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Old 06-10-2019, 12:12 PM
zuren zuren is offline
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Default New A/C compressor on an older HVAC system?



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We tried to run the central air conditioning for the first time this season and ran into an issue. I hear the compressor kick on but the fan is not spinning. I immediately shut it off and we have a service appt. tomorrow (Tues.).

I am hoping to have a conversation to help me understand what I should expect. The system is older (mid-1990s) but I'm hoping this is fixable and we're not looking at replacing everything; we are still recovering financially from the water heater and well failing last year. I hope it is just a bad fan motor.

The furnace unit in the basement is a Trane XE90 and the condenser outside is a Trane XE1000.

Thanks for any insight/advise.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:39 PM
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Well you are paying the service call so see what they say. Have you checked the fuses? Download a schemetic/manual online.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:43 PM
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Check the start capacitor on the fan.

I think over 90% of failure to start is from the cheap chinese capacitors.
They cost about 10 bucks on Amazon.

Or you can call a service tech and he will charge you $300 to $600.

I know, because I have paid those amounts in the past, until I discovered it is almost always the cheap capacitors.



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Old 06-10-2019, 12:54 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Possible as simple as a bad capacitor, your xe1000 should have a capacitor that serves the compressor and a smaller 5/370 capacitor that serves the outdoor motor. Worse case it uses a duel capacitor that serves both the compressor and fan that would be something like a 40+5/440 $12 at a supply house.

It also could be a shorted out or stuck motor bearings on the fan motor itself A new universal motor is around $60

Something to try is have someone at the thermostat ready to turn it to cool, you get a stick and try spinning the motor while the person inside turns the system on. If you can make the fan work by spinning it then it is just a bad capacitor.

Your repair guy is going to try to sell you a new system and if you can afford it then get it replaced, The indoor furnace can be reused, it's a 90% furnace so it is comparable in efficiency to what they would try to sell you.
They would have to install a new coil on the old furnace then a new outdoor a/c to match the coil. If they can get to them, have the installers replace the freon lines as well so that they are the right size.

If you can't afford a new system then have them replace the bad motor or capacitor either is a simple job. You could even have the repair guy diagnose the problem then you go find the parts and fix it yourself. Become his shadow while he is at the unit working on it.
After he finds the problem tell him your going to explore other options such as repair v/s replace and get back to him. Find a supply house that will sell you the parts and your good to go.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:57 PM
ncbill ncbill is offline
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Capacitor (replaced with U.S. made capacitor) and outside unit main fan are the only replacement parts my Trane heat pump has needed in the past decade.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:24 PM
gungatim gungatim is offline
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my money's on the cap as well. OE only expected to last 10-15 years. I got 16 out of mine.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:38 PM
BrianWorf BrianWorf is offline
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+1 on likely bad capacitor. I keep them in stock that fit mine and my relatives, as they always seem to go out on holiday weekends when parts places are closed.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:55 PM
MichaelK MichaelK is offline
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When my AC failed, I was out there trying to diagnose the problem. When switching the breaker back on, the compressor's start capacitor caught on fire.

My repair strategy was to replace parts that caught on fire.

It worked. I just matched up the capacitor's specs printed on the side and got a capacitor two-pack off ebay for 10.47$

After getting the compressor started, I got to walk in the house and say "honey, I fixed it"!
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
Check the start capacitor on the fan.

I think over 90% of failure to start is from the cheap chinese capacitors.
They cost about 10 bucks on Amazon.

Or you can call a service tech and he will charge you $300 to $600.
The start capacitor is the most common failure item in AC condensers. One of the AC guys here locally told me it is his most profitable item.

$10 to $15 cost

less than 15 minutes to replace

$175+ charge

Cha-ching!

Try to find a USA made capacitor if you can. Most oil-filled capacitors are now made in Mexico or China and are VERY inferior to USA made capacitors. The Mexico capacitors are even worse than China capacitors.

Make sure you use a capacitor with the same specs.

Turn the breakers off before you start working with the unit.

Be careful working with these capacitors. You can get zapped if you touch one of the terminals, even with the power off. Capacitors store an electrical charge.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:51 PM
fordtrucksforever fordtrucksforever is offline
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On the outside chance the fan motor is also failed, it is an easy swap out. Find the ID plate on motor and do a search. IT will cross over to several available and reasonable price. You can Amazon, Ebay, or even local from an A/C supplier city sales desk in an industrial side of town.

Either way replace the capacitor with a name brand. If it is a dual capacitor make sure you jot down which wire goes to fan and compressor.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:24 AM
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You have an r22 system due to its age. Bonce you have to open that system you should just replace the whole system. The condensor evaporator and the line set. R22 is very expensive and they are phasing it out of production.

So if your compressor truely is bad replace the whole system.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:36 AM
gungatim gungatim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brettny View Post
You have an r22 system due to its age. Bonce you have to open that system you should just replace the whole system. The condensor evaporator and the line set. R22 is very expensive and they are phasing it out of production.

So if your compressor truely is bad replace the whole system.
why should he replace all that when he specifically said the compressor kicks on but the fan doesn't?
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:45 AM
wldwsel wldwsel is offline
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Your biggest problem is that you have a Trane unit.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:22 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wldwsel View Post
Your biggest problem is that you have a Trane unit.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
When I worked for a Trane dealer back in the late 90's - mid 2000's we had a saying that went like this enjoy your new system see ya in a year or so. To this day I can still swap out a Trane compressor in under an hour and have it back running again.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:35 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brettny View Post
You have an r22 system due to its age. Bonce you have to open that system you should just replace the whole system. The condensor evaporator and the line set. R22 is very expensive and they are phasing it out of production.

So if your compressor truely is bad replace the whole system.
They offer alternatives to R22 most are straight drop in's 407C 421A just to name a few All that is required is to reclaim the R22, replace the valve cores, vacuum the system down to 500 microns for 1 hour then recharge with the alternative freon. Hell some of the guys out there will mix the 2 freons and the system will work.

If I work on a system that is over half or more of it's capacity low on freon I will remove the R22 and replace it with the cheap stuff.

Around here R22 is about $450 per 30# drum 407C is $150 per 25# drum
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuren View Post
I am hoping to have a conversation to help me understand what I should expect. The system is older (mid-1990s) but I'm hoping this is fixable and we're not looking at replacing everything;
When I built my house in 1993, I installed (2) 10 ton Lenox a\c -heat pump units ( 1 unit per floor). I’ve alwa6s hated them because Lenox units contain a bushel of expensive, unnecessary electronic components and failed constantly. The compressor failed last year failed. My a/c guy decided to replace only the compressor. He gutted the bushel of expensive, unnecessary electronics and replaced all that crap with 1 small relay and 1 small capacitor. That unit is now a beast. It will freeze over my home in very few minutes. ......and probably my neighbor’s home too.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:32 AM
BrianWorf BrianWorf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wldwsel View Post
Your biggest problem is that you have a Trane unit.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
Ummmmm. I have a Trane unit. 25 years old. Replaced the condenser fan motor once (Last summer) and the start capacitor twice (Once after a lightning strike). Added freon once (Also, last summer).

The outside condenser unit is a bitch to clean, but with once yearly maintenance, my Trane has run longer than any other unit I have dealt with.

YMMV.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
Check the start capacitor on the fan.

I think over 90% of failure to start is from the cheap chinese capacitors.
They cost about 10 bucks on Amazon.

Or you can call a service tech and he will charge you $300 to $600.

I know, because I have paid those amounts in the past, until I discovered it is almost always the cheap capacitors.



AC Fan/Compressor Not Working - How To Test /Repair Broken HVAC Run Start Capacitor Air Condition HD - YouTube
Your reply was exactly what happened to my AC and a friends, but only $120 for a service call, to remove and replace. We both had a cheap contractors grade Lenox HVAC system. The interesting thing (that ****es you off) was the capacitors were attached in place with proprietary fasteners that required a $30 tool to remove. I sold the home and did not have to deal with it again, but next time i’ll Look into changing the capacitors myself and if I run into proprietary fasteners, I’ll also replace them.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:08 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulKersey View Post
When I built my house in 1993, I installed (2) 10 ton Lenox a\c -heat pump units ( 1 unit per floor). I’ve alwa6s hated them because Lenox units contain a bushel of expensive, unnecessary electronic components and failed constantly. The compressor failed last year failed. My a/c guy decided to replace only the compressor. He gutted the bushel of expensive, unnecessary electronics and replaced all that crap with 1 small relay and 1 small capacitor. That unit is now a beast. It will freeze over my home in very few minutes. ......and probably my neighbor’s home too.
2-10 ton units? you must have a huge house! 3 phase 480 volt electric service Your power company probably sends you a free ham and a turkey every Christmas.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:11 PM
browningv308 browningv308 is offline
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Well it's been 2 or 3 days since your 1st post, what was the verdict? I have access to Trane and it's evil twin American Standard. I can hook you up with parts if need be.
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