Central Button that kickstarts the fan/motor?


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Old 03-28-12, 09:45 AM
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Central Button that kickstarts the fan/motor?

I have an outside AC unit that sometimes cuts on itself, sometimes it doesnt. When the temp in the house gets a certain degrees its suppost to cut on. It does cut on the fan, but not always the outside unit. A quick fix is for me to slide the cover off the side of my unit and push the button down manually.

First question, what is the "button" called
2nd question, why is it doing this and what can I do to fix it myself?

I will post a picture later when I get home from work to show u exactly what im talking about as i know the "button" is a pretty vague description.

 
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Old 03-28-12, 12:01 PM
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Likely what you are referring to is the "contactor". Basically it's a heavy duty switch controlled by low voltage from the stat that applies power to the compressor and the outside fan.

It could be that the contactor is failing or that the transformer that supplies the low voltage is failing. Both are cheap repairs....

Do you know how to use a multimeter or voltmeter?
 
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Old 03-28-12, 12:23 PM
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I do know how to use one, just have to find someone who has one.

 

Last edited by lightninglarry; 03-28-12 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 03-28-12, 01:03 PM
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Yep...thats the contactor......

Multimeter can be purchased for less than $10 at Radio Shack or almost anywhere that sells them.
 
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Old 03-28-12, 01:10 PM
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is it easy to replace the contactor by myself?
 
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Old 03-28-12, 01:50 PM
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Yes ...cut the power (all power!), move wires from old to new, done....$25-40 for the part at an HVAC supplier. But you need to see if the voltage from the transformer is OK. Otherwise you'll have a new contactor that still doesn't work. Thats why I said you need a meter.
 
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Old 03-28-12, 10:52 PM
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That contactor looks bad. I can believe that it sticks shut.

That said, every DIYer would benefit from a good meter.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 02:28 PM
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so of course after i made this post...the thing worked like a champ. No issues at all, so i thanked my lucky stars. Wake up this morning and its pretty warm in the house. Figured I just need to give the contactor a push, hadnt had to do this in forever. I go outside, and no sound, no fan turning or anything. I flip the side cover off to push the button down, and its down, and it just isnt turning now. Contactor bad?

I have to go to work tonight so I'm hoping i get some replies and will get home and call the AC guys to come fix this before it gets too hot tomorrow.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 03:06 PM
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Sounds like you have no high voltage or a failed capacitor. Check your breakers and disconnect first.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 03:20 PM
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for what its worth i try to pop the contactor out...and i get friction and voltage sound....and when i pull it out, it snaps right back down?

i checked my breakers and they are flipped on.

thanks for the quick reply
 
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Old 08-08-12, 03:25 PM
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Do you have a voltmeter and know how to use it?
 
 

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