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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    What could be my problem?

    Hello all,

    was wondering if I could get advice from someone here on what the problem with my system might be?

    The problem sounds simple: the warmer it is outside, the longer it takes my unit to actually start cooling once commanded to.

    My unit is about 5 years old. The manu is Fedders. The compressor is a Copeland.

    Power is getting to the condenser (condenser fan is running) and compressor (I've measured at the terminals of the condenser unit and at the actual terminals to the compressor).

    The issue starts becoming pronounced around 68F. Below that the compressor engages only a minute or two after commanded to (which I believe to be weird as well, but at least it eventually starts). Above 68F the problem gets worse. At about 77F it can take 30-60 minutes before the compressor actually starts running (the condenser fan is running the whole time). Above 86F it can take many hours before the compressor actually starts running.

    Direct sunlight has an effect, if it's 77F, but the sun is shining on the condenser the compressor will take longer to start then if it's overcast.

    Once the compressor HAS started, it runs and cools without any issues. It will run all day, no matter what temp outside or how strong the sun is shining. I've gone so far as to just turn it on in the morning and let it run all day.

    I've replaced the starting cap, no difference.

    The problem has been the same over the past 3 years (we moved into the house 3 years ago), I haven't seen the problem getting worse.

    I've done a ton of searching. The most common solution people have is a hard start kit. Would this solve this?

    Fundamentally I'd love to know what is causing this problem. I know that compressors have overpressure and overtemp switches in them. Is it possible the overtemp switch in mine is faulty (I know it's sealed and not servicable).

    Would an undercharge or overcharge of the system explain these symptoms (some google searches say yes)? I have had the system looked at with no recommendation or explanation other then "replace it all". I'd like to at least understand what the problem is other then a stab in the dark solution of full replacement.

    While HVAC is obviously not my profession, I am very experienced in related fields and would appreciate if someone here would be able to guess what is causing my problem?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Beach
    Posts
    701
    You will have to call a pro. Let him find out what is wrong and ask him to fix it. This not a DIY site.
    Blue Fox

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by lentz View Post
    You will have to call a pro. Let him find out what is wrong and ask him to fix it. This not a DIY site.
    Hello Blue Fox,

    I understand this is not a DIY site, I'm not looking for a DIY solution.

    As I mentioned in my post, I have had a pro in, they basically told me they had no idea what was wrong and they had to replace everything.

    Working in a similar profession I find that unacceptable. It's like a mechanic saying they don't know why your car doesn't start, you need a new car.

    I don't want to pay for another pro to come in and not figure anything out.

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,039
    Do you have any recourse with company for a refund since it sounds like tech blew you off?

    There is a list of pros from the site ......see if anyone is in your area.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    Do you have any recourse with company for a refund since it sounds like tech blew you off?

    There is a list of pros from the site ......see if anyone is in your area.
    Unfortunately no.

    I don't want to pay for another visit without as least being able to guide the person as to what might be wrong. I was hoping these symptoms would be familiar to someone here.

    Is this the wrong forum to go to? Can you recommend another that might be more appropriate to ask this sort of question?

    Thanks, ttyl.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    103
    It sounds as though you may have a short/broken wire in the start winding of your compressor that may be expanded as the temperature outside gets warmer. This can only be fixed by a compressor change. I would definently look in to recommendations of a good contractor from the list on this sight. Your "pro" should have explained the problem alittle more detailed. Also should have looked in to compressor warranty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Beach
    Posts
    701
    Not able to give you much help unless we could be there and do all of our checking and testing and come up with what is cousing the problem. Some of us would come by and charge very little to find the problem and then give you a price to repair it. Is the compressor out of warranty?
    Blue Fox

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    sound as if the OP had a sales tech NOT a service tech
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by lentz View Post
    Not able to give you much help unless we could be there and do all of our checking and testing and come up with what is cousing the problem. Some of us would come by and charge very little to find the problem and then give you a price to repair it. Is the compressor out of warranty?
    The unit is under warranty, but the company (Fedders) seems to be out of business. Their number is disconnected. I tried contacting them through a variety of contacts I found online (email and phone numbers) and nothing got a response.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by dandyme View Post
    sound as if the OP had a sales tech NOT a service tech
    Well I didn't want to get too far into it, but basically what happened is I was lied to.

    Another analogy from the car world: if I mechanic checks out your car and says the "Johnson rod" (yes, Seinfeld reference) is broken and therefore the engine needs replacement, many people would simply take the word of the mechanic and allow the work to proceed.

    Of course, if you know enough about cars you know there is no such thing as a "Johnson rod", and the mechanic is scamming you.

    That is where I'm sitting. The "tech" told me my "Johnson rod" was broken and the whole unit needed replacement. When I called him on the fact that what he said was complete rubbish things went downhill from there. The tech obviously had no idea what was wrong and was doing a "replacathon" method of fixing a problem.

    I don't like being lied to, and I don't like being scammed.

    Thanks, TTYL

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by lentz View Post
    Not able to give you much help unless we could be there and do all of our checking and testing and come up with what is cousing the problem. Some of us would come by and charge very little to find the problem and then give you a price to repair it. Is the compressor out of warranty?
    In case it helps, the pressures when running were "normal". I don't have the numbers off hand (I think they were something like 70psi on the low side, don't remember the high side), but they were in the "normal" range according to what I've been able to find.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    3,124
    yeah, it's really hard to say across the internet what it might be.

    I'm sure you've found all manner of suggestions to find the problem. and they may help, but if the compressor is not starting, and I was sitting in front of it, I could tell you at least what it IS doing, and recommend options.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
    The three big summer hearththrobs...
    Mel Gibson
    Dwane Johnson
    The A/C repairman

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    I'm sure you've found all manner of suggestions to find the problem. and they may help, but if the compressor is not starting, and I was sitting in front of it, I could tell you at least what it IS doing, and recommend options.
    Actually I haven't had many suggestions of how to find the problem.

    When the condensor is running, but the compressor isn't, there is full voltage at the terminals of the compressor, but zero current draw.

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