Heat Pump - Heat strips?

Today inspected a Goodman heat pump which was working fine - cold air being discharged from fan, suction line hot, heat coming through registers after raiding T-stat 1 degree. In NY so i assume there are heat strips in the air handler in the truss attic. Panel had 60 amp breaker, Goodman air handler model ARUF18214168A in attic had 60 amp ’ disconnect’ double pole breaker.
Problem is that I am not sure if had heat strips since it is a field installation for the heat kit, dam label had nothing checked off.
T-stat had an Emergency heat switch - didnt run it on that - Yes my fault , only ran it on heat. Did raise the digital T-stat 5 degrees and did not see any ’ auxillary or supplemental ’ display. At this point the strips should have came on being 5 degrees higher, activating them - should the T-stat give a display of the supplemental/auxillary heat ??.
Is there any way to determine if heat kit was installed - couldnt take cover off since no stable footing on truss. Here are some fotos.

Thermostat may not tell if heat strips activated but taking amp
readings at breaker will tell you when and if heat strips have been energized.
Do a search for heat strips and should be able to find a post from Charley Bottger that has amp draws from emergency heat.

Electric panel was painted over 100 x and stuck to the wall, couldnt check under the panel. Usually take the air handler cover off and see them but couldnt do it safely - this was a pain with this unit and panel today. First one i had in attic for a condo - usually in small utility closet with good leg room.

Each Heat strip will normally draw 20 amps give or take one amp and if all fails one can check the amp draw at the breaker. When operating the heat pump in the normal mode and you jack the temp on the stat up 5 degrees to bring on the strips one can see a drastic jump in the discharge air temp but neither option will indicate if all the strips are operating. The only sure way to know this is to measure the amp on each individual strip other wise it is just a guess

Considering the electric panel had 60 amp breaker for the air handler, would one think it had 3 heating strips - or possibly a new air handler was put in with no heating kit and they just left the original breaker and wiring there to hook up just an air handler.
Secondly, if I switched the T stat to ‘emergency’ would it only run if it had heat strips. My understanding is that mode bypassses the heat pump and kicks on the heat strips only.

That is correct

I would guess 2 heat strips; you can’t load a breaker 100%.

Hi Marcel so what size breaker is used when 4 strips are installed??? Yes I am messing with you:D 4 strips drawing 20 amps each???:wink:

125 Amp breakers or whatever the data plates recommends.

Ok tell me have you ever seen a set of heat strips on a 125 amp breaker I have not in my area:p

Researching on line to gain better knowledge of the heating strips - it seems that 3 strips have a 60 amp and a 30 amp disconnect at the air handler. Only an assumption - the fact my handler had only a 60 amp - it would be 2 strips.

I have seen 125 amp breakers for a 20 KW (4 strips) furnace.
Mine is 15 KW and it has 100 amp breakers; data plate recommends 82 amp breakers but the next available breakers in my area is 100 amp.

We do it a bit different the most common being two sets of #6 wires and two 60 amp breakers for 4 strips

That is the first violation.

Inspector safety: Did not check aux heat installation because it is unsafe without a floored attic walkway.

The only way you can know is to take cover off and look.
If you turn it on and see an increased amperage draw (spinning electric meter if you don’t have the tools), you know it’s working but it could be “locked out” by an OD Temp Control and it won’t come on. So this is could be a false assumption.

If the EM Heat did not work: then it’s not working.

Perhaps in Tenn but not in Ok we use and most other places use the out door temp stat to lock out the exterior condensing unit not the heat strips plus we kinda like the strips to energize when the unit goes into defrost most don’t like the cold air when in defrost:p;-)

It does not affect the defrost cycle. Just keeps 2nd stage heat from coming on from someone jacking up the thermostat (> 2 degrees) when it’s not that cold outside.

Parallel circuit.

Different strokes for different folks I never wired one that way nor seen any one else;-)

I have 2 units with them (factory).

I’ll send you a pic you you can say you saw one!:wink:

Well quit playing with the stat and there will be no worries;-)

BTW that kind of wiring should be field installed as to the needs or wants of the client

Yes it should. Some wives like to jack around with the t-stat…