Heat Pump Troubleshooting

Hi-
I don't have the specifics of my hvac on hand but recently it started failing on me. The first time it failed was early this summer when I first turned the ac on. The outside condensing unit fan was not spinning and of course no cold air was coming out of my vents. The indoors blower/coil was fine.
I called a tech and he replaced the "coil" which he said was the problem. He told me that the coil was failing and that was why the condensor fan was not starting. Before he replaced the coil he was able to get it started by giving it a turn.
Today, a month later, the same thing has happened. I went home durring lunch to find that the condensor fan was not spinning. I killed the breaker and took an access panel off so that I could access the fan in order to give it a nudge and apply power. However, before I did that I thought that I would try to flip the breaker one more time and apply power to the unit. It came on and is working now.
So my question is a general one. What parts of the unit are responsible for the fan operation? What should I have a tech look at? No, I don't plan on fixing it myself but after paying a tech already to "fix" it once I'd much rather be armed with information the next time around. The last time I felt so naked without some sort of knowledge.
Thanks for any info you can give.
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I would look at the yellow pages to find a tech that knows what he is doing. The one you got is feeding you a twinky filled with something you wouldn't want to step in.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

sure would be nice to know if you have a heat pump or straight ac condenser. might make a huge difference.

from the sounds of your gibberish, the tech was probably referring to the capacitor for the CF motor.

depends on if its a heat pump condenser or straight ac.
What should I have a tech look at?

Look for a tech in his late 40's or 50's. Chances are you'll be getting someone who has a clue what he's doing, and there's a high probability he's honest as well.
Next, stand over his shoulder and watch every single thing he does. Ask him to explaiin what each component does, and how they interact with each other.
Ask him to explain how hot air from inside your house is transferred to outside.
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I have a heat pump. The "coil" he replaced was indeed a capacitor, so that's been done. The way he described the part was that it was sort of like an ignition coil for an automobile. With the prevelance of coils in these systems I should have used the proper word "capacitor" to describe the part that has been replaced.
I was reading yesterday and some notes I took were:
overload setting compressor windings resistance tripped overload ??? defective lockout relay
I'm thinking that whatever it is only requires a power cycling to reset. The wiring looks good, as in not all ratty, corroded etc.
Thanks guys.
snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net wrote:

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Fan run capacitor.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Ya, Chris the mormun is right.
It doesn't matter what size the capacitor is as long as it's not a GE.
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Real men install <at least> 20-300 uf capacitors.
I've also had at least one case where a GE cap went bad. Nice of you to mention that.
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Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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Why did the tech not return to repair unit? Coil is is reffering may be motor windings. A dead spot? You could try relacing the capacitor yourself.
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The capacitor was replaced by the tech when he came out. I'm thinking that it is the fan motor bearings or something along those lines. The unit is still working fine since I posted the original inquiry to this group.
Sometimes I hear a loud metal to metal screech when the unit is coming to a stop. Like eeeeeennnk thump, then it's off. Doesn't happen every time but I know it's not proper.
As for calling the company back, nah, not yet. The tech seemed nice enough and I know that a correct diagnoses is sometimes dificult when the unit is operating fine most of the time. So I don't have any reason not to call them back but we'll see.
Thanks.
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

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agatto2 had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/hvac/Re-Heat-Pump-Troubleshooting-458-.htm : You could try a new capacitor ( the fan motor should have the right microfareds on it- might be marked mfd's-) Some tecks will carry a spare just to test. Some might have a used bad one as well. There is a way to test the capacitor, If i remember correctly you put an analog meter on resistance touch the two posts on the capacitor, the needle should jump then slowly move back if the capacitor is good.
As for the EEEEEeeekkkk on the stop- Check that the amp draw, again the tag on the motor should say what the motor draw should be. Make sure you check after running for a while , and with the cover on the unit.
I would also check that the fan cage is not touching anything , or if you would be able to pull, or push it a little. If it hits something metal while your spinning it, you have a bearing problem or the fan blade is warped, or needing realigning. Do you have Oil Ports for the Motor?
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Nice guesses.... too bad tho, thanx for playing. Who's the next contestant??
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