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CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

[HVAC] How screwed are we?

AC went out last night after we went to bed. Was working when I went to bed at 11 PM but by 1:25 AM the temp had gone up 5-6 degrees.

Outside unit just buzzes when AC is turned on and temp lowered...

See video.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain

harald

join:2010-10-22
Columbus, OH
kudos:2
Just buzzes? Neither the condenser fan nor the compressor start?

Call a serviceman, do not attempt to run. The buzzing you hear may be dollars flying out of you wallet. It is pretty unlikely that both failed at the same time, so it may not be anything major.


TheMole

join:2001-12-06
USA
reply to CylonRed
I had similar problem, turned out to be a blown capacitor. The fix cost me about $300 (Northeast US) from a qualified HVAC repair man. The capacitor was blown because a mouse got in there and shorted it out.

Good luck.
--
(1) It's either 99¢ or $0.99; not .99¢ (2) It's "so MUCH fun" not "so fun"


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to harald
Correct - neither start. Only ran it the few seconds to get the video. Service person will be called - just wondered if it could be determined how screwed we were/are.

Really do not want to spend a couple grand when in the middle of a $9k plus crawlspace remodel.

Thanks to both - I am going to hop it is the/a capacitor.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to TheMole
said by TheMole:

I had similar problem, turned out to be a blown capacitor.

+1, similar and very recent.


rfhar
The World Sport, Played In Every Country
Premium
join:2001-03-26
Buicktown,Mi

2 recommendations

reply to CylonRed
You can ask for a USA made capacitor, they will last a lot longer than the Chinese ones but will be more expensive and some shops do not stock the USA parts.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

reply to CylonRed
Expect to pay $120 for a $25 capacitor, plus weekend rates to install it. If you feel like saving a few hundred bucks, see if there is a Grainger open this morning in your neck of the woods. Unfortunately, most are closed on Saturday.
If the weather isn't terrible, I'd wait til Monday and swap it out.
--
...or the sheriff will grab ya and the boys will bring you down. The next thing you know, boy - oh you're prison bound...

sergey3

join:2004-08-25
reply to CylonRed
If you are up for it, you can replace it yourself. It is not too difficult and takes about 30 minutes the first time. Only problem is finding a local store that sells them.
Just turn off the power to the airconditioner. Then take off the cover on the side of the airconditioner (where the wires come in). The capacitor looks like a cilinder with three or four wires attached. On mine there was rust where the wires attach. I replaced it with a new one of the same rating and if was fixed.
A new capacitor can be found online for $40-$60. Calling a specialist will cost around $300.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed
I was a bit incorrect - compressor kicks on. Fan motor is gone...


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Still may be a capacitor. Both Fan and Compressor require one for starting.

Do not run compressor too long without outside fan running.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
reply to CylonRed
Get a stick or piece of wood, turn the system on, and give the fan a good spin (in the correct direction [clockwise]!) with the stick. If it spins freely and "catches" and starts running then it's a bad cap. If it's difficult to spin then it's a bad bearing in the motor and the motor needs to be replaced.

/M


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
It is difficult to turn and did not even try to turn with the motor. I will say, it is 24 years old and we have been in the house 15 years next month and this is the first issue we have had....
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
24 years? Ouch! In this case it looks like it can be fixed with just a fan motor, but at 24 years old you should probably start budgeting to replace the system, especially now that the compressor has been stressed by running several hours without airflow.

/M

harald

join:2010-10-22
Columbus, OH
kudos:2
reply to CylonRed
What mackey said.

Also, replacing R22 refrigerant is expensive.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to mackey
Yep - thought about that and asked a ballpark for replacement just in case.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
Even if it's just the fan motor, it's still an easy fix - once again, Grainger.
You might even be able to free up the old motor temporarily, although the damage has already been done.

I'll bet the HVAC guy tries to talk you into a new system "here and now'.
--
...or the sheriff will grab ya and the boys will bring you down. The next thing you know, boy - oh you're prison bound...


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
Yea - it is fixed. He ran the numbers along with me to see if it would be cheaper to get it replaced under their maintenance plan (it was a little more expensive so we just did the replacement). Never tried to sell a new system to me at all. Used the same capacitor - if it goes we can use the original manufacturer capacitor.

Also looks like the closest Grainger is closed on the weekends. No way I would be able to pick up the part on Monday as I could only get there at least an hour after they closed (hour drive to and from work).
We have a couple companies that do HVAC that are good and don;t try and screw the customer every time.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


samuel0

@206.47.249.x
mine was a faulty/pregnant capacior. cost me $99 including service man


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to CylonRed
All grainger locations are closed on weekends.. they do have a emergency service but it's $50 extra and sure you need a business for them for that.

scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to CylonRed
Glad you got it fixed now, but I would agree with mackey - time to start planing for a replacement. Better to do so on your terms and not in an emergency.

A new system will probably be more efficient and cost you less to run and maybe even more comfortable.


antdude
A Matrix Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to TheMole
said by TheMole:

I had similar problem, turned out to be a blown capacitor. The fix cost me about $300 (Northeast US) from a qualified HVAC repair man. The capacitor was blown because a mouse got in there and shorted it out.

Good luck.

Dang mice! At least it wasn't a mole.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to CylonRed
said by CylonRed:

Also looks like the closest Grainger is closed on the weekends. No way I would be able to pick up the part on Monday as I could only get there at least an hour after they closed (hour drive to and from work).

If you need a motor, go here: »www.mrelectricsales.com/home.cfm (they're open Saturday mornings too)

(Sorry for reviving this - I was looking for your mower thread)


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to CylonRed
It's a pretty simple fix. I would go ahead and replace the cap at the same time even if it's good.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to CylonRed
I think you're going to be lucky. It sounds like your capacitor is out, which is about the cheapest and easiest thing to fix, if indeed the case.

--nm-- You fixed it. Congrats.

--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to CylonRed
I would look into eventually replacing the system, a 24 year old system is probably costing a lot of money to run. If you look at replacing it with an Energy Star rated unit, you'll be glad when that electric bill arrives. I don't know where you are but where I'm at I'd replace that unit in my neck of the woods due to high utility rates.

You're probably looking at more and more failures due to the age of the unit.
--
Xfinity X1 Awesome Product
Comcast: Buy out the Iowa cable market from Mediacom so my friends can experience X1


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by IowaCowboy:

I would look into eventually replacing the system, a 24 year old system is probably costing a lot of money to run. If you look at replacing it with an Energy Star rated unit, you'll be glad when that electric bill arrives.

A more efficient system will save up to 50% of the $50-300 monthly operating cost (depending on location, usage and rates). It will also cost in the $5000 range to install. Payoff may be from few years to never.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

I would look into eventually replacing the system...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Perfectly valid logic....


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to cowboyro
said by cowboyro:

said by IowaCowboy:

I would look into eventually replacing the system, a 24 year old system is probably costing a lot of money to run. If you look at replacing it with an Energy Star rated unit, you'll be glad when that electric bill arrives.

A more efficient system will save up to 50% of the $50-300 monthly operating cost (depending on location, usage and rates). It will also cost in the $5000 range to install. Payoff may be from few years to never.

You'd have a fast payoff in New England with our electric rates. I heard Connecticut is even worse than Mass in terms of electric rates. Maine ain't as bad and it's cooler up there.

One summer (I think July 2013 I got a $180 electric bill, equivalent to a mild winter bill with baseboard heat) for running two room units (a window and a portable) non-stop because the summer that year was brutal. And that is on discount rate. Full rate your talking close to $300 (I'm guessing).

There may be utility rebates and tax credits for upgrading to a more efficient system depending on locality.
--
Xfinity X1 Awesome Product
Comcast: Buy out the Iowa cable market from Mediacom so my friends can experience X1

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
reply to TheMole
said by TheMole:

I had similar problem, turned out to be a blown capacitor. The fix cost me about $300 (Northeast US) from a qualified HVAC repair man. The capacitor was blown because a mouse got in there and shorted it out.

Good luck.

And the cap probably cost them $6.

I got quoted $800 once to replace the cap and add a hard-start kit. Did it myself for $18.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Full rate your talking close to $300 (I'm guessing).

Yes, you're guessing. And you're guessing wrong.
I don't go crazy about only using A/C when I can't breathe anymore. Actually it stays around 75F while occupied. House is big and insulation isn't great.
The lowest usage I have ever seen was 700kWh/month this spring. I will call this the "base level". The average usage for 5 months of "summer" comes to roughly 6000kWh - so 500kWh/month on top of the base level. I also run a 1HP pool pump roughly 8hrs/day; I will be conservative and say it only takes 500W - so 120kWh/month. That leaves 380kWh/month for the A/C.
That's $500/YEAR with peak rates of $0.26/kWh, actual net rate between peak and off-peak is much lower. YAWN.