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It's Todd Again 08-08-2012 10:31 PM

Rheem RAMB 036JBZ won't run.
Hi, folks,

I've been searching high and low for more specific information on this problem but still keep coming up with the same information.

The problem: I have no air conditioning! I turn the thermostat to cool and go check the outdoor unit (condenser?). I hear the buzzing everyone talks about and see the contact relay has been pulled down and is making contact. I have cleaned off the contacts as they looked a little dirty. I turned my meter to VAC and checked the low voltage wires coming from the indoor unit. It reads 40. I know it should read 24. Maybe I'm not using the meter right, it didn't come with any instructions. I'm better with an architect's scale.

This unit does not have a high pressure reset button. I'm thinking about installing a high pressure sledge hammer, though.

The capacitor isn't bulging or leaking.

I tried to get the fan to turn while the contact is made but nothing happens there, either.

I checked the connections at the compressor and nothing is burnt or loose.

I checked the automobile type fuse on the Lennox circuit board on the indoor unit and it's good.

I tried to check the low voltage there as well and get 40, same as outside.

So, I just learned there is a fan relay. There's no information about where it is or how to test it. If I knew where it was I could at least throw the meter at it.

At this point, I don't know whether to sh!t or go blind.

The troubleshooting I've learned is to eliminate variables but none of this is making sense to me. What I've gleaned from different sites is to replace the contactor, capacitor and the relay (fan relay? contactor relay? Hell, I don't know.).

I'm one of those folks who is under-employed, that is, Lost my job and had to take something that pays a lot less. I can't afford to throw parts at this problem.

Please help. The dogs are panting 24/7 and their breath is dreadful.



Doc Holliday 08-09-2012 03:19 AM

Check for high voltage at the contactor, should have 120 volts to ground from each individual leg and 240 across each leg, from one to the other. Again, at the contactor.

A capacitor can look brand new and be bad. You'd need a meter capable of testing uf/mfd (microfarad) or simply buy another cap of the exact same size (uf and voltage although you can increase voltage but never decrease) and install it.

A pressure switch would cut off the low voltage signal so the contactor would not pull in (as well as buzz) so that's not it. If you have low voltage at the condenser then your fuse on the furnace control board will always be good. No fuse, no low control voltage.

Have you checked to see if the breaker to the condenser is on? Check that, reset it even if it is in the ON position, check for 120 volts to ground at the condenser from each leg (at contactor) as well as verify 240 volts across both legs (if no 240 volts present from one leg to the other than you have a high voltage electrical problem such as a bad breaker or broken wire) and if all of that is present than it'd be a safe bet the capacitor indeed is bad.

ben's plumbing 08-09-2012 07:02 PM

I would replace the capacitior have 240 at terminals on contactor going to compressor......thats the cheapest...caps run about 25-30 dollars...:yes:

It's Todd Again 08-09-2012 10:18 PM

Rheem RAMB 036JBZ won't run.

If I knew where your mothers lived I 'd go kiss them!:thumbup:

It looked like everything was pointing to the cap. However, Doc, I followed your instruction to check voltages at the contact. Red wire: 120. Black wire: 0. The breakers were all working. I've never known a blown breaker to allow it to switch back on without tripping again. Ben verified it would be the cap IF I didn't have 120v at both wires.

There was power going to the breaker and power at its' terminals but still nothing at the black wire at the contact. Doc, you nailed it on the high voltage electrical problem!

I disconnected the black wire from the breaker and found a bit of melted wire and insulation. Something got in there! I hope it was an earwig. Those things are creepy. I cleaned off the wire, reconnected to the terminal and (turned the power back on) checked the voltage. 120 at both legs! I got so excited I actually heard my butt pucker! I ran in the house giggling like an idiot and switched the thermostat to Cool. The call was made and I got an answer!!

Thank you both so much for your time! If you ever need help with Photoshop, I'm your guy! Your next logo design is on me!

Forever grateful, :thumbsup:


Doc Holliday 08-09-2012 10:42 PM


Originally Posted by It's Todd Again (Post 985320)

If I knew where your mothers lived I 'd go kiss them!:thumbup:

Doc, you nailed it on the high voltage electrical problem!

I disconnected the black wire from the breaker and found a bit of melted wire and insulation.... I got so excited I actually heard my butt pucker!

Forever grateful, :thumbsup:


:thumbup: One of the best replies in a long while! :laughing:

You're welcome, bud.

ben's plumbing 08-10-2012 06:24 AM

its people like you that make what we do enjoyable....glad to help...ben:thumbup:

It's Todd Again 08-10-2012 10:17 AM

Thanks again, guys. I need to pay this forward. I need to search graphics forums or something else where I feel somewhat competent, and do unto others. About the butt pucker thing, it was in a GOOD way!

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