capacitor issue or seized motor?

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Old 05-28-08, 09:19 AM
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capacitor issue or seized motor?

I am trying to troubleshoot my old Carrier condensor. Had the air turned on for the first time the other day and it did not work. The blower turns on, the compressor is making noise, but the fan blade does not spin.

I turned off the breaker so I could look at the fan motor more closely. I tried to spin the fan blades by hand and they were not "stuck" but I guess it was harder to spin than I expected, as there was a little resistance. I don't how much if any, resistance there should be. When I spin the blade and let it go, it will only make about 1 revolution before stopping. I also sprayed some WD-40 on the blade shaft.

Anyhow, I turned the power back and, and now the fan blade started turning on its own and everything works OK.

Does this seem like it just needed a little oiling or is the motor bearing stating to go? Or is it possibly a bad capacitor? Any ideas?

The problem has not reoccured yet, but temperatures have been unseasonably cold and have not had it on again (55 deg is too cold to start it up I assume).

Thanks in advance...
 
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Old 05-28-08, 10:16 AM
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If the capacitor were bad, the motor would just hum but not turn.
What kind of bearings, sleeve or ball?
Does the motor have oil caps at each end? That would be sleeve bearings.

WD-40 isn't really a lube, just a cleaning/penetrating agent--it contains little if any oil.
Use a penetrating spray that actually contains oil and spray into the area of the shaft going into the bearing while the motor is running if possible (without endangering yourself). The motor should pick up speed and run normally after a couple minutes if the bearings were dry.
 
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Old 05-28-08, 10:58 AM
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Thank you. I am not sure what kind of bearings there are, I will have to look. I will get some other oil to spray in there. The WD-40 did seem to help, although it may be just temporary. Unfortunately that's all I had in the house at the time.

Is it possible for a bad capacitor to be able to start the motor some of the time but not others? Or would it just not work all the time?

It looks to me like the bearings may have been dry or the motor was seized. Anything else I can do?

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-28-08, 12:06 PM
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capacitors are cheap it wouldn't hurt to replace it if you have no way of testing it. most new fan motors dont need to be oiled and spraying oil on the shaft wont do much good as they are sealed to prevent water from damaging the bearings. If you are able to oil it you will find a small plastic stoper in the holes you need to oil (usually yellow caps ) sometimes you cant see them to well if the fan motor is mounted to the cover of the condenser. In my experiance its usully to late by the time you free a stuck fan motor. You can free it up and get it running but for how long it's a gamble. Hopefully not when its 90deg. outside. I would plan on replacing it in the near future. ( find out where you can buy one near you so you are ready for the change out when it does fail )
 
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Old 05-29-08, 12:03 PM
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thanks for the heads up. I oiled it again last night with some 3 in 1 oil. It does not seem as if there is a good place to get the oil in to the bearings, but it spins much more freely than it did before. So it is OK for now.

If/when the fan motor needs to be replaced, what kind of expense are we talking? I would assume $200-$300 for the repair if I call a tech to do it? The fan is maybe a $100 part? Just wondering because the A/C unit is about 20 years old and I may not want to put much money into it. I'd rather put it towards a new unit...

Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-30-08, 08:56 AM
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your in the ball park
 
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