Ductless mini-split systems are ideal when you need zoned air conditioning, and your house doesn’t have ductwork. These systems are highly efficient, and when they fail, the problem is most likely improper installation. In this guide, we look at some of the most common ductless-mini split issues in Mount Washington, KY, and how to identify them.

Communication Wire Issue

Improper wiring is a common problem with most ductless mini-split systems, and it stems from improper connections and using the wrong wires. When the wiring isn’t right, the system will have a poor signal that can make it fail to operate consistently or deliver power to the indoor or outdoor unit only.

Improper wiring can damage the compressor, which can result in the need for costly repairs. You can tell there is a problem with the wiring if you see error codes on the indoor units or outdoor board. If there is a series of blinking lights, your wiring might have a problem that a professional can fix.

Grounding Problems

The control board of your ductless mini-split system is prone to power surges and can also collect stray electrical energy and radio frequencies. To ensure that stray energy doesn’t get to the board, you need to ground the mini-split system.

Failure to ground the condenser results in improper operation and compressor and board failure. Improper grounding will present as many problems as no grounding. Most systems have a terminal block with L1, L2 and C, where C is your ground.

Refrigerant Problems

Modern ductless mini-splits use the refrigerant R-410A, which offers more efficiency and environmental friendliness than the old R-22. This refrigerant operates at a higher pressure, and you have to maintain it for proper system functioning. For starters, your system needs to have the right gauge for the R-410A.

Most systems come already precharged with R-410A, but your system may need an addition. The installation manual specifies the weight of the refrigerant that the system needs per foot of line set. If there is too little refrigerant charge, the system:

  • Shows an error code
  • Fails to maintain the set temperature
  • Produces loud noises
  • Fails to dehumidify
  • Might work in only one mode

If the system has too much refrigerant charge, it:

  • Fails to turn on
  • Makes loud noises
  • May fail to maintain set temperatures

The installation manual specifies the size and quality of the components to use. It also includes the size of the line set, their length, and the size difference between the indoor and the outdoor unit. Our technician will follow the system recommendations to get your system back to normal operation.

Live Voltage Problems

Most mini-split systems work optimally at 208/230-volt service, but some will work with 115 volts. Connecting the system to the proper voltage ensures optimal performance. Too high or too low a voltage will damage the board.

The system manufacturer will recommend the correct voltage for the system so that you never have any problems with voltage. If the voltage fluctuates, you may need a surge protector to protect your mini-split system.

Water Leaks in the Indoor Unit

If water leaks in your evaporator, your system may have one of many issues. For starters, the drain line needs to slant at least five degrees down when leaving the unit to ensure that water doesn’t drip back. If the drain line slants and there is still a leak, then the drains might have clogs.

Some systems have a condensate pump. If your system has this pipe and it leaks, the pump might have improper wiring. Again, the pump might pump higher than it should.

When you notice any of the above problems, it’s time to get professional help. Call us at Birkhead Co. for a thorough inspection and maintenance of your HVAC system in Mount Washington, KY.

Image provided by iStock

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