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My Central AC condensing unit will not start up but the air handler is running. I can engage the switching relay and the compressor and condensor fan kick in and run. I think it is either the switching relay or the capacitor. If I'm correct, how do I determine which is the cause of my problem?

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  • billandlarri Jul 05, 2008

    Well, it didn't turn out to be the relay (contractor) but replacing it led me to the real problem. After replacing the relay and still having the identical problem I remembered reading about the 24V supply to the relay that causes the relay to switch. We discovered a trapped cat under our house a few weeks back before we turned on our AC for the summer and thought noting of it. I discovered the cat had tried to escape through the opening where the cold freon line enters under the house. As it clawed through the insulation it broke my 24V line to the relay. Once I reestablished the connection my problem was solved. Thanks!

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It is the relay. THe capacitor doesn't control both the compressor and the fan. (Some use the same capacitor but it is seperated internally and usually one or the other will still start) This part should cost around $20 Buy whatever they have as long as it is rated at least as much as the one you replaced. Bigger is fine. You may have to cut off the terminals and use the screws.

Posted on Jul 04, 2008

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