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Old 06-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
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Options for a stuck compressor


Hello,
I've been reading this site for a while and decided it is time to make my first post.

Compressor on the outside AC unit stuck. HVAC tech just attempted to put on a hard start kit (I think it was a TT6, didn't find it on Grainger's site, I'll check when I get home). That didn't fix the problem. His next two options are to replace the compressor or replace the whole system. The system probably does need to be replaced, but I'm in the middle of a short sell (held up in the banks at the moment). I have no intention of dropping $3000+ into this system.

So, who has a suggestion on a cheaper method to get this going? I am considering one of the more powerful Suppco kits (SPPE8) to get it going. Perhaps a hammer to the compressor. Are there any ways to attach external motors to assist? I'm open to any suggestion that is south of a grand at the moment.

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Old 06-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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Options for a stuck compressor


You may also want to check the voltage at the compressor during attempted startup; the problem may be in your house wiring.

If the voltage stays high enough, as a last resort, and the motor capacitor may not like this, put 360 vac or 480vac into the compressor for a very short interval using a 5 kw or 10 kw boost transformer or other means. This gives you ~2.3x or ~4x the normal starting power.
If you do this, stand a good ways away.

I am not an HVAC tech.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 06-04-2010 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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If you can find a tech with an Annie he might break the compressor loose by reversing the rotation.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
You may also want to check the voltage at the compressor during attempted startup; the problem may be in your house wiring.

If the voltage stays high enough, as a last resort, and the motor capacitor may not like this, put 360 vac or 480vac into the compressor for a very short interval using a 5 kw or 10 kw boost transformer or other means. This gives you ~2.3x or ~4x the normal starting power.
If you do this, stand a good ways away.

I am not an HVAC tech.
So your recommending doing more harm to the compressor to get it to run.

Not to mention frying other parts at the same time.



OP: While you can try a higher powered start kit. You will also be doing more harm to the system if the compressor doesn't start. You'll burn up the windings and cause an acid formation. Which will cost you money to clean up if you op to change out the compressor after that.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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trademark for 'Annie'

The description provided to the USPTO for ANNIE is
ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTS FOR CHECKING AND TESTING REFRIGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT, NAMELY, . . .HERMETIC ANALYZERS, HERMETIC/CAPACITOR ANALYZERS, HERMETIC COMPRESSOR/COMPONENT ANALYZERS, MULTI PHASE HERMETIC ANALYZERS, . . .CAPACITOR ANALYZERS

Sounds like there are several options for diagnosing/fixing this problem.

Do Annies rent for "south of a grand"? If they rent for $500 the OP should rent it if the chance of it fixing the problem for the foreseeable future is greater than 100($500/$3000) = 17%.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 06-04-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:33 PM   #6
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Options for a stuck compressor


Might ask the buyers if they want a compressor in the old system or if they would rather have the cost of the compressor in cash to apply to a new system. Bet they go for the cash towards a new system , you don't have to pay for labor and refrigerant that way. It's a win/win for everybody.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #7
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Never rented one. Got one. Hardly ever use it though. They don't cost but a few hundred bucks.

I've freed up more then one compressor, only to have it lock up a few days or weeks later.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
Might ask the buyers if they want a compressor in the old system or if they would rather have the cost of the compressor in cash to apply to a new system. Bet they go for the cash towards a new system , you don't have to pay for labor and refrigerant that way. It's a win/win for everybody.
Smart buyers will say neither. And want an allowance for a whole new system.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
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"I've freed up more then one compressor, only to have it lock up a few days or weeks later."

So VERY true. Hard start kits never last more than a year on a seizing unit. On a new stiff compressor they are useful but when it gets old it just delays the inevitable or expedites it.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msummers80 View Post
outside AC unit
How old?
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:23 PM   #11
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Options for a stuck compressor


do you actually have a pending contract on the house? Has the bank approved the sale?

and the biggie: was the AC working when the contract was signed?
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:25 PM   #12
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Smart buyers will say neither. And want an allowance for a whole new system.
It's already a short sale. Highly unlikely the buyers are going to get any consideration for anything.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #13
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I'll add one more voice to the change the compressor ( or whole unit ) comment. Stuck compressors never, ever work out of it. They just fail shortly after you put a couple hundred dollars into limping them along.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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It's already a short sale. Highly unlikely the buyers are going to get any consideration for anything.
Buyers aren't worried about it being a short sale. They just worry about what they are getting.

And since there are still many home owners that are either short selling, or selling for just enough to pay off the bank. The buyer still has the ability to say. Ok, I'll look for another place. And probably find one without too much looking or trouble.

Its a buyers market in most areas.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Buyers aren't worried about it being a short sale. They just worry about what they are getting.

And since there are still many home owners that are either short selling, or selling for just enough to pay off the bank. The buyer still has the ability to say. Ok, I'll look for another place. And probably find one without too much looking or trouble.

Its a buyers market in most areas.


Depending on the answers to the questions, the buyers may simply have to accept it as is. Without the poster answering, there is no way to tell.

and to add: by simply freeing up the compressor, you are building liability for yourself for a claim in the near future should it break down again. The buyers now have a legal right to know the AC is having problems and a failure to disclose that is not a good idea. It would be better to work with it up front.

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