A/C Problem

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  #1  
Old 04-15-03, 06:28 AM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

I have a problem with my A/C. I just turned it on for the first time this year. The compressor outside is new - two years old. I hear the motor going downstairs in the basement but the blades in the compressor are not moving. Well, after a minute or two they will turn slowly about four inches and then stop and then a minute later move another four inches and then stop. Now it doesn't seem as if they are moving at all.

I had a new circuit breaker panel installed last fall and initially the electrician forgot to hook up the A/C but came back to do it. It appeared to be working fine when he left.

What could the problem be? I hope it is something simple that I can fix.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-15-03, 06:54 AM
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If this is the outside fan you are referring to it's called the condensor fan. From what you're saying either the fan motor is bad or the start capacitor is bad. Without the proper tools and basic electrical skills you're better off calling HVAC tech. If you have electrical skills let us know.
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:05 AM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

Originally posted by mattison
If this is the outside fan you are referring to it's called the condensor fan. From what you're saying either the fan motor is bad or the start capacitor is bad. Without the proper tools and basic electrical skills you're better off calling HVAC tech. If you have electrical skills let us know.
Yes, it is the outside unit. Wouldn't the capacitor and/or motor have been replaced with the entire unit, though?

I have no electrical skills other than some of the basics (female).

It was working fine at the end of last year.

The problem you mention above is the problem I had with the old unit. That's why I got this new one.
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:31 AM
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AC unit

You say new and then 2 years old????? Call a hvac tech to look at it. I dont think you should try and ring it out if you dont know about electric ED
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:39 AM
rlrcstrs
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Re: AC unit

Originally posted by Ed Imeduc
You say new and then 2 years old????? Call a hvac tech to look at it. I dont think you should try and ring it out if you dont know about electric ED
For an A/C outside unit, I would say two years IS new. They are supposed to last for years and years. What do you mean by "ring it out"?
 
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Old 04-15-03, 08:01 AM
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AC

RING IT OUT
You take an ohm and volt meter and go into the unit to find out what is wrong. Thats why I say if you dont know, call a hvac tech.
Yes units last a long time but things do go out on them now and then. Most of the time I find units go like 7 years or then on to 15 years. I know of one we work on that is 39 years old and runs like a top its had one new condenser fan motor and a capacitor
ED
 
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Old 04-15-03, 08:13 AM
rlrcstrs
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Re: AC

Originally posted by Ed Imeduc
RING IT OUT
You take an ohm and volt meter and go into the unit to find out what is wrong. Thats why I say if you dont know, call a hvac tech.
Yes units last a long time but things do go out on them now and then. Most of the time I find units go like 7 years or then on to 15 years. I know of one we work on that is 39 years old and runs like a top its had one new condenser fan motor and a capacitor
ED
Yes, you're right! I have no idea what those things are! How much does an HVAC person charge? Is it a big job? (I am unemployed at the moment.)
 
  #8  
Old 04-15-03, 08:34 AM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

I turned off the A/C about 30 min ago and just now looked outside. The fan blades are still moving a little - I think because of the breeze. That means they probably didn't even budge when I turned on the A/C!

I do hope the electrician wired the A/C properly into the new electrical circuit breaker panel last fall!
 
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Old 04-15-03, 08:57 AM
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You said that it appeared to be working after the electrician left. You should call whoever installed the A/C and ask them about warranty if it's just 2 years old they may cover it. If not they should be able to give you the service call rate.
 
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Old 04-15-03, 03:47 PM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

It was the son of a friend (who is no longer a friend). He gave me all the paperwork on it. He actually did it "on the side" but he is good at what he does. Maybe I should find the paperwork and call the manufacturer?
 
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Old 04-15-03, 06:27 PM
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You may get lucky and get parts under warranty but you're gonna eat labor.

Is the son not a friend anymore either??
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:15 PM
rlrcstrs
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AC Problem

Well, I would have to phone his mother in order to find him because he moved.

I wonder if this is a big job to fix and how many hours of labor would be involved - and at what possible rate?
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:37 PM
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As posted before just call a HVAC service co. they should give you their rates over the phone. Usually the service call rate includes between a 1/2 hour to an hour labor they will tell you that to.

By the way good luck and hope you get it fixed..
 
  #14  
Old 04-15-03, 07:37 PM
firsthvac
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Dear rlrcstrs--

Since you have the paperwork which came with the unit, call the manufacturer customer service department and ask for the authorized repair dealer for your brand of unit. Most fan motors can be changed in 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how and where it is mounted in the unit.

There is a wide variation concerning cost because service call pricing and labor rates are usually set by the individual company. Call around for the rates in your area. Look for a company that includes some of their time in the service call. And while your at it check out how long the company has been doing business, whether or not they are licensed to do heating & a/c, and what their guarantee's are concerning parts and labor. If you're still in doubt about who to use, ask neighbors, friends, and co-workers for the names of service companies they use. Remember, phone shopping is a lot cheaper than taking the first one or two offers that come along.
 
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Old 04-15-03, 07:57 PM
rlrcstrs
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AC Problem

If it is the fan motor, is tha toutside with the compressor unit? Would the repairman have to come inside?
 
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Old 04-15-03, 09:08 PM
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Did you hear any noise outside when you tried to start the unit? Did you hear the compressor run even though the fan did not turn? If you did not, there may be no power outside. Check your breakers. Maybe Sparky should come back and check his work
 
  #17  
Old 04-15-03, 09:45 PM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

Originally posted by 410a
Did you hear any noise outside when you tried to start the unit? Did you hear the compressor run even though the fan did not turn? If you did not, there may be no power outside. Check your breakers. Maybe Sparky should come back and check his work
I must admit that as today progressed that's been in the back of my mind. I know he wired it into the circuit breaker box because he had to come back to do it. I thought it was running OK when he left but perhaps it was the motor running in the basement that I heard and not the compressor outside.

You asked if the compressor makes a noise outside even though the blades do not turn. I just tried it again after reading your message and, no, there is no sound outside.

Unfortunately, I cannot call that electrician back. It is a long story but he was hired by a contractor I hired to do some repair work (insurance claim) and I ended up firing the contractor and in order to get my money from the claim I had to sign away any responsibility that they might have for the work. It is a very long story.

So, now what. Who do I get - an electrician or a repairman for HVAC? Do they have to come inside to see the circuit breaker box or is the repair work all done outside? I wouldn't be surprised if if this is the problem because I was not happy with the way he supposedly replaced some plugs inside. Shoddy work.
 
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Old 04-15-03, 09:46 PM
rlrcstrs
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A/C Problem

Originally posted by 410a
Did you hear any noise outside when you tried to start the unit? Did you hear the compressor run even though the fan did not turn? If you did not, there may be no power outside. Check your breakers. Maybe Sparky should come back and check his work
I must admit that as today progressed that's been in the back of my mind. I know he wired it into the circuit breaker box because he had to come back to do it. I thought it was running OK when he left but perhaps it was the motor running in the basement that I heard and not the compressor outside.

You asked if the compressor makes a noise outside even though the blades do not turn. I just tried it again after reading your message and, no, there is no sound outside.

Unfortunately, I cannot call that electrician back. It is a long story but he was hired by a contractor I hired to do some repair work (insurance claim) and I ended up firing the contractor and in order to get my money from the claim I had to sign away any responsibility that they might have for the work. It is a very long story.

So, now what. Who do I get - an electrician or a repairman for HVAC? Do they have to come inside to see the circuit breaker box or is the repair work all done outside? I wouldn't be surprised if if this is the problem because I was not happy with the way he supposedly replaced some plugs inside. Shoddy work.

By the way, I already flipped the main breaker earlier - doesn't make any difference.
 
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Old 04-16-03, 04:14 AM
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More than likely the tech will have to come inside. Don't worry if the house is a mess or anything we've seen it all believe me. If you call a true HVAC company out of the Yellow pages that carry a name brand line of equipment such as Trane,Lennox,Goodman,Carrier chances are you'll get a tech that knows what he's doing. He'll be able to trouble shoot the problem in a very short time no matter if it's the breaker or the unit itself.
 
  #20  
Old 04-16-03, 04:08 PM
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AC

make sure the thermostat is in the AC mode, put the fan in auto, set the temp 10 degrees lower than the room temp, go outside and listen for a distinctive hum or click, is the outdoor disconnect ON? Its a metal box with a cover on it. Open it up and look to see. The AC may have a 5 minute time delay before it starts. It sounds like a simple fix to me. The fan motor is most likely OK since it coasted a few inches by the wind, I'd say the bearings are OK but you never can tell. I'll bet it has no power..... What state are you in?
 
  #21  
Old 04-16-03, 08:00 PM
firsthvac
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Dear rlrcstrs-

mattison is correct about the service person. He most likely will need to come inside. Whether it is the unit or the wiring, a good experienced technician worth his salt will be able to not only diagnose the problem, but fix it too...all in a reasonable amount of time.
 
  #22  
Old 05-03-03, 10:58 PM
rlrcstrs
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My A/C Problem

Well, it's finally going to get warm here so the A/C has to go on sometime in the next few weeks, probably for the entire summer.

I subscribe to my gas company's "home guide" and I just received the latest issue via email. It talks about air conditioning. Here's a quote from it -

"It's simple. Turn on the power to the whole system. This is best done at the main electrical panel. Simply reinstall the fuses or turn on the breakers marked "air conditioner." Some air conditioning systems have an outdoor shut-off close to the outdoor unit. Make sure it is turned on as well"

Well, I am wondering if the nut who wired up the A/C last fall when I had the new service panel (circuit breaker panel) put in, shut it off outside. My condo was built in 1973 and I know there is some sort of box or connection on the outside wall behind the compressor. Could that be what this box is - and is it possible this is what my problem is, i.e. why the motor turns downstairs but the blades do not turn outside?

Would he had to have turned it off outside in order to connect the wires to the new panel in the basement?

It's dark here now but I can certainly go and look in the morning. Would it be just a simple matter of flicking an on/off switch? I hate to call a repairman/electrician if this is all it is.
 
  #23  
Old 05-04-03, 08:02 AM
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calls

Yes.
 
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Old 05-04-03, 10:04 AM
rlrcstrs
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Wink AC problem

Was that a "yes" to ALL my questions?
 
  #25  
Old 05-04-03, 12:50 PM
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the answer

Yes....It may just be a matter of resetting a circuit breaker or flipping the switch on the outdoor unit. Some have a plunger that pulls out and if you flip it over its off, flip it and re insert and its on. it will have the lettering on it, you gotta get out there and try something......you might just hear a humm or a buzz, but something...........if its dead silent it may have no power. If you don't have the tools you should call in a pro.....give him a chance to correct the problem first. If it's an error on his part he'll most likely not charge you, a new guy will charge you regardless.
 
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