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  1. #1
    My home a/c unit is only 4 years old, but my neighborhood's power is not very stable (i.e trips on and off as often as twice a week).

    The contractors came out and said a time delay on the outside unit would be good, so I purchased.

    The compressor and outside fan still do not always come on. So now, they are recommending that I change the hard start kit (relay and start cap) and run cap, total of $225.

    They did a measurement with a meter and showed me that both start capacitor and run cap are not hitting the measurement that they are rated for.

    1) Can power surges cause this to happen to caps?

    2) Is the issue with my compressor and outside fan related to the hard start kit and run cap? Or could it be something else?

    Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Las Vegas,Nevada
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    339
    A HARD START KIT is used to boost the compressor on start up only.The time delay only controls how long it takes for the CONTACTOR to close and start the condensor fan motor and compressor when a call for cooling is made.Your problem sounds as though the CONTACTOR is bad and is not always letting the full flow of current to start them.Have the contactor replaced and see if it helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,831
    Originally posted by acquestion
    My home a/c unit is only 4 years old
    What brand unit is it? most have a 5-year warranty on all parts, if this is the case there should only be a labor charge.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    east central indiana
    Posts
    1,117
    Originally posted by acquestion


    The contractors came out and said a time delay on the outside unit would be good, so I purchased.

    The compressor and outside fan still do not always come on.
    Ever?? Or do they start after awhile?

  5. #5
    First, thanks to both of you for your replies.

    The techs did say the hard start kit is mainly to prevent short cycling, which they said would also help protect the compressor since my neighborhood has power instability.

    I will request them to change the contactor first.

    It a York unit. The techs said only the compressor is warranted for 5 yrs.

    Also, any thoughts on whether power tripping can cause caps to lose performance, i.e. not hit reading of 270, only hits reading of 225 on their meter.

    One additional observation is that sometimes the a/c would cool from 84F to only 81F, even though setpoint is at 78F. The compressor just stops. Is it overheating? Or still a contactor issue?

  6. #6
    In reply to question from 41530...

    The techs informed me to turn off the a/c unit from the breaker box and wait 30 minutes.

    The compressor and outside fan did re-start, after 30 minutes.

    I guess I could continue to repeat this process, but I would really like to fix the root cause and also I'm not sure if I am damaging the compressor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,831
    Originally posted by acquestion

    The techs did say the hard start kit is mainly to prevent short cycling
    Are you sure that is what they said? I am sorry but that is not correct.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,831
    Originally posted by acquestion
    It a York unit. The techs said only the compressor is warranted for 5 yrs.
    I am not the York expert, but that really surprises me everything is not 5-years but I really don't know.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    east central indiana
    Posts
    1,117

    Originally posted by acquestion
    but my neighborhood's power is not very stable (i.e trips on and off as often as twice a week).
    Originally posted by acquestion
    One additional observation is that sometimes the a/c would cool from 84F to only 81F, even though setpoint is at 78F. The compressor just stops. Is it overheating? Or still a contactor issue?
    Do these seem to happen about the same time?
    Do you have one of those 'load control boxes' ?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Las Vegas,Nevada
    Posts
    339
    A start kit WILL NOT prevent short cycling!!!If it is short cycling,that's another issue.The contactor gives the power to start the outside unit up.The time delay gives an interval for it to start up.The hard start gives more kick to the compressor to get it up and running.Short cycling is a whole other ball of wax.Not reaching the set point of 78 is yet another problem.You should definetly be looking for a REAL service company to check it out.

  11. #11
    Good catch MrBillPro...

    The techs said the TIME DELAY module is to prevent short cycling and would help extend the life of the compressor.

  12. #12
    In reply to 41530...

    Yes, they do seem to happen at the same time (power tripping and then compressor/fan having issues).

    I do not think I have a load control box. They did mention I may want to find an electrician to wire a type of "surge protector" to the breaker box of my house.

    Is this what you are referring to?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    east central indiana
    Posts
    1,117
    Originally posted by acquestion
    . They did mention I may want to find an electrician to wire a type of "surge protector" to the breaker box of my house.

    Is this what you are referring to?
    Not what I was referring to, but not a bad idea.

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