I had my Bryant central a/c condenser unit replaced 9 years ago along
with the inside coils. My condenser unit just failed this weekend (I
just turned off the whole system). Actually I knew something was up a
few weeks ago as the inside blower would go on but the condenser would
'try' to start 60 seconds later (it used to start exactly the same
time the blower did). Eventually, after about 4 or 5 minutes
('tries') the condenser would kick in and all would be relatively ok.
Now all that happens is the inside blower goes on and I hear a 'click'
from the outside condenser unit every 60 seconds. This continues
forever and nothing else happens - other than slowly raising the
indoor temperature of recycled hot air.
Question: As the unit was replaced 9 years ago is it time for a new
unit - I don't think so (quoted $1500 for new 3 ton unit incl
installation)? The fins on the outside of the condenser are in good
shape and the motor sounds ok - except for a bit of rust on the top
plate covering the fan motor).
Can they repair/swap out condenser parts rather than install a whole
new unit? Is it worth it?
It could be that your condenser fan motor bearings are binding (due to
age, wear, or lack of lubrication), or maybe the motor has a bad winding
that shorts out when it gets hot. Your condenser fan motor's run
capacitor could be bad. In any of those cases when the motor get hot
it seizes and shuts down on an overtemp condition. Subsequently the
compressor will stop running due to the opening of a high pressure limit
switch. If you see this happening, shut off the A/C as soon as you
notice it. This scenario isn't good for compressor life. It sounds
already figured this out!
You might also have an intermittent contactor (the relay that turns on
power to the compressor / fan), or it could even be something as simple
as a corroded or loose wire. Then there are any number of more esoteric
things that could be wrong.
Call a tech - find out exactly what's wrong, then decide if you want to
Do not try to run the system any more until you have a *competent*,
licensed, professionally trained, HVAC technician to come and actually
diagnose what the problem is and correct it instead of just selling you a
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