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kb3ca 06-28-2010 06:58 PM

Bryant Condensor
My daughter's townhome has a Bryant condensing unit model 561CJ036-F.
When the thermostat calls for cooling the fan starts immediately followed by a delayed compressor start which I think is normal. Problem is the compressor tries to start several times before actually running correctly. The air filter is new and the condenser coils are clean. Once it's running it cools just fine with suction line being cold and sweating. Was wondering if it might have a weak capacitor causing the multiple start attempts. Would appreciate any suggesting you can offer. I have some limited experience in HVAC from years past but wanted to hear input from current Professionals before going over there to check things. I do have a set of guages if you think there may be a refrigerant charge issue here. It's an R22 system. Thanks for your help.

yuri 06-28-2010 07:02 PM

If the suction line is cold and sweating it is not likely low on freon. The capacitor may be weak and you need a multimeter that has that feature built in to it, not all do. Sears has some reasonably priced meters. Check the contacts in the contactor to see if they are burnt or loose or in bad shape.

kb3ca 06-30-2010 08:11 PM

Bryant Condensor
Went over to my daughter's house today to troubleshoot the compressor issue.Checked contactor and it showed some arcing but not too damaged. It ohmed out ok when closed. I cleaned it anyway. Next checked the capacitor with a friends meter and it was ok as well. Bought a new one anyway. Ohmed out the compressor windings and they were ok as well. However, when applying the amp probe it showed a current reading of about 40amps on a normal start and about 90 amps when it failed to start and went into overload. Concluded that there may be a weak start winding and installed a hard start kit. Seems to have fixed the problem for now but time will tell. Just wanted to let you know how things turned out and thank you for your input. Keeping my fingers crossed!

yuri 06-30-2010 08:38 PM

I hate to say it but hard start kits usually just delay the inevitable demise of the compressor. If it seizes not so bad, if it literally burns out then the lines etc get contaminated and more expensive and difficult to cleanup later. If you absolutely have to reuse those lines for a new unit I would rather not have an acid burnout cleanup scenario. May want to replace the compressor or unit sooner than later. My buddy in Houston hates those hard start kits as some of them explode. The only safe way is an extra capacitor and proper potential/start relay.

kb3ca 06-30-2010 09:23 PM

Bryan Condensor
I'm with you on the hard start kit. I don't like them either but it was either that or continue to let the compressor go into over load. The unit is only 4.5 years old. The evaporator coil had to be replace the second season due to a leak. Bryant provided the replacement coil but the labor was around $800 which my daughter had to pay. If this were my house I would rip out this pos and replace it with a Trane unit. This Bryant is a 10 seer R22 cheapie the builder put in and most of the neighbors have had lots of trouble with them. We'll see how long this things works. Thanks for your advice.

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