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Condenser Problems

What is a condenser?

In a HVAC unit the condenser is where the heat extracted from the interior is released into the open air. The cooled refrigerant then returns to the evaporator where the air that flows over it is chilled, causing the interior temperature to drop. Condenser problems will affect heating and cooling. Read below where Experts have answered questions regarding condenser repair and problems.

What can be done if a newly installed condenser fan runs but there is no cold air and has stopped working properly?

Turn on the unit, set to it COLD and turn the thermostat down. Go to the outside unit where you will see 2 copper pipes entering the unit. Wait a few minutes and touch them to see if one is cold and one hot. You may need to push the insulation back a bit to do this. If you feel the heat and cold, it indicates that the compressor is working. And if the fan is working, the likely remaining causes of your problem are either a restricted evaporator or incorrect refrigerant charge. Contact the people who installed the new condenser and ask them to check the refrigerant charge and clean the evaporator. That should get the cooling started.

I had he condenser fan on my Trane TTP060E100A0 air conditioner replaced a few months ago, it has now stopped working. . I called a technician who got it started and said the motor is drawing high amps. The fan has stopped again. What does that mean and what should I do?

The motor drawing high amps indicates that it is working too hard. It seems that the fan motor has gone bad. It is unusual with a motor a few months old. Maybe it was not wired correctly when it was installed. Or it could be due to a lack of servicing of the unit. If the air filters are blocked or the evaporator or condenser coils dirty, this can have a domino effect on the working of the unit and cause the condenser fan motor to go bad. You should get the motor changed and have the filters and coils cleaned at the same time. This should fix your problem.

There is an intermittent “clanking” noise that comes from the condenser unit of my air conditioner after it runs for a while. What is the problem?

If you are sure that the noise is from the condenser, we can rule out a compressor problem. The first thing to check is if the fan is hitting something. Listen carefully to see if the sound could be coming from the cover which means the fan is touching it. Press on the sheet metal to see if you can feel the impact. If this is not the cause, open the cover and see if one of the fan blades is loose. If they are okay, it could be a bad contactor which can make a clicking noise which may be what you hear. If it is not this then it could be the capacitor which, if it is bad, will not allow the condenser fan to start properly which can result in in all kinds of noises. If none of these appears to be the cause, it would be best to have a technician check the unit.

The condenser of my 5 year old Goodman CLJ36-1A air conditioner is not working. The fuse is okay and there is a hum from the motor. If I spin the fan manually, it starts, how can this be fixed? .

This issue here seems to be a bad start capacitor which has all the symptoms you have described. Turn off the power and follow the wires from the motor to the capacitor. Note which wire is connected to which terminal of the capacitor. Disconnect the wires and replace the capacitor ensuring that the connections are correct. Ensure that the new capacitor is of the same specifications are the one you are replacing. If you can’t do the replacement immediately and need to use the air conditioner, set the thermostat low so that the unit keeps running. The problem will normally appear only when it stops and has to restart.

How do I wire my Goodman heat pump condenser to “cool only, if there are only two wires?”

If the heat pump has only two wires, you will need to combine the O, G and Y terminals into one. Then connect one of the two wires to the R terminal on the thermostat and the other to the Y terminal. When the unit is powered on, the compressor will start and power will go to G (the indoor fan) and O (the reverse valve for cooling).

The proper functioning of the condenser is essential to the effective operation of an HVAC unit. Follow the instructions of your owner’s manual for condenser troubleshooting. If this does not resolve the condenser problem, it would be best to get Expert help. Condenser repair is a very specialized job.
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