Hello all. I am attempting to repair a Bryant Condenser Model 561CJ048 with the following symptoms. When the thermostat energizes the condenser, I hear the compressor starting but not the fan. I know they are supposed to start at the same time. My first thought was the dual run capacitor but my OHM meter test showed 5mfd on the fan and 50mfd on the HERM. Exactly what is printed on the capacitor. In addition, the fan turns freely when manually pushed so I don't think I have a dead spot on the motor. I guess the motor could be bad which I am not sure how to test. I do have a continuity meter, just not sure which wires to attach to each lead. The other issue I see is the contactor. I have 120vac on both incoming legs on bottom side of contactor. What I find unusual is there are 120vac coming out both legs on top of the contactor WITHOUT the contactor being energized. I thought power only flowed through contactor when the thermostat called for cooling and engages the contactor. When I manually engage the contactor, the compressor starts but not the fan. I think I have a bad contactor but I don't know why the condensor is not trying to continually run since I have constant current on both legs on the top of the contactor. New one to me. Dave
Type of HVAC: Air Conditioner
Tested dual run capacitor. Checked for proper incoming voltage.
Hello there! I'm Norman but you can call me Norm. Let's see what I can do to get you some answers today. I'm ready to get started whenever you are.
Hope you are doing well today!
Just to start jumping right in it. When you have a single pole contactor one leg of the incoming power is always connected to the unit even without the contactor being engaged. If you measure from ground to each terminal you will see 120v no mater what position the contactor is in.
What you need to do to accurately measure the voltage is to measure both terminals at the same time. So you would put one probe on one leg of the incoming line voltage then the other probe on the other leg.
So on your contactor you would measure from Contactor terminal 11 to 23 and then 21 to 23 on the load side of the contactor. You will then see that 240v is not present when the contactor is not pulled in.
As for the capacitor. You say you ohmed out the capacitor to test it. Did you use the ohm setting on the meter? If so the only true way to test it with a capacitance tester. It's a special tool that measures the capacitor and used to tell if the uf is within range.
Hi Norm. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. It's hot as you know what here so I would like to get this fixed. Normally I can figure this stuff out but not this one.
Ooops. more coming
When the unit is trying to run for a bit did you notice if the fan motor was hot?
First. I do have a capacitance tester and that is what I used. Did not feel the motor. This is where my inexperience comes in. I can do that test in the morning. It is for a friend and I'm too tired to go out any more tonight. Just trying to determine additional tests for the morning. So it is normal to have 120vac from each side of contactor to ground? Now it's beginning to look more and more like the motor. Don't know what else could possibly be wrong if capacitor and contactor are doing there jobs. The compressor immediately energizes but the fan just sits there and gives me that stupid look. The unit is 10yrs old. Is there a way to test the motor?
If you have a 240v service and one side is always connected you will read 120v on the system at all times to ground. When the contactor pulls in the other leg is engaged and 240v will be present but you have to measure from one line to the other, not to ground.
With you already testing the capacitance and the contactor clearly working the fan motor is the only possible problem on this model.
You have voltage and a good capacitor. Unless a wire is broken or the terminals for the fan are corroded there is only one thing left.
Did you notice any shaft play?
Did you need help locating the replacement motor?
I cleaned all the terminals on the capacitor if that is what you are referring to. I am still a little confused on the electrical test. I know there is Line 1 and Line 2 on the incoming voltage both measuring 110vac. On the top side of the contactor there are 2 lines as well. Both top lines measured 120vac to ground. You said this was normal. Could you go over the testing again and tell me where to place my leads to properly measure the voltage?
Sure can, one second.
I will check for shaft play in the morning. Normally when I find a bad motor the silly thing is seized up and there is no question the motor is bad. Plus it smells.
By the way I really appreciate you staying with me.
I think we are pretty close to getting this thing done.
No problem, sorry dealing with kids bed time here. LOL
Hey. Take your time. Family first. I will be up late. I just became a grandpa for the first time so you do what you need to do and then get back to me. I'm old and have nothing but time.
LOL, congrats on being a grandpa!
Thanks. It's really quite an experience. It's great having kids but you are in for the ride of your life. I don't know how old your children are but believe me it just gets harder, especially the girls.
Ok, on a 240v service you have 240v incoming from the house to the Load side of the contactor. When you measure from ground to each leg you will get 120v because there is a 120v difference from ground to the leg.
yep. I get that
When the contactor energizes what circuit is being completed. I think that is the thing I can't get through my mind.
To put it simple... When you put one probe on each leg, at the same time, you are measuring voltage that is basically on two paths. Let's say a Positive and a Negative to make it more understandable (however positive and negative are not what it is). So if you have +120v on one leg and -120v on the other, your meter will read 240v between the two.
On a single pole contactor one (usually neutral) leg is connected at all times and if you measure from ground to each leg you will get 120v because the single leg flows through the entire electrical circuit on the unit side.
When the contactor pulls in the hot leg then comes across and you will measure 120v from ground to each leg but 240 between the two.
To add to that...
yep. I get that. So it is ok to place my leads on Line 1 and Line 2 on the incoming voltage which should then read 240vac and then put my probes on the 2 leads on top of the contactor and that should read 240vac when energized or not energized?
If you measure from ground to one leg on the unit side and get 120v then to the other and get 120v, you can then measure between the two and get 0 because you are measuring the same leg on both wires.
240vac when energized on top
I get it now.
0 when not
Just remember a AC meter is measuring DIFFERENCE in voltage to a certain point.
OHHHHHHH. So it will read 0 between the top 2 when not energized but 120vac individually from each side to ground.
So ground to a leg is 120. If you measure two points of the same wire it will be 0
you got it now
Its like sticking both probes in one side of an electrical socket
You will get 0 volts
No kidding. Never did that.
But go from ground to the same side twice and you'll get 120 every time.
It's pretty neat stuff when you get deep into it.
US electricity is at 60 Hertz which refers to the frequency of that reversal of flow. 60 Hz is equal to 60 cycles per second.
Great. I get it. I'm pretty sure we're not dealing with a bad contactor here. I should be able to pull the motor and apply my jumpers to the leads. If it turns great. If not, I have a bad motor. I thought I saw 3 wires to the motor. If I pull motor tomorrow, do you know which leads should go to power and which one to neutral. I think colors were yellow, brown, and maybe blue.
So it changes direction 60 times.
Can I do that without a capacitor in line
No you would have to have the capacitor
That's why if the capacitor is good and power is supplied the fan motor has to be replaced on this model.
You honestly don't need to perform an further test. You have nailed it already.
Of course I would never hold you to this because you are not here but you think from what I have given you the motor is the issue.
If you were going to run test the motor I'll tell you how it would go.
I always love to learn new things so if it doesn't take too much of your time I would be happy to get that information. I put all the stuff I learn in a manual.
and then I can refer to it the next time I run into the same type of problem
I don't want you to be away from the family.
It needs 240 volts across the two leads. You will have a black wire which is connected directly to the motor and a common which is currently connected to the capacitor. However this capacitor would have to stay in place because it a run capacitor to split the phase between the run and start windings. So you would apply voltage to the Black wire and the Common terminal of the capacitor with the brown and yellow wires still connected where they currently are.
The funny thing is you are already doing that if you measure 240v on the load side of the contactor, from terminal to terminal. So the test at this point would be redundant.
Hey. I actually understand what you are saying. You're exactly right. I'll just get a new motor from my supplier in the morning and that's that.
Sounds like a plan my friend!
Not only redundant but pointless.
Is there anything else I can help you with tonight?
Will get out early in morning to beat the heat. Will let you know how it all works out and settle the account. You are now my A/C expert. I use Just Answer quite frequently and honestly you are one of the best experts in terms of explaining what to do in language I understand.
LOL, I'm very glad I could help you! I enjoy working for the site because I learn in some cases and can share the knowledge with my customers. If you ever need help in the future please bookmark my personal link and visit me again. I'd be glad to help. http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-its-norm/
Let me give you one more thing I'm sure you will need tomorrow. One minute!
That's what I was just going to ask you.
How do I make sure I always get back to you
Do I just click on the link you sent me.
You click on the link and when you arrive on my page go to the top of your browser and click Bookmarks or the star emblem, depending on what browser you have. Then save the page to your favorites.
Here is the bonus....
oh yeah. I know how to do that
When you get your new motor tomorrow you may say to yourself. My old motor has 3 wires and my new motor has 5, what do I do....CLICK HERE to watch a movie that shows and explains this step by step.
That way you don't have to visit me again so soon, LOL
You can bookmark the video as well.
Yikes. I'm glad you sent me that link. Will watch it tonight so I look SMART tomorrow. Now go play with the family. If the kids are in bed go play with your wife.
I believe if you go to that guys YouTube video page HERE his #1 and #2 diagnostic videos talk about your exact problem.
When you get my age playtime is not as frequent as one would like
LOL, Kids are in bed, wife is working. You know what that leaves. Ha ha
A strong forearm????
You crack me up!
Thanks for the laugh tonight, I needed it!
I'm guessing the name's Dave?
If ya don't have a sense of humor life can really drag ya down.
You got that right!
Oh yeah if you happen to need any data for the unit it can be found HERE
Every piece of literature ever made for it is found there.
Yep. That' me. Good old Dave. Pretty sure you will be hearing from me again. I have about 100 customers I do regular work for, handyman type, and I've just picked up the A/C stuff over the years. Gone to a few classes and spent some time in the field with a friend who is a service tech. Don't know it all but over the years I've picked up a lot of it.
Have done quite a few installs but service still throws me at times. That's why I love this website.
Sounds like a good plan Dave. I'll be here glad to help when I can. If I can't answer the question you have my word I won't beat around the bush or play games. We will either get you someone who can answer it or I'll go learn it and pass the knowledge on. I'm just that type of person, if I'm asked something that I don't know I make sure I know the answer next time.
Well Dave it's been a pleasure!
I appreciate that. Will be back to you tomorrow. regards, Dave
Best wishes on the fan. I'll be looking forward to the positive news tomorrow.
Hey Norm. Did the job today. Fan was the problem but I changed the contactor and capacitor as well. Why not? Parts not that much. One thing though. Forgot about polarity on the fan motor. The customer bought the motor off the internet and saved a bunch of money but no instructions. Couldn't figure out why air was blowing down out through the coils and not up through the top of the unit, Then I noticed an arrow on the motor showing which way the fan blades should have been turning. I figured the only 2 wires that could possibly change the direction were one of the two hooked to the capacitor and the contactor. Switched the 2 wires and you guessed it. The motor reversed direction. Hope you had a great day. Dave
Great to hear Dave, thanks so much for keeping me in the loop.
I hope that you feel your experience was a good one and thank you in advance for the positive rating. I hope you request me again in the near future.
I see that you are trying to reply, the site has been having issues tonight.
Just wanted to thank you one more time for your help. I just got my super heat and subcooling chart. In a couple of days I will open a new case with you because I would like you to help me through the use of this chart. I know it is one of the only ways to accurately charge the new 410A systems.
That's right and that sounds good. I'll talk to you soon.
I think I understand most of it but I am not sure on a couple of things. Looking forward to working with you again. Have a great evening, what's left of it.
You as well, thank you.
NC/VA Master HVAC & Gas, Air Balance, LG Master Commissioner