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tatums4 10-08-2011 05:10 PM

Outside condenser fan motor stops
Hello all!

Here's a dilema that my a/c parts company cannot figure out:

I replaced the 1/3 hp fan motor on our 17 year old Trane unit on the outside 3 weeks ago because it stopped running. I heard the condenser running yet not the fan. Hence, when I called the parts company, who also operates their own hvac service company, they said to bring the motor to them.

Brought said motor and fan blade along with the capacitor. They checked and said I needed a new motor. Hence, I bought the new motor and capacitor, and they re-installed the blade on the new motor.

Went home, installed the motor, unit ran quite fine, for 3 days! Then it stopped running yet the condenser was still running. Called the company and they said to bring the motor and capacitor back and they will swap it out. Did so; went back home and installed 2nd motor and capacitor and the unit ran quite fine for 3 more weeks. Then it stopped running as well.

Here's the kicker: When I heard the condenser running and not the fan, I went outside just to look at the unit and decided to shake the unit. Guess what? The fan motor starting turning!

I called the hvac place again this past Thursday when it happened; told them this; they said I must have a loose connection. I told them that doesn't sound right because the 1st motor I bought ran 3 days and the replacement motor ran 3 weeks. I turned the unit off since the weather is bearable and then turned it back on today (2 days later).

Same thing happened today after just a couple of hours (fan stopped yet condenser still running). Hence, I went outside, shook the unit, and the fan started turning again.

Sorry for the long dissertation yet I have a hard time believing it is a loose connection. Therefore, I'll leave it up to you experts to troubleshoot this dilema!

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Master of Cold 10-08-2011 06:46 PM

Is this a heat pump?

tatums4 10-08-2011 07:20 PM

Yes, it is a Trane heat/ac pump. Typical 2000sf Jacksonville, FL single level home. Outside condenser and fan unit with air handler in the garage. Condenser runs off of it's own capacitor with the fan motor running off it's own capacitor.

Just before replying to your post, Master of Cold, I heard the condenser running again without the fan motor running. Again, I went outside and gave the unit one good shove/shake and the fan started turning again.

The hvac parts/service company said that they have never experienced this type of problem.

Thanks for your help!

JJboy 10-08-2011 07:36 PM

Fan Motor/Capacitor wires are connected to contactor or controller board?

Model of the HP?????

Master of Cold 10-09-2011 07:41 AM

Sounds like the fan relay on the defrost board is sticking open.

Master of Cold 10-09-2011 10:11 AM

Take the black wire out of the defrost boad and put it on top of the contactor (the black wire from the fan).
See if the problem persists.

beenthere 10-09-2011 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by Master of Cold (Post 745005)
Sounds like the fan relay on the defrost board is sticking open.

Or its going into defrost.

Master of Cold 10-09-2011 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by beenthere

Or its going into defrost.

He is still in cooling..

beenthere 10-09-2011 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by Master of Cold (Post 745142)
He is still in cooling..

Defrost boards go into defrost if the defrost stat is closed, weather in cooling or heating mode.

tatums4 10-10-2011 09:38 AM

Thanks again for everyone's feedback!

To answer a couple of questions:

1. The black wire from the fan is plugged into a little square box
2. The 2 brown wires from the fan are connected to the small capacitor
3. The white wire from the fan is connected to the contactor
4. Still in cooling mode here in Jacksonville, FL (unfortunately!)

Problem persisted all day yesterday (Sunday). I would hear the condenser running without the fan, go outside and bump the unit, and the fan would start turning. Yet later in the day, I would have to stand there a few minutes because I would bump the unit, fan would run for a minute or two, then stop; hence I would bump the unit again with the same result; finally after about 3 times bumping the unit the fan would stay on until the air temp inside was reached and the whole unit would shut off.

Last night I slept in the bedroom where the unit is located right outside the window. It ran fine until 5am wherein I just shut off the air when I heard the condenser running without the fan. Yet this morning when I turned the unit back on, wherein the fan normally starts up along with the condenser, the fan did not. Hence, after waiting a few minutes to see if the fan would start running, I went outside and bumped the unit (I feel like Fonzi at this point!:thumbup:).

Master of Cold, that is a good suggestion for taking the black wire out of the defrost board (which is the little black box I assume?) yet the 1st time after installing the 1st new motor that this happened, the hvac company I bought it from told me to do the same thing. So I did move the black wire to the contactor yet after a couple of days, the fan stopped while the condenser ran, of which the hvac company had me bring in the new motor and swap it out with the 2nd motor that, as we all know, is still doing the same thing.

I have 3 more days to swap out this motor under the 30 day exchange policy. Should I swap out or should I replace the defrost board?

All your help is very much appreciated!!!

tatums4 10-10-2011 04:14 PM

OK guys, instead of waiting on some feedback from my last post this afternoon, I went ahead and moved the black motor wire from the little square box, which I assume is the defrost panel, to the contactor.

The condenser and fan both started up at the same time upon re-start at 4:50pm. Fast forward 15 minutes to 5:05pm and the fan motor stopped.

Hence, did the Fonzi bumb again and the fan started moving.

You guys gotta figure this out for me as it is still quite warm here in Jacksonville!:(


Master of Cold 10-10-2011 06:33 PM

Do you have an XE or an XL model?

Im in orlando..yes its still hot. These no heat questions on here are a little unnerving.

tatums4 10-10-2011 08:25 PM

Hi Master of Cold.

You're definitely a little warmer in Orlando than we are in Jax!

The outside unit is a Trane XE 1000.

I appreciate the help!

This problem is getting crazy!:furious:

rookie2012 10-10-2011 08:36 PM

Did u try replacing the relay box?

tatums4 10-10-2011 08:44 PM

I have not tried replacing the relay box. You think that would solve the problem of the fan stopping and then starting back only after I bump/shake the unit?


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