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Old 03-12-2014, 01:19 PM   #1
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Do I really need a new compresser?


3-Ton Goodman...10 years old

Long story short. The disconnect was pulled while the unit was running and was pushed back in before the pressures could equalize and now the fan spins VERY slowly and the condenser will not come on. Hard wired the fan and it works...capacitors also tested and are okay. Is the compressor ruined? Would a hard start kit fix this? Do I have any other options? Thanks!

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Old 03-12-2014, 01:23 PM   #2
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Do I really need a new compresser?


Have you checked the voltage to the compressor after the contactor in current condition? Could be contacts got burnt and are creating high voltage drop across them now.

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Old 03-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
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Do I really need a new compresser?


BE VERY CAREFUL NOW. If the fan spins slowly the compressor may have a short to the case and be grounded and you can get electrocuted if you touch any metal of any of the unit. You need to shut off the power and pull the wires off the compressor and check for a short from them to the case or copper line on the compressor. If it is grounded it can also short the compressor inside and buildup pressure and blow the terminals out the front of it and release Freon and phosgene gas into your face. Had this scenario a half dozen times in my career.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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Do I really need a new compresser?


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Originally Posted by HVACDave View Post
Have you checked the voltage to the compressor after the contactor in current condition? Could be contacts got burnt and are creating high voltage drop across them now.
I forgot to mention that the contactor was replaced also. I had a friend come look at it who is fairly smart in this field and he said the compressor wasn't getting enough juice.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
BE VERY CAREFUL NOW. If the fan spins slowly the compressor may have a short to the case and be grounded and you can get electrocuted if you touch any metal of any of the unit. You need to shut off the power and pull the wires off the compressor and check for a short from them to the case or copper line on the compressor. If it is grounded it can also short the compressor inside and buildup pressure and blow the terminals out the front of it and release Freon and phosgene gas into your face. Had this scenario a half dozen times in my career.
My buddy has been tinkering around in there so I don't think that is the case in this instance. He claims the compressor isn't getting enough juice. Is it worth trying a hard start kit or is that just a waste of time and money?
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #6
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Do I really need a new compresser?


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
BE VERY CAREFUL NOW. If the fan spins slowly the compressor may have a short to the case and be grounded and you can get electrocuted if you touch any metal of any of the unit. You need to shut off the power and pull the wires off the compressor and check for a short from them to the case or copper line on the compressor. If it is grounded it can also short the compressor inside and buildup pressure and blow the terminals out the front of it and release Freon and phosgene gas into your face. Had this scenario a half dozen times in my career.
Also, you can hear the compressor buzz for a split second when we try to start the unit. It stops buzzing and the fan starts to slowly spin. Doesn't the fan spin like by design? I was under the impression that it is trying to cool down the unit when it does that. I really don't know though.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Do I really need a new compresser?


If the fan spins slowly it is a danger sign that it may be getting low voltage thru a short in the compressor. Has to do with the contactor if it has a shunt bar across one of the terminals. Be careful.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
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Do I really need a new compresser?


Did he verify that you are getting correct voltage through the contactor? perhaps you have lost 1 leg of your power from panel by partially blowing a breaker ( some even use 2 separate breakers that are tied together) or something. I would cycle that breaker completely off and then back on in the panel, and then check to see if I was getting full voltage to disconnect and then full voltage out of disconnect and follow it all the way to the unit.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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If the fan spins slowly it is a danger sign that it may be getting low voltage thru a short in the compressor. Has to do with the contactor if it has a shunt bar across one of the terminals. Be careful.
Okay thanks for the warning. If this is the case, is the compressor ruined or can the problem be fixed?
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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As in all electrical cases you should make sure that you are comfortable working on these types of components and checking for internal faults, as Yuri has pointed out, the first mistake could be the last.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HVACDave View Post
Did he verify that you are getting correct voltage through the contactor? perhaps you have lost 1 leg of your power from panel by partially blowing a breaker ( some even use 2 separate breakers that are tied together) or something. I would cycle that breaker completely off and then back on in the panel, and then check to see if I was getting full voltage to disconnect and then full voltage out of disconnect and follow it all the way to the unit.
The breakers have been reset (after they got thrown). All I know is he said the compressor isn't pulling what it should be pulling.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #12
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Ruined and it is a VERY dangerous situation. I have had 2 blow outs where the fusible plug blew out the front of the compressor and acidic oil and fumes come shooting out. Check the compressor for grounding/shorting and then do the other checks like Dave said. NO disrespect to your buddy but maybe another Pro is needed. You can get burned or blinded if it blows.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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Ruined and it is a VERY dangerous situation. I have had 2 blow outs where the fusible plug blew out the front of the compressor and acidic oil and fumes come shooting out. Check the compressor for grounding/shorting and then do the other checks like Dave said.
Well if it's ruined I won't be tinkering around in there. I'll be calling a pro to come out and put in a brand new unit. It's hard to justify spending $800 for a new compressor with a 1 year warranty as opposed to $1400 for a new unit with a 5 year warranty. I was just curious if the compressor I had could be fixed for a small amount of money. So is "the compressor is ruined" your final answer?
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:57 PM   #14
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Do I really need a new compresser?


The compressor is a sealed hermetic can and cannot be fixed. I would have to be there and check it myself but the fan should be running at full speed and if not then there may be a short. Just trying to keep you safe and let you know what may be happening plus for the hundreds of future readers of this post.

I tell my apprentices if they see a slow running fan or one going backwards to not touch the unit and check the compressor for grounding.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:09 PM   #15
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Do I really need a new compresser?


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The compressor is a sealed hermetic can and cannot be fixed. I would have to be there and check it myself but the fan should be running at full speed and if not then there may be a short. Just trying to keep you safe and let you know what may be happening plus for the hundreds of future readers of this post.

I tell my apprentices if they see a slow running fan or one going backwards to not touch the unit and check the compressor for grounding.
I appreciate the help. I was an electricians helper for a few years so I picked up a lot of stuff while working with him. I'm just having a hard time understanding how something can just short out all of a sudden? Everything was working as it should until the disconnect got pulled and replaced too soon. If you have the time, could you explain how this could have caused a short? I thought I read that compressors have an overload switch? Is this true and if so, is it possible the switch got thrown and hasn't reset properly?

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