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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141

    AC outdoor unit not running

    Hey guys,

    Labor day weekend and the outdoor unit is not running at all. Just stopped probably a few hours ago as we just noticed the temp rise in the home. Nordyne builder grade condenser about 15 years old. If you need a model number I can get it. AHU blowing fine but the coil is warm. Breaker is not tripped. When we set the tstat to demand you can hear a "click" noise outside but neither the fan motor nor compressor come on. Tried resetting breaker but nothing happened. Planning on letting rest a few hours and try again (unless you advise otherwise).

    Planning on calling a pro to look at it (hate to pay weekend/holiday rates) but if there was something simple (I'm not a tech and not asking for DIY help) that I might be missing, any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,777
    It probably is something simple but it will require a tech to fix it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141
    Figured as much. At least it's not too hot. And I have plenty of cold beer to keep me cool

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,348
    Quote Originally Posted by Phrancis View Post
    Figured as much. At least it's not too hot. And I have plenty of cold beer to keep me cool
    I hate to say this, but keep in mind the unit is 15 years old.

    With overtime rates, it may be cheaper to stay in a motel, or in a friends house.

    What I would hate to see, is for you to pay overtime rates to diagnose a problem that either can't be fixed, or isn't worth it to be fixed.
    Or worse, you pay a high cost (reletive to normal hours) to repair an old unit, that may not last long anyways due to it's age.

    If you can wait till tuesday, wait till tuesday. Pay the normal rate to have the diagnostic. Hopefully it's something low cost(reletive to other repairs) that can keep you going untill you save money to replace the unit.

    Looking at your symptoms, I'd take a wild guess that the repair is on the low end of the cost range.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141
    Thanks for taking that into consideration. If I was in your area I would definitely use your services!

    Our repairman is a family friend and (depending on his availability) he might be able to swing by tomorrow, as his mother leaves nearby, and charge us next to nothing for labor. Otherwise I'll wait until whenever he is available next. He's got 30+ years experience and has always treated us well.

    I'll have to replace this POS eventually. Single stage AC with no fuel heat means high heating bills in the winter, running strictly off the "toaster" (resistance heat strips). He thinks we have a pin-prick leak on top of evap coil (need about 2 lbs. R22 per year).

    I've been considering what we could do next. I'm thinking either central heat pump with new 410a coil to replace this one; but I have also considered getting ductless heat pump instead, since this is a small home and would need about 4 wall-mount AHUs to cool/heat all main rooms (keeping old system as emergency). Any thoughts? Winter is very mild here (rarely goes below freezing) but summer is very hot and humid.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,546
    it's HIGHLY unwise to reset a tripped a/c system breaker without a technician present to find out WHY it tripped before hand.
    worst case could actually kill you, it could damage the system beyond simple repair, and it could burn down the house.
    I understand it's a worst case, and not likely to happen, but it's not worth it to me.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,777
    Ductless mini slits are extremely efficient and provide excellent comfort. They are the future of the hvac industry. They have ducted models too. Also you can have one outdoor unit with multiple indoor units and you can mix and match ducted and ductless for different areas of the home. They are a little pricey for a quality brand but well worth the investment imo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    it's HIGHLY unwise to reset a tripped a/c system breaker without a technician present to find out WHY it tripped before hand.
    worst case could actually kill you, it could damage the system beyond simple repair, and it could burn down the house.
    I understand it's a worst case, and not likely to happen, but it's not worth it to me.
    Thanks for the warning. It wasn't tripped in the first place, but I did a off/on reset on the breaker to see if this would make any difference (which of course it didn't). We tried tstat demand again about 20 mins ago and it did the same thing (i.e. nothing). We're not touching it anymore and getting a repairman out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Ductless mini slits are extremely efficient and provide excellent comfort. They are the future of the hvac industry. They have ducted models too. Also you can have one outdoor unit with multiple indoor units and you can mix and match ducted and ductless for different areas of the home. They are a little pricey for a quality brand but well worth the investment imo
    I've heard Mitsubishi make an excellent mini-split. I'm considering that in part because some of the rooms are not in use all the time, and the two rooms furthest from the AHU don't get good cooling/heating. Already had the ductwork checked and it didn't help much. Single story, manufactured home. Main bed/bath room closest to AHU, kitchen/living room next closest get good control, but the two "bedrooms" at the end not so much. We have computers and other stuff in here that generate heat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,348
    Quote Originally Posted by Phrancis View Post
    Thanks for taking that into consideration. If I was in your area I would definitely use your services!

    Our repairman is a family friend and (depending on his availability) he might be able to swing by tomorrow, as his mother leaves nearby, and charge us next to nothing for labor. Otherwise I'll wait until whenever he is available next. He's got 30+ years experience and has always treated us well.

    I'll have to replace this POS eventually. Single stage AC with no fuel heat means high heating bills in the winter, running strictly off the "toaster" (resistance heat strips). He thinks we have a pin-prick leak on top of evap coil (need about 2 lbs. R22 per year).

    I've been considering what we could do next. I'm thinking either central heat pump with new 410a coil to replace this one; but I have also considered getting ductless heat pump instead, since this is a small home and would need about 4 wall-mount AHUs to cool/heat all main rooms (keeping old system as emergency). Any thoughts? Winter is very mild here (rarely goes below freezing) but summer is very hot and humid.

    2lbs a year is diffenetly a leak.
    I wouldn't replace a coil on a system that old either.
    There's nothing wrong with the single stage condensers. Just for the age it's probably inefficient.

    Since your straight electric, I'd diffenetly suggest going with the heat pump instead of replacing it with a straight ac.
    The cost between the two is not as much as alot of people think, and will save you tons of cash. Probably cut your electric bill in half during the winter.

    As far as mini splits go, they are diffenetly a nice choice, especially if you can go with 4 units to handle the entire house.
    One thing to keep in mind, is that you have a range of options with the units.
    The following is all fujitsu equitment:
    You could go 4 indoors, off of 1 outdoor. Except that the efficiency is in the 18 seer range.
    Or, you could go 2 indoor/2 outdoor, but I believe they are about the same as the 4 indoors.
    Or, you could go 4 outdoors/4 indoors, and get up to 26 seer, but the installation price is dramatically higher.
    Obviously, installation challenges may require a specific combination.
    Your area is great for minisplit heat pumps.

    Swapping an indoor and outdoor (even a heat pump upgrade), is going to be cheaper than a whole minisplit installation. How much, depends on various things, can't get into.

    If you do go minisplit, I would want an "inverter" minisplit. Anything less is subpar.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,777
    Quote Originally Posted by Phrancis View Post
    I've heard Mitsubishi make an excellent mini-split. I'm considering that in part because some of the rooms are not in use all the time, and the two rooms furthest from the AHU don't get good cooling/heating. Already had the ductwork checked and it didn't help much. Single story, manufactured home. Main bed/bath room closest to AHU, kitchen/living room next closest get good control, but the two "bedrooms" at the end not so much. We have computers and other stuff in here that generate heat.
    Mitsubishi and daikan are the big players. Samsung and LG also make quality units. The efficiency of mini splits can not be matched with a conventional hvac unit and they are whisper quiet

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    141
    I read about those inverter units and they look very efficient. I'm mainly worried about upfront cost, as my wife doesn't work right now (job market sucks) and I make about the salary of a junior tech, working in an office-type HVAC-related job. Also the fact I'm from Canada and have no credit history in the US pretty much prevents any kind of loan (working to fix that).

    One of the back rooms is used as my personal audio recording room, so whisper-quiet is definitely something that catches my attention!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,901
    Im betting its something simple on the outdoor unit .but with it leaking refrigerant and you family friend treating you right ask him about replacing with a new heatpump
    We really need change now

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