Why Isn’t My Payne Heat Pump Compressor Turning On?

It’s a cold day and you want to be warm and cozy in your home. But your Payne heat pump compressor won’t turn on. What could be the problem? We researched for you and consulted with different experts regarding this concern, and here’s what we found.

Different reasons exist why a Payne heat pump compressor refuses to function. Some of these possible suspects are:

  1. Tripped circuit breaker
  2. Worn thermostat
  3. Bad control board

It’s ideal to learn as much as you can about these potential culprits. That way, you can use the appropriate solution based on your troubleshooting results. So continue reading as we talk about the possible reasons your Payne heat pump compressor won’t turn on.

Heat pump outside residential home, Why Isn't My Payne Heat Pump Compressor Turning On?

Why Will My Payne Heat Pump Compressor Not Turn On?

A Payne heat pump compressor may not turn on because of reasons like:

Tripped Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker functions by protecting a connected electronic device from harm caused by an overcurrent. This module trips or automatically cuts the flow of electricity to the electronic equipment, such as your Payne heat pump, in events like overloads, short circuits, and ground faults.

So if the compressor in your Payne heat pump isn’t working as intended, it might not be this assembly that’s at fault. Instead, look inside your property’s electric service panel to check if the circuit breaker connected to the appliance tripped.

Worn Thermostat

A heat pump’s thermostat is generally responsible for detecting the immediate environment’s temperature. That way, the appliance can adjust its features based on the thermostat’s readings.

But if the thermostat is defective, the Payne heat pump’s compressor may not function. It’s because the compressor typically relies on the thermostat’s temperature measurements for it to work with the correct settings. Without the thermostat’s help, the compressor may cease running.

Bad Control Board

The control board is like the brain of the Payne heat pump. If it encountered an error, it might prevent the compressor from receiving the correct instructions, stopping the appliance from turning on and working as needed.

How To Replace Circuit Breaker For Payne Heat Pump Compressor?

An electrician install the circuit breaker inside electric cabinet

You’ll know if the circuit breaker connected to your Payne heat pump compressor is bad by identifying some tell-tale signs. These symptoms may include:

  • The circuit breaker is hot and/or has a burning smell.
  • Visible signs of aging.
  • It trips frequently, and often only allows a few seconds for the heat pump to run before shutting off.

If you encounter these symptoms, it’s time to replace the circuit breaker for your Payne heat pump. Take note that you should purchase and install the correct breaker for the appliance.

Check your Payne heat pump’s temperature capacity to identify the required amperage rating for your circuit breaker. For example, the Payne Heat Pump 15 has a cooling capacity of 1.5 to 5 tons. So you’ll need a circuit breaker that can carry a 60-amp load for the appliance to work without encountering electrical issues.

Electrician repairing circuit breakers in industrial electric panel

If you’re unsure about the type of circuit breaker to buy and install, you can bring the faulty circuit breaker to your local hardware store. Then, ask the salesperson for the same yet working model.

Now that you have the correct circuit breaker, continue this procedure by following these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Replacement circuit breaker

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Turn off the electricity from the main circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew the service panel’s cover plate and remove it afterward.
  3. If the worn breaker is still in the panel, remove it.
  4. Attach the two hot wires to the correct ports on the new circuit breaker.
  5. Insert the circuit breaker into the correct mount in the panel.
  6. Return the cover plate and turn on the main circuit breaker.
  7. Turn on the circuit breaker connected to the Payne heat pump to test if the appliance starts and works as intended.

Check out this product on Amazon.

You can also watch the video below if you need a visual guide to replacing a circuit breaker:

How Do You Change A Thermostat For Payne Heat Pump?

Smart home thermostat

Take note that the following steps may not apply to your specific scenario. Always check your thermostat’s instruction manual for the correct installation procedure.

Still, here’s a look at how you can replace a faulty thermostat attached to a Payne heat pump:

What You’ll Need

  • Replacement thermostat
  • Screwdriver

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Unscrew the cover and front case of your old thermostat to expose the wires.
  2. Take a picture of the wires so you'll know where you'll connect them to the new thermostat.
  3. Disconnect the wires carefully.
  4. Unscrew and take out the old thermostat’s back plate.
  5. Install the back plate of the new thermostat.
  6. Connect the wires to their appropriate terminals.
  7. Install the new thermostat’s front cover.
  8. Test if the Payne heat pump’s compressor is now functioning as intended.

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Check out the following video to gain additional insight into this procedure:

How Do You Replace A Payne Heat Pump Circuit Board?

Before proceeding with this task, ensure that the control board that you’re about to purchase is compatible with your specific Payne heat pump model. Don’t install random control boards into the appliance or you might put it at risk of further issues.

What You’ll Need

  • Replacement control board
  • Screwdriver

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Turn off the power to the heat pump.
  2. Remove the casing that’s protecting the heat pump’s control board.
  3. Take a picture of the work circuit board to know the placement of the wires.
  4. Disconnect the wires from the old control board.
  5. Install the new control board and set it into the enclosure carefully.
  6. Connect the wires to the correct terminals.
  7. Test the heat pump if it now starts and functions as expected.
  8. If it works, close the panel to secure the control board and the other internal components.

Check out this replacement control board on Amazon.

You can also watch the following video for a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Compressor Failure?

A heat pump may fail because of different reasons, such as:

Parts Grinding

Grinding in a heat pump often means a lack of lubrication. Without proper lubrication, the bearings, rods, and other components may grind against each other. The action causes the parts to wear faster than normal, which may lead to a complete heat pump compressor failure.

Watch the video below if you need help on how to lubricate an HVAC system’s fan motor:

Refrigerant Leak

Some heat pumps, such as the Payne Two-Stage Heat Pump 16, will have both heating and cooling capabilities. The cooling features often rely on refrigerant to help reduce the temperature of connected rooms.

However, the solution might leak into the compressor if the appliance’s coils and/or hoses have cracks or gaps. The product may bring harm to the compressor, resulting in its refusal to function.

Dirty Filters

It’s ideal to clean your heat pump’s filters at least once a month. Otherwise, it might accumulate dirt and other debris, which may cause the compressor to overheat. If left unchecked, the compressor may experience additional strain, leading to its failure.

How Do I Know If My Heat Pump Compressor Is Bad?

HVAC technician checking the amperage on a residential heat pump

Heat pump compressors, even the one in your Payne model, can go bad over time. You’ll know if you need to replace the compressor or the entire unit if you’re experiencing frequent problems with the appliance. Some of the possible symptoms you may encounter are:

  • The compressor fails to start.
  • The appliance trips the circuit breaker frequently
  • The heat pump fails to blow cold or hot air when needed.
  • The unit is making unknown noises.

The typical heat pump may last about 12 to 15 years. You may extend that period by following a strict maintenance routine for the machine. Otherwise, the heat pump's lifespan might be less than the expected period.

You can also watch this quick video to learn how to maintain your heat pump:

Final Words

Remember, troubleshoot your Payne heat pump’s compressor and other connected devices to find out the reason why the appliance isn’t working. Then, use the appropriate solution based on your findings to enjoy long-term results. Take note that you can still rely on skilled technicians if you believe that you don’t have the confidence or know-how to fix your non-functioning Payne heat pump.

If you’re looking for answers to other Payne product concerns, check out these other great posts:

How Do I Reset My Payne Air Conditioner?

Payne AC Vs. Goodman – Which Should You Choose?

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