Cooling the shop.

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I just got back from Californy today, where I had a nice birthday (59th) with family.
Home and shop A/C was working fine until about 6pm when I felt warm air coming out of the vent. Awshit.
Took a listen outside and the condenser fan wasn't running but the A/C was. Hmm...
Took a VOM out and found that the two fuses were fine and there was 239.8v across them. OK so far.
Felt the top of the condenser fan mount and found it very warm. OK, it's 90 out, it'll be warm in the sun. I showered it with cool water until it was cold.
Popped the bolts loose and the fan spins freely, no frozen bearings. It has a 60Hz hum feel to it so I think it's being (somewhat) energized. VOM confirms that below.
Start relay has 24v from the thermostat and 119v through each contactor and through the start cap to comp and fan. Looks normal so far.
Then I heard a click and the compressor sounded like it labored for just over a second before the second click happened. It was fairly quiet.
I've never troubleshot a compressor system in a house, but it sounded like the comp might be frozen. I took auto A/C in school in '72 so it's very familiar in concept.
I see that there is a high-pressure switch (probably not engaged), low pressure switch (dunno without gauge set), and thermistor switch (now cooled with water, so doubtful as the culprit now.) System is ten years + 4 months old and has never had a problem. I have the installing company come out almost every year for a checkup but didn't last year. They found a loose squirrel cage early on and some pieces of insulation in the fan another time, but nothing else has been required or done to it.
Any thoughts, boys and girls?
-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one's life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself. -- Louis L'Amour
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Larry Jaques wrote:

You checked the compressor capacitor, right? You're way more knowledgable about A/C than I am so that's all I can offer...
Bill

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On 8/6/2012 10:37 PM, Bill wrote:

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Y'know, I think that newfangled meter I bought just might have a capacitance meter built in, or if I just lick my fingers and...
-- Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. -- Margaret Atwood
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I don't recall where I saw it, but when you find the place where they say "there are only two ways a capacitor can fail", you're getting close!

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Well, to a certain extent. But anyone who ever saw a '50s-vintage oil capacitor explode leaving a capacitor shaped cloud of smoke that slowly poured off the table and onto the floor understands that "fail open" covers a wide range of behaviors.
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Tantalums next to the ear aren't any fun either, however I always loved the smell of burning selenium in the morning.
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Some of the oil from the capacitor is outside the case. Could that be a clue? I have a replacement lined up tomorrow. A buddy has a spare cap and motor if necessary.
-- Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. -- Margaret Atwood
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On 8/7/2012 12:34 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:
Snip

You will need help on this one. Take a picture of your hair before, and get some one else to take a picture of your hair after you lick your fingers. Have that other person post both pictures and let us analyze for capacitor out put.
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wrote:

ROTFL! 2 points, Leon. Some of your best writing yet, and no typoes!
(OK, who transcribed it for you, hmmm?)
-- Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. -- Margaret Atwood
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On 8/7/2012 2:20 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

I reread it 6 times.
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wrote:

That makes for 6 more introductions of at least one typo. I don't buy -that- for a nanosecond.
The cap tests open capacitaterly and resistively. Whew! It'll be a quick fix after all! (Thank you, Crom!)
-- Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise. -- Margaret Atwood
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output is one word.
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On Fri, 10 Aug 2012 14:40:28 -0400, Robatoy

I was just glad we got him typing in ENGLISH this time to count that one, Toy.
(Good eye, though.)
-- We are always the same age inside. -- Gertrude Stein
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Robatoy wrote:

Whereas "putting out" is two.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Larry, Based on your experience, and my experience of paying $280 for my first A/C capacitor (installed) a couple years ago, I picked up one of those newfangled-meters for myself today (Sperry DV6450), slightly on sale at Menards. I hope I can even learn something from it.
I don't think my hair long enough for your regular test!
Bill
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It doesn't matter how long your hair is. Humans aren't built for cap testing via fingers. I accidentally caught the lead of an 800v cap in a monitor when I was training at Coleman College. I had a knot of scar tissue in my finger there for years, even though the incident was over in a split second.
http://tinyurl.com/9k8zkl9 Best bang for the bucks.
-- We are always the same age inside. -- Gertrude Stein
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On 8/6/2012 11:28 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

My AC was here when I moved to this house over 20 years ago. I don't know how long it was here before that. Never had it checked but once the fan on the compressor quit working and I had a buddy come over that is a heating/cooling guy and he took the cover off and immediately discovered a wasp nest built on the circuit board. He scraped it off and all was well. That was about 10 years ago.
Just this week though I noticed the compressor was making a loud scraping noise when it clicked on. Went out and the cement slab the thing has been sitting on for a million years had sunk and the compressor was not level. Got a maddox and pried up the slab and stuck a couple of bricks under it, and it seems good to go, no more noise.
It's a Carrier, and when it goes, I'll get another Carrier I reckon.
Mine only clicks once I think, when it goes on. What is the second click?
--
Jack
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
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In typed:

uHH, 240 v ACROSS the fuse indicates it's BLOWN! There should be 0 or near 0 Vac ACROSS the fuses!
Time to check out E 101 again.
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On 8/7/2012 4:37 PM, Twayne wrote:

Now he has real troubles, because all the replacements fuses are shorted out! :^)
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