My dilemma . . .


  #1  
Old 07-31-08, 10:33 PM
cini75104's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Hill
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Exclamation My dilemma . . .

. . . Monday evening of last week I notice central A/C not cooling, and go up to attic to check unit. Sure enough, lines frozen in attic as well as outside. It was 93F inside. After checking this forum, I shut off condenser switch in attic and compressor switch on outside wall and allowed system to thaw overnight. Turned everything back on Tuesday morning before leaving for work, and return to a 78F house.

Then, on Sunday evening I notice it getting rather warm again. I go outside to check compressor and fan not turning. No frozen lines. I turn off the outside unit at the shutoff switch on the outside wall and have been "dealing with" 93-96F interior temps since Sunday night. I assumed the capacitor needed replacement.

So, I speak with tech last night and tell him what's going on and he plans to come by this morning to repair. He told me to make sure I left the outside unit off (I pulled the red handle-like thing out of the wall), but leave the inside fan on and would come by today to take a look. He calls my office at 9:30 to tell me that it was indeed the capacitor, that my freon was fine and I was good to go.

I had several errands after work and didn't get home until a little after 10:30 p.m. When I pull up to my mailbox in front of the house (I have rear entry garage), I hear my unit screaming/whining like crazy! I pull into garage and immediately go to check compressor/fan unit. It is hot as heck, and the fan is not turning but compressor is whining away -- LOUDLY!!! I go into garage and switch breaker off and back on. I go inside house, and inside temp is 103F!!!! My dogs are panting like crazy and as soon as I enter the house I am sweating profusely.

I go back outside and pull red handle shut off switch out of wall. When I put it back in, I get snap, crackly and sparks! WTF? Please tell me what could possibly be the problem here. My freaking house could have burned down! The tech replaced my capacitor and to my knowledge that was all he did. I would like to be able to ask intelligent questions as to what would be the cause of this problem. I am in a Dallas suburb. In other words, it is hot as h*ll. Although it got up to over 100F outside today (and has consistently been in the 100s the past week or more), I am sure the outside temp at 10:30 p.m. or so was 80F or thereabouts. Why would my inside temp be 103F, and what could possibly be causing my compressor to be screaming and fan not turning? Please help! I have four large inside dogs (Giant Schnauzers) who live are inside during the day -- not to mention me -- and simply cannot take this kind of indoor heat. Any advice would be appreciated. I intend to call the tech first thing in the morning; however, I will not be able to be here when he arrives so I am limited to telephone only until Saturday. But I know I can't survive 100+F another day.
 
  #2  
Old 07-31-08, 10:42 PM
cini75104's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Hill
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Forgot to add it's a Carrier system. Gas heat; electric A/C. The unit was installed by my homebuilder when house was completed in 2002. I'm not sure about model no or size (it's too hot to go up into the attic, and too dark to see outside). I think it's a three- or four-ton unit. My house is 2242 square feet, plus 400 square foot garage. I have a programable thermostat (with fresh batteries). Let me know if you need more info.
 
  #3  
Old 08-01-08, 06:17 AM
E
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,826
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Sparks right out of the disconnect you were turning on? You can get sparks when something is in the "on/run" mode while reconnecting OR disconnecting. And you could get a bigger spark if it were under a bigger amp load. Or, it could be a dead short. Dead shorts, with a motor unit are easy to check with volt-ohm meter. If you put one probe on the hot wire or terminal of motor or compressor and the other probe on the metal case of the motor or compressor, and you get a reading while in ohms setting, you have your 'short'. Meaning that particular item you are testing is bad. [Note that painted metal is a poor conductor so make sure your one probe grounds out on shiny metal (or scrape into the paint to make good contact) or copper connected to it.
 
  #4  
Old 08-01-08, 07:37 AM
cini75104's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Hill
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ecman51`
Sparks right out of the disconnect you were turning on? You can get sparks when something is in the "on/run" mode while reconnecting OR disconnecting. And you could get a bigger spark if it were under a bigger amp load. Or, it could be a dead short. Dead shorts, with a motor unit are easy to check with volt-ohm meter. If you put one probe on the hot wire or terminal of motor or compressor and the other probe on the metal case of the motor or compressor, and you get a reading while in ohms setting, you have your 'short'. Meaning that particular item you are testing is bad. [Note that painted metal is a poor conductor so make sure your one probe grounds out on shiny metal (or scrape into the paint to make good contact) or copper connected to it.

Thanks so much for the reply! Yes, when I put the handle back into the disconnect box, it sparked. I'm a reasonably mechanicall-inclined female, but I don't own a volt-ohm meter, and after that thing sparked (and especially considering my DEEP respect for 240 volts of electricity and a tendency to sometimes get a little impatient) I think I'll let the tech deal with that -- I don't want to blow up anything or get fried. I spoke with the tech this morning, and he should be on the way to my house in an hour or so.

you mentioned possibility of getting sparks when something was in on/run mode while connecting/disconnecting. IIRC, the thermostat may have been on when I reconnected, although I did later shut it off. I hope that it's not a major issue. My biggest concern is I really don't know how long the compressor was whining. The tech called about 9:30 a.m. to report the work completed; I didn't get home until about 10:45 p.m. It could have been screaming all day and evening -- my fear is irreparable damage to the compressor.

Hopefully, I'll hear from the tech shortly and get an idea of what's going on. I'll post here as soon as I hear something. Thanks again for responding.
 
  #5  
Old 08-01-08, 11:50 AM
cini75104's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cedar Hill
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Okay -- just heard back from tech. Looks like the fan motor was bad. He's replaced it, and said that I am up and running again (I should get home early enough to call him back out this evening, if it isn't running). Thankfully, this wasn't too expensive of a repair. Just out of curiousity, is it typical for the fan motor to fail in conjunction with, or after, failure of a capacitor?
 
  #6  
Old 08-01-08, 04:13 PM
E
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,826
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
It stands to reason, in my mind, that it could, since the capacitor is needed for it to run and run right. I don't work on this equipment daily so I do not have the actual experience to give you figures or percentages. Maybe some pros here can weigh in on this.

I came back to add that perhaps the vice-versa may hold true also; that a fan going out may take out the capacitor. But we'll let some others weigh in on this if they care to.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: