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Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 09, 2007 10:48AM
Got in from the gig last night to find the house a balmy 80 degrees.

Outside unit of HVAC was hot to the touch up top and the motor just hummed.. no fan motion.

Shut it down, checked inside filter.
Hour later cut it back on - nothing from the outside unit.

Grabbed my window units from mini storage to cool the bedrooms -

Worst case the unit needs a new fan motor?



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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Jp!
Date: July 09, 2007 10:59AM
I'd say worst case is you might think about upgrading the whole kit and kaboodle.
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 09, 2007 11:18AM
Unit is 4 yrs old.
Builder went with the lowest bidder of course. (was installed before I bought the house).
Can't track down out of business installer or builder to search out any warranty.
First year it was the condensor, 2nd year the compressor.



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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: July 09, 2007 11:23AM
Fan locked up on a 2 1/2 ton unit at a rental of ours.

Coolant piping cracked under the pressure.

15 years old - replaced whole system for $3k.

Hope it's just your fan!
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 09, 2007 11:35AM
I was quoted $7800 for an entirely new system.. and that was pre-Katrina..
lord only knows what it would cost today!



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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: July 09, 2007 12:15PM
It could just need a starting capacitor, maybe under $120 including labor.

The price depends on how big the current system is and how it is setup. If you just need a new compressor and condenser on a pad outside, I would not expect a 3 ton unit to be more than $4,000 (depending on the local market). If $7,800 was for a new furnace and AC stuffed up in a tight attic, it might be reasonable.

If you have time to spend reading, this is a good site for info. [hvac-talk.com]



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2007 12:16PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 09, 2007 01:33PM
Did your breaker pop off as well ?
Our then 3 yo new 'lennox' had those symptoms last year- the 'lennox guy' (they don't let just 'anyone' work on their units..) came out and said that they stopped putting a motor start capacitor on the compressor units to make 'em cheaper (like adding what, $10 to the cost ?) This causes the motor to pull a large startup surge, which ages the breakers AND ages the motor in the compressor.

He also cautioned me to clean the outside unit regularly.

Damn thing still trips the breakers from time to time this year. I'm thinking about calling them back out or talking to lennox directly. I also think the unit was undersized for our house (builders, dangit.)
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: John B.
Date: July 09, 2007 01:35PM
One of my compressor units at work was doing the same thing about a week ago. It's older, and I just happened to have a spare fan motor laying around, so I tried changing out the fan motor first. No joy/same problem. So I called the repair guy and it was the capacitor. Cost of the capacitor was $8.00, plus a pound of freon, plus the service call, so it was about a $75 fix.
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: JoeH
Date: July 09, 2007 02:00PM
Quote
Rain
Unit is 4 yrs old.
Builder went with the lowest bidder of course. (was installed before I bought the house).
Can't track down out of business installer or builder to search out any warranty.
First year it was the condensor, 2nd year the compressor.

Standard sleazy contractor trick, do a poor job putting together a spec house or development and then go out of business shortly afterward. No one to go after, and they pop up with a new business name in the same area or elsewhere. Quality contractors don't need to do this, they get all the business they want.

Does sound like either the capacitor or fan is bad. But, if the condensor and compressor went out so quick, could be they did not keep the tubing runs clean on the initial installation. You could be facing further problems from dirt and other contaminants still in the system.



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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 09, 2007 07:26PM
Was capacitor.
$202!!!

I had to work and couldnt diagnose or fix it myself.
And with two small children, there was no way to wait - Just had to bend over and take it



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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: July 10, 2007 08:23PM
Quote
Rain
Was capacitor.
$202!!!

I had to work and couldnt diagnose or fix it myself.
And with two small children, there was no way to wait - Just had to bend over and take it

You might be talking about a capacitor that cost $40-60 wholesale, the big canister type.
That is a bit high but like you say when you gotta, you gotta.



Grateful11
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Re: Outside AC just HUMS...
Posted by: Rain
Date: July 10, 2007 08:58PM
Yea, Susan said it was the big canister type.
No sweat - (literally) cooling great and the kids and momma are happy - Thats what counts



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