AC not cooling - help!


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Old 06-06-20, 04:27 PM
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AC not cooling - help!

Hi all,
Hope you can help me diagnose this problem before I call the AC guy. The main symptom is when I turn on AC, air coming out of the vent is no cooler than room temperature. Here are some observations and what I've done:

1) When I switch to AC on the thermostat, the inside blower fan (furnace) turns on and gives good airflow. Shortly after, the outside condensing unit turns on as well.

2) The condensing unit fan starts properly, and produces good upward air flow. However, the air is not any warmer than outside temp.

3) I can hear the compressor turning on. But to eliminate any doubt, I replaced the capacitor. I even took off the fan connection temporarily to make sure the compressor is indeed on.

4) I used a garden hose to rinse off the condenser coil. It wasn't too dirty at all.

5) The 2 pipes carrying the refrigerant never got hot or cold.

So my questions:
- Other than potential leaks in refrigerant, can I assume everything electrical is good w/ the outside unit (condenser fan, compressor, capacitor, contactor, etc) and the inside components (thermostat or furnace, etc)?

- Given that the system never got cold, I don't think the A-coil was icing up, correct?


- Is testing refrigerant level and possible leak the next step?

Please point out if there's anything I should be testing that I have missed.

Thanks in advance!
Mike



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Old 06-06-20, 07:31 PM
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- Other than potential leaks in refrigerant, can I assume everything electrical is good w/ the outside unit (condenser fan, compressor, capacitor, contactor, etc) and the inside components (thermostat or furnace, etc)?
I would agree.

Given that the system never got cold, I don't think the A-coil was icing up, correct?
I would agree. Also if it was icing up your airflow would drop down to almost zero.

- Is testing refrigerant level and possible leak the next step?
Yes, which will have to be done by a pro.
 
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Old 06-06-20, 07:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

- Is testing refrigerant level and possible leak the next step?
Unfortunately..... from what you've told us.... it sounds like you have a low charge. It's actually interesting as most condensers won't run with a charge that is as low as yours appears to be.
 
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Old 06-06-20, 08:50 PM
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Thank you Tolyn and PJmax for your quick replies!

it sounds like you have a low charge. It's actually interesting as most condensers won't run with a charge that is as low as yours appears to be.
Really... That's why it's so suspicious to me. It was actually working super cold one day, with a lot of condensation forming on the refrigerant pipes indoor. But a couple of days later suddenly nothing yet all. A small leak shouldn't do this right? I can sort of see across my crawl space where the refrigerant pipes go through, and I don't see an obvious total break of it. If there's a leak or break, adding refrigerant could be a very short temporary fix, and may not work at all. That's why I'm still try to see what I can check before calling for the AC guy.

Is there a possibility that the compressor would spin up and sound ok, but not do its job? I understand if this is the case, I'd pretty much have to change the outside unit. Just want to know enough so I'm not con'ed by the AC guy :P

The only part I haven't been able to get to is the A-coil. I don't see screws I can readily remove to get to it. I also don't see a drain line for the A-coil. But I don't know how that could cause this sudden issue.

If you think of anything else I could check, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks again!
Mike
 
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Old 06-06-20, 09:11 PM
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Not all..... but most condensers..... have a low pressure switch that shuts down the condenser if the charge is too low. Your unit may not have it or it may have been bypassed.

A rare problem can be a compressor that sounds like it's running but mechanically broken internally.
Usually if there is any refrigerant in the system the larger copper line will at least be slightly cool.

 
 

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