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Old 07-04-2011, 09:54 AM   #1
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Condenser unit not working?


Hi there,

Yesterday my outdoor condenser unit on my central AC stopped working. We had a couple of power surges, I don't know if that caused this or not, but (coincidentally or not) it stopped working at or around the same time.

When I turn the AC on, the Handler unit in the garage turns on, I can feel air being sucked into the blower, and there is air coming out of the vents, albeit not at all cold. It is the same temperature as the air in the house.

When I go outside to the condenser, I can hear a very quiet buzz. It sounds like an electricity buzz, know what I mean? But nothing seems to be happening in the condenser. The fan is not blowing, and the compressor appears to be just sitting there not running.

There was a circuit breaker tripped in the fuse box last night that I couldn't flip back on until this morning (it had rained last night, I don't know if maybe something is exposed somewhere and I couldn't flip the switch until it had dried). I have no idea if this is related or not as I am not sure what that breaker is for. Anyway it is back on now and condenser is still not doing anything.

I own my house, so no landlord to complain to. I just inherited this home and I don't know what to do. I am a mother of a 6 year old and a 9 month old, and live in South Florida. I can't have no AC in here! I have NO money to call a repairman. It isn't a matter of sacrificing something to be able to afford it. I have NO money to sacrifice.

Can someone please tell me what might be the problem and how I might be able to fix it? Do I need a new motor? How expensive is that? Thank you so much...

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Old 07-04-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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Condenser unit not working?


Unless you know how to do electrical work, you will have to call a tech. the problem can be the contactor (usually cause buzz sound)in the condenser unit. you need a multimeter to check on that. (240V in there, be careful)
You may also have a short somewhere when it is wet, find out what is that breaker for so that you can identify the shorted item to see if it is related to AC. If it is contactor or capacitor bad, they are cheap ($20-30), fan motor will cost $150 plus labor, compressor will cost more than $1000. if you don't know how to do this, you will have no choice but to call a tech. good luck to you.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Condenser unit not working?


Look to see if any other breakers are tripped. Also look to see if the outside disconnect has fuses in it, and it they are blown.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Condenser unit not working?


This may sound stupid, but what is the outside disconnect? And what do I look for to find it? No other breakers are tripped in the fuse box.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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Condenser unit not working?




These gray boxes
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**Always kill the power ** Hot air rises, but heat will always move from higher to lower temperatures. ** Real man shoot in manual. ** If it ain't grounded, it ain't dead.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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Condenser unit not working?


Oh okay. Looked and everything in there seems fine at a glance. I don't know anything about electrical, so I don't know how to tell if there's something wrong inside there. I know it's not tripped.

What is a contactor? Is there a way I could figure out if that is the problem? Without having a multimeter?
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Condenser unit not working?


At this point I think it's better you ask for help a neighbor or call a pro. It can be very danger for you.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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Condenser unit not working?


Try turning that breaker that was tripped to the off position and then back on. Other then that your next best option is make some calls tomorrow and get a window air. Some agencies and church groups have loaners for folks in your situation.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:19 PM   #9
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Condenser unit not working?


Mine quit couple weeks ago like this and it was an earwig bug that got trapped in between contact switch and short the system until it was removed, its with a look
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #10
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Condenser unit not working?


Contactor is a small module(switch) inside of the condenser. it has small wires and also big wires go in and go out. you can tap that switch by using a wood stick (that switch has some moving parts which can be pushed in) and see if that starts your AC. get some one help you if you can, there are high votage at that area, be careful.

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