About once a day (anywhere from 3-5pm), the fan on the outside unit (Ruud UAMB-042JAZ) will not turn, but warm air is blowing from the vents. Pushing the reset button on the outside unit immediately starts the fan turning and the cool air to blow. Suspect overheating as it is over 100F daily. Any ideas would be helpful.
I have the same unit and was having the same problem. My brother works on A/C's and told me that the coils most likely needed cleaning from the inside out because when they are clogged with a lot of debris the system will overheat and cause that switch to trip and so far it has worked. What you need to do is turn the main breaker off to the outside unit first then take the four screws out of the top of the unit, use a flat head screwdriver and lift the fan it's self up out of the carefully taking caution of the wires going to the fan, then take the garden hose with a spray nozzle and wash the coils from the inside spraying through the coil to the outside and then wash the louvers off of all the debris and this should help.
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The outside fan is giving up the ghost.. needs to be replaced. sorry for the bad news .You could try to replace the capisitor and check the contactor to the fan .. But my money from what you tell me is on the fan motor
If the fan motor is not starting it may be the capacitor located behind the electrical panel on the outside unit. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to change. You can disconnect the power to the outdoor unit and remove the capacitor. Take it to your local HVAC wholsaler or contractor and have them check it. If its bad it should run you 20 to 30 dollars to replace. If it is not the capacitor then it may be the fan motor. If the blade turns easy it means the bearings are fine. One of the windings may be open thus making it able to turn but not run when power is supplied. I think this is a heat pump and there may be a control board on the outdoor unit which may control the operation of the fan. I have not found a wiring schematic for the unit yet. Once I find one I will let you know. The problem listed above is very comon and inexpensive for you to fix. If it is something other than the capacitor, I would call you local NATE certified technician and get her looked at.
Those are the low voltage wires from the thermostat and transformer. Yes he can just match up the colors and splice with wire nuts or something else to hold the tight. If the transformer got shorted out during any of this it may need to be replaced. Hook them up and if the unit runs, then no problem with the transformer.
Does the air handler take a minute or two to start, this would be normal so that it doesn't blow cool air into the house before the unit is warmed up. If not could be the fan relay is weak and needs replacing. As far as the outside unit it sounds like you need to check the refrigerant. In cooling they are 70/150 psi. This should be checked in cooling mode, once you turn it to heating mode the pressures switch bring heat inside the house instead of out. I hope this helps.