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Re: ac unit barely runs
Sounds like the lightning got your unit too. You could run an extension cord from another plug temporarily just to make sure the plug isn't the problem but I think its time for another unit. Good luck. May want to contact you home owners ins company if there are more appliances blown.
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Trying to get your warranty to work by using statements found on fixya isn't a good idea. However, if there were no other power failures elsewhere in the house, and there were no meteorological events in the area, it was unlikely a power surge nor lightning. However, a short in the unit ITSELF could easily cause this damage, and would also explain the unit's intermittent operation.
On of the common problem with centralized A/C unit is a bad condenser fan. I have known people who called an ac technician to fix their ac because of a bad condenser fan and suggested replacing the whole unit! Costing them a lot of money when all it needed was a 50 dollars condenser fan! If the condenser fan do not run or it runs only when you give it a push, it'sbad. You will also notice that it is vey hot. When replacing a condenser fan you may want to replace the starting capacitor too. Replacing a condenser fan is not very hard, just make sure that the power to the ac unit is turned off at the breaker box. Confirm that the wires are not live by using a meter or an ac tester. The fan motor are held with brakets sometimes just screws. Most fan you can buy that has reversible rotation by just reversing the plug. Make sure it is blowing upwards. If not reverse the rotation. So if you notice that the unit is not putting out cold enough air and you went outside and noticed the compressor running but not the fan, turn off the AC right away and do not use it untill the fan is replaced. Running the unit with a defective fan can damage the compressor caused by overheating.
This could be caused by an electrical short in the AV unit or the receptacle it's plugged into, may be at fault. Due to damaged wire, a loose wire or the circuit for that receptacle is overloaded. I would start with the receptacle first. But, before taking it a part, turn the circuit breaker for that line OFF. If you don't find anything suspicious there, then the problem is in the AC Unit.It may be as simple as a loose or damaged wire.
Sadly, for now, the only thing you can do, is turn the unit OFF & Unplug it. The fault may be in the AC unit or it could be in the receptacle it's plugged into. If it's an older unit, that was made by Fedders for Maytag, I'd strongly suggest buying a new one. As Fedders has been out of business for several years.\\
Marie, the problem may be with the receptacle that it's plugged into. Unplug the AC unit and plug a lamp into the receptacle to see if it works. If it doesn't, the circuit breaker for that outlet may be tripped in your home's circuit breaker panel. Or the receptacle may have a loose wiring connection or internal damage, which wouldn't necessarily trip the circuit breaker, until something like an AC unit is plugged in.
Hope this helps you troubleshoot and solve the problem.