Question about Whirlpool ACQ158XP Wall/Window Air Conditioner

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Window a/c unit only hums. fan will not run. i can hear the compressor trying to turn on. what is the problem ?

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Hi, this sounds to me like you have lost the run capacitor for the dual blower/condenser fan motor and compressor. You need to shut power off before it causes more damage to this unit. This capacitor is charged up by voltage as far up as 370 volts to 440 volts to help start and keep the motors running. If it is open internally, or shorted they will not run. It is a run capacitor and not a start capacitor even though it does start the motors but the start winding will drop out and the run winding will keep them up to speed. If you are able to check for this, if you are mechanically inclined to do so, you may be able to replace just this capacitor for around $12 that's if the compressor hasn't locked up its rotor or you are not loosing the motor. The run capacitor will be the place to start your search for our solution for this problem. Getting to it is difficult as this is a window unit. You will need to excess the electrical section of the unit if you want to take this on? If so, kill power and it would be best to go in from the front side. You will need to remove grill, all knobs and the electrical section will be behind the control knobs such as fan speed, cool, and so on. It will be on the left side on this unit. You will need to remove a few screws to get into the wiring area, but once you are in just be careful not to pull any wiring from there connection points as it will be a tight area to work. This capacitor is more then likely a dual run cap, could be plastic in cased or metal. Some are round and 3 to 4" tall kinda looks like a small drink can that has wire terminals coming from the top, 3 in a row. Look for that even though it may have a different shape, they are easy to spot as it should be secured by a clamp to prevent it from moving. When you do locate it, look it over for any signs of oil leaking from it, swollen up or burned around the wire terminals. It will have markings on it to say the size it will be such as 5 uf x 35 uf x 370 volts, or higher depending on what the unit calls for, so look for this. Once you locate it and if you see any of these signs, it will need to be checked. If it looks normal, it will need to be checked for normal values to see if its working or not. If you own a digital electrical meter you can check the microfareds to see if they are with in limits. The uf number i was reffering to such as 5uf, 7.5, 10uf and so on. If not, make yourself a diagram of the wiring and wire colors of this run capacitor as it will say on top of it makings like this, C for common, herm for hermetic compressor, and fan for the fan. Draw and mark this out and you can take it to your appliance parts house and have it checked out for you to see if it is good or not. This is where you need to start as both motor and compressor start and run from this part and will not if it is bad or weak. Its not a big job to take it out, just tight places at times. If you do not feel like you are up for this, you will either need to call out a tech or remove the unit from window or wall and take it in to a appliance repair and parts house, or a/c repair shop and have them check for you. I would give it a shot if you can. Please let me know the out come of this as I would like to know. If the capacitor is good then you either have a problem internally with the compressor or the blower/condenser motor is going out. This capacitor must be checked first in any way.I will be out repairing a/c for the day as I am a C-20 a/c contractor and will check back when I get back in. I know we will have other techs here at Fixya to give you advice also when they see this post. But I will return to help in any way I can. I wish you the best on this and please keep me posted.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7
A/c, Heating & Refrigeration Contractor

Posted on Aug 25, 2010

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