AC Going Out


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Old 12-04-11, 12:48 AM
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Question AC Going Out

My ac went out a few hours ago. I want to apologize for not having more information than what I do. I will get the type of Trane AC it in the morning. However I did post a video of what the outside (condenser??) soundeds like right now. It is blowing air but not as cold and not as strong. --- Unfortunately I am going to have to do my best at a DIY repair on this. Any help is appreciated.

Please note that in the video I referenced a normal/quiet mode but after I published it I realized that it does not actually sound "normal"
Does it sound like the problem would be with the outside unit? Filters have been changed and the in takes in the house are sucking air into the AC.

Again I apologize for the lack of information at the moment. Any help is greatly appreciated.


The unit is approx 9 years old, and (shame on me) recommended maintenance has not been preformed. The AC typically drips water side of the house but it is not dripping any water. we had an AC repairman out about 5 years ago for what I thought was excessive water draining and was told it was normal.


AC_Going_Out - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZbvGiffQ08
 
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Old 12-04-11, 05:11 AM
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the normal/quiet mode in your vid is when the compressor has stopped running but fan was still running. Remove the electrical panel door on the a/c and check for a swelled (bulged) capacitor. the unit may also need a hard start kit added on or the unit had a hard start and it had failed.
 
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Old 12-04-11, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by hvactechfw
the normal/quiet mode in your vid is when the compressor has stopped running but fan was still running. Remove the electrical panel door on the a/c and check for a swelled (bulged) capacitor. the unit may also need a hard start kit added on or the unit had a hard start and it had failed.
thanks for the reply. I will look at it once the rain lets up. Fortunately and unfortunately it is 48 and raining. My wife is not comfortable holding an umbrella for me to check it out even if I turn off the power :/ I will take pictures once I get the panel opened.

on further note I was mistaken as my condenser is a Carrier model 38BRc036330 (R-22) per the serial number made in 13th week of 2003 at factory E (just learned how to read the serial number)
 
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Old 12-13-11, 02:46 PM
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I apologize for not g etting back with you sooner. When it rains it pours so they say ...

I was able to get into the Condenser unit today the capacitor does not appear to be bulging. I snapped some pictures and will link them once uploaded. One thing I noticed was the wires on the outside appeared to be scorched (not melted as if it laid up against something that was hot and if you look at the capacitor it appears to have scorch marks too ... This may be my eyes playing tricks on me though. I have another video that will upload but that will take a while to get online.

Again any help is appreciated hopefully this is enough to start the trtrouble shoot process. I noticed the noise appears to be coming from the fan area.

again thank you

Here are the pics:










 
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Old 12-13-11, 04:08 PM
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No. It does not look swelled. But it may be weak. Capacitors are inexpensive. Much more inexpensive than a meter to test capacitance. I would look at replacing your capacitor and possibly adding a hard start kit. Your compressor may be starting to fail. Replacing the capacitor and adding a hard start kit can help extend the life of the compressor. Btw, what model thermostat are you using. If it is an analog thermostat it may be what is causing the compressor to not start everytime due to short cycling. New digital thermostats have a built in 5 min anti short cycle timer built in.
 
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Old 12-13-11, 04:28 PM
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I just went out and bought a meter http://www.idealindustries.com/media...structions.pdf and will test it in the morning the guy at the appliance shop told me to just bring it back in the morning. I hope it is the right type.

Where would I start to look for a capacitor and a hard start kit? Do you have a recommendation for a hard start kit (make and model).

We do have a digital thermostat. (Honeywell Chonotherm IV Plus)

Thanks,
 

Last edited by forJAT; 12-13-11 at 04:43 PM. Reason: adding
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Old 12-13-11, 06:21 PM
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yep, that meter will check capacitance. Remove the wires on the capacitor before checking. Check C to Herm (large number) and C to fan (small number).

Capacitor can be any kind, should be the same or higher voltage than the current one.
Hard start Kit that I use is a Kick start T0-5 or supco MPR5. they are both 2 wire hook up. One wire to C and one to HERM on capacitor.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 12:09 PM
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Okay I believe I do have a bad or weakening capacitor these are the readings I got:

Fan: 7.34 uf (consistently)

Herm:
42.84 uf
43.03 uf
43.24 uf
43.22 uf
I could not get a duplicate reading on it.

The capacitor is a Carrier Bryant Capacitor 50/7.5 uf 370 volt HC98JA052.

Shouldn't the fan be more out of wack than the Herm? I finally found a place that will sell me one that does not require an HVAC license.. he said that they do not have my exact brand but they carry MARS brand capacitor part no. 12791 or 12391 (it's bad when you can't read your own handwriting) and is only $7.99 he also told me that they do have hard start kits just not what you named off.


will head out in about 15-30 min hopefully I get a thumbs up in that time

Thank you again.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 02:07 PM
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sounds like it needs replaced, yes..........
 
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Old 12-14-11, 02:23 PM
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Okay after having to delve into the unknown but very much there HVAC supply black market. 4 stores and 5 back alley meetings I was able to get a Packard 50/7.5 uf/mfd 440 Volt Round Dual Run Capacitor.

I did not get the Hard Start Kit because I did not know the specs on the unit. He suggested that I just put the new capacitor on it and if that does not work then come back and pick up the Hard Start Kit and if that does not work the compressor is dead. ...

The guy tested my capacitor with a MFD meter and said my fan was okay but that the compressor side was dead. he did not have a 370v but said the 440v will give it more durability.


The new capacitor is installed and the unit is on hopefully the temp will start going down. One thing to not the condenser unit is STILL making that racket from my video.


update 1:
The unit is running now it is blowing air but not COLD air .. I know that I am supposed to give it at least 20 min go get everything circulating again .. I will update again in 20 min

update 2:
I had set the thermostat down to 60 and after about 10 min there was no change the metal vents were not "cold" and the condenser unit was only running the fan. I disconnected the power and connected it again the God awful noise started back up so I just turned off the unit. I had called the place I received the capacitor from and the guy on the phone said it sounds like your compressor is trying to start but not doing it and recommended that I shut it off so I don't damage the compressor unit. I will head out tomorrow and get a hard start kit tomorrow. Hopefully that will work and it not overly expensive. Because I am not licensed my capacitor costs $47.00 heres to hoping the hard start is not that expensive

To make things worse I tried looking for my unit online and it appears that it is obsolete now. (the actual condensing unit that is)

I do have a question if the condenser it out or going out would that effect the heater in the house? For giggles I turned on the Heat that that is kicking butt.
 

Last edited by forJAT; 12-14-11 at 04:17 PM. Reason: updates
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Old 12-15-11, 09:08 AM
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After talking with my wife we decided to call in a HVAC Tech. He is coming out this afternoon. I have a gut feeling that the compressor is dead I am looking for a replacement condenser/compressor the decision to call in professional help was that if I bought the hard start kit and then had to buy a new compressor only to find out later that something not replaced caused the failure would kill our already half dead pocket book.

I will keep you posted and I want to thank you for the time you took in helping me.
 
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Old 12-16-11, 09:01 AM
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HVAC tech just left and said that I have a leak in my condenser unit (could only get 59 PSI into the unit due to it being cold outside) but said that the compressor is gone. He went into the attic and said that my overflow was clogged and that the mold and mildew on the A coils was the most he has seen. Recommended that I get a new system and plume (duct work???). He said that he does not clean coils over 7 years and I think he said that spray cleaning the plume/plunes (ducts ???) did not work out that good because they are usuyally porous. He quoted me a Dec/2011 price only of 4.7k on a comparable Trane/Carrier system and up to 9k on American Standard units (High end).

Kinda bummed here atm He also said that he would replace the condenser only for about 1.5k - 1.7k

Is there a way I can clean the A coils and then have a new condenser installed?
 
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Old 12-16-11, 08:10 PM
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I would not replace just the condenser. American standard is the same thing as Trane, just relabeled. You can do whatever you like, but I would get some more quotes and choose somewhere in the middle of the road.
 
 

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