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BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 22394
Experience:  Endorsed for unlimited heating, cooling, oil burners, boilers, refrigeration, hydronics
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I am replacing a 3 wire ge condenser fan motor with a A O

Customer Question

I am replacing a 3 wire ge condenser fan motor with a A O Smith replacement motor. The A O Smith motor came with a new capacitor. The ge had a brown wire that went to the old capacitor. A black wire that went to the terminal box. And a yellow wire that went to a larger capacitor (I think) for the compressor. There was also a jumper black wire that went from the old capacitor to the larger capacitor for the compressor.

The new motor has 5 wires. Green wire-ground that I screwed to the grounding plate/screw. A white wire, a black wire, and two brown wires. One of the brown wires has a white stripe. The two brown wires go to the new capacitor on either terminal. I think the old black jumper wire goes to the same terminal on the new capacitor that the solid brown wire is on. I am not sure. I didn't connect the black jumper wire to the new capacitor.

I think the new motor black wire goes where the old motor black wire went. The new motor white wire goes where the old motor yellow wire goes. But not sure on this either.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.



Are you familiar with the contactor?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Not really. I assume it is the black box with the different wires going to it. It is open and flat on the housing wall.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.


The contactor has the high voltage wires coming in on one end and then when closed sends it out the other side.


On the new motor we want black to one side and white beside it on other side...then 2 browns to new capacitor...and no other wires to the fan capacitor...


2 wires to the contactor and 2 wires to capacitor.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. This old Carrier unit was built in 1983. Looks like there is a large (dual?) capacitor mounted to the wall with black wires on the left, yellow wires on the middle terminal and a large white wire on the right. The old motor wires and the compressor wires are plugged into this. However, the old motor had a brown wire to another smaller two terminal capacitor. Then the black jumper wire went from the small capacitor to the black terminal on the larger (dual?) capacitor. I got the new capacitor with the two brown wires from the new motor. I am not going to use the black jumper wire on the new capacitor. The old motor black wire went to what I think you are calling the contactor. Still not sure what this is. Do I put the new motor white wire where the old motor yellow wire was on the larger capacitor that the compressor is connected to?
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.



The old motor black does (did) go to the contactor. You will ee this part has 2 feeds in and 2 feeds out.


So black to where it was, white on the pole beside it. Then the 2 browns to the NEW capacitor with no jumper. Leave all the rest of the wires where they were as far as compressor and other capacitors.

BillyHvac and 2 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Great. found the contactor. Sound easy from here on out. Ok. It's getting late and I am out of daylight. Plus the white and black wires on the new motor do not have the clips on them for the poles. Too late to run to Lowes. They are already closed. So, can we finish this transaction tomorrow when I have the unit up and running? I may need to ask you more questions.


This repair started with a sheared fan blade. The old original motor is still kicking. But, I couldn't get the orignial fan hub off of the shaft. It was rusted on. So, thus the new motor. New capacitor and 5 bladed fan for more efficiency. Thought this would be a 2 hour job at most. But, not sure on all the wires. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.
respond when ready
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good morning,


The contactor has a bunch of poles on it. The black wire from the old motor is plugged into the "L" side of the contactor which I assume is the left side. There are other black and blue wires on the "R" side of the contactor. Ok, almost there.Do I plug the white motor wire intot the R or L side. I would think the wire would go opposite the black which is in the L side. Thus, the white goes into the R side. But not sure. There are literally, 13 different posts there on the contactor. R or L for the white wire?

Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

You are correct..opposite of black.


white r and black l



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok fan works. rotation is in the correct directions. However, the fan turns on once I turn the breaker on (after putting the outside breaker in the power box outside and going to the garage to turn on the breaker switch in the breaker box). When I turn on the fan from the thermostat controls in the house, the compressor turns on, but the fan turns off. Same for the reverse. Compressor goes off and the fan turns on. ?????? Can I swith the wires or is there something else going on?
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

sounds like the white and black are on the wrong end of the contactor.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The black wire is in the same place it was when the old motor was in. I just switched the black and white wires. Had the same result. The fan is still going on but off when the compressor kicks on. Back on when the compressor is turned off.


I am going to try and send you a photo of the contactor. The motor black wire will be on the bottom (L). The motor white wire will be on the top (R). The white is wire nutted to a yellow wire I stole off of the old motor. It had a clip on it. Shouldn't make a difference. But I thought I would tell you if you notice the white wire is actually yellow. I headed outside to take a photo now. Back in a few. . .

Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

The picture would be great....



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

Ok I see the issue. This is a one pole contactor instead 2 pole contactor. This makes one line always hot.



Do you see where the main 2 power wires come into the ac unit? and only one goes to the contactor?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.


That is where the white goes.


This is an older style using a one pole switch instead of 2....this means one hot comes in direct without going to the contactor (switch).


Leave black where it is and attach white to the other main coming in.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the other main wire is attached to a yellow wire headed to the old dual capacitor that is connected with condensor. So, bundle my motor white wire with the yellow and black wires with a wire nut? MAkes since that the condensor wire (yellow) and my motor wire (white) would get power at the same time.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

Correct. Wire nut white to the bundle.


Now you have 2 hots coming in....the black goes to the contactor and the other feeds the compressor, capacitor and motor direct from bundle.

let me know if this does it.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Eureka! Works like it should. Cold air is coming out the vents.


Thanks for all your help. All my paper instructions referred to a two post system. Thus the confusion. Thanks for hanging with me on this one. Definately worth the money.




Like the lab puppy in the profile pic.


Check mine out at


Expert:  BillyHvac replied 5 years ago.

I am very glad you had the patience to see this out. I was not picturing a 0ne pole contactor. Sorry for dragging it out.


Well done!