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Old 08-26-2009, 03:38 AM   #1
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


In checking out my ac unit for not putting out cold enough air I found that the unit would come on (compressor and blower for inside air) but not the fan for cooling fins. I spun the fan a couple times and it started and kept going and the temperature seems to be operating properly. From what I read on line that seem to indicate that a capacitor was bad. I am on time of day use so i left the unit on till the rates went up at 1:00 pm then i turned the unit off. When the rates went back down I went up on the roof to spin the fan. The unit came on as before, but this time the fan started right up without help. However there was a sound that I don't remember hearing the first trip up on the roof that seemed to be be coming from the electrical area. I know this may sound strange, but it sounded like a ping. As the ping frequency slowed to a stop, I could hear a hum or buzz that I don't remember hearing the first time when i helped the fan start.

The ac unit cooled until it reach set temperature. Then it cycled on again and the air was cold but i did not go on roof that time to check for the weird noises ( it was midnight ) . So I am going to cool the house way down and then shut it off for the night cuz again I read that continued operation of the unit when the fan was not working could damage the compressor. I will check for the odd noises today when i wake up as it is 130 now


btw i was told by a local company that the contactors could cause the same problem. If this is so, where can I locate these contactors

what could be my problem, and what steps can I take to fix it.?

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Old 08-26-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


A dead outdoor fan unit with a running compressor sure sounds like a bad capacitor. (especially if it starts with a spin). I would get that issue fixed first.

The pinging sound could be a contactor going bad or it could be something rubbing the fan blade. It could also be a start relay. It could also be a secondary effect from a capacitor going bad.

The troubleshooting involves dealing with live high voltages. I would give serious thought to hiring a tech. The symptoms you describe don't sound like they'd "break the bank" in terms of repair cost.

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Old 08-26-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


I started up the unit today and the fan started right away and guess what ...? NO pinging or strange buz/hum. Are there ghost in the works?

I am not your typical homeowner and I use to install a/c units in mobile homes (although decades ago) and I have wired some of them live (fire works one time). I know that is a far cry from being a technician, but I am pretty handy at fixing things and some things that even pros could not figure out. I need to know what "tools/instruments" I need and how to check the things you mentioned. BTW I have bought houses remodeled them myself besides that I want to learn how to diagnose A/C problems so I can fix them on the houses i remodel in the future plus earn some extra money during the summer ( yeah i know your gonna say go to school but ... i dont have the money for that.... for that matter I dont have the money for those NON bank breaking repairs).

1 thing I am having trouble with is getting contact info for the Manufacturer and their web site was not much help. The unit is a HEIL by International Comfort Products. I need to find out if it has a dual cap or 2 singles. I see only one and it has five wires coming out the of the top (there is a plastic raised T and there are 2 or 3 wires coming out on the top side of the T and the balance of wires are coming out on the bottom of T. My guess is it is a dual cap with one side starting to go out.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:29 PM   #4
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


Is it true that running the unit without the cooling fan working will damage the compressor
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


The most common is dual cap with common and then one tap for "F" (ie fan) and another tap for "H" (ie hermetic comnpressor). Each terminal can have mutliple wires ganged up.

Either test the cap or just install a known good cap because they're not that expensive. Make sure the values match and that the voltage rating meets or exceeds the old cap. You can also test them with an ohmeter - analog works best IMHO once they're removed and discharged.

To go much further you'll need a wiring diagram of the system. You might get lucky and find one attached to an inside panel. The manufacturer will likely tell you to get lost unless you're a pro and their websites are typically worthless.

Just start tracing voltages and signals starting with the contactor. (too detailed you list out the troubleshooting flow charts)
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


In checking out my ac unit for not putting out cold enough air I found that the unit would come on (compressor and blower for inside air) but not the fan for cooling fins. I spun the fan a couple times and it started and kept going and the temperature seems to be operating properly. From what I read on line that seem to indicate that a capacitor was bad. I am on time of day use so i left the unit on till the rates went up at 1:00 pm then i turned the unit off. When the rates went back down I went up on the roof to spin the fan. The unit came on as before, but this time the fan started right up without help. However there was a sound that I don't remember hearing the first trip up on the roof that seemed to be be coming from the electrical area. I know this may sound strange, but it sounded like a ping. As the ping frequency slowed to a stop, I could hear a hum or buzz that I don't remember hearing the first time when i helped the fan start.

The ac unit cooled until it reach set temperature. Then it cycled on again and the air was cold but i did not go on roof that time to check for the weird noises ( it was midnight ) . So I am going to cool the house way down and then shut it off for the night cuz again I read that continued operation of the unit when the fan was not working could damage the compressor. I will check for the odd noises today when i wake up as it is 130 now


btw i was told by a local company that the contactors could cause the same problem. If this is so, where can I locate these contactors

what could be my problem, and what steps can I take to fix it.?
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:56 AM   #7
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


Pinging and humming could be your contactor as you state.

Any hvac house will sell them or look on line



25 to 30 Amp 2 Pole Contactor 24 Volt Coil Standard Duty

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Price:$49.98
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:04 AM   #8
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Fan not turning on and peculiar pinging and humming noises in the electrical area


FYI have the capacitor tested just in case

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