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too much ice on the gound around the heat pump?

No complaints from the customer as far as heating but ,

there is a great deal of ice on the ground around the condensing unit?

first off is it even a problem? maybe the customer just never noticed it before?

 To be fair it does seem like more than should be there.

 any ideas?
" Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Teddy Roosevelt


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,062

    Might be excessive defrosting or the heat pump is not properly elevated. Some things to check:

    Icing vs Frosting ... Liquid service valve


    Frosting up (other than a paper thin layer) means the defrost controls are not functioning properly. Icing is caused by something else:

    1. Insufficient refrigerant in the outdoor coil or insufficient load on coil.

       A. Low on freon.

       B. Restriction in line or metering device.

       C. Bad outdoor fan motor / capacitor / relay.

       D. Accumulator orifice restricted.

       E. Wrong size metering device.

    2. Improper drainage at base of unit.

       A. Unit not properly elevated off pad.

       B. Snow, leaves, debris under unit.

    3. Head (liquid) pressure too low causing low suction pressure.

       A. Air flow too high across indoor coil. Set blower speed to     achieve 400cfm  per ton.

       B. Restriction at indoor metering device, coil, line.

    4. Not defrosting long enough during cycle or frequently enough.

       A. Check defrost thermostat /sensor.

       B. Set defrost control to cycle more often. 30 or 60 minutes instead of 90.

    5. A recent ice storm. No heat pump can overcome this.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Coany
    Coany Member Posts: 91
    Thank you for the input

     the fan speed I hadn't considered.

     The thing s that throws me the most is the customer saying that performance-wise the heat works well. The ice he objects to is on the ground around the outdoor unit, which is properly elevated(12" in Massachusetts).

    it does sit on a rather small bit of gravel between the building and two walkways,around 3.5' square. Drainage could be the issue but never has been before. The unit is 4 years old.
    " Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Teddy Roosevelt
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,046
    Yes, it's a problem

    It is a cumulative problem. Through many heating/defrost cycles the ice will build up within the unit. I had a customer call me yesterday and his mini-split HP was not heating. After a brief discussion I asked how the condensing unit was mounted. Flat on a pad was his answer. He checked the condensing unit and the condenser fan tip was encased in the built up ice. HP's need to be raised to allow clear drainage of that moisture. As well, if they are raised you will not be blowing dirt and grass clippings into the condensing coil when you mow or do leaf blowing. I think it protects the investment.
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