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Rinnai (LST 180H-2) Split aircon/heater system malfunction

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  1. #1
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    Default Rinnai (LST 180H-2) Split aircon/heater system malfunction

    hi all,
    Just got a call from my mother, their heater has just packed it in. They are pensioners and affording a new heater is a big outlay but something they may have to sort very quickly given its the middle of a very cold winter.

    apparently the unit was producing very little heat for a few days prior to full breakdown, but they kept it running as it was producing some heat. today they noticed smoke rising from the outdoor unit so immediately switched it off. when they turned it on again, the fan (external) was not operating so it is not working at all now. they couldnt tell me if the fan had been working the last few days whilst it was in low heat mode. my suspicion is that the fan had stopped working but the compressor was still going, but not being cooled at all eventually died? replacing the fan would be cheap ($100) but the compressor is worth about $500 so not an option. Is there any simple way to confirm this?

    any help much appreciated,
    Greg

  2. #2
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    A likely (moderately common) fault is the fan stops working and the compressor keeps running. This will produce the low heat output you refer to but with a heavy frost buildup on the outside evaporator (the part of the air-conditioner that looks a bit like a car's radiator). Then the system will defrost, and you'll get a lot of steam rising out of the unit when it does so.

    So I'm thinking that it's more likely to be steam rather than actual smoke.

    If that's the case then it could be the fan motor has failed (or the fan has become jammed in some way - make sure there isn't something physically stuck in it) but more likely it is a control board fault. Designs vary between manufacturers, but most of the faults like this that I've come across have been caused by a fault on the indoor unit's control board. It's not impossible that the compressor is dead, but I doubt it.

    Easy way to check is to run the system for a few minutes and see if the outdoor fan is working. If not then you've got a problem.

    By the way, I didn't know that Rinnai made air-conditioners? I thought they only made gas appliances? We are talking about an electric air-conditioner, aren't we?

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    thank you for the reply smurf,

    So its possible that it is only the fan! great! now how to work out what part is the problem and replacing it. Start with the fan motor itself and work backwards?

    "By the way, I didn't know that Rinnai made air-conditioners? I thought they only made gas appliances? We are talking about an electric air-conditioner, aren't we?"

    yes it is an electric split air con/heating unit. Internal unit has given them some grief but suspect it may have something to do with being in a smokers household.

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    Default OOPS!!! LG (LST 180H-2) Split aircon/heater system malfunction NOT RInnai

    OOPS!!! LG (LST 180H-2) Split aircon/heater system malfunction NOT RInnai

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gg23 View Post
    thank you for the reply smurf,

    So its possible that it is only the fan! great! now how to work out what part is the problem and replacing it. Start with the fan motor itself and work backwards?
    Best guess (most likely cause) is the internal control board.

    It's possible that the motor itself can fail, but I've seen a lot more board faults than motor faults.

    You would need a multimeter and to be competent working around live parts (which could kill if you touch them) to verify exactly what the problem is. The power to the fan should be switching on when the unit is running - if not then that's the problem.

    If you're going to be putting your hands near the fan with the power on then take the actual blades off for safety reasons.

    I'm not familiar with this particular unit (I'm an electrician but I don't normally work on air-conditioners) so can't be any more specific than that sorry. But when I've encountered this fault on Panasonic of Fujitsu systems, it has always been the indoor board that was the cause.

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