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There are only two possible things that it could be. The compressor or the fan motor. The compressor is self contained and cannot be serviced. You just replace the whole thing. The fan motor can be replaced.
If compressor stops in middle, check the following. 1.Thermostat setting must be minimum +3 degree than your room temp 2. Check it's in heat "mode" 3. Check indoor and outdoor coils are clean. 4. Check fan motor is working alright. 5. Outside sensor and room air sensor is placed correctly. 6. Gas pressure is o.k 7.Check compressor is overheated, even all the above is o.k.
Is the compressor running? Take a look at the contactor in the outside unit and see how it looks and if it is pulled in energizing the fan and compressor. If the compressor is running then check for voltage at the fan. If you have power at the fan and it isn't running then turn the power off and check the capacitor. It may have just 1 for both the fan and compressor. If the capacitor is ok then the fan motor could be bad. You will need a multimeter with a capacitor check function to test the capacitor. Hope this helps. Let me know what you find.
I was leaning towards a bad contactor. Either sticking sometimes or not making good contact. I would inspect the contactor for pits or burn marks near the contacts. DO SO WITH POWER OFF of course...but, what's the reset button you are referring to?? I'm assuming this is a heat pump, please send model number!!
ok if unit is split system two piece check to see if out door unit is running fan and compressor the air coming out of the fan should be about 20 deg warmer than out door temp if not compressor not running check the capicitor to see if swelled up on top if so bad if unit has electric heat strip a heat relay may be stuck and you are running aug heat to check this pull disconect on out door unit and see if heat is out of vents if heat pump reversing valve may be bad hope this helps
The outside fan should be running except when the Heatpump goes in to defrost mode. Then the fan stops with the compressor running and it switches the reversing valve to heat up the outdoor coil. That should last about 5 min and you may see steam come off of the outdoor coil. That's normal. Is the compressor running? It's possible that it's stuck in defrost or the fan simply died. I hope this helps.
YOUR OUTDOOR FAN MOTOR SHOULD NEVER SHUT OFF IN THE AC MODE. IT IS SUPPOSED TO SHUT OFF IN THE HEAT MODE WHEN ITS IN DEFROST. IF THE UNIT IS RUNNING IN COOL AND THE OUTSIDE MOTOR QUITS ,THE COMPRESSOR WILL QUIT SOON AFTER. EITHER THE RUN CAPACITOR FOR THE FAN IS BAD OR THE FAN MOTOR ITSELF IS BAD, IF CAP IS GOOD THEN THE MOTOR IS At FAULT. THE OUTDOOR PRESSURE SWITCH CAN ALSO OPEN IF THE INDOOR FAN MOTOR FAILS IN HEAT OR THE FILTER IS PLUM NASTY in heat OR THE INDOOR COIL IS PLUGGED UP in heat.. THE PRESSURE SWITCH USUALLY TRIPS AT 400 TO 425 SO ITS WORKING CORRECTLY. YOU MAY BE CONFUSING THE ISSUE SAYING THAT THE AIR IS HOT AND COLD INSIDE. IT IS COLD WHEN AC IS RUNNING HOT WHEN HEAT PUMP IS RUNNING IN HEAT BUT ESSENTIALLY not cold or hot if compressor isn't running, but a lot of folks describe the lack of cold air as hot when the compressor isnt running. but it basically is warm or house air temp.you test the capacitor with a capacitor tester or take it to motor shop and let them test it. odds are its a 5 , 7.5 or a 10. it should test within 10 % of rated value . ask for a RESCUE brand replacement motor. they are great ,reversable etc.carefully oil and sand the motor shaft and note exactly where the blade was located in relation to the grill so you get it back just the same. usually they wire up black to a leg of 220 power. white to the other leg of 220 power. brown and brown with white stripe to the capacitor.you can also pull whole fan shroud assembly on some units and take whole thing to motor shop and let them test motor cap, replace and all you do is return to unit and connect two power leads,
Check your wiring between the contactor and compressor for a short to ground, or check the compressor windings for short to ground.
With the Tstat off, the contactor should be open so the only way for the compressor to be trying to do anything is if the 110 volts from the unbroken side are traveling through the compressor to ground. Since 110v is not enough to run it, the overload is kicking it out, cooling off, and repeating the cycle. When you kick on the Tstat, the contactor is supplying voltage directly to ground without going through the resistence of the compressor windings and kicking the breaker.
Post back and let me know what you find.