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Old 07-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Last week my outside unit stopped working because the contactor would not engage. Fixing it was as simple as hitting the reset button. All was well until today and we noticed the inside temps climbing again. But this time, the contactor is engaged, but neither the fan nor the condenser are running. I have separate capacitors...what is the likelyhood that both failed at once? The smaller capacitor does have a slightly oily appearance around its terminals, but the other looks fine. I've also tried to give the fan a kickstart by spinning it with a stick. No good.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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Old 07-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #2
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Nevermind, for now. I don't have 220 coming into the contactor. Wires look good and I get a reading from the fuse terminals. Will have to check each connection.

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Old 07-22-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


OK, the fuse box utilizes two fuses. With the fuses removed, I get a reading of 74V from each set of fuse box terminals. Not sure if this is normal or not...I'm assuming that bridged they somehow come out to 220V. I removed the wire nuts from the wires coming directly out of the fuse box conduit and into the A/C unit and got a reading of only 4V. These wires were connected to another set of wires that feed directly into the contactor, where I got no reading.

I'm having a hard time believing that I am suddenly having an issue with the wires inside the conduit, but I guess anything is possible. Could the fuses be bad? They do not appear to have blown.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Took the panel off the fuse box and (correctly) measured the incoming...235V. Measured the outgoing after the fuses were inserted...4V. The fuses showed no reading with multimeter in OHMS mode. I thought that if you had bad fuses, they showed a reading different having no connection to the multimeter at all. Going out to get new fuses. If the fuses blew, what might have caused this?
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


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Originally Posted by 7.62 View Post
Took the panel off the fuse box and (correctly) measured the incoming...235V. Measured the outgoing after the fuses were inserted...4V. The fuses showed no reading with multimeter in OHMS mode. I thought that if you had bad fuses, they showed a reading different having no connection to the multimeter at all. Going out to get new fuses. If the fuses blew, what might have caused this?
Look at the ohm reading. Take your to test leed's and totch them togother you get a reading right? now remove no reading that is just the way the fuse is. Their is a like a wire inside the fuse no wire no reading. You should have 220 on the line's comming into the outside box or measure on both sides of the fuse's their should be 220 or maybe a little higher. BE sure to set the meter to AC volt's or when you are out buying fuses buy a new meter also if you don't change the setting. Good luck
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #6
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


OK, got new fuses. Appears both of the old fuses were blown. Here is the weird part: when I installed the new fuses and inserted them into the fuse box, one of them blew immediately, but the other one didn't. I heard the fan "trying" to come on. I opened the top and gave the fan blade a spin to see if it would go, but it wouldn't (previously tested it and it spins pretty freely when given a manual spin).

So, I heard the fan trying to come on, but nothing from the compressor. I swapped the positions of the two new fuses (just to see what would happen) and the other one blew (and of course, the fan stopped trying to come on). So, it appears that the fuse in the hot position doesn't blow, but the one in the neutral position does (of course, both old fuses were blown [never swapped]). Any idea why this would happen?
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #7
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Short in fan motor windings.

And there is no neutral to your condenser. both fuses are on hot legs.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:26 PM   #8
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


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Short in fan motor windings.

And there is no neutral to your condenser. both fuses are on hot legs.
I don't follow you. If there is a short in the fan, wouldn't that blow the fuse and then cease to have power to continue to "try" to start?

Also, I'm referring to the incoming 220V (which actually reads as 235V). The fuse box holds two fuses, one for hot (black) and one for white (neutral). The fuse on the white path is the one that is blowing. But I don't understand why only one fuse would blow.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


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I don't follow you. If there is a short in the fan, wouldn't that blow the fuse and then cease to have power to continue to "try" to start?

Also, I'm referring to the incoming 220V (which actually reads as 235V). The fuse box holds two fuses, one for hot (black) and one for white (neutral). The fuse on the white path is the one that is blowing. But I don't understand why only one fuse would blow.
The white wire is not a neutral, lets be clear on that... and think about it, if you have a dead short, one fuse it going to react quicker than the other.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:05 PM   #10
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


No, the motor still had 120 volts going to it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Then what's the terminology for the white, then? I know not to touch it, but in every wiring diagram I've seen, black is referred to as hot, white as neutral, and brown/green/bare as ground. e.g.



Beenthere: how can I test to see if your assessment is correct before I order a new motor and go thru the hassle of replacing the old?
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #12
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


The white is used as a hot on many condensers, that are served by a 2 wire with ground.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


Just remember this, Neutral is always white, white isn't always neutral...
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


bad compresor
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:40 PM   #15
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Condenser and fan not running, contactor engaged, have two capacitors


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bad compresor
Could be. Unhook the fan wires and try again with new fuses. If they blow the problem is not the fan motor.

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