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Old 08-25-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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New air conditioner not working


I recently came home and found my air conditioner dead. It really wasn't dead but was just making noise. I went to Sears and bought a new Kenmore 8000 BTU which is roughly the same size as the old one.

I plugged it in and it's doing the same thing as the old one. The voltage at the outlet is 117v. I brought an old window unit up from the basement (which is smaller) and plugged it in and it worked. I tested the voltage with the small AC running and noted the voltage dropped to 103V on startup and settled to 113V. Could it be that my wiring is not sufficient enough for the AC?

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Old 08-25-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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New air conditioner not working


You might disconnect power to that outlet and pull the outlet out to inspect it. Look to see if the wire to the outlet are pushed into the back of the outlet making a connection or if the wires are connected with the screws on the side of the outlet.

Screw are a good physical connection where as pushing the wire into the outlet are not.

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Old 08-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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New air conditioner not working


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Originally Posted by Barristan View Post
I recently came home and found my air conditioner dead. It really wasn't dead but was just making noise. I went to Sears and bought a new Kenmore 8000 BTU which is roughly the same size as the old one.

I plugged it in and it's doing the same thing as the old one. The voltage at the outlet is 117v. I brought an old window unit up from the basement (which is smaller) and plugged it in and it worked. I tested the voltage with the small AC running and noted the voltage dropped to 103V on startup and settled to 113V. Could it be that my wiring is not sufficient enough for the AC?
You are probably better off with a line right back to the panel with it's own circuit breaker or fuse. You might have several other current draws on the same circuit as the A/C unit. Then you'll know for sure if it's the A/c unit or electrical. You probably should test the wires with an amp-meter to see what the current draw is and if the A/C is rated for that.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:18 PM   #4
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New air conditioner not working


The AC is connected to it's own fuse.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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New air conditioner not working


Did you check the outlet?

What is the breaker rating?
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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New air conditioner not working


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Did you check the outlet?

What is the breaker rating?

Yes the outlet looks fine.

The breaker is 15 amps. It is what was recommended according to the new AC manual.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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New air conditioner not working


Have you tried to plug it in another outlet in the house?

I'd be curious to what the amp draw is?

Is the polarity correct on the outlet? Some newer appliance are polarity sensitive.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:34 AM   #8
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New air conditioner not working


Yes, I tried moving it to a different outlet. No difference.

I went out and bought a circuit tester. The outlet that I'm using tested fine. Most of the other outlets did not. When my house was built apparently it wasn't mandatory to use the ground wire.

One thing to note is the AC is at the opposite end of my house than the circuit breaker box.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:58 PM   #9
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New air conditioner not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by Barristan View Post
Yes, I tried moving it to a different outlet. No difference.

I went out and bought a circuit tester. The outlet that I'm using tested fine. Most of the other outlets did not. When my house was built apparently it wasn't mandatory to use the ground wire.

One thing to note is the AC is at the opposite end of my house than the circuit breaker box.
Possible amperage problem line might be to long, can't really tell anything without proper readings, and possible in rush readings. ( startup).
Open the electric panel and see if someone tied another wire to the breaker or wire nutted one inside the box to the same A/C circuit..

Last edited by SULTINI; 08-26-2009 at 02:01 PM. Reason: added more information to the OP.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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New air conditioner not working


I always run #12 wire to AC's, even if only a 15a breaker

When you say "opposite end of the house" from circuit breaker
--are we talking about 30', 40' 50'...or ?
I've seen some Ranch style homes that were 100' long
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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New air conditioner not working


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I always run #12 wire to AC's, even if only a 15a breaker

When you say "opposite end of the house" from circuit breaker
--are we talking about 30', 40' 50'...or ?
I've seen some Ranch style homes that were 100' long
Me To
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:13 AM   #12
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New air conditioner not working


It seems to be close to 100'.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:09 AM   #13
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New air conditioner not working


You are getting voltage drop at that distance
Is it #14 wire?
To reduce voltage drop you increase the wires size/reduce distance if possible
That's why I run #12 wire for any AC that requires a 15a breaker

Have you tried plugging it in closer to the breaker panel
I read on another thread here (from HVAC person) how newer compressors have a higher start up "requirement" ??
Not sure if that also applies to window units
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:54 PM   #14
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New air conditioner not working


The voltage drop over 100 feet would be 3.5volts for 14 gauge and 2.5 volts over 12 gauge. This is lower than the daily variability for domestic electricity so shouldn't be causing this problem. However, if the wiring/sockets are old, there may be dirt/corrosion that is increasing resistance much more. The old unit may have a lower current draw and that's why it works. Everything points to an issue (somewhere) with your house wiring so you might want to get someone in there with measuring equipment (circuit testers are very limited in what they can tell you).
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:25 PM   #15
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New air conditioner not working


Maybe the new A/C is defective.

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