Author Topic: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.  (Read 2244 times)

mensa

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A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« on: July 07, 2013, 08:46:40 AM »
Anyone with a bit of knowledge on central a/c systems?

It's been a yer since we turned our a/c on. When we tried firing it up yesterday, we had no luck.

Thinking the fan might be ceased, I tried spinning the blades, which move freely. I am now suspecting the contactor or the capacitor. There is an electric "hum" when the system is on, so the power's there, but I'm wondering if the fan unit is not getting the "boost" from either to start it up.

Can anyone provide some guidance as to how to test the above cap/con theories? Please bear in mind that I'm a total newb and insanely afraid of all things electric...

Bakari

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mensa

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Re: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 09:47:58 AM »
Ha! Bakari, you're dead right - there are really only 2 weeks a year here when a/c is truly a great wonder of the modern world. That's why we haven't had it on for year. That said, it is so humid that our toilet paper is wet, and I don't want the house (which, being Canada, is incredibly well insulated) to start stinking of must, and run the risk of mould issues. 102F with 100% humidity is a touch excessive for us.

We have already decided, however, to forge ahead without. We'll simply run the dehumidifier in the basement, and fans upstairs. I would like to repair our existing equipment though.

Woodshark

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Re: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 12:29:01 PM »
I am now suspecting the contactor or the capacitor. There is an electric "hum" when the system is on, so the power's there, but I'm wondering if the fan unit is not getting the "boost" from either to start it up.

Good job so far.
At least 80% of the time this is what is wrong.  My advice is to search youtube on how to test them.

swiper

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Re: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 01:21:09 PM »
I am now suspecting the contactor or the capacitor. There is an electric "hum" when the system is on, so the power's there, but I'm wondering if the fan unit is not getting the "boost" from either to start it up.

Good job so far.
At least 80% of the time this is what is wrong.  My advice is to search youtube on how to test them.

Agreed, I'd turn off the breaker and view the startup capacitor(s). Look for any obvious signs of failure (white powder, burnt, oily etc). You can also remove, discharge (youtube instructions) and test with a MM. My replacement cost $36 and was a simple replacement. (take pictures before you remove and be careful)


mensa

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Re: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 04:49:22 PM »
Thanks! I'll track down a multi-meter and go from there.

Guess this really should've been in the diy section. I'm a dolt!

mensa

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Re: A/C Compressor - it no worky worky.
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 11:04:08 AM »
Was the contactor - CRITTER DAMAGE!!!!!