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Old 06-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


I was a victim of the major storm that blew over yesterday and unfortunately, my AC unit will not start back up.

There were several flickers on and off when the AC unit was running and i could hear the transformer buzzing so i turned it off as soon as I could.

Once the power was back on, the inside unit starts but the outside will not. I checked the relay as I have replaced it myself in the past. The relay was not fried and it was pulling in as its suppose to do when I pulled the wire on and off.

Im at a loss on what else could cause it to not start back up. Im not familar with anything else in the unit. I would like to try to fix this as its Saturday and power is off again and i cant go all day sunday sitting in this 100 degree heat. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Have you checked the breaker? The condenser should have it's own.

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Yeah all the breakers in the garage are on and i reset them all.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Do you have a meter, preferably digital? Any small gator jumper clips, small wire you can use to jump with?
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


No on the gator clips. I do have a small volt meter but its not digital.

Also there is no breaker for the condenser. Its one of those old pull out copper fuse plates.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Also, you can go out to the condenser, remove the service cover and with the use of a rubber handled screwdriver (or even a small twig) push in the contactor and see if the unit starts up.


You do not need the thermostat set to cool to do this, it can be off.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Also currently half the house is without power. Im only getting partial power to the bathroom, bedroom, fridge, and ceiling fan in the main room. Nothing else has power so Im down a leg i guess.

its been trying to come on but its barely lighting the filaments in the bulbs then goes off.

So i wont be able to try to any experiments yet but i appreciate the help for when it does fire up.. hopefully soon.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Briank213 View Post
No on the gator clips. I do have a small volt meter but its not digital.

Also there is no breaker for the condenser. Its one of those old pull out copper fuse plates.

Pull the disconnect out and check for voltage in that plate. Two lines of 120 volts should be present. Across those two poles should be 240-ish. Or you can do what I previously said. If the unit comes on then we know it has voltage to it. Don't be fooled if only the fan starts spinning and think that it has complete 240 volts. Listen for the compressor to come on as well as the fan.
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Last edited by Doc Holliday; 06-30-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


yeah im very familar with the contactor. I replaced it last storm when the power flickered and it acually fried it then.

contactor is working as its suppose to.. pulling in and releasing.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Briank213 View Post
Also currently half the house is without power. Im only getting partial power to the bathroom, bedroom, fridge, and ceiling fan in the main room. Nothing else has power so Im down a leg i guess.

its been trying to come on but its barely lighting the filaments in the bulbs then goes off.

So i wont be able to try to any experiments yet but i appreciate the help for when it does fire up.. hopefully soon.

With the stat in the off position remove the service panel to the condenser and have someone else turn the stat to cool and drop the temperature setting. Watch the contactor in the condenser, see if it pulls in. If it does then we know the unit is being told to come on, it's just that one missing leg not allowing it to do so.

You can also check for 240 at the contactor. test across both poles from the main high voltage wires where they connect at in the contactor and then on the top of the contactor while the stat is calling for cool.

With the stat not calling, there should only be 240 volts where the high voltages connect to the contactor which is usually on the bottom. With the stat calling for cool (and the contactor pulled in) then the there should be 240 volts on the top of the contactor as well.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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yeah im very familar with the contactor. I replaced it last storm when the power flickered and it acually fried it then.

contactor is working as its suppose to.. pulling in and releasing.
The you already now what the problem is, one leg is missing. You can check that by how I just stated above. Each leg to ground at the contactor should be 120-ish volts. Across both legs should show 240 which I doubt it will in your situation.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:59 PM   #12
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ok.. thanks Doc. When power is restored, i will check the legs for voltage.

Lets say there is or isnt voltage, what next?
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #13
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ok.. thanks Doc. When power is restored, i will check the legs for voltage.

Lets say there is or isnt voltage, what next?
I doubt any component went bad. With voltage the unit should come right back on but if there is voltage and it doesn't then we'll diagnose a bit further, possibly the capacitor got fried.

If there isn't any voltage then you're going to need to find the right breaker to your equipment and there is one, most likely a double pole 30 or higher amp breaker. The pull out you described is simply a service disconnect between the breaker and the unit. It allows the unit to be serviced without having to shut off the breaker. When you pull that disconnect out there is still voltage to that box stemming from the breaker, it just can't travel through the box without that pull out in place. Just like a contactor pulling in and out.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #14
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


ok well thanks for the help and time.

I will respond once power is restored and we can go from there.

Thanks Doc.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #15
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Power loss, A/C wont restart


Hi Brian,

Did you resolve this.? I am having the exact same problem...

Thank you.

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