What Causes A Hard Lockout On A Trane Heat Pump?

There is nothing so frustrating than finding your Trane heat pump going into hard lockout. Now you are wondering why this kind of issue occurs or perhaps what causes it. We researched this for you and our findings are below.

Your Trane heat pump could be on hard lockout due to the following components having an issue or needing proper setup. Here are the potential hard lockout suspects of your Trane heat pump:

  • Low pressure switch
  • Refrigerant level
  • Faulty fan motor
  • Bad expansion valve
  • Defrost cycle issue

That was straightforward, was it? Well, keep on reading as we explain further why hard lockout occurs and how to solve it. We will also provide below how you can properly reset your Trane heat pump. That said, let's jump right in!

Outdoor unit of a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump, What Causes A Hard Lockout On A Trane Heat Pump?

The Common Causes Why A Trane Heat Pump Is On Hard Lockout

There are five reasons why your Trane heat pump goes into a hard lockout mode. Among these possible causes are the following:

The Low Pressure Switch Is Open

Trane employs safety switches in its heat pump machine. Among them is the low-pressure switch. This switch is responsible for closing and opening the heat pump pressure valve.

Typically, this switch is set near your compressor outdoor unit to monitor the system freon gas pressure. A Trane heat pump often displays a hard lockout alert due to low pressure switch engaging to open.

As this switch acts as a safety device, it shuts off the machine's operation when it detects a sudden drop in pressure within the system. If the low-pressure switch is open, it also implies the heat pump needs a quick gas pressure evaluation.

Freon Level Is Low

This is the common cause of why a low pressure switch activates to open. As you might not know, a heat pump working with insufficient freon is very risky. It can easily damage your compressor unit which leads to a costly repair.

A hard lockout can occur because the low pressure switch senses a sudden drop in freon gas pressure. Therefore, a low pressure switch is vital for its effective operation to deter serious problems by opening its valve.

You can avoid the low pressure switch from opening by checking the freon level and refilling it as necessary. Doing so will surely prevent a hard lockout issue and reduce the risk of damage to your Trane heat pump.

A Bad Fan Motor Issue

Another cause of a hard lockout flashing on your Trane heat pump is its fan motor becoming bad. A bad fan motor significantly reduces the ideal airflow that your compressor generates through the air register.

This can cause your heat pump to work overboard but in an inefficient outcome. For safety operating purposes, the heat pump control system will then go into hard lockout preventing the machine from getting damaged.

Here are the possible causes why the fan motor can go bad:

  • Blown capacitor
  • Faulty blower motor
  • Defective thermostat
  • Incorrect thermostat setup
  • The air handler power breaker capacity that isn't sufficient

Get this Trane thermostat on Amazon.

Faulty Expansion Valve

The expansion valve in a heat pump system is what controls the temperature and pressure level of the freon gas. It reduces the freon temperature and pressure when it passes through the expansion valve.

Generally, the expansion valve regulates the right amount of freon that goes to the evaporator unit. Furthermore, it also keeps the pressure difference balance between high pressure and low pressure.

If your heat pump is in hard lockout mode, it might be due to its expansion valve going bad. The expansion valve is indeed bad when you notice that it is freezing or icing up.

Defrost Cycle Issue

In the winter, your Trane heat pump could likely freeze over. Especially if the temperature in your place constantly drops below freezing point.

This can certainly occur since the exterior coil is normally 10 to 20 degrees colder than the ambient temperature outside. The defrost cycle setup is Trane's heat pump solution to this issue.

It is the machine's preset setting to defrost the heat pump coils when it is icing up. Defrosting cycle is monitored by two sensors. These sensors accurately signal the machine's control board when to activate and stop the defrosting cycle.

If a hard lockout is repeatedly flashing then most likely there is an issue in the heat pump's defrost cycle setup. Defrost cycle issues can arise if the system lacks freon gas, defrost control is defective, or its sensors have gone bad.

A new air conditioner unti was just installed outside a residential home

How To Reset My Trane Heat Pump

Sometimes you remedy the Trane heat pump's underlying issues including the hard lockout by simply resetting the machine. The resetting steps are simple and don't need any fancy tools to perform.

Follow the easy Trane heat pump resetting steps below:

  1. Always start the resetting procedure by shutting off your thermostat.
  2. Shut off the heat pump. Usually, you can see the Trane heat pump's power switch in its upper casing portion.
  3. Allow the machine to reboot its system for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Switch the heat pump's power to "ON" along its thermostat.
  5. Set the thermostat to the correct temperature.

NOTE: If performing these steps doesn't solve the hard lockout issue, we highly suggest calling your HVAC specialist and letting them fix this problem.

Kindly refer to this visual heat pump resetting tutorial on YouTube:

What Is The Ideal Thermostat Settings?

Setting your thermostat correctly prevents the hard lockout problem in your heat pump. It is necessary to know the ideal thermostat settings for effective and smooth heat pump operation.

You can set your thermostat during the summer at 78 °F. This is the ideal temperature set point aside from it being very energy efficient as well. Meanwhile, a 50 °F in the winter is always a great temperature setup.

For instance, if you utilize several rooms, you can always adjust the thermostat setting to meet your desired heat demand. However, remember that your house's overall insulation system plays a big role in regulating proper temperature, especially in the winter.

How To Reset Your Trane Wireless Thermostat

One hand adjust thermostat digital in fahrenheit at home

Resetting or rebooting your Trane thermostat lets you alter existing temperature settings. This is crucial for correcting the current wrong thermostat settings which can cause the fan motor to malfunction.

Here are the resetting steps you can follow for your Trane wireless thermostat:

  1. Begin by ensuring that your heat pump is off.
  2. Proceed to your thermostat and tap the "MENU" option.
  3. Tap the "Settings" icon.
  4. Next, select the "Reboot" icon.
  5. To confirm the reboot cycle, tap "Yes", otherwise tap "No" to cancel the current task.
  6. Now the rebooting cycle is commencing and just wait for a couple of minutes to finish the cycle.

Another Trane Resetting Method

hand adjusting air conditioner button at 70 degree Fahrenheit in the apartment for comfortable

The following steps are best for you if you don't utilize a Trane thermostat device:

  1. Again, start the resetting process by turning off the heat pump.
  2. Go to the thermostat power breaker and shut it off.
  3. Allow the thermostat control system to reboot for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Now switch the power breaker on again.

NOTE: These resetting steps will also work on XL824/850/1050 thermostats model.

Can I Recharge My Heat Pump Freon?

Recharging a heat pump's freon is a complex process that requires vast HVAC refilling knowledge. If you lack the knowledge and experience to perform this job, please call an expert to do the job for you.

This task may sound simple but a mistake can arise down the line especially if you don't have enough recharging knowledge. So be mindful and let the expert do this task to prevent any irreversible repair and cost.

What Freon Type Does Trane Heat Pump Use?

Refrigerant for air conditioning filling

Generally, as mentioned before, low pressure switches trigger to open on their own due to their sensor detecting a low pressure issue. This means the heat pump system freon level is significantly low.

According to Trane, an R-410A type of freon has been the freon choice of all their product since 2010. Moreover, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also states that R-410A is ideal for air conditioning and heat pumps.

This freon also preserves our planet's ozone layer but also requires it to be handled safely not to release into our atmosphere.

To Wrap Things Up

Outdoor unit of a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump

Your Trane heat pump may go in hard lockout because of its several malfunctioning components. Remember that those components we've mentioned require an immediate check-up to fix your Trane heat pump hard lockout issue.

Using our detailed thermal setups and resetting steps you can prevent the hard lockout issue to show again. Also, follow all our advice to use only the right refrigerant for your Trane heat pump for effective operation.

If you like reading this article, kindly read also our other helpful posts below:

How To Access Evaporator Coils In A Sealed Case

What Causes A Soft Lockout On A Trane Heat Pump?

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