I had the thermostat set at 74 degrees and woke up to a temp. of 79 degrees in the house. I went outside to look at the A/C unit and the fan was not spinning and there was a buzzing coming from the unit. Bad motor or condenser?
Hello, my name is XXX XXX I will assist you today
Was this a slight buzz sound or more like the compressor was running?
It was more of a slight buzzing sound. It did not sound like anything was running, but more stuck
Have you checked your breakers?
I have not, checked those yet. Should I trip the breaker for the A/C unit
The buzz is the contactor energized, so the t-stat is calling for cooling.
Yes, lets be sure it's not the breaker.
Ok, I will do that right now
Sometimes they do not look tripped when they actually are. This will be a double breaker. Turn hard to the off position, then back on. This will be in your main breaker panel for the home.
The unit still has a buzzing sound after I tripped the breaker
Would you happen to have a volt meter?
Sorry, I do not
Please take the cover off the unit to get to control panel. We will want to locate the contactor. That is what is buzzing
ok, this will take a few minutes to do
it will look something like this
ok, the cover is off
in the middle of the contactor, these should be pulled in, can you see that they are? they are spring loaded.
Please assume that we have 230 volts to the unit. So be careful where you touch.
i do not see a part that looks like the pic above
What is your unit brand?
it says goodman manufacturing on the label I see
okay, do you have a model number, I can pull manual?
great, I will pull that manual, it will take a few minutes.
I just tripped the breaker a couple more times and turned it on again. The fan is spinning this time.
no compre4ssor though?
The fan is spinning and the unit seems to be running. Not sure what you mean by compressor?
is it blowing warm air out the top of the unit?
also, the insulated line outside should be getting cool-cold
air is blowing out the top of the unit, it's not all that warm though
the insulated line is cool, but not all that cold
okay, it sounds like the compressor is running, are you getting cool air to the home now?
the air running into the house isn't all that cold yet, but it's blowing up through the vents
This could have been a one time tripped breaker, maybe lights flickered or something, or it could be other problem not showing right now.
Keep an eye on it, the outdoor motor could run for a while then over heat and shut off.
I am a little concerned with the air blowing into the house not being as cold as it normally is
this would be possibly low on refrigerant
It will take a few minutes however for the system to reach peak performance.
Do you have a thermometer?
this is inside control compartment. 181 is the contactor
I do not see the thermostat in the unit
to the left is the capacitor, please observe is this capacitor swollen and it's overall condition.
no, I was referring to a personal thermometer to check air temperature blowing out the vents
I also noticed the coils around the unit are covered in dust and dirt from being next to the woods. Should this be cleaned out too
Ah, I will check with a thermometer
yes, you can wash these coils out. please turn the breakers off first and do not get water on fan motor.
a water hose will work fine for this
The capacitor is on the outside of the unit correct?
this can be done after we are finished, that is not why the unit tripped during the night.
capacitor is inside the control panel inside the unit
No nothing looked swollen on the inside of the unit
these are capacitors
okay, lets check the temp coming out the vent
no it does not look swollen
They can be bad without swelling, but swelling is good indicator.
The temp. from the personal thermometer doesn't get below 77 degrees
okay, it sounds like the compressor may not be running. Please see if that insulated line is sweating and cold, the smaller line should be warm that is not insulated.
77 sounds like same temp as the room temp
ok, i just went out to the a/c unit and the fan is not longer spinning and the unit sounds like it is off. Air is still blowing through the vents in the house even though the temp. is 80 and I have the a/c set at 74
the insulated line is not cool and feels the same as the smaller line
the breaker may have tripped again
lets try to reset again
Now I get nothing. The unit doesn't start up and no air blows through the vents
the breaker tripping outside should not have effeced the air out the vents, that would be a seperate breaker.
great! Not sure what happened now
what type heat do you have?
do you still hear a buzz outside?
yes, the buzzing is back and the fan does not blow
fan outside or inside?
fan outside on the ac unit does not move again
okay, but fan inside is blowing?
it was blowing a few minutes ago, but when I turned off the ac to trip the breaker again, the fan inside stopped blowing as well.
okay, you may be turning off the indoor breaker. Do you have electric heat?
no I do not have electric heat, I have natural gas heat. In the fuse box I am tripping the double fuse for the AC
ok, the fan for inside the house is blowing again, but the ac unit is still not running
Lets turn the breaker off to the outdoor unit. You will need to remove the top grille on the unit to feel the motor and see if it is hot. I expect it to be very hot. Also please feel the compressor to see if it is hot, very hot. I think the motor and compressor may be off on over loads.
If you have a disconnect mounted on the wall by the outdoor unit. Turn it off or pull the plug inside it for safety.
Ok, so I just went out to the ac unit and the buzzing was still there and the fan not moving. I nudged the fan with a stick and it started to spin at full speed.
that tells me you probably have a bad capacitor. It could be the motor, but usually is the capacitor.
ok, that is something I cannot fix on my own..correct?
The only way to tell for sure would be with a meter that can check capacitors.
They are very simple to replace. Finding one today may be a problem
volt meter that can also check capacitors. Some volt meters do not check capacitors.
Really, they are simple to replace? Yeah, I doubt today is the day to find anything ac repair related
You may find a dealer that will sell you a capacitor.
you will need a : 5/35/370 volt
what would be the cost to have someone do it for me?
this can vary depending on the dealer and his pricing and can vary a lot.
ballpark high and low please
the capacitor itself should run about $40.00
They will charge a service call then the price of capacitor installed. $200.00
Most companies use a flat rate price guide.
ok, kind of what I was expecting.
You can do it yourself for about $40.00
if it is just a capacitor, I might give it a try myself
But, when they come out, they should also check your refrigerant for you.
Where do you live?
You also mentioned bad motor earlier, did you mean bad fan motor?
I live in Minneapolis
yes, bad outdoor motor, but when you said it started with a little help, that makes me think capacitor.
It could be the motor, but usually the capacitor.
Do you have a Grainger near you?
what sort of cost would a motor be
Yes, there are a couple near by
A motor at Grainger would run about $100.00, dealer cost to install would be about $450-$550
I would go to Grainger and get the new capacitor
man I hope it's the capacitor!
ok, I will stop at Grainger tomorrow to get one.
It is fairly inexpensive, to try first
Be sure power is off to unit, then short out the capacitor terminals to each other, then replace wire for wire
The capacitor will be labeled: Herm COM Fan
I will be available for follow up if needed.
Thanks so much for your help Ron. How would I follow up with you?
You can also mark what color wire goes to each terminal and take the old capacitor with you
Just come back to this question. I will also mark you for follow up tomorrow.
Thanks..One last thing, the fan is still blowing on the unit outside, however, there is no air blowing out the top of the unit
Most service techs will have this on their truck if you want to try to find one who will sell you the part. dealer cost is about $18.00 just to keep them honest.
That is fine, the fan will blow inside untill you turn the thermostat off.
If a dealer will sell you one for $40.00. that is not bad
Do you have further questions for now?
I don't think so, I will just keep an eye on the ac unit until I can either purchase a capacitor or have someone come out to fix it. You have been very helpful
Thank you very much. A good rating is appreciated.
Have a great 4th
I have been in the HVAC business for over 35 years.
Ron - Thank you again for all your help yesterday. It was in fact the capacitor. It has been replaced and everything is working properly again!
Great, I'm happy to see you are cooling again. You were great to work with, without your eyes and hands, we couldn't have located the problem. I am also happy that you let me know.
Note: No need to reply unless follow up is needed.