Nyle Geyser RE problem

ajamisonajamison Registered Users Posts: 3
I'm kind of at a loss here, so posting to see if anyone can help me. I installed a Geyser RE this summer, connected to a new 80 gallon State electric water heater. It seemingly worked well for a couple of days and then starting tripping the circuit breaker. It was plugged into a 15 amp circuit (I was using a 25' 12 gauge extension cord to reach it which tech support had ok'd beforehand). I thought maybe the combo of a 15 amp circuit and the extension cord was the problem, so I wired a new dedicated 20 amp circuit right next to the unit, but the problem persisted.

Tech support sent me a new relay, but that didn't fix it. I hooked up a kill-a-watt to it and observed it for a cycle. It would run for about 2 hours, then start to shut down. But right at that point the fan would kick back on, but not circulate water, and it would be drawing 0.33 amps (not the 4-7 it does during normal operation). It would run like this for several hours until the breaker tripped.

I reviewed all my connections and wiring. I plugged a dehumidifier into the same outlet and it ran fine for weeks. I sent the Geyser back to the factory and they can't find anything wrong with it and have never heard of the unit shutting down a cylce but then the fan kicking back on until the breaker trips.

Anyone have any ideas? It seems to me like there is something faulty about the way my water and the Geyser communicate to make it act this way. Right now Nyle still has the unit, and I am not sure how proceed.

Thanks.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,038 admin
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem

    You may need to get a Fluke Current Clamp DMM or equivalent with "peak hold current" function. And clip that to the circuit breaker/branch circuit hot wire and see what the peak current is. You do need to figure out if the breaker trip is "real" or "false".

    Also, in your breaker panel, pull the breaker and look for indications of heat and/or corrosion. Many standard breakers work with an internal heating element that trips the breaker. If there is a poor electrical connection somewhere, it can cause the breaker to false trip.

    It sounds a little like the compressor is possibly "short cycling". Basically, the compressor shuts down (controller normally or early terminates cycle) then the controller commands the compressor to turn on again... At that point, many compressors will either lockup or draw lots of starting current because of the high back pressure (starting against pressure in condenser refrigerant circuit). And could cause the branch circuit breaker to trip.

    Other things, like intermittent relay, poor electrical connections somewhere, etc. can cause starting problems too... So could a bad/incorrect starting capacitor (or motor run capacitor--depending on design of the unit).

    There could be other issues (refrigeration system pressures wrong due to poor air or water circulation around evaporator/condenser, etc.). But you saw normal (I guess) more current/power--So that does not sound like it...

    My guesses.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem
    ajamison wrote: »
    I'm kind of at a loss here, so posting to see if anyone can help me. I installed a Geyser RE this summer, connected to a new 80 gallon State electric water heater. It seemingly worked well for a couple of days and then starting tripping the circuit breaker. It was plugged into a 15 amp circuit (I was using a 25' 12 gauge extension cord to reach it which tech support had ok'd beforehand). I thought maybe the combo of a 15 amp circuit and the extension cord was the problem, so I wired a new dedicated 20 amp circuit right next to the unit, but the problem persisted.

    Tech support sent me a new relay, but that didn't fix it. I hooked up a kill-a-watt to it and observed it for a cycle. It would run for about 2 hours, then start to shut down. But right at that point the fan would kick back on, but not circulate water, and it would be drawing 0.33 amps (not the 4-7 it does during normal operation). It would run like this for several hours until the breaker tripped.

    I reviewed all my connections and wiring. I plugged a dehumidifier into the same outlet and it ran fine for weeks. I sent the Geyser back to the factory and they can't find anything wrong with it and have never heard of the unit shutting down a cylce but then the fan kicking back on until the breaker trips.

    Anyone have any ideas? It seems to me like there is something faulty about the way my water and the Geyser communicate to make it act this way. Right now Nyle still has the unit, and I am not sure how proceed.

    Thanks.
    Is it tripping the panel breaker or an internal breaker?

    A current of .33A, regardless of how long it is maintained, will not trip a standard 15A or 20A breaker!.
    Either there is a peak current that your meter is not catching or there is something wrong with the breaker.
    Note that circuit breakers contain a time versus current heating element that does the low current (up to maybe 10 times the nominal current) trip function of the breaker. And a high ambient temperature can easily affect the trip point of the breaker.

    I wonder if the fan is running simply because the area where the heater is installed is too hot? And the same temperature extremes are affecting the breaker? That would make more sense if it is an internal breaker in the geyser itself that is tripping.

    PS: I was once in an old building with a forced air gas heater hanging from the ceiling. On very hot days in full sun the fan on the heater would turn on, just because the air around it near the ceiling had gotten so hot (>140 F).
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ajamisonajamison Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem

    Here is some more info - it trips the panel breaker. When I switched the Geyser to a new, dedicated 20 amp circuit, the receptacle was GFCI, so it would trip that. I switched the receptacle out to a standard one and then it would trip the panel breaker. So it has tripped two different panel breakers and a GFCI receptacle, so it seems the problem is not the breaker itself.

    I should also say that I observed the 0.33 amp reading right after the cycle shut down and then the fan started up again. I didn't watch it after that, but every time after a few hours or when I woke up in the morning the breaker would be tripped, so it certainly could have spiked after that. I wonder if there is anyway to get an amperage history rather than sitting there having to watch the Kill-a-watt for hours?

    Temperature in the basement is in the 60s.

    It does seem like it could be short cycling. Of course the unit has preformed fine for Nyle at their facility. Based on the above info, anymore ideas on how to approach this?
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem
    ajamison wrote: »
    Here is some more info - it trips the panel breaker. When I switched the Geyser to a new, dedicated 20 amp circuit, the receptacle was GFCI, so it would trip that. I switched the receptacle out to a standard one and then it would trip the panel breaker. So it has tripped two different panel breakers and a GFCI receptacle, so it seems the problem is not the breaker itself.

    I should also say that I observed the 0.33 amp reading right after the cycle shut down and then the fan started up again. I didn't watch it after that, but every time after a few hours or when I woke up in the morning the breaker would be tripped, so it certainly could have spiked after that. I wonder if there is anyway to get an amperage history rather than sitting there having to watch the Kill-a-watt for hours?

    Temperature in the basement is in the 60s.

    It does seem like it could be short cycling. Of course the unit has preformed fine for Nyle at their facility. Based on the above info, anymore ideas on how to approach this?

    If the fan keeps running for hours with the compressor turned off, then something is wrong with the installation or the unit itself.
    Is there perhaps a backup water heating source that could be sending overly hot water into the geyser, either forward or reverse flow?

    It does seem that the problem is happening when the unit tries to start the compressor up again and for some reason it fails to start properly.

    You can get recording meters, but a high end multimeter with a computer interface may be the least expensive way to go.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,038 admin
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem

    You are tripping the GFI? And not the over current protection?

    If so, then that is a completely different problem. It only takes something like 0.003 to 0.010 amps or so between Hot (or Neutral) and Ground.

    You may have other problems (fan turning on, but no compressor)--But GFI issues are from improper wiring, "too many" RFI capacitors (to reduce radio interference), or something else that is bypassing AC energy on Hot (or Neutral) and earth ground.

    It could also be a Neutral to Ground fault in the wiring inside the unit (shorting Neutral to Earth can give flaky/random GFI trips).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ajamisonajamison Registered Users Posts: 3
    Re: Nyle Geyser RE problem

    The GFCI receptacle's green light would go off, orange light comes on, no power until you press the "reset button". I switched out the receptacle for a standard one and then the panel breaker would trip eventually.

    There is something about my setup with the Geyser and the water heater that is causing it to act this way. The electrical connection between the units is pretty simple as is the plumbing so I'm not sure what else could be involved. My water heater is only has 2 wires from power supply to the water heater (wiring diagram attachment) and the picture of the water heater in the Nyle manual (connection attachment) is of one with 4 wires. But you think if this was an issue it would have come up as a problem for others. When I hooked mine up I undid the red wire to make the connection. Attachment not found.Attachment not found.
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