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airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8038
Experience:  Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
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An A/C tech came out to get my heater to kick on last winter.

Customer Question

An A/C tech came out to get my heater to kick on last winter. Changed some wires around in my thermostat and NOW, this summer, my AC doesn't kick on. It worked fine last summer. Every time the compressor kicks on, it throws the breaker.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.
Hello. My name is ***** ***** I'll do my best to help. Let's get started and see what we can do.OK if ac is kicking on when you call for COOL, the problem is not the thermostat or thermostat wiring.
Troubleshooting often requires meters and test equipment.Do you have a multi meter for testing voltage? If not you can get an inexpensive one at Walmart for about 15 bucks, if you have or would like to obtain a meter to troubleshoot , I will be happy to guide you.Without a meter , there are a limited number of things we can check if you are able to do a visual inspection and can do some hands on troubleshooting.Please let me know and we can go from here
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well does it sound like a bad compressor? I do not have a meter, and to be honest, I'm about as angry as I can be with the company that sent the tech out. They've been giving me the run around and just want to sell me a whole new system for $5-6k....or they can replace the compressor and refill with coolant for $1500. I told them that is BS, it worked fine until their tech started switching around wires trying to get me heat to kick on. HOWEVER, I did fail to mention this. I have a heat pump thermostat, but no heat pump. I do have 5 wires coming into the back of the thermo but no idea what is wired to what or what it should be wired to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All three people that have been "pros" have said that it is the wrong type of thermostat. If I buy a new one, can I rip this p.o.s. off the wall and just start over, and hope it works? How do I see what wire goes to what since they are not labeled?
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.
I am so sorry you are having these issues and understand your frustration. The reason I say thermostat is not going to be the issue is that if unit comes on, thermostat is doing its job which is to tell it to come on.
Now as for the breaker tripping. this is usually caused from one of the folowing: Compressor locked up, bad capacitor, loose wiring, burned wire or weak breaker.
Lets check what we ca visually since you do not have a meter.
1. Look at capacitor and see if it looks puffy or swollen. See link:
2. Turn power off and check for a loose connection at contactor or breaker.
3. Remove cover on compressor and see if a wire is burned off compressor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I will look and let you know. Can a compressor just go bad over the winter months without being used?? AC worked perfectly fine last year.
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.
Absolutely. But as far as the thermostat goes, if it will give you piece of mind I will be happy to assist with choosing another thermostat and getting ot wired properly, but again that will nor solve this problem with breaker tripping.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, so I got home last night and realized that it is NOT calling for AC. I had a red wire to R, Black wire to O, Blue wire to Y2, White wire to E/W1, and green to G. I have those 5 wires only and not a single one was in the C terminal.
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.
OK can yo do the following for me?
1.Provide model on thermostat
2.Provide model on furnace
3.Provide model on outdoor unit
4.Tell me where each of the wires you mentioned connect in furnace
5.Tell me what wires are leaving furnace going to outdoor unit
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
See thats just it.....I opened up the furnace last night to try and trace the wires. It looks like colored spaghetti everywhere. The furnace has been modified with an electronic pilot light and so the entire lower part of the furnace is crawling with wires. Its a flipping joke. The first tech to come out spent 3 mins poking around and literally gave up. He looked at me and said, "I can't figure this out, I'm going to turn this over to somebody else." The next guy came out, didn't even pull off tstat and took one look inside furnace and then outside at the unit and came in and said I had wrong type of tstat and my compressor was shot. Said I could pay to replace or they could sell me a new one......such crap. I hate laziness.I guess I'll just call someone else out to see if they can look. I'm a pretty good DIY'er but after 2 hours last night messing around I realized I was just shooting in the dark hoping for a miracle.I want to add a new tstat anyway, a wifi programmable job....maybe I'll just have someone do it all at once.
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.
Again I understand your frustration and it does sound like you may have more than one issue.One being the thermostat and wiring and the other being that compressor tripping the breaker.I of course depend on you to be my hands and eyes as I can not see what is there.
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