Condenser Fan works, not compressor

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Old 01-28-13, 09:30 PM
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Condenser Fan works, not compressor

Unit is a Bryant (no name actually on it) 561CJ060-A, my research tells me the 060 refers to 60,000 BTU (actually they list it at 57,000), so a 5ton unit. In Houston, we have already had to click on the A/C for the year. No idea how old the unit is, I've lived in the house for 5 years and it was NOT new when we moved in.

I turned on the A/C and it was cooling fine, then I noticed that it had been running for quite some time and was no longer cooling. I checked outside and the fan was not spinning; checked the fuse box in the garage and it had tripped the breaker. I flipped the breaker and had my wife turn on the thermostat while I was outside listening. I heard the contactor click on, fan started spinning, and then I thought I heard the hum of the compressor. After about 30 seconds though, the whole unit shut off for a few seconds (5-ish) and then the condenser fan started spinning again, but at a fairly low speed (no ambiant wind). The fuse in the garage was not tripped.

Next morning I replaced the capacitor, don't have a multimeter that can read capacitance, but its a $25 part. This fixed the condenser fan, it runs just fine now, but still no compressor.

I tested the power to the unit and there is 24volts to the contactor when T-Stat calls for cooling, 240 volts to the contactor when I flipped the local shutoff back on, and 240 volts on the other side of the contactor when it is engaged. There is 240v going from black wire on compressor to yellow (L1 to L2), but only 120v between C and Herm (start and run?) on the new capacitor. 240v between C and Fan.

Fan terminal on capacitor to ground (unit body) 240v, HERM and C terminals to ground 120v each.

EDIT: I just remembered we had a power surge the day this occurred, but I couldn't tell you if the a/c was running at the time.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 10:15 PM
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In looking at the generic Bryant schematic......they show either a starting thermistor or starting relay/capacitor combo....both used in compressor starting. Does your unit use either of those ?

It would be listed on the schematic. They are wired in blue and yellow wires.

http://www.docs.hvacpartners.com/idc...d563c.18.2.pdf
 
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Old 01-28-13, 10:45 PM
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I haven't seen any additional wires like you speak of. There is a hard-start (compressor saver) capacitor hooked up, 5-2-1 brand. other than that, there are only 1 wire on each the other 2 capacitor terminals (yellow on C, blue on HERM). Both those wires, along with the black from the contactor, travel into the unit, and, while looking through the condenser fan grate, I see they run straight to the compressor.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 10:51 PM
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Is the hard start capacitor wired across the C and H terminals ?
If so....then you have a compressor issue.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 10:57 PM
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yes, the hard start is wired to the C and H terminals.

is there a next step I can troubleshoot, or are you telling me its time for a new condensing unit, and seeing as I can't buy 10 SEER products anymore, new coils.
 
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Old 01-28-13, 11:03 PM
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If you have confirmed the 240 vac going to the compressor then the compressor sounds like it's bad.

You could check where the wires connect to the compressor to make sure one hasn't broken or burned off. Might be behind a cover on compressor.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 09:49 AM
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Something that I have to ask. If the compressor IS bad, can it be directly replaced (<$1000) or am I looking at needing a whole new indoor coil as well to match the new SEER of the compressor?
 
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Old 01-29-13, 06:11 PM
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The compressor will get hot and drop out on thermal protection when the dual cap fails. Turn off power and give it a few hours to cool down.



I don't like those 5-2-1 start kits. Every one that I see has popped it's top.

The 011 start kit for 3 to 5 ton scroll compressors and the 003 for 3 to 5 ton recipricating compressors from Carrier/Bryant are Much more reliable.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 07:12 PM
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I've tried letting it sit for a few hours (a day in fact), I also tried bypassing the start kit, still nothing.

I still haven't taken off the condenser fan to inspect the compressor connections, thankfully we got a bit of cold weather this week.
 
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Old 01-30-13, 08:01 PM
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I've tried letting it sit for a few hours (a day in fact)
Was the stat turned off for this time? Was the contactor contacts open?

Bypassing the start kit doesn't prove that your start kit is okay.

If you measure the start cap within specs, it is possible to bypass the start relay for 2 seconds. (not necessarily safe though)
If you wire the start cap in series with the compressor run cap for more than a couple of seconds, it will smoke the start cap.
It is safer to ohm terminal 1 to terminal 2 on the start relay.



If the compressor connections look ok, you cam ohm it out.

 

Last edited by Houston204; 01-30-13 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 01-31-13, 05:06 AM
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Meant to type parralel above, not in series.
 
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