AC compressor Buzzing

Hey all, I have an old Kenmore outside AC only unit. And i just got in this house.. from what i hear the ac unit has been "broken" for about 10 years. Why? I dont know. Basically what was going on is that the outside fan on the unit comes on fine and the inside unit fan blows the air.. But its warm.. So i check the compressor and hear that its buzzing for about 3 seconds every 10 seconds or so. I call a technician out and he looks things over. He tells me that it just needs a hard start kit and the price would be 600$.. That seems a bit excessive to me. He did not check freon level and i was wondering also.. If these are anything like a cars ac compressor.. If the freon is low will it even start? Or will it start and just not cool? So im kinda wondering about that. Basically though i spent 50$ for him to look over a few things.. not test anything mind you and he listened to the unit. and the buzzing.. So his diagnosis is a hard start kit. What do you all think?
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Have to cut and paste this one
http://www.myhvacparts.com/Catalogue/Air%20Conditioning/Hi%20Power %20Hard%20Start%20Kit%20Order.htm
snipped-for-privacy@ureach.com wrote:

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If you have problem with that, go to http://myhvacparts.com/Catalogue/Air%20Conditioning / and then select Hi Power Hard Start. Purchase price on the item is $45 Worth checking out.
Michael wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@ureach.com wrote:

compressor is trying to start but is stuck so it is not starting and is cutting out on the thermal cutoff..., like a motor with a locked rotor...thats the buzz you hear...a hard start kit may work for a while but if the bearings in the compressor or whatever are just getting worse, then even the hard start kit will eventiually not start it, a hard start kit is just a bigger start capacitor and sometimes works for a while sometimes not.... I would get the compressor replaced or just get a new unit.
Low freon will not cause this problem in a home unit like it does in a car...
Mark
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And a lot has happened with AC units in the last 10 years, your unit could have been 10 years old already when it crapped out. If it were me, I'd consider Mark's suggestion. Probably after giving a hard start kit a try, though. Here's another source, even less cost. http://www.azpartsmaster.com/shopazp/Compressor%20Hard%20Start.html
No warranties, expressed or implied
Mark wrote:

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ok thanks for the info guys.. I will try the hard start first.. I will order the part myself.. and have a pro install it.. Just to be safe.. If that doesnt work.. Ill go for a new one.. Thanks again.. peace
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On 31 Jul 2006 19:25:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ureach.com wrote:

If the compressor is buzzing then the first thing you should replace is the run capacitor, NOT add a hardstart kit to it. I've seen this problem too many times to count. Go ahead and waste your money if you want. A run cap is MUCH cheaper and is the first thing you should replace.
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Al Moran wrote:

Yes AGREED Good point!
Mark
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On 31 Jul 2006 18:17:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ureach.com wrote:

That's only 60 dollars a year for every year it didn't run. :)

I know nothing about this topic, but, depending maybe on what others say, I agree with one of the thigns I think you're getting at: Maybe the hard start kit will make it start, but he should have tested the freon level so you'd know if it was going to have to be filled, if there was a leak, if there was a serious leak. How can you make a decision on 600 dollars (assuming that is the right thing to do at a fair price, which as I said, I don't know) when you don't know what else might be wrong?
So if I had it fixed (and I know I would, if I didn't do it myself), I would probably hire someone else, and whether I had it fixed or not, I would call the first place back and say that I thought he should have tested the freon level, that his tests wer inadequate** for me to make up my mind and that he should have done more for 50 dollars, so you're going somewhere else. He'll get mad and hang up at that point, so you have to have made the first part of the sentence, "should have tested freon level, tests were inadequate" very clear. Go slow through that part. I don't like "ratting" out employees to bosses, but in this case, where it go to the essence of the job-- unless someone convincing disagrees -- the boss should know. The boss might say this is the last straw and they're going to fire him, but at some places that might not be the truth. And then he'll offer to send someone else to complete the testing for no charge. I guess I would accept that because I paid 50 dollars, but I still don't think I would trust the place.
**If he had told you everything you needed to know, it would be very hard to impossible to complain about the 50 dollars, no matter how little time it took, since I'm sure you agreed on the amount in advance, but he didn't tell you every thing yhou need to know..
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