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Old 05-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Seems like I'm being taken advantage of


Just curious if its possible to identify a bad compressor, outdoor motor, and capacitor all at the same time. We have a rental property that the outside heat pump was replaced on 11 years ago. The compressor was repaired for a leak in 2005 then in 2007 the cap was replaced as it wasn't turning on the compressor. Now our property manager is telling us all of the items in the opening sentence are bad, but it seems odd to me that someone could diagnose a bad compressor if the cap is bad. I guess if they hooked up a cap for testing I could see it, especially since a cap is a simple install, but it seems odd that all of the outdoor components would be labeled as bad on a unit that is 11 years old. I just imagine that a heat pump should last a little more than 11 years before so many problems would be coming up.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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very easy to test a compressor without a cap, as a matter of fact that's pretty much the solid way of doing it, unwiring all electrical to the compressor to test it. bad compressor is tested with continuity (ohms) to see if the windings are open or continuity from any one terminal to ground. if any terminals (winding) shows continuity to ground than the compressor is known as "grounded" and is bad. if that happens your breaker should trip and not hold when reset before repair.

motor windings are either open or closed. or the motor is grounded or locked, won't spin.

capacitor is tested in microfarads, it is either within the percentage rate given or it's bad.

it sounds like the contractor or whomever is trying to take you for a ride. in 12 years I've never once seen all that go bad at one time, and I do upwards of 8-10 service calls a day. it's most likely a bad capacitor. many caps are foreign (made in China) and can go bad very quickly, and any power surge can take it out too. and if it's a dual run capacitor then one cap can start and run both the fan and the compressor. if it goes bad than it goes without saying neither motor will work.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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I've seen all three go bad twice. Best guess is the capacitor went dead first and took out the other two.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I'm no HVAC guy but I understand electricity as I work on avionics equipment. I think the thing that caught me off guard the most was that there were no problems with the HVAC indicated and BAM- 2 major and 1 minor problem, all of which would result in the AC not working and its getting hot where the house is. The recommendation is to replace the HVAC unit completely but they can "fix" it for a fee far above what I would have expected. Obviously more money than a replacement cap would cost. I've asked the property manager to provide at least 2 other estimates from other companies as this seemed a bit off. Who knows, maybe it is more involved than a bad cap, but all 3 things at once seemed like a bit much.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
I've seen all three go bad twice. Best guess is the capacitor went dead first and took out the other two.
Well that would surely suck. Thanks for the info though. Hopefully I get better news from the 2 other estimates.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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I've seen all three go bad twice. Best guess is the capacitor went dead first and took out the other two.
last week I went to a home that had two systems, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. on one system the dual run cap on the compressor side went out. on the other system the dual run cap blew up so nothing worked AND the condenser fan was locked up. that's the closest I've ever come to all at one time.
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