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It sounds like the compressor is not running. This could be due to a faulty thermostat, a bad start capacitor for the compressor, a bad compressor overload or simply a bad compressor. You would need a voltage meter to check all of these components.
The compressor is controlled by a contactor (relay) the relay is stuck (contacts burned or if a solid state relay the "smoke has leaked out" :) it may require a control board change if it is a modern unit
You need to get a reading on the current draw of the compressor. Use a clamp on ampmeter to do this. Compare your reading with the data plate on the compressor. Your compressor may be getting ready to go out. You can also check the capacitor. If may be getting weak and need replacing. Another idea may be to install a hard start capacitor if the compressor is OK.
The compressor is not always starting...sometimes it tries but does not start...
It could be a capacitor and relay problem... or the compressor could be going bad...
Change the capacitor and start relay first and then see if that gets it going... Here is a tip about trouble shooting your air conditioner...
It sounds like your air conditioner is doing what it is supposed to do. The compressor kicking in and out is an energy saving method of using the ac. When the thermostat (ball attached to evaporator coil) registers the set temperature the compressor kicks off.
No major service...not for the AC any way.(Read on) It is normal that lights will dim if on the same circuit with an air conditioner. When the ac is set to cool the compressor will turn on and off as it should. The compressor takes more amperage to start, that is the reason it needs a fairly large capacitor to help it out. Once it's started your lights return back to normal brightness right? Where you might have major service though is if and when you call a certified electrician to run wire for a new outlet for your ac which should always be on a circuit of it's own, but for a better reason than lights dimming...the safety of you and your family.
it should freeze that room with 9000btu do you hear the compressor turning on or is it blowing jus air? also helps if you switch the air intake to recirculate the room air rather than intaking the air from outside
It is probably either the high pressure switch or the frost control. The high temp switch usually trips because the condenser coil is dirty which does not allow it to exhaust heat very well. The frost control will trip if the system gets below 39 degrees on the pipes. This is usually do to low refrigerant or dirty filters. Good Luck!
1. If this is the first time you've started them for the season, one of the compressors might be seized up from sitting over the winter. In which case, new compressor required.
2. If you've just had the compressor serviced including recharging the system, it's possible that the system is simply overcharged. This will stop the compressor from working and giving you the same symptoms as above. If this is the case, you should have the service people come back with some guages and recover some of the refrigerant and the compressor should be fine.
3. If the unit has been sitting and there is a slow leak then there is not enough pressure in the system to allow it to run. The compressor will shut down if there is not enough pressure, but since you say there is a smell, i really doubt this is the case.
Most likely it's #1 or #2 above. If you haven't had it serviced recently, then yeah, it sounds like you're in need of a new compressor.