A/C unit not kicking on, cut wires?

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Old 05-15-14, 04:35 PM
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A/C unit not kicking on, cut wires?

Hello,

My A/C unit is not kicking on. Inside the house air will blow but it is not cold. Upon inspection I remember my girlfriend saying two nights ago that it sounded like something was scratching at the wall. I went and looked and there are two cut wires leading from the unit to the house (or vice versa, what do I know). The wires are in a protective flexible sleeve and where they enter through the wall they are cut. Are these the thermostat wires? I can't even find one of the wires inside the wall. The gray one was in one piece but with me playing with it, it came apart. I've called a local HVAC repair and they want $79 to diagnose. Seems to me that it would be a simple splice repair...does this sound like it could be the problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Oh, and it's not the wires coming from fuse box next to unit.
 

Last edited by RiverRat916; 05-15-14 at 04:39 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-15-14, 04:46 PM
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Are those copper wires? Took another look. From the A/C unit there are two wires leading into the wall. In the wall I only see one and it does not have any play in it. Im assuming the red one is in there somewhere...
 
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Old 05-15-14, 04:46 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If it isn't the AC/power to the unit then it's the 24vac control cable.
You may have to pull that flexible piece off to get to the actual wires. There should be at least two wires. Sometimes you can use a piece of fishwire to coax the wires out of the flex.
 
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Old 05-15-14, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for the greeting.

I can get to the wires inside of the flexible piece, it's inside the wall that I can only find one. Is my solution to just do whatever I can to find the other wire and then connect them using new wires? There's no play in the one I can see from the wall so I would have to extend it. I want to make sure there is supposed to be a second wire in the wall... Wire coating colors are grey and red in the flexible piece. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-15-14, 05:13 PM
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I think I'd be more concerned with the scratching noise and how they got cut before I'd fix it.
Cooper still brings a descent buck...
 
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Old 05-15-14, 05:18 PM
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My thoughts were that it wasn't a theft because the wires are still connected to the a/c unit. Is there something else I should be looking for? And one of the wires was still connected until I started playing with it then it came apart. Plus I got tools in the backyard and they are still there...I'll go check the shed just to be sure! But my girlfriend let the dogs out when she heard it and they didn't go nuts or anything so I'm limiting that as a cause...maybe another type of rodent...
 
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Old 05-15-14, 05:28 PM
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Now you've got me thinking theft...Some of the black insulation around the thick copper tube is missing right at the wall and it is on the ground in pieces. I would think if someone were going to cut it they would rather just cut through the insulation as well right? Or would they peel back the insulation and then cut the pipe? And some of the fiberglass type stuff in the wall is on the ground also. That's what makes me think actual rodent. Something either going in or going out. Don't see why a thief would have anything to do with what's in the wall...
 
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Old 05-15-14, 06:03 PM
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Anyways, back on topic... There is supposed to be 2wires in the wall right? Both the same gauge? I haven't been able to locate it. Seems pretty small to get any $ for (Damn, ok back on topic again...)
Just need to make sure I'm searching for something that is supposed to exist. Maybe I'll have the HVAC guy come out just to pick his brain about theft...Now I can't let it go...
 
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Old 05-16-14, 05:21 AM
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You might be correct about a rodent, can you upload a few pictures?
 
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Old 05-16-14, 09:17 AM
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Hope this works... Need 25 characters...
 
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Old 05-16-14, 09:20 AM
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Meant to add this one........180 seconds between posts huh? Thanks spammers...
 
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Old 05-16-14, 10:11 AM
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RiverRat, I am no way an expert in HVAC. The only I know is what I've learned here and that is patience and this forum has helped me save money and taught me how to understand my unit. (HA)

But I do know about rodents. You do have what looks like droppings and your pipes have a greyish/blackish slick to them where the rodents have left their body oils from using that as a main roadway of theirs. Also in one of the picks it looks as if you have a piece of your unit's cage missing. Did you cut that? If not your rodent buddies cut that by constantly gnawing on it. I would put a nice trap (kill kind or humane) down and you should catch something by tonight. Don't put any food in the trap, just lay it over the feces. Once you trap one, then you know you are part of the rodent highway. Cover the hole to the cage up, look for and plug up any other holes you see in that area, look for dead, matted, black in color grass. That is a good sign of where they are traveling and place traps. It'll take minute but you can get rid of them and in the mean time start trying to fix that a/c. (cant' help you on that, sorry)

BTW, dont leave any poison out as it will kill needed pest/animals, etc..
 
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Old 05-16-14, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. I'll set a trap this evening. I haven't seen anything and the dogs haven't caught anything so that wasn't really a thought to me. The majority of the black stuff on the ground is the insulation but I will go look again to see if there's droppings. But I see what you're saying re the pipe.

Regarding the thermostat wiring I'm thinking I will need to rewrite the whole thing. My furnace is in the attic. Do I just drop some wire down from there and run to wall unit? Or should I splice in the attic? Can't really find anything on youtube...

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-16-14, 06:56 PM
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So the HVAC guy came by the house. Basically said I need to retire the unit to the furnace. It's my thermostat wiring and it's been stripped within the wall making a simple splice job out of the question due to probable shorting. I am planning on zip tying the new wire to the old wire, go in the attic and pull the old wire out, hopefully installing the new ones simultaneously. If that doesn't work due to insulation or not being able to secure wires together. Than I am going to try going out a nearby gable vent from attic and running along bottoms of house to the unit. Anybody have any tips or advice for my new found adventure??? Thanks all.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 12:20 AM
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Interesting..... why the metal cage over the A/C unit ?
I see the lineset going thru the foundation..... is that not sealed to inside ?
It's normal for the foam to be rotted and falling off. It may have been accelerated by a rodent.


If the A/C was installed when the house was built..... there would be little chance of tying a new wire on the end of the old one. The old wire should be fastened to the beams making it permanently installed.

In one picture it looks like a piece of seal tite coming down the wall. Is that for the A/C system ?

That piece of seal tite in your hand in the one picture should have been permanently installed into unit. Did it get ripped out or was it never connected directly to the case ?

If you do have a rodent issue then you will need to protect the new wire you install.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 07:35 AM
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Hello. The metal cage was placed by realtor a couple years ago when the house was foreclosed. We've been here for about two years now. They also tac welded the bolts so I'm gonna have to deal with that someday.

And that's awful news about wire being tied to beam but I guess it makes sense.

The flexible metal conduit coming off the wall is coming from the (60A?) fuse box. I've pulled the fuse out.

The piece in my hand is connected directly to the A/C unit. It's come out from the wall where there is now just bare wires...

I've set a few traps. Will be going out to see if I've got anything soon.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 07:39 AM
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Oh and my post below was supposed to say re-wire the unit to the furnace...not retire. Thanks!
 
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Old 05-17-14, 08:21 AM
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I'm heading out to store to get what I need for re wire. As far as electrical safety goes, am I ok with keeping the thermostat on wall switched to off and having the A/C unit fuse pulled out of its box outside? Is there power going to be running from the furnace to the A/C unit? Just want to make sure I'm not missing something before I go into attic and start snipping. Fire department would not enjoy pulling me out of attic! Haha. Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 08:30 AM
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You should be fine. The control signal wires that you're replacing carry 24VAC, so it's relatively low voltage. If the thermostat is turned off, there shouldn't be any voltage on the wires. After you've run the new wires and are ready to connect to the outdoor unit, be sure to make sure that the power to the outdoor unit is turned off.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 10:30 AM
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Thanks. I've pulled the big fuse from the wall so I'm assuming its good to work on. I'm gonna start in about 30 mins. I'll take pics as I go and post them so you guys can tell me what I've screwed up!
 
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Old 05-17-14, 02:07 PM
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This is what Ive got going on. I ran new wire through a gable vent and to the furnace. I've connected the two wires together individually. That's correct right? And then electrical tape individually and then together. I've got that connect lying on top of insulation. I don't have to worry about a fire hazard or anything right? Or should I get a small piece of wood or something to place under the splice. I'm sure it's fine but if I burned the house down to save a couple bucks I'll never hear the end of it. Time to go do the same thing outside... Brb
 
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Old 05-17-14, 02:41 PM
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How do I cut this conduit down the middle so I can get to the wires? My wire cutters can't seem to do the trick. Tried a hand saw but almost cut a finger off... Thinks it's aluminum flex
 
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Old 05-18-14, 05:50 AM
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Is the 24 VAC conduit / flex what you are asking about ? If need be , for temporary testing , remove it , if necessary .

Or , does it have the 24 VAC wires in the same flex as the 240 VAC power ?

I will go back and study the photos , again .

I would not worry about the splice in the attic , on the 24 VAC wires . If you are concerned , get an electrical box and blank . Screw the box to a joist or rafter and make the splice inside the box .

Did you get the system to working OK ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 05-20-14, 09:56 PM
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The conduit just had the thermostat wires in it.

I ended up splicing the wires at the unit outside. I fed new wire through a 30 ft piece of conduit with a zip tie, fishing line, and some weights. Worked fairly well I think... Placed a junction box on the wall and ran the new wires/conduit along the base of the house, the backside of a down spout, across a wall at the top and into a gable vent then spliced to the existing furnace. No longer worried about fire hazard after studying the voltage. It works but now I just gotta tighten up the line by pulling more conduit through the gable vent into attic. I've got some fasteners on the wall holding it in place at the transition points but need to add a couple more to keep a nice line. Thanks all for the help! It works like the 20 year old charm that it is! :/
 
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Old 05-21-14, 05:44 AM
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Glad you got it working . :-)

Best of luck !

God bless
Wyr
 
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