Over my head and out of cash...

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Old 06-28-13, 10:45 AM
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Over my head and out of cash...

My family and I found a cheap package unit for sale that a woman was removing after she had her house extended two more rooms for her grandkids. It was working fine but just was not big enough any more to cool her home. We installed it (I use that term VERY loosely) in an old mobile home my mom is living in. It ran great all last year. I mean seriously great, it was cold and didn't run her electric haywire like her a/c units had done. So this year we went to cut it on (late cause of course she wanted to wait until it was over 90 to try it) and we got nothing...

I checked all over the internet for info and came across checking the contactor by pushing in the center and I did that and lo and behold it cut on. But when held in for awhile (we live in the country and wanted to rig it til we get to the city to get a new one) it shuts off, and the blower fan never cuts on. The back fan, and the compressor come on, you can see the freon building up cause they start to sweat, but nothing from the compressor fan. Also, as I said it shuts off almost after 2 minutes and I smell electrical... Do we need to call the "MAN" out?

It is a Carrier 50ss-024-301, we have a 40 amp breaker to it, and it is running off a programmable t-stat. As I said, last year it ran perfect, and this year nothing...

Also, the weather did knock out the thermostat wiring, but instead of splicing, we replaced that at the end of last season, but I don't think that would harm it.
 
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Old 06-28-13, 10:59 AM
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Need some clarification for the Pros to read. What fan is running and what fan isn't? Does it blow air in to the house?

If it's the fan that pulls air from the outside of the unit and across the condenser coils and then blow that warm air out the top or sides....that would be likely why it is cutting off.

You'll need to also find out why the contactor is not being pulled in. Do you have a multimeter and know how to use it?
 
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Old 06-28-13, 11:04 AM
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The fan you described is the one turning on, the one that is in a tube does not turn on. I have a multimeter, do not know how to use it except to check batteries.

I admit I am very green at electrical and thank you for being patient.
 
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Old 06-28-13, 11:30 AM
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Ok....that explains it. If that fan doesn't turn to extract the heat out of the refrigerant running through the finned coils (and to pull air across the compressor) the system will rapidly overheat and shut down.

You need to remove the shroud covering the fan (with power off!) if you can and check how the motor spins by hand. If it stops after just a few revolutions or feels gritty/sticky as it turns...you might have a bad motor. There is also a component called a capacitor that helps to get the fan running, they are notorious for failing. The are normally about the size of a small tomato juice can(?) and either black or silver. They are sometimes slightly oval shaped. Can't tell you exactly where it would be on your unit. Normally when they fail they bulge and sometimes lose a black oily substance.

A quick check is to hold the contactor in with and insulated screwdriver or wooden dowel and give the fan a spin with a stick....if it starts and stays running, the cap is a likely culprit. If it doesn't start or stops and hums, could be the fan motor.

Still need to find out why the contactor is not pulling in. Try reading this....Air Conditioner Contactor Replacement, A Homeowner's Guide and this Air Conditioner Troubleshooting, A Homeowner's Guide To Air Conditioner Repair

You can also set your meter so that it will read 24V AC and check for voltage on the small wires at the contactor. Be careful! You have 240V right there as well.

If you don't feel comfortable doing these tests...a tech call is needed.
 
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Old 06-28-13, 08:48 PM
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You can momentarily try holding the contactor in as a test but you should never keep the unit running like that for an extended period. There are safety switches that monitor the freon pressures and if not in acceptable range will not allow the contactor to kick in.
 
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