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Old 07-16-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


It's been in the low 100's for the last several weeks. Today, my truck read 107*. So of course, my a/c in the house decided it was time to take a break from all the hard work.

I did all the normal stuff, checked and cleaned the coils outside, checked the filter inside, checked the lines for ice, etc. All seemed good, but no cold air, so I called the service a/c repair man, but he can't get here until hopefully Monday. So we called a friend that works for the local school district on their a/c's and he came over to see about charging the system. BTW...the fan is the only thing I've had running since I found out it wasn't working!

What he found was that the freon level looked good, the amps, looked good and I believe he said the head pressure looked good. So basically he said it didn't appear to be low on freon and the compressor still seems to be doing what it should be doing, except for some reason, it's not cooling. He went inside and looked to see what he could find and he thought the fan inside the house seemed very quiet, and it doesn't seem like it's running as strong as normal....but he also said if it wasn't pushing enough air, it should be freezing the system up.

We went back outside and then the breaker in the panel tripped. I tried reseting it, but it triped again, etc. He checked the fuses outside and they were good. At that point, he said he was out of ideas, unless the expansion valve was messed up, but he doesn't have enough experience to mess with that. So here we are.

Any suggestions??

I have had issues with the expansion valve when I bought the house and at that time the outside unit was only two years old, so they replaced the valve under warranty. It's now been about 2-3 years more, so the unit is now about 5years old. Would make sense, but curious what might cause that? Is there a way to bypass the valve somehow? It seems like the last time, the tech did something that essentially bypassed the valve and let the unit run and cool my house. I can't recall if he just took it outside the coil or what, but when he installed the new one, he just 'taped' it to the thicker copper line right before it enters the coil. It seems like he just had it hanging in the air outside everything until he could get it replaced. ????

When my friend when to unhook his gauges he was a bit shocked at how much oil & pressure seemed to be on/in the line on one side of the system. Sort of like the freon was sitting on one side of the system, but something was blocking it. Of course at this point, we couldn't test anything more as the breaker kept tripping and he thought the compressor probably was hitting some sort of overload circuit.

Any feedback would be appreciated. I'd love to be able to cool the house down a little until the tech can get here Monday....Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


One other note, now that I think of it, it hasn't seemed like the unit has been keeping the house as cool the past week, but like I said, it's been in the 100's almost all week and for the past several weeks. To top it off, Monday, we lost power to our house due to what I believe was a bad transformer. Is it possible that did something to my a/c? I don't notice anything else really acting funny, but computers and TV are all behind surge protectors I believe, but our cell phone chargers seem to be acting strange as well!! Hmmm....

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Old 07-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


The compressor is shorting out if the breaker is tripped and if it is continually tripping. You can turn that breaker off, open the service panel of the condenser, remove the wire to the compressor from the 'herm' on the capacitor and as well as the two wires from the compressor that are located on the contactor, one on each side.

What you are doing is unwiring the compressor from the unit completely. Then turn the breaker back on. The call for cool from the stat will have to be on or if not you can push in the contactor in the service panel with a rubber handled screwdriver or rubber handled tool of any kind, something insulated.

If the fan spins and the breaker does not trip, you have isolated the (breaker tripping/no cool) problem to the compressor and/or the wires leading to it.

If this is the case then remove and replace any and all refrigerant driers at time of compressor or condensing unit replacement. When you remove them, blow through them. If any of them are blocked than that is what took out your compressor.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


well that and/or the refrigerant lines were not properly pulled into vacuum at time of install so moisture could've killed it as well. Only five years of life is pretty unheard of for a compressor, especially if it's a Copeland Scroll.

Those things can and do last 20+ years.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:09 AM   #5
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


Thanks for the reply....sounds like you think the compressor is bad. I'll see about doing what you suggest tomorrow and reply back. Anything is possible I suppose, but it seems odd, that it would run for what was likely several hours earlier today in 107* heat, not put out any cool air, but short out after being off for hours, then restarted for maybe 5 minutes when the temp finally dropped to about 95*. Of course, I am far from an a/c expert!

In the meantime, I forgot to mention this is a Trane XR 14 with a MFR Date of 2/2006.

Any idea what the warranty would be? ....I might have the original paperwork, but not sure, like I said the unit came with the house.

Does the compressor not have a safety overload of sorts, that would cause it to kick off, if pressure builds too high? If so, is it possible that could kick it off? What about the expansion valve? Could that possibly be a reason why the compressor could 'overload'?
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:33 AM   #6
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The internal over load safety of a compressor can only protect it so much. The windings can be slightly damaged each time just before it opens. And also during the compressors run time even though the windings aren't hot enough to trip the over load.

It may have been tripping the over load all week long.

The TXV can cause the compressor to run hot. But you said your buddy said the charge is fine. And if the TXV was causing a problem, then there is n o way the charge could have looked fine and the TXV cause the compressor to over heat.

Did your buddy check the super heat and sub cool. Pressures alone don't tell you anything about how the system is really operating.

Compressor could be toast by now, or the run cap shorted out.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:19 AM   #7
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
The internal over load safety of a compressor can only protect it so much. The windings can be slightly damaged each time just before it opens. And also during the compressors run time even though the windings aren't hot enough to trip the over load.

It may have been tripping the over load all week long.

The TXV can cause the compressor to run hot. But you said your buddy said the charge is fine. And if the TXV was causing a problem, then there is n o way the charge could have looked fine and the TXV cause the compressor to over heat.

Did your buddy check the super heat and sub cool. Pressures alone don't tell you anything about how the system is really operating.

Compressor could be toast by now, or the run cap shorted out.
He didn't mention the super heat or sub cool. I think it went beyond him when it got a bit more complicated.

Just for grins, I tried this morning to see if it would kick on, thinking maybe the compressor got too hot yesterday and just needed time to cool. When it actually started to come on, the unit outside, didn't sound right....kind like it was wanting to run, but not enough power or something, almost sounded like it was trying to build speed, but couldn't. Power was flickering a bit, so I instantly flipped the breaker.

Good news is the compressor should at least be under warranty, if not the entire cooling system!

Unless anyone has something else a novice can try, looks like I'm stuck until Monday!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:29 AM   #8
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


May only have a 5 year warranty on it. The warranty generally starts the day the unit was installed. So if you have the papers that show when it was installed, and that date is less then 5 years, its probably under warranty. Over 5 years, and your out of luck.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:36 AM   #9
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May only have a 5 year warranty on it. The warranty generally starts the day the unit was installed. So if you have the papers that show when it was installed, and that date is less then 5 years, its probably under warranty. Over 5 years, and your out of luck.
Well the paperwork says compressor is continues from 6th to 10th year and Date of Manufacture was 2/2006, so I'm definately in that timeline. The rest of the unit will be cutting it close, I'm not sure if I have the install date or not, but guess I'll know Monday. The company that installed it new is who I called to come out.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:08 AM   #10
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


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Originally Posted by Master Brian View Post
Well the paperwork says compressor is continues from 6th to 10th year and Date of Manufacture was 2/2006, so I'm definately in that timeline. The rest of the unit will be cutting it close, I'm not sure if I have the install date or not, but guess I'll know Monday. The company that installed it new is who I called to come out.
Are you the original owner? Warrant is to the original owner only.

Myself, I have never tried to hamper a warranty claim by a second or third owner. but if the original owner registered it, Trane will void it.

So good luck.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Brian View Post
Thanks for the reply....sounds like you think the compressor is bad. I'll see about doing what you suggest tomorrow and reply back. Anything is possible I suppose, but it seems odd, that it would run for what was likely several hours earlier today in 107* heat, not put out any cool air, but short out after being off for hours, then restarted for maybe 5 minutes when the temp finally dropped to about 95*. Of course, I am far from an a/c expert!

In the meantime, I forgot to mention this is a Trane XR 14 with a MFR Date of 2/2006.

Any idea what the warranty would be? ....I might have the original paperwork, but not sure, like I said the unit came with the house.

Does the compressor not have a safety overload of sorts, that would cause it to kick off, if pressure builds too high? If so, is it possible that could kick it off? What about the expansion valve? Could that possibly be a reason why the compressor could 'overload'?

I replaced a Copeland Scroll 3 ton compressor on a Payne heat pump that was 7 years old yesterday, at my sister's place. It was acting in the exact same manner yours was. And it even tested good at the terminals of the compressor, not grounded and showed regular continuity through each terminal, from one to the other. It wasn't until I put a brand new plug onto the compressor and tested those leads that it showed OL, Open Line.

Breaker was tripping.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:23 AM   #12
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Are you the original owner? Warrant is to the original owner only.

Myself, I have never tried to hamper a warranty claim by a second or third owner. but if the original owner registered it, Trane will void it.

So good luck.
No, not original owner, but the paperwork says it is also valid for subsequent owners of the real property. They better honor it!!

The installation company did replace the expansion valve after I bought the house as it was still under warranty.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #13
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


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I replaced a Copeland Scroll 3 ton compressor on a Payne heat pump that was 7 years old yesterday, at my sister's place. It was acting in the exact same manner yours was. And it even tested good at the terminals of the compressor, not grounded and showed regular continuity through each terminal, from one to the other. It wasn't until I put a brand new plug onto the compressor and tested those leads that it showed OL, Open Line.

Breaker was tripping.
I'm not clear by what you mean by new plug onto the compressor. You aren't referring to the pig tail connections on the wiring are you?
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:58 AM   #14
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


DO NOT try it again B4 the tech gets there. It may be arcing inside and literally burn out inside and pollute the whole system and create acid in it.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #15
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AC Stopped Cooling??!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Brian View Post
I'm not clear by what you mean by new plug onto the compressor. You aren't referring to the pig tail connections on the wiring are you?
I'm trying to reply with a picture of the plug but something is up with my internet.

You can use Google Image 'Copeland Scroll wiring harness' ands see for yourself.

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