Question about Heating & Cooling
I have to assume that you have the thermostat hooked up correctly and it will call for cooling when turned down.
From your description of the problem it sounds like the power circuit should be checked first. Locate the breaker in the electrical panel box and make sure it is not tripped. Next find the disconnect (it should be near the unit). It will be a small black (usually plastic) box. Open the cover and pull out the disconnect. It is possible you may have a disconnect with a handle you have to move to off to open the box.
Go back to the electrical panel and move the circuit breaker to the off position. Lock and tag the breaker for safety. Using a DMM on resistance check the fuses for continuity. If you have continuity. replace the fuses, remove your lock and energize the circuit.
Move to the evaporative unit, the unit outside, and remove the cover over the control circuitry (it should be obvious). There should be a relay inside which turns on the compressor and another to turn on the fan motor.
With the thermostat turned up enough to be demanding cooling use a DMM on AC volts and check the relay for 120 vac. If none is present look for more fuses on the circuit board and test them for continuity.
At this point if the relay has power, but the unit is not running, the relay is your problem and should be replaced. Remember to turn off the power and lock it out before doing any additional work in the control section.
If the relay is energized and engaged, and has power to the compressor, then you probably have a bad compressor and will need to access the unit and check the current draw on the motor.
After removing the cover to the compressor check for voltage at the compressor motor. If you have voltage do a current check. A tag on the unit will give you the locked rotor current draw. If you read that amount then you need a new compressor. This is a complicated repair and requires a license and special equipment. You will have to have someone else do this.
There is also an outside chance that the start capacitor for the compressor which should be located on the control board is bad due to the lightning strike. If your unit is 12 years old I would just replace it. They are not very expensive. It will be a large silver can with three wires on it in the area of the control board. If you want to test it read the voltage across it. If it is bad the voltage will be low, if good the voltage should read 120 vac.
Let me know if you need more help.
Thanks for using FixYa and for the generous rating.
Posted on Jul 31, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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