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Old 06-27-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


Hello,

Thank you in advance for your help!

Let me get right to the point first, and then provide some history.

Trane XL13i turns on and runs fine. After about an hour, it shuts off (not necessarily reaching desired temp). Some # minutes later, it attempts to restart. Click on, 2 seconds, click off, 2 seconds, click on, etc, etc. After about 6 of these, I shut down the system at the thermo.

History:
3 weeks ago, highly recommended _MR_HIGHLY_RECOMMENDED_TECH_ZERO diag and said that I was down on R410. I certainly believe it because it was running fine but not really putting out enough cool. He said he put in 3.4 lbs. He DID NOT evacuate or check for leaks, etc. He simply hooked up his gauges and put in 3.4 lbs of R410.

Worked fine for 1 day. Didn't use for next 8 days since it wasn't needed.

Day 9, hot outside. AC turns on and runs for awhile, perhaps an hour. Shuts off and then goes through that 'hard start' or 'stuttering' as mentioned above.

PS_TECH_ONE comes to diagnose. Based on his high pressure readings (appx. 150 and 625) on his gauges, he says that "systems is overfilled and needs to be evacuated, pressure tested, and then filled" - $1,500. Same visit, somehow, he called a more senior PS_TECH_TWO who looks at it and in 3 minutes asks for a hose and hoses down the crud in the condenser. Immediately the pressure starts going down (appx. 100 and 400/450ish). Five minutes later there is a click sound (like a step-down on a motor) and the pressure starts rising. He immediately says "the problem is that the fan motor needs to be replaced".

Two days later get a call from PS_PARTS_DEPT. "Your PARTS are in". They ordered fan motor, BLADES and CAPACITOR ($700). Surprise, since I thought they said just the "fan motor". So last night PS_TECH_THREE comes to JUST install new parts. Runs fine for an hour and then temp too low to run, so I left it alone. Weather got nicer.

Today, I come home from work and as I walk from my car to the unit, it's doing the click on, 5 sec, click off dance again. I go in and shut down system at thermo.

Two hours later I decide to do another test. I turned the thermo/unit on, and it ran now for about 24 minutes, and NOT reaching desired room temp. It went back into that on/off cycle I mentioned above.

Is it the high-pressure sensor? Relay? Defrost sensor?
NEW_PS_TECH is coming on Friday morning.

Note: So far there were FOUR techs involved:

MR_HIGHLY_RECOMMENDED_TECH_ZERO: Added R410.
PS_TECH_ONE (young): Diags as overcharged.
PS_TECH_TWO (older, more experienced): Diags as "needs new fan motor".
PS_TECH_THREE: All he did was install 3 parts - fan motor, fan blades, and capacitor.

Please help.


Last edited by DanDIY; 06-27-2012 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Adding more early history.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


Without knowing gauge and line temp readings. can't really say too much. other then there is a good chance that it is over charged.

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


so you payed to have a guy tell you it was short added freon and the the same brain surgeon returns to pull freon...??? then you get the 2nd brainsurgeon in and changes the condenser fan and cap and blade...why the blade what do the invoices say...your getting ripped just fix it no more part don't let the guy leave and call the SM while he is on job to tell him it's free on him...the first guy i learning HVAC on your DIME
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:28 PM   #4
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


yes sirrrreee....

the gas and go guys are working overtime, as are the parts shotgun guys... bottom line is that they are ill equipped to find your problem. They may not have the tools, or the experiance, or the backing of the boss to put in the time to learn the trade, learn your system and learn from each other. I might suggest that you contact the boss and raise a little hell.... Maybe suggest that you will be come the most squeeky wheel they have ever heard???? all that money you spent and you still have an issue.... Not good.

so that being said, you can learn to trouble shoot your own system. The folks here are pretty dang good at troubleshooting. You may need to get a couple of new tools (digital multi meter, amp meter and a thermometer or two)... but with everyones help, you can figure this out...

my take is that for some reason, one of the protection systems is shutting down your compressor. It sounds to me like high head pressure. So what causes High head pressure??? High head is normaly dirty condenser or substantilly over charged.... so you can clean the condensor. I suggest google is your friend here. Find out how to clean the outdoor condensor (rather then just run the hose on it)... Once its clean, put an amp meter on the main feed wires and read the label on the side of the machine. If you have high head pressure, the amps will be higher then normal and will rise over time, as the compressor works harder and harder... but since now you know that the condesor is clean. high amps would point to an over charge. Next you will have to do a couple of temp checks. First is delta t. Run the system for 10 minutes (if it will run that long) and check the temp at the inside air return and the supply grill near the air handler. should be some place between 15 and 20 degrees..... if it it higher then that... you have low air flow.... if lower then that,,, you have low air flow or a couple of other things might also cause this... so then what you want to do is a subcool and superheat measurement. Google this up and you will find some pretty easy ways to check the sub cool and super heat.... all of these readings are things that the folks here will need to help you.


so do some sluthing around and report back and I'll bet you dollars to donuts, the people here can help to figure it out and help you find a good tech.... just my two cents worth...
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobinphx View Post
yes sirrrreee....

the gas and go guys are working overtime, as are the parts shotgun guys... bottom line is that they are ill equipped to find your problem. They may not have the tools, or the experiance, or the backing of the boss to put in the time to learn the trade, learn your system and learn from each other. I might suggest that you contact the boss and raise a little hell.... Maybe suggest that you will be come the most squeeky wheel they have ever heard???? all that money you spent and you still have an issue.... Not good.

so that being said, you can learn to trouble shoot your own system. The folks here are pretty dang good at troubleshooting. You may need to get a couple of new tools (digital multi meter, amp meter and a thermometer or two)... but with everyones help, you can figure this out...

my take is that for some reason, one of the protection systems is shutting down your compressor. It sounds to me like high head pressure. So what causes High head pressure??? High head is normaly dirty condenser or substantilly over charged.... so you can clean the condensor. I suggest google is your friend here. Find out how to clean the outdoor condensor (rather then just run the hose on it)... Once its clean, put an amp meter on the main feed wires and read the label on the side of the machine. If you have high head pressure, the amps will be higher then normal and will rise over time, as the compressor works harder and harder... but since now you know that the condesor is clean. high amps would point to an over charge. Next you will have to do a couple of temp checks. First is delta t. Run the system for 10 minutes (if it will run that long) and check the temp at the inside air return and the supply grill near the air handler. should be some place between 15 and 20 degrees..... if it it higher then that... you have low air flow.... if lower then that,,, you have low air flow or a couple of other things might also cause this... so then what you want to do is a subcool and superheat measurement. Google this up and you will find some pretty easy ways to check the sub cool and super heat.... all of these readings are things that the folks here will need to help you.


so do some sluthing around and report back and I'll bet you dollars to donuts, the people here can help to figure it out and help you find a good tech.... just my two cents worth...
I concure..... you need a good tec.... its not that hard if you know what you are doing
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:59 PM   #6
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


Hi Bob. Thanks much !

1) I purposely SAVED the old parts as well as the boxes for the new ones.
2) They are going to have to prove to me that these parts are defective in order to avoid having to remove the new ones and put the old ones back!
3) The co I'm dealing with is one of the biggest in the US. I am sure they have other "top guns" who will be able to properly diagnose and fix this.
4) I agree with you that "something" is shutting down the system.
5) After 'they' cleaned the system with the hose and left, I spent a good 40 minutes carefully hosing it myself, getting into places they did not and observing a fair amount of dirt coming out. I did this carefully from the inside out.
6) Tonight I wanted to test my old cap and motor, but found I do not have the proper meter to do this. I'm hesitant to spend $100 for a meter just for this one test.
7) I think at this point I just want to be prepared for when the person comes Friday morning to diagnose/repair. I want to make sure I have enough facts to (gulp) help him in the right direction to FIX the problem, as well as enough ammunition (facts) to support my claim that he should take out the parts and put my old ones back (because I truly believe now that those parts were okay to begin with).
8) First I was charged $200 for the diagnosis. Then, it was another $700 for the parts along with $300 labor. I want credit for the $700+300, since I believe (assuming I learn nothing new to support otherwise) that these parts did NOT need replacing !
9) I am very handy, but I do draw the line sometimes. Time is of the essence as we're going to have some hot days here, and I'm also feeling the 'heat' from the Mrs.!
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


I've RULED OUT the 2-year-old programmable thermostat. After the unit was off for over an hour, I popped the thermo off the wall and jumped the wires. It turned on and ran fine. I let it run on it's own for 90 minutes. Pulled off the jumper, waited 2 minutes, and reapplied jumper. It went back to that on/off/on/off routine again!
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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Hard Starting (or stuttering) AC


a good cheap meter can be found at wired communications its just 19 bucks plus shipping. Harbour freight has amp meters for under 30 bucks (digital clamp on). I realize that mail order is not going to get you the meters by friday...

as to cleaning. I dont know the type of condenser you have, but a lot of them are 2 pass, which means that they have a gap between the inside and outside. Some need to be pulled apart to be cleaned. Others are like toilet bowl brushes and they need to be cleaned differently. I am a big fan (get it condenser fan.. get it) ... of using chemicals to clean the condenser. The chemicals are a surface suficant and really loosen up the dirt and oxidation. home depot sells it.. follow the instrutions to the letter. You will be amazed how much additional stuff comes out... bottome line is to become an expert on your machine and what type of coils it has and how to clean it.

as to the parts... an amp meter and or tach will tell you if the old motor was bad. Amps will be high with bad bearings or burn (shorted)windings. A tac will tell you if the motor is running at the correct speed.

you can do the delta t with just a thermometer, so be sure to do that. subcool and super heat also are done with a thermometer( note that a non-contact ifr type is not suggested for this, but a contact digital is ok)...

as to the 200 diagnose, i would want that back too... plus the 700, plus the 300 and then a little extra for your time... Do your self a favor, go into the negotiations like the old AFLCIO used to. go in with 500 demands and really, in your heart, hold out for 3... let the company have the other 497 demands, as long as you get the 3 you wanted.. Hope that makes sense.

I would also think about getting a second opinion. Find a local guy who hates that big company and enlist his help to be your expert...


as for the wife... well its almost the weekend.. and I bet there are some nice hotels in the area... go ahead and treat her and you to a weekend off. I would!!!!!!!!!!!!!

start making calls for an expert!!!!!!!!!!!!!


good luck...

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