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Compressor not working

Unit outside not running, tech replaced the start capacitator. when he turned on the power, a large bang occured.  He then said the compressor was gone.   Did he do something to cause this??  It is a Trane, 10 years old.

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Sounds to me like the compressor may be grounded, but i would check to see if there are any burn marks where he did his work. The compressor has an internal overload protection that opens and closes but may have failed. It is hard to tell what happened from here and who is to blame. A compressor can fail then end up blowing up afterwards though

Posted on Jul 18, 2009


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It sounds like the unit may be over charged. Make sure the outside coils are clean and you have plenty of airflow coming out of the top of the outside unit. What could be happening is, when the temps get higher outside, so do the pressures in the system. The compressor has a thermal overload protection that will kick the compressor off if it gets to hot, which if the compressor is over charged, it will work twice as hard, over heat and shut off. You would need a technician to come out and get the refrigerant charge back to normal. Another thing that could be happening is a weak or faulty capacitor, which is a small round or oval metal object, found in the electrical compartment on the unit. This are fairly simple to change out if your comfortable with electric. I've also had to put what's called a hard start kit on compressors with the same problem, new and old. The hard start basically gives it that extra boost of power to get it up and going. I would start with the refrigerant charge and go from there. The electrical "humming" sound that you hear unless you turn the breaker to the furnace off, is the contactor on the outside unit having a call for cooling. The 24 volts come from the furnace, to the outside unit, and pulls the contactor in to power the unit with the 220 volts supplied. It is normal and you don't have to worry about that at all. I hope some of this helps and good luck!

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Sounds like your condenser (outside fan) is inoperative.

It is essential that you make sure this motor is operating as it should. I would look on the motor for a place to 'oil the bearings,' (if you are lucky yours will have oil ports where you can oil them) but most new motors (these days) do not have these (oil ports) - however - if you are fairly adept at mechanical stuff - you can read my 'tip' on - "how to oil a motor when there is no place to oil it," and possibly get it to running properly again.

If you are unable to do so (by oiling the bearings) - you only recourse is to replace it. Again, if you are so inclined - replacing a condenser motor is not that difficult. The most important thing is to get the exact motor to replace it with. I would try to find someone - a friend or relative that is knowledgeable in Air Conditioners - to look at your unit and who wouldn't mind picking up what you need at a Air Conditioning Supply house for a wholesale price.

If you can't do that - then you will have to take your motor off - be sure all power is off before you remove it - and be sure you mark all the wires 'exactly' so that you can wire up the new motor. Note: the most difficult part of removing the motor will likely be getting the fan blade off the shaft of the motor - so if it's really rusty/dirty looking/or even if it isn't - I would first remove the set screw holding the hub on the shaft - and really 'spray the hub of the blade/shaft of the motor' with WD-40 - really good - trying to get the WD 40 on as much on the shaft as possible - fill up the hole where the screw was - soak it well and let it sit for awhile - preferably several hours. After letting it sit - use a hammer to "tap" it (lightly/medium hard) to loosen the shaft on the hub - and take a wrench (crescent wrench) and turn the shaft - it shouldn't be a problem to get off.

After removing the motor- Note: I would also replace the capaciter (the little gray/silver component that is attached (by wires) to the motor) and marking the wires - you will need to take both motor and capaciter to an Air Conditioning Supply house (that sells to the public) and buy 'exact' replacements. Note: it's possible though not likely that the capaciter could be causing the motor not to run (after oiling the bearings) - but unless the capaciter is bulged - I would figure it's good and not causing the problem - although I would still put a new one on - with a new motor. If you suspect the capaciter is bad for whatever reason or just want to try it - you can always replace it with a new one and see what happens.

Note: you will probably be charged 'retail' instead of 'wholesale' - for the motor and capaciter - but the price difference shouldn't be that much - I would estimate no more than $125 for the motor and capaciter. Be sure when you put the new motor/capaciter back on the unit - that all power is off - and that you put motor and capaciter back on exactly the way the old ones were. Be sure you note the "position" of the blade on the shaft of the old motor and position the blade on the new motor in the approximate same place.

If you prefer to have a Service Tech do this - you're looking at a Repair bill of around $375 and up - and bear in mind - whether you do it yourself or have someone do it for you - "there may be another problem" going on with your unit, i.e. low on charge or something, so as so often happens in life - your 'best and cheapest' way out may be to call a Service Tech from the git-go.

hope this is helpful

good luck!

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