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Old 12-30-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
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Compressor Fan Not Working


Hi Ya'll,

So I've got an issue that developed today.

I was trying to run my air conditioner, and noticed that the compressor fan wasn't making it's usual noise, instead, I was getting a hissing sound. The whole unit was warm - hot, but not burning hot and the fan was not turning at all. No one has touched this unit to my knowledge.

I did some troubleshooting. Here's what I've done.

1) Testing voltage, I checked incoming to the starter block (solenoid, don't know what the term is for this). When testing individually to ground, I get 120. Testing hot - hot, I get 240.

2) Testing after the starter block, same thing.

3) Testing at the cap. Wires at the cap are orange, blue, and red. O and B go to the fan, R to the compressor. Testing wires individually to ground, I get 120 off each. When I test O - R or B - R, I get 240. But when testing O - B together, I only get 120. I don't get the 240.

4) At some point, the fan has started spinning very slowly the wrong way on it's own. About 5 or 6 rotations a second. No where near as fast as the helicopter like motion it used to have. So instead of blowing air out the top like it's supposed to, it's pushing the air back through the cooling fins.

5) Thermostats is operating the starter block.

Does anyone have any ideas what might be wrong?

Thanks,
Timothy
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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Compressor Fan Not Working


capacitor is bad most likely.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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Compressor Fan Not Working


You test microfards on a capacitor. Herm to C and Fan to C.

Hey, fan-ta-sy!! he he!! <snicker>
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:11 PM   #4
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Compressor Fan Not Working


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp8E4FQWLXQ
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Compressor Fan Not Working


replace capacitor 1st....sounds like thats your problem...
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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Compressor Fan Not Working


I would test the capacitor first (they are cheep). The fan motor not getting hot to the touch is good and makes me lean to replacing the capacitor.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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Compressor Fan Not Working


So, try finding a HVAC place open on a Saturday that is also New Years Eve. Doesn't happen.

SO, I've somehow lost my multimeter, so I've bought a Klein multimeter capable of testing capacitance. I'm bored anyways and can't live without a multimeter. So does anyone know how to SAFELY discharge a large capacitor? So far, I'm finding a lot of stuff for smaller ones.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Compressor Fan Not Working


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Originally Posted by myowneq View Post
So, try finding a HVAC place open on a Saturday that is also New Years Eve. Doesn't happen.

SO, I've somehow lost my multimeter, so I've bought a Klein multimeter capable of testing capacitance. I'm bored anyways and can't live without a multimeter. So does anyone know how to SAFELY discharge a large capacitor? So far, I'm finding a lot of stuff for smaller ones.
obviously disconnect the power from the unit, take a picture of the way the wires go......then disconnect them.....placing a screw driver blade across the terminals will discharge them.

Now with the meter set to test micro-fareds place one lead on C and the other on HERM, write down or remember the reading, now do the same with C and FAN. now read the rating of the cap on the cap itself, you may also notice that a allowance of 10 of in some cases 15% is allowable.

if the compressor and the fan are not running I would be its a dual cap and if one side is bad the whole thing is bad.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:08 PM   #9
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Compressor Fan Not Working


Yeah, if I'da thought about it before, I have a 2hp DC motor in the shed. I hooked it up to each side, with nothing. Then tried the screwdriver. It was dead already. I didn't even get a baby spark.

So I tested the cap. It's marked a 40+5 uf. The herm side tested 26.77 and the fan side tested 3.536.

Even at 20% variance allowed, I'd say it's bad and will be replaced after the New Year.

Other thoughts?
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Compressor Fan Not Working


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Originally Posted by myowneq View Post
Yeah, if I'da thought about it before, I have a 2hp DC motor in the shed. I hooked it up to each side, with nothing. Then tried the screwdriver. It was dead already. I didn't even get a baby spark.

So I tested the cap. It's marked a 40+5 uf. The herm side tested 26.77 and the fan side tested 3.536.

Even at 20% variance allowed, I'd say it's bad and will be replaced after the New Year.

Other thoughts?
the cap is bad.........no doubt about it.....hopefully you caught it before it did any damage to the fan motor or compressor.You may have to call a emergency hvac guy to get it fixed today......don't wait to long to call, of you may be SOL till tuesday.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:02 PM   #11
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Compressor Fan Not Working


I don't think of myself as cheap, but I'm not paying holiday rates for an air conditioner repair in the middle of winter when I can buy the part and do it myself. :D

It's actually not that bad today. I've got the compressor locked / tagged out, so it ain't running no how not even by accident. With the ceiling fans, blower, and windows going, it's actually pretty nice right now. It's about 65* outside right now. My heater is on a seperate circuit from the AC so if it gets too cold, I can turn on the heater.

So I'm gonna wait till Tuesday. It's no biggie.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:50 PM   #12
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Compressor Fan Not Working


Okie dokie. I've got a new capacitor now. Two problems.

My wiring diagram has disappeared. Luckily, I haven't removed many wires. There are three wires (all fan related) that I'm not 100% sure of and the fan still rotates backwards.

There are three wires coming off the fan motor. Black, orange, and blue. Black has not been touched and runs to one of the hot legs on the starter block. On the label on the motor, it shows the capacitor on the blue line. So on the capacitor, I have blue on fan and orange on C. This configuration is the only way the fan will run, but is running backwards.

The third wire I don't recall where it went was a yellow wire that came off the opposite side of the starter block and went to the cap. The only way the fan would run is if it's connected to the common side of the cap.

So while I'm pretty sure I have it wired correctly, I'm puzzled by the reversal of the motor.

Any help?
Thanks,
Timothy
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:06 PM   #13
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Compressor Fan Not Working


Quote:
Originally Posted by myowneq View Post
Okie dokie. I've got a new capacitor now. Two problems.
How much was it... about $10?
For future reference... just change out inexpensive consumable parts.
It also keeps you from losing track of the wiring.

your equipment maker probably has a diagram online.

hth
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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Compressor Fan Not Working


$23 for overnight pickup from Grainger. I couldn't believe out of the five HVAC and electrical supply shops I called, no one had one in stock.

I usually do part swap out, except I pulled the cap to test it and never put it back in once I found it was bad.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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Compressor Fan Not Working


blue goes to compressor (HERM on cap), yellow goes to common (C on cap) and brown/orange goes to fan (FAN on cap).

pic of my bad one i replaced recently:

Compressor Fan Not Working-20110724_1944.jpg

Last edited by NitroNate; 01-05-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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