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spivco
spivco, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  18 years experience. Hvac and electrical licenses.
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Hi there, I live in a high-rise building and the A/C in my

Customer Question

Hi there, I live in a high-rise building and the A/C in my unit doesn't seem to be working. Whenever I turn it on (through the thermostat) it makes a clicking sound but no air comes out. If I change the "fan" setting from "auto" to "on" then warm/room temperature air comes out, but not cold air. Is this a problem with a capacitor or a fuse or something else? (btw, there is no separate outside compressor for me to access, just the heating/cooling unit in the utility room)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  spivco replied 10 months ago.

spivco :

Hi. I'm Joe and I will be glad to help you out.

spivco :

Have you tried by-passing the thermostat?

Customer:

how do you bypass the thermostat? (I guess I'm not sure what you mean by that)

spivco :

Can you take the cover of the thermostat off and tell me what terminals have wires connected to them? The terminals should be marked with letters

Customer:

yeah, just a sec...

Customer:

red (to R), black (to Y), orange (to C), white (to W), and green (to G)

Customer:

Rc and R have a jumper on them

spivco :

ok. Cut the power off to the furnace, then remove the red,R wire, the black Y wire and the green G wire.

Customer:

ok, brb

spivco :

Twist those wires together, cut the power back on and see if it works.

Customer:

I twisted the wires together, and turned the power back on - how long do I need to wait before I hear the unit turn on?

spivco :

The fan should come on within a minute. Do you have a good connection with all three wires?

Customer:

I used needle nose pliers to twist them around - yes, there's good contact... Nothing is turning on though

spivco :

ok. Try just the red and green wires

Customer:

ok, brb

Customer:

just turned the power back on - waiting...

spivco :

Anything yet?

Customer:

nothing so far

spivco :

ok. You can turn the power back off and put the wires back on the thermostat.

Customer:

ok, brb

Customer:

ok, all wires are back in. I didn't reconnect the thermostat yet, and I left the power off for now

spivco :

ok. Do you see any wires coming out of the drain line near the bottom of the unit?

Customer:

lemme check

Customer:

yes, one goes into a Kele KVC8114, 6 sec, 6 va valve act. The other goes straight into the drywall.

spivco :

ok. Can you put the thermostat back together, turn the power back on and try the fan on "on" again?

Customer:

yup, brb

Customer:

do you want the fan on "on" and system on "off" or "cool"?

spivco :

off

Customer:

ok, system "off", fan "on" - how long should I wait?

spivco :

90 seconds

Customer:

ok

spivco :

actually, just in case someone put another delay on it, give it up to 5 minutes

Customer:

ok. I know that for "system" to be on "cool" I need to wait 5min...

Customer:

but now that I think about it, when I put system on "cool" it also blinks for 5min until it turns on (or now, until it makes the click sound). The fan used to just turn right on.

Customer:

It's been 5 min now and it hasn't turned on.

spivco :

ok. There may be a small 5amp blade type fuse inside of the unit that could be blown

Customer:

ok, should I turn the power off and unscrew the panel?

spivco :

yes

Customer:

it will take a few minutes. brb

spivco :

ok

Customer:

ok. I took both panels off.

Customer:

At first I was looking for something like a car fuse (that's what I've seen in older systems), but I didn't see anything like that there.

Customer:

I did see something that looks like a tiny switch that said "32Amp" on it, I tried to touch it to see if it's removable and it just switched to the other position and won't go back now.

Customer:

Is that some sort of internal breaker?

spivco :

That could be a mini breaker. Try the fan again now

Customer:

ok, let me turn the fan off, power on, then fan on

spivco :

ok

Customer:

I heard a click and the fan immediately turned on

spivco :

Great. Put the panels back on and try the cooling again

Customer:

Are we going to have to take the panels off again?

Customer:

(lots and lots of screws on this one)

spivco :

Hopefully not, but you may want to try it with just a couple of screws to hold them on

Customer:

ok, brb

Customer:

ok, fan on "auto", system on "cool" power is on, "cool on" is blinking (this is the 5-min wait now)

spivco :

ok

Customer:

I just heard "click click" and.... nothing. "Cool On" is blinking again

spivco :

ok. It sounds like you have a problem with the low voltage side of the compressor wire. Maybe the contactor coil and maybe the wire itself. That's what tripped the mini breaker. Unfortunately you would need to access the outside compressor to troubleshoot any further

Customer:

I suppose that would be on the roof of the building??

spivco :

Most likely

Customer:

So what do I do now?? I have to get an A/C tech out?

spivco :

Yes. Even if you had access to the unit, a low voltage short is hard to troubleshoot. I would recommend getting a tech

Customer:

Wow... too bad we wasted all this time...

spivco :

Yeah. Sorry about that, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Customer:

ok, thanks for your time.

spivco :

You're welcome

spivco, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience: 18 years experience. Hvac and electrical licenses.
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