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ProGrade
ProGrade, Certified Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 514
Experience:  28+ years exp. - installation, troubleshooting, & repair of commercial, & residential electrical systems.
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I was away for 5 days and when I returned the AC was not

Customer Question

I was away for 5 days and when I returned the AC was not working. I checked the main fuse panel and found that the ac breaker had switched to off. I switched it to on , the ac ran for 30 sec and then the breaker switched off again . I changed the capacitor, contactor and hard starter and 60 amp circuit breaker. I checked the compressor with a continuity meter and found continuity on all terminals. I just switched the power back on and all I got was a spark at the panel and the breaker switched off again.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Hi Customer, welcome to justanswer.com

Checki g for continuity is good but with the symptoms you describe, you should check each terminal on the compressor and on the condensor fan to ground. If you find a problem on the compressor, obviously you will need an HVAC Tech on site. If you find a problem with the condensor fan, you can probably replace it wire for wire if you can find a motor that is an exact match.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I checked the compressor using a continuity meter and touching each of the terminals of of the compressor
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Each time i looked for continuity between any two of the terminals i got a beep . How would I check the condensor fan
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

I understand that and it is a very good start but there is much more to testing the compressor then checking between the terminals.

1) you should disconnect the wire from each terminal and check each terminal to a good ground.

2) hopefully the wiring diagram is present and legible. If so, identify the common terminal the start terminal and the Run terminal.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here is how I wired everything back
Compressor
Purple wire to Herm on capacitor
Red wire to contactor
black wire to contactorFan
Orange wire to "C" on capacitor
Brown wire to Fan on capacitor
Black wire to Black on contactorHard Start
Black to Herm on capacitor
Black to "c" on capacitorContactorRed side orange to "c" on capacitor
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

After identifying the compressor terminals check the resistance between each of the terminals and let me know what the reading is.

To check the fan get a reading from each power terminal on the fan to ground and let me know what that reading is.

For both of these tests you would use the ohmmeter sat on the R X 1 scale

Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

If when testing the fan leads or the compressor terminals to ground you get a very low reading that device is defective and will need to be replaced

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello . I have a Radio shack digital multimeter . I set the meter of ohms On the compressor terminals I do not see any marks I had the following reading
Black 00.7, purple 01.9 and red 01.6 . I did not get any reading on each of the fan terminals
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
hello??
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

The readings on the compressor look good.

If the unit has a safety disconnect turn it off then turn your breaker on and see if it holds and let me know

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
i turned off the safety disconnect and turned back on the breaker and the air handler is blowing
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Is this a package unit or a split system?

Reconnect the compressor wires and see if it trips or runs, thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
maybe i mis wired something05 August 2016 05:06
Here is how I wired everything back
Compressor
Purple wire to Herm on capacitor
Red wire to contactor
black wire to contactorFan
Orange wire to "C" on capacitor
Brown wire to Fan on capacitor
Black wire to Black on contactorHard Start
Black to Herm on capacitor
Black to "c" on capacitorContactorRed side orange to "c" on capacitor
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Perhaps you did mis-wire something. None of those colors mean anything without the wiring diagram from the unit are you able to find that and if so could you upload a picture

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
picture of my wiring
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Thank you, I need the wiring diagram

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I did not see your earlier note. This is a split unit, the air handler is inside and the compressor is outside . do you want me to turn the quick disconnect breaker on??
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Yes, try it if you think you have the wiring right. That seems to be the only problem. Get the wiring right & it should run.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
when I turned on the quick disconnect breaker the main ac breaker switched off again
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Something is wired wrong or shorted to ground. Sounds like it's a problem with the wiring but I cannot see enough in the picture. Can you send a picture of the area behind rhe contactor so I can see what those wires do.

Thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
here are the wiring diagrams , i
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
another
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Got 'em, let me look at them & I will reply, thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the wires behind the contactor go to the quick disconnect breaker, the image showing the yellow and brown wire and the new capacitor are coming from the quick disconnect
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Use Drawing 3 - Single-Phase wiring diagram.

Can you take a clear picture of the compressor terminals then enlarge it and look for markings on the terminals. If you can see the terminal identification check your connections against the wiring diagram. Black to C or Common Terminal, Purple to S or Start Terminal, & Red to R or Run Terminal.

And...does the hard start kit only have two wires? Can you send a picture of the wiring diagram o the hard start kit?

So far, I do not see anything mis-wired.

Thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I redid all the wiring according to the 1 phase diag. The only connection to clarify is the Start Capacitor. If I read it right is go to the com on capacitor and herm on capacitor
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Thanks, look at the compressor, there is a Terminal marked "C", this is the common terminal, it gets the black wire. There is another Terminal marked "R", this is the run terminal, it gets the Red wire. The remaining terminal is the Start terminal and it gets the Purple wire.

Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

After getting the compressor wiring correct, try running without the hard start kit...the capacitor in it could be shorted causing the problem.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That is a new hard start kit , that i purchased today. I am still confused as to what would have caused the breaker to switch off while we were away??? I just turned the quick disconnect switch on and it threw the ac breaker
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
From the compressor I have the blk going to the left terminal on the contactor , the Purple going to the herm on the capacitor , and the red going to the right terminal on the contactor
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

That is what we are tryi g to find, so far, have eliminated the compressor per the readings from the ohmmeter. Not let's eliminate the hard start kit. Next, disconnect the wires from the compressor again, isolate them fromeach other & from ground, then see if breaker will hold & let me know. This will verify the ohmmeter readings.

Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

If the breaker holds, reconnect the compressor wires, then remove the wires from the capacitor, remember where they go, isolate them from each other & from ground then try breaker.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
when i disconnected the hard start the breaker and turned on the quick disconnect the main breaker turned off, I concected it back and then disconnected the compressor , I heard a rumbling in the compresor for about 30 sec and then it went off but the breaker did not switch off
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

I would leave the new start capacitor off/disconnected for now.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I made a mistake with the last test. I had disconnected one wire for the compressor and two from the fan. I reconnected the fan wires and disconnected the three wires for the compressor. When I turned on the quick disconnect breaker, with the hard start and fan connected the fan went on and the main breaker did not switch off.
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Sounds like you have a bad compressor after all.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When everythiing was disconnected from the capacitor , the red wire was still connected from the compressor to the contactor , I turned on the quick disconnect and the main ac breaker blew . Is it possible to just change the compressor??
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Yes, should be able to just replace compressor

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
do you have a ball park figure
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
my system , per the info pale that I sent you used r22, is it possible to replace it with a r410 compressor??
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Some systems can be converted, others are too expensive to convert. Your HVAC Tech can tell if yours is a candidate for conversion. It may be less expensive to make the change to a new unit which would also operate more efficiently and have a new warranty.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
thanks
Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome.

Expert:  ProGrade replied 9 months ago.

Please remember to rate my service, thank you

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