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Old 07-11-2011, 07:41 PM   #16
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


either a 2001 or 2005 unit, not that old and is worth fixing. goodmans usually use a dual capacitor with 3 terminals like these pics. need a electrical multitester which you can buy at sears for under $100 that tests capacitance to check if it is weak or open. should have numbers like 35/5 mfd 370 vac on the side. 35 between herm and c . 5 between fan and c or hire a Pro. a single capacitor has 2 terminals and there are 2 of them. 1 for the motor and 1 for the compressor. Single cap is the 3rd pic
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:44 PM   #17
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


Yuri: WOuldn't the cost of a new capacitor be a fraction the cost of the tester?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #18
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


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Yuri: WOuldn't the cost of a new capacitor be a fraction the cost of the tester?
I don't have a tester, so I like your thinking. Would replacing the capacitors be a good idea?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #19
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


True, but we are trying to teach how to troubleshoot here and not just parts change. Plus every good DIYer should have a decent multi-tester and growing tool collection. Sears has some reasonably priced decent meters.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:49 PM   #20
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I don't have a tester, so I like your thinking. Would replacing the capacitors be a good idea?
NO. If the capacitor is OK then you need to check for voltage to the unit if you can work safely with a multi-tester/have some experience or call a Pro so you don't get electrocuted. Need to have a good meter to make sure the power is completely off when changing the cap or doing any repairs. Something like this one is good, not sure what it costs in the US.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...3&blockType=G3
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:41 PM   #21
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


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  1. yes
  2. Don't know. What do I look for here?
  3. yes
  4. yes
  5. yes

How you did these test if you don't have a multimeter?
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:16 AM   #22
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How you did these test if you don't have a multimeter?
Last year my power company put an Energy Saver Switch on my AC unit so they can shut it off during peak hours. When I noticed the AC wasn't getting cool, I called the power company. They sent out an electrician to make sure the energy saver switch wasn't interfering. During this visit, he checked high and low voltage, both of which were within spec.

I think I may go a head and buy a tester as this is probably the 10th time I could have used one in the last 5 or so years. I will update you all once I have that.

For the time being, can anyone answer the question if a 3.5 ton compressor will work on a 3 ton system, or will the extra capacity be a bad thing? The reason I ask is I'm looking at used ones on Craigslist and found a guy that, if need be, will sell a 3.5 for a reasonable price.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:39 AM   #23
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Extra capacity will be a bad thing. The outdoor coil size must match the tonnage. Used compressors are a very bad idea. Can have worn valves, acid in the oil from contamination, burned by a power surge and a dozen other lethal problems.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:22 AM   #24
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I would only buy a NEW compressor
and as Yuri says only the correct tonnage to match the system.

In fact if it was me I would change out the condenser outside before changing out the compressor unless the defective compressor was still in warranty. You can still get replacement condensers and the price difference won't or should'nt be a lot more than replacing the compressor by the time you figure labor and time involved.
(Remember some manufactures will not warrant a replacement condenser if it is not matched with their equipment.)
Some of the newer compressors have a 10 year warranty.

The reason why Yuri is requesting the serial number is to see how old the existing compressor is. If it is less than 5 years old it may still be in warranty.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:36 AM   #25
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


if the compressor is bad you will not have a cheap repair. sometimes you can get a little more life out of a compressor by installing a hard start kit.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #26
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


I took off the cover and it looks as if there is one capacitor. I also found a service note dating back to 2001, which makes me believe the system is about 10 years old.

If I can squeeze a few more months/years out of the compressor, that would help greatly. Can anyone give me pointers on trying the hard start kit route? The look rather easy to install.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg...N=0&sst=subset
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:01 PM   #27
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Compressor not running... buy new or used?


First you need to check if the capacitor is bad. After you have AC running you can install hard start kit to help the compressor.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #28
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If the main capacitor is weak or shot adding a hard start one won't solve your problem.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #29
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First you need to check if the capacitor is bad. After you have AC running you can install hard start kit to help the compressor.
I have a friend stopping by with a multimeter this afternoon to test.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:24 PM   #30
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make sure you discharge the capacitor with a screwdriver across the terminals B4 sticking the meter to it and remove it from the cabinet and label and then remove the wires. meter must have a capacitance test feature and the cheap ones don't. when you go to test it it can take 30 seconds B4 the proper reading appears as the meter is actually charging the capacitor with it's battery. the rating should be on the side of it and if it is lower than 5% then it is weak and needs replacing.

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