't word that well.
Thanks
What's interesting is the early Dometic heat pumps default to the heat mode, and require activation of the reversing valve to cool. If the solenoid coil fails it goes to full hot. The new Dometic heat pumps default to AC and the reversing valve is applied to heat. Then if the coil fails it stays in cold mode.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:19 PM   #25
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Question

Just throwing this out there, 04 Dynasty with 3 heat pumps on roof. All three have low side taps on the lines in exactly the same location and angle of installation soldered in place. Maybe at that time they were shipped empty and Charged at time of installation? If someone in the field did the valves they were a perfectionist , all valves show a fixture clamp scar on there surfaces. Dave
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:11 PM   #26
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Just throwing this out there, 04 Dynasty with 3 heat pumps on roof. All three have low side taps on the lines in exactly the same location and angle of installation soldered in place. Maybe at that time they were shipped empty and Charged at time of installation? If someone in the field did the valves they were a perfectionist , all valves show a fixture clamp scar on there surfaces. Dave
who manufactured the heat pumps?

corporate and engineering philosophies change as people are added or corporations are acquired. Fourteen years ago they may have come from the factory with service valves. I doubt they were charged in the field. It's not cost effective. It's quicker and easier to charge them at the factory. also, these are really small systems so they are critical charge systems, meaning they must be charged with an exact amount of freon, which is difficult in the field.
You said the valves are located in the exact same position, that tells me they were welded in a fixture.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:23 PM   #27
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All three units are Dometic 630515.321. If I remember correctly MH was built 12/03. Dave
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:31 PM   #28
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All three units are Dometic 630515.321. If I remember correctly MH was built 12/03. Dave
thanx, Im going to go look up their history and possibly get a schematic for them
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