Not mine -- a central air unit at work has failed, and the compressor
supposedly just hums a lot. That's all the detail I have. No smoke, no
tripped breakers. We have a maintenance crew to solve this.
I'm wondering -- in a typical AC system, what happens if / when the
blower fan on the compressor fails? I don't mean the compressor unit
itself, just the fan that blows air across the fins to cool the
refrigerant. If that fan dies, would the system 'know' to shut down, or
would the compressor keep running? In that case, since the refrigerant
is still carrying almost all of its heat, could the compressor even get
it back to a liquid? Is that fan also critical to cool the compressor?
I'm just wondering if the failure of one component can lead to the
destruction of another; if the fan quits, does the compressor just run
until it overheats and dies?
MANY systems have both over and under pressure shutoffs. The most
likely problem on the AC compressor is a bad starting cap or relay.
Many compressors are "impedence protected" in such a way that the
motor will not be damaged right away when the motor hums and fails to
HOWEVER repeated cycling can cause problems in the breaker/fuse panel . My
son ended up replacing his fuse box with a modern breaker panel after the
start cap died on his central air . It cycled repeatedly , causing the fuse
panel connections <apparently> to overheat , fried the terminals on that
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