If your heat pump won't put out warm air when you switch the mode from AC to heat, the problem might be with the reversing valve. A reversing valve malfunction can be difficult to diagnose since other failing parts can have the same symptoms. A heating repair professional can determine if the reversing valve is bad and what needs to be done about it. Here's how a reversing valve is supposed to work, why it goes bad, and the repair options for when it malfunctions.
How A Reversing Valve Works
The reversing valve controls the direction of refrigerant flow in your heat pump system. Being able to change the direction is what enables you to get both cool and warm air from the blower. When you hit the change mode button on the remote, a signal is sent to a solenoid coil that causes the valve to adjust its position, and that causes the refrigerant to change directions. This allows you to switch from cooling to heating at the push of a button.
What Can Go Wrong With A Reversing Valve
A common problem is that the valve can get stuck. In that case, your blower may be stuck in air conditioning mode when you need heat. The valve might get stuck because a bit of dust or debris is lodged in it. Also, if the solenoid is bad and can't trigger the valve, the valve gets stuck in place. Another problem is a refrigerant leak inside the valve that causes it to malfunction.
How A Malfunctioning Valve Can Be Repaired
A heating repair professional has to test the valve in various ways to determine what is wrong. This might require testing the solenoid for voltage and magnetism. Pressures and temperatures might need to be checked at various points in the system to see if there's a leak in the valve.
If the valve has a bit of debris in it, it might be possible to clear the debris by lightly tapping on the valve. If the problem is the solenoid, the solenoid has to be replaced. When the issue is a leaky valve, the heating repair professional has to replace the valve. This can be difficult work since the valve may need to be cut out and a new one soldered in.
This type of heating repair is also time-consuming since the refrigerant has to be removed and replaced. Since replacing a reversing valve involves refrigerant, the work has to be done by a licensed professional, so you'll need to call for help if the reversing valve in your heat pump goes bad.
For more information about heating repair, contact a local HVAC contractor, or check out a website like https://www.imsheatingandair.com.