Not so simple Condenser Fan diagnosis.

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Old 08-27-14, 11:05 AM
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Not so simple Condenser Fan diagnosis.

Ref. Carrier Heat Pump Model 38YKC030-300

In May of this year I replaced the Condenser Fan Motor as it was no longer working and previously had made some screeching sounds as I believe the bearings were seizing. At the suggestion of my out-of-state brother-in-law (HVAC guy), I went to Grainger and got a replacement fan motor and also was consulted to get a new capacitor to go with it. The unit had a dual cap but now I was going to be using the properly spec'd cap for the fan motor along with the old dual for the compressor. Easy install and when done everything worked fine...until mid-August.

I came home one afternoon and noticed house was warm. I went out to check unit and it was humming louder than normal, top of grill where fan is mounted was quite warm. I proceeded to shut off disconnect and turned off thermostat. I let it cool off and then turned all back on. After signal sent to unit, the compressor started to buzz, fan wouldn’t go on but did with a slight nudge from a stick (stick test).
So... I took new capacitor and for good measure the existing dual cap to Grainger to test since my voltmeter doesn't have capacitance check feature. Both checked out within spec range. Re-installed and had the same issue again. Took motor in and they replaced for free since it pointed to that and it was not quite 90 days old yet. Same thing - had to start with a little nudge from stick. Took new capacitor back just for giggles and they replaced for free and STILL no change. I'm kind of lost now. Thought about replacing contactor and Defrost Control board as that and the thermistor are the only items left to replace. Would a contactor that appears to be working be the problem? Also, my bro-in-law had me bypass the control board at one time take it out of the equation but it didn't make any difference.

Much appreciate some help as I have no funds to hire a professional as I just sent son off to college and am now going through the agony of putting my mother in a nursing home. Until I figure it out - I'll start with stick until house cools and then turn it off for the evening since the overnight lows are not too bad.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 08-27-14, 01:20 PM
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Did you test voltages at the contactor? That would be a good starting point. In case you are not familiar with testing a contactor I attached a photo with test points. Be careful working around high voltage. The plunger on the contactor should pull in if 24V are present across the small wires on the side. You can also carefully use a non-conductive object such as a stick to push in the plunger on the contactor to see if the fan and compressor both operate. If all of the voltages are present then further troubleshooting will be required. I have seen Chinese made run capacitors last only hours or days before failing. The quality is just no longer there. Also, I suggest you turn off power to the unit and check for loose wires and terminals going to the run capacitors as well as the connections to the contactor.

Also, are you sure the run capacitors are wired correctly since changes were made to the original set up?
 
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Old 08-27-14, 04:22 PM
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Thank you very much for replying firedawgsatx.

I will check the Contactor voltage as you highlighted above momentarily. My replacement motor came with 4-wires instead of the 3-wires like the one I replaced. It came with Black, White, Brown and Brown & White wires. I put the brown & brown/white wires on opposites posts on the new properly spec capacitor (5 mfd / 370VAC), the Black wire into the relay on the Defrost Control Board(DCB) where the old one was (there is jumper black wire that goes out of that relay to the power post under T1 in your photo above). The White wire I put on the Fan post of the of the existing dual capacitor that is used for the compressor.

Previously, my Bro-in-law had me bypass the the relay on DCB by removing the small black jumper from the Contactor's post under T1 and putting the fan motor's Black wire there and he also had me take the White wire from the Fan post of the Dual Cap and put in the post under the the small yellow wire on T2 so therefore bypassing the relay/defrost control board to take it out of the equation. Didn't make any difference. It is now back to where it was before he had me do that.

He did have me check L1 & l2 voltage - it was ok. I believe he had me check T1 & T2 as well but I don't recall that (it must have been ok or he would have said something I imagine). I do not recall checking the 2 side test points which I am guessing is the coil part of the contactor. I will do this now.

I only wrote this reply to state how the motor was wired to the capacitor and unit in general. I will test and be back results shortly.

Thank you again!
 
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Old 08-27-14, 04:25 PM
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Yes, the two side wires are for the coil part of the contactor and require 24V to pull in the contactor.

As far as your wiring, the brown and brown/white wires to opposite sides of the 5uf capacitor sounds correct. The black wire to the defrost control sounds correct. What is questionable is placing the white wire on the dual run capacitor F terminal. I usually run the white wire to T2 on the contactor.
 

Last edited by firedawgsatx; 08-27-14 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-27-14, 04:51 PM
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Crrection to my last post. The White wire from the 4-wire fan motor is connected to the Common post on the existing dual cap that is used for the compressor.

Here is a pic of my Contactor as it is different the pic you have. Wouldn't this thing be ok if my compressor is coming on along with my fan (after I nudge it)?

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Old 08-27-14, 04:58 PM
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I was editing my last post slightly while you were posting. If you go back and read my previous post it will state how I usually wire a 4-wire replacement fan. I am with you up until your white wire placement. I am not saying your method won't work but I have never seen it done that way.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 04:59 PM
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Here is the Capacitors wired. Brown and Brown/White on small cap & the White to the Common on existing Dual Cap. Black goes to the Relay on the Defrost Control Board which I can post a pic of if you should require it.

Thanks so much for your very needed help.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]37194[/ATTACH]
 
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Last edited by woodfoot; 08-27-14 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 08-27-14, 05:03 PM
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I had Grainger tech rep on phone and he told me to put it there. My Bro-in-law was puzzled by that as well besides the fact it was white and not yellow but chalked up as the motor mfg choice. I can move it to under the T2 output post where I placed it before when we were bypassing the control board with the Black wire.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:07 PM
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Notice that my contactor is different then what you posted. Where would I test the coil on mine? Again, it must being pulled if compressor and fan (with nudge) is working.

I also seen some videos of testing contactors when they are removed etc.. The part isn't 2 expensive to just replace but I'm curious as to why I must nudge this fan (every so slightly) to get it spin.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:08 PM
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The attachment shows as "invalid" when I tried to open it. Your wiring should work as described. You will test the 24V for the coil on the brown and yellow wire terminals I circled in white in the attached photo,
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:10 PM
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I reattached. I see the image of capacitors now.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:15 PM
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Thanks, See my last photo posted for coil test points. Make sure you set the thermostat so it will call for cooling.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:23 PM
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Ok. I got a reading of 25.7

Also, I think I have the capacitor image thing resolved...

Thanks again
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:26 PM
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Not sure what you mean by: "Make sure you set the thermostat so it will call for cooling." as the unit is running, the condenser fan motor as well since I nudged it to go and thermostat is set at cool and currently cooling the house.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:36 PM
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25.7 is a good reading. What I mean by making sure the thermostat is calling for cooling is so the thermostat sends 24V to the contactor coil.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:40 PM
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Ok. I'm guessing it is by virtue of the subsequent reading after the unit initially signaled to kick on when I had set the thermostat to 'Cool' for which I then nudge fan to spin.

Is it possible I have yet another bad motor?
 
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Old 08-27-14, 05:47 PM
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Yes, I suppose it is possible to have another bad motor. Did you take a reading at the black wire on the defrost control and at T1 and T2 when the thermostat is calling for cooling? You can ohm out the fan motor to see if the windings are good.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:03 PM
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You mean measure from T1 to connector of larger fan motor black wire while it's in the relay?

Here is an image of the Defrost Control Board. Notice the little damaged white part on the relay. I have no idea what that is.
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I'll eventually get this image thing worked out....
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:18 PM
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After looking at your photo hold off measuring the voltage. That damaged area on the defrost control board doesn't look good. I am trying to make out the part number on the defrost board. I cant see the last two numbers after the dash. From what I can tell from the pink numbers on the bottom it looks like the board is the one in the attached photo. Do you have a wiring schematic for your condenser?
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:26 PM
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Here is the Part# on the board.: CES0130024-00 (i'm sure of all numbers but the very last digit but pretty sure it's a Zero.)

Page 1 of the following Carrier PDF wiring diagram is where my unit falls: http://dms.hvacpartners.com/docs/100...7/38ykc-2w.pdf

The Wiring diagram doesn't appear to show much about the defrost control board as that's probably an add-on(?)

Thanks man - you're doing a great service!
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:41 PM
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Yes, it looks like the correct part number based on the images I can find. It looks like it equates to ICM322 also. According to the schematic you provided the black wire from the fan should connect to OF2 terminal on the black relay that is damaged on the defrost board. A wire goes from T1 on the contactor to OF1 on that same relay. Now the question is: Is the relay damaged so it is not passing voltage from OF1 to OF2 on the damaged relay. What I would do is turn off power to the unit and check for continuity between OF1 and OF2 terminals on the damaged relay as it appears to be a normally closed contact between them.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:45 PM
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I just saw where you asked specifically for the condenser schematic. My bad. This is the motor I got from Grainger: CENTURY Condenser Fan Motor,1/8 HP,825 rpm,60 Hz - Condenser Fan Motors - 4MB75|FE1008SF - Grainger Industrial Supply

and the wiring diagram is here: http://www.grainger.com/ec/pdf/Typic...ng-Diagram.pdf

Thanks. I may have to check back tomorrow as I am an early riser for work.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:52 PM
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Ok. I'l have to get at that tomorrow. Quite dark now...I must get up early for work as well.

Here is the motor I got from Grainger: CENTURY Condenser Fan Motor,1/8 HP,825 rpm,60 Hz - Condenser Fan Motors - 4MB75|FE1008SF - Grainger Industrial Supply and here is the wiring diagram for it. I have wired it like the last example but with Defrost Control Board in the mix. L2 (Common) is the White wire I mentioned earlier.

I'll let you know what I find with your suggestion regarding OF1 to OF2 on the relay. Side Note: I did see another image of the same board out on the internet but didn't see a white "window" on the relay. So I'm not really sure what that means or is.

Thanks again. Will check tomorrow early evening. Going to be warm but school has started so no one will be here but the cat, dog and watch turtles. Ha!
 
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Old 08-27-14, 07:01 PM
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Ok, no problem. I would bypass the defrost board by cutting power and taking the two wires off of the damaged black relay and jumper them together to see if your fan will run properly. Or you could put the black wire from the fan on the contactor switched side. All that black relay does is turn the fan off when the defrost cycle is initiated and back on when the defrost cycle ends. Personally for a/c mode I would just put the black wire on the contactor where the black jumper wires goes to the defrost board relay just to see if the fan will operate. Hopefully tomorrow everything will become clear and get you back up and running.
 

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Old 08-28-14, 05:41 PM
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I located a photo of a control board exactly like yours and attached it. It appears that the white area on the black relay on your board is an empty space. Hopefully it won't affect the control board. I had some additional thoughts:

Was the drain plug removed from the bottom side of the condenser fan when it was installed? Many installers forget this step and when the condensation builds up inside the motor it can cause premature failure of the motor. The condensation is formed inside the motor because the internal temperature of the motor can reach well over 300 degrees F. and the difference between that temperature and ambient temperature outside causes moisture to form inside the motor.

You mentioned the start thermistor in your posting. If I remember correctly, doesn't that function as a booster to start the compressor?
 
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Old 08-28-14, 05:53 PM
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firedawgstax - No...I did not remove the drain plug and not quiet sure there is one but I am probably wrong. Until I watched some other install videos yesterday morning - I didn't even know that exists even though it makes sense. After I had installed the latest motor it was doing it right off thet bat so I kind of doubt that was the issue. I hadn't got a chance to do the last test as I just got home as it poured down on me a bit more as my younger sister was rushed to the hospital. She's ok but had some heart issues...

I will get to the test you suggested last when I get home tomorrow. Over the weekend it's suppose to get warm. I'd like to test the ohms reading on the fan motor windings if that's possible. I'll have to find out how I can do that. Maybe it's just my bad luck with bad new motor but I want to be sure that there is something wrong before I go for a third time. Thanks again and I'll check back tomorrow.

Yes, there is a thermistor and I hadn't even thought that might be the problem but then again, you stated it was possibly used as a boost to the compressor. That seems to be running. It's the darn fan. I
 
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Old 08-28-14, 06:40 PM
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I can provide procedures how to ohm out the fan motor. It is a pretty quick and easy procedure. It is basically just setting the multimeter to 200 ohms, placing one lead on the black wire and one on the white wire and record the reading. Then do the same between the black wire and the solid brown wire. Finally, do the same between the solid brown wire and the white wire. The sum of the first two readings should equal the third reading (more or less). If it does, the fan motor should be good. The brown wire with white stripe doesn't need to be tested as it is connected internally to the white wire and is part of the run winding.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:17 PM
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Ok. I'll best be doing that next.

Here's what I done. I took the small black jumper from the relay out and placed the larger balck wire for the motor in its placed. Turned on Thermostat (Cool), disconnect on and compressor goes but fan doesn't unless I nudge it. So no go there. I'll be removing the fan shortly but will not be able to test ohm readings until tomorrow morning as I have to take son to 1st football game shortly. Anyway, I really appreciate the service you are doing here!

I also took a picture of the Thermistor:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]37327[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:33 PM
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It sure seems like it is a run capacitor issue. Since it is a fan problem you are having I would assume it is the fan's run capacitor. Here is a little experiment you can do if you feel so inclined to remove the fan's run capacitor from the equation. It involves using only your dual original run capacitor. I have attached a drawing how to hook it up. A couple of wires will have to be moved and the brown with white stripe capped off.


Thanks for the photo of the start thermistor.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:33 PM
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Since the instructions were simple. I did it now. What I got isn't promising unless the motor needs to removed and off ground.

Black & White: 50.6
Black & Solid Brown: no reading
White & Solid Brown: no reading
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:39 PM
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I can try eliminating the small cap by doing what you suggested - that will certainly have to wait until tomorrow morning. I noticed on your image that the B/W is capped off but your "Note:" says it is connected internally. Maybe you didn't mean the Brown wire with/white stripe?
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:51 PM
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Yes, the B/W is the wire that gets capped off. When you ohmed out the fan motor did you have all of the wire ends disconnected from the condenser connections? Also, verify that the black wire for the fan motor is the common.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 01:59 PM
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All wires were not connected to anything other then the motor. Not understanding last part about black wire and it being the common.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 02:11 PM
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Disregard about common wire question.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 02:32 PM
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When you get a chance here is another "field" test you can perform: Shut down power to unit. Disconnect all condenser fan motor leads. Set multimeter to lowest ohms setting. Place one probe of your meter to black wire and one lead to the motor housing. Do the same for the other leads. You should have a reading of infinity. This test is checking to see if any of the windings are grounded. If so, the motor will have to be replaced. Also, place one meter probe on white lead and one on brown lead. Should have a resistance. If not there is an open between run and start windings.
 
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Old 08-29-14, 02:55 PM
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Walking out of house very soon and will do that test in the morning. Earlier I did report no reading between White & Brown. That being the case, since day one I installed this current motor and the fact that I had to nudge start it each every time, it was probably bad from the get go. (I've only had the thing for 2 weeks or so)

When I take it back to Grainger, I'll have them ohm check the new replacement before they give it to me. Based on everything I have covered so far, is it possible there anything that could have gone wrong from the start? I wired it EXACTLY like i did the previous motor that ran for 3 months. Why it went at nearly 3 months I am not sure. (Made in China?) Is possible a brownout or something cooked it? I did have the cap checked afterwards and it was ok. I don't know. You can see why I labeled this thread not so simple diagnosis.

After installation of the new motor, we had a big storm with lots of lightening strikes nearby. So the timing of that was suspect. I thought my neighbor was effected by that but he had tech do his but it was bugs (earwigs) in the contactor from what I understand and he paid nearly $600 for that call (Phbbbt!).
 
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Old 08-29-14, 03:16 PM
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Yes, lightning can cause havoc on electrical components. Hopefully, the fan motor is still under warranty. Being less than two weeks old it should be. Perhaps you just got a "lemon" this time. As long as the run capacitor micro-farads are the same for the replacement motor as the original you can utilize the original spec dual run capacitor. Anytime you replace a fan motor it is good practice to replace the run capacitor. What I am suggesting is if you can use only one run capacitor instead of two it will make it one less thing to go wrong in the future. If it was me, I would eliminate the separate run capacitor for the fan motor and get a new dual run capacitor of the proper specs for the compressor and fan motor.

Another couple of items: Make sure your condenser coil is very clean or it can eventually cause problems with the fan motor. In your case, it probably wouldn't cause it to fail in two weeks.

Also, another overlooked item by techs when they install a universal replacement fan motor is to match the distance on the fan motor shaft. The rotation of the fan blade creates a vortex inside the condenser and if the fan blade is not at the right distance it can cause problems eventually.

And, as I mentioned before, don't forget to remove the drain plug on the bottom side of the motor.
 
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Old 08-30-14, 08:49 AM
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Pulled the motor and conducted the "field" test you suggested. I have no reading with either Black to motor housing or White to Brown lead. The only reading I get is Black to White which is roughly 48.

Since I can do nothing with this until Tuesday/Wednesday due to the holiday, is it ok to put it back on and continue to do what I have been doing. That is stick nudge/starting it until the house has cooled down enough in the evening before bed? It's been reasonable enough at night to then open widnows and cranking fans.

My local Grainger doesn't keep this motor in stock and it must come overnight from Baltimore. If I call them Tuesday morning, they'll order it and I can pick it up on my lunch hour Wednesday. I'll get a new dual cap and wire it like you suggested if that is the preferred method. I do have 2 good small caps that I'll have wasted though... I may call Grainger now and see if they some off hour line that could get the motor there for Tuesday instead of Wednesday. What can I tell them? Act like I kknow what I am talking about and say that I ohm tested the motor that hasn't worked since I got it? That there is an "open" between the run & start windings? They may ask why it took me 2 weeks to do this but I do have legitimate reasons to be distracted as the 1st week it was unusually cool here and then all the family health stuff going on and moving my son to college all at the same dang time. I just didn't have an issue until it warmed these past couple of days.

Thanks for your help again and any pointers you give me to say what the deal is with the motor windings..run./start open, etc.. will be helpful.

PS. They drain plug was already removed.
Jim
 

Last edited by woodfoot; 08-30-14 at 08:50 AM. Reason: additional text
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Old 08-30-14, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by woodfoot View Post
Pulled the motor and conducted the "field" test you suggested. I have no reading with either Black to motor housing or White to Brown lead. The only reading I get is Black to White which is roughly 48.

Since I can do nothing with this until Tuesday/Wednesday due to the holiday, is it ok to put it back on and continue to do what I have been doing. That is stick nudge/starting it until the house has cooled down enough in the evening before bed? It's been reasonable enough at night to then open widnows and cranking fans.

My local Grainger doesn't keep this motor in stock and it must come overnight from Baltimore. If I call them Tuesday morning, they'll order it and I can pick it up on my lunch hour Wednesday. I'll get a new dual cap and wire it like you suggested if that is the preferred method. I do have 2 good small caps that I'll have wasted though... I may call Grainger now and see if they some off hour line that could get the motor there for Tuesday instead of Wednesday. What can I tell them? Act like I kknow what I am talking about and say that I ohm tested the motor that hasn't worked since I got it? That there is an "open" between the run & start windings? They may ask why it took me 2 weeks to do this but I do have legitimate reasons to be distracted as the 1st week it was unusually cool here and then all the family health stuff going on and moving my son to college all at the same dang time. I just didn't have an issue until it warmed these past couple of days.

Thanks for your help again and any pointers you give me to say what the deal is with the motor windings..run./start open, etc.. will be helpful.

PS. They drain plug was already removed.
Jim
Sorry for the delay. I have been having internet issues. If the fan motor was working to allow the a/c to cool you down it should be OK to use.
 
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Old 08-31-14, 08:40 AM
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I would take the motor back to Grainger's and just tell them it won't work properly. Hopefully they will perform a test on it to determine that to be a fact and replace it under warranty. As far as the run capacitor issue either way you go is good as long as you feel good about it. No need to waste two good caps.
 
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