A/C Condenser won't kick on


  #1  
Old 02-25-13, 05:08 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
A/C Condenser won't kick on

New to the board here so bear with me please. Here's the situation. Live in a 3 story condo building on the 1st floor. The building was built in 1926. In the 80s it was renovated. Live with my fiance who moved in to the unit around 2003. The a/c unit is probably 10-15 years old now, a luxaire I believe. At least that's what the indoor unit says. Over the past 3 years there have been rare occasions where it would stop cooling for a few hours and then it would just resume cooling. I'm assuming this was because the compressor was overheating or becuase it wasn't draining water properly. Prior to my moving in with her she did have it cleaned and the a/c repair tech built a new drain pan in the indoor unit. Now as of Saturday we turned the unit on for the first time in a few weeks and it won't cool. Waited a few hours, still won't cool. Tried it again Sunday, still won't cool. One caveat here is that our condo building did just hire contractors to install a new roof and I'm thinking they may have disconnected our outside unit as they are planning to move them all today and then reconnect it. The assoc manager didn't know whether or not they did and no one is allowed up there to look right now. So I'm wondering if this sounds like a blown compressor. If it does, I'm wondering what the cost of replacing the compressor would be. I cannot afford to replace the entire unit at this time. Hopefully an a/c tech cannot refuse to do the repair saying he'll only replace the entire unit. Funny thing here is that in July, I will have the funds to replace the entire system, but I can't imagine us going through April, May & June in Florida with no air. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-13, 08:22 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,423
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Does the compressor run or not ?? You need to go up there to check if the compressor is still running and go from there. A new compressor (depends on the size) will run you about $1500-$2000 (estimated of course) in Fl.
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-13, 03:28 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
]

That's the problem. I can't go up there. The roof is being replaced so it's a hard-hat area. I was hoping for some thoughts as to what might cause an a/c to just stop cooling the way mine has. My thinking is that the roofers have disconnected the power to it somehow but I have no way of checking.
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-13, 04:39 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,423
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
You can check the indoor unit. hand feel the 2 copper pipes (small copper pipe and large insulated pipe) that going into the indoor unit. The large one should be cold(hand feel), the small one should be just a little warm. If not, 90% the problems, (here we are guessing since we can not see the compressor) will be either the compressor is not running, or low freon in the system.
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-13, 04:58 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
They're both room temperature. A few weeks back the small copper pipe did sweat pretty badly and then stopped. Air started to blow cold again. I'm starting to think its very low on freon. I can't imagine that being an inexpensive fix either.
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-13, 12:22 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,423
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
No way to find out what the problem is without checking the compressor and put gauges on the system. At end you will have to call a pro to go up there.
 
  #7  
Old 02-27-13, 03:56 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Had a pro take a look. It was VERY low on freon. He tried recharging it, put 10 pounds of freon in and the pressure wouldn't come up to where it should be. Believe I heard 8 psi and that it should be at at least 50 psi. They're coming back tomorrow to check the inside unit and they seem pretty sure the filter dryer is obstructing freon from getting into the inside unit. So they'll replace the filter dryer tomorrow and hopefully she'll keep us cool through the summer until she's replaced. Got an estimate to have the entire unit switched out (2 ton unit) with a 13 SEER at approx $3200 which includes a crane to put it on the 3rd floor of the condo. They tell me the entire unit is probably close to 30 years old.
 
  #8  
Old 02-28-13, 02:32 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,423
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
What they (the pro) said does not make sense, never heard 8 psi, 50 psi. Anyway, a 30 years old system is time to get it replaced, you should not put more money into the old unit. What you need to ask is : Is the new system a new 410a system ? (Don't take R22 anymore)
Is the new system includes both condenser(outside unit) and
evaporator(inside unit) ?
Does the old line set (copper pipes) support the new 410a system ?
if not, what are they going to do ?
 

Last edited by hvactechfw; 03-03-13 at 05:13 AM. Reason: REMOVED REFRIGERANT PRESSURE INFO.... NOT ALLOWED PER FORUM RULES!
  #9  
Old 02-28-13, 02:39 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Currently I don't have the funds to replace the entire unit so its being fixed in the morning. I'm told its a bad exchange valve or whatever its called. July I'll get a nice bonus that will more than pay for the new unit. I could be wrong on the 50psi number. I do know the new unit will be the new freon. I'll ask about the copper tubing. And obviously get multiple quotes between now and then. The price included everything. With our building being the way it is, they can't replace the tubing going from the first floor to the roof as its in the walls between other peoples units.
 
  #10  
Old 03-01-13, 08:53 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas, California
Posts: 1,423
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Glad to hear they fixed the problem. not sure what exchange valve is, may be expansion valve ?but if they fixed it, then who care what the valve is as soon as the system is running. Yes, Line set is hard to replace, but in most cases, they can use the old one, that needs to be tested and cleaned to make sure they can stand the new 410a's higher pressure. Good luck to you.
 
  #11  
Old 03-01-13, 09:11 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Expansion valve. Sorry about that. Shows you how much I know about a/c's doesn't it? Anyway, it's running and blowing cold air now so all is well. Now if it lasts until July I'll happily replace the old girl. I had no idea it was that old. I think it should win an award or something, sitting up there in the hot Florida sun for all of these years. Thanks for all of the information. I feel like I should become an HVAC technician now instead of working on computers.
 
 

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