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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    7

    I need some guidance to help my AC man...

    Hello, thank you for reading my post. I am a homeowner trying to help my AC man fix my AC problem. He's very bright, but the nature of my AC problem has left us both baffled.

    A few weeks ago, my AC began to act up (the air in the house was not cooling down). He came by and advised my AC was low and filled it up. He inspected several things such as my filter and the attic fan - he said they were good. The AC seemed to work fine for 2 days, but then began to work on and off. Sometimes it works perfect and cools the air all day and sometimes it is on all day, but does not cool the air.

    I called him again, but it was working when he came by. Well, it stopped blowing cold again that night. I went outside and the outside AC fan was not on - the fan in my attic was going and the vents were sending out uncooled air, but the outside fan was not doing anything. It stayed this way all night and I called him the next day and shared this information with him, but by the time he came by the following afternoon, everything was working normal.

    He has come by three times now and each time he was here, the AC was working just fine. He hasn't asked for any service fees although I have offered to pay him for coming by.

    He has told me he can not diagnose the problem if it is not in the 'failed condition'. I have used the same AC man here in TX and trust him, so I would like to keep going to him.

    Before I call him (a 4th time!) and waste his time, is there anything I can look for to give him clues when the AC is not working right? It has been two weeks now with this on and off operating AC system and I wish it would just break or behave normally. There is a second AC system in this house (thankfully) and it works fine - it is the same age as the other AC, about 9 years old.

    Thank you,

    Brenda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    What type of t-stat do you have?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    7
    Hello, Both AC thermostats are printed with 'Maple Chase'. I assume tstat means thermostat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    Are they digital or are they the old mercury type?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    25
    I am thinking thermostat issues as well.
    Ask your service guy if he has a temporary thermostat that he is willing to put in place of the existing one for about a week,(Or if you have an older t-stat that you don't care much for anyway just buy a new one and have him install it). If the existing t-stat is intermittently acting up, then you know it when after time has passed with the replacement there has been no problem.
    Another possibility is bad 24volt wiring/ loose wiring.
    If the 24 volts runs through a main control board the service guy might find signs of a problem by looking at the back side of the circuitry for hot spots/overheating. (please do not try this yourself, the board will have more than one power source and needs handled properly to avoid injury or damage).
    Another possibility is the outdoor unit fan motor or its capacitor may be going bad, and after long run times overheating could occur if lubrication, bearings etc. are failing.

    Do you happen to have a box installed by your local power company at the outdoor unit. Some are installing these boxes to cut out the a/c during peak hours by remote in order to save energy. If you don't know you can just call the power co and ask. I don't know if they do that in your area.

    It is important to note what is going on when the problem occurs(as you Know) and note what is going on when it is running fine, compare. What is different? Look at the t-stat when running and when failing. Anything different.
    Good luck, and have faith in your service guy- all us service guys run into this type of situation time to time. It's like chasing a ghost.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    Quote Originally Posted by BrendaTX View Post
    Hello, Both AC thermostats are printed with 'Maple Chase'. I assume tstat means thermostat
    You just diagnosed the problem. Those are the cheepest t-stats on the market. Start by replacing them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    west point, ga.
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    You just diagnosed the problem. Those are the cheepest t-stats on the market. Start by replacing them.
    Glad someone has heard of them cause I haven't

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,755
    Both your stats?
    Do you have 2 systems, or 1 unit zoned.
    And those are cheap stats.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    Quote Originally Posted by RDP View Post
    Glad someone has heard of them cause I haven't
    Home Depot -Lowes. I try to replace every one I come across.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    7
    Thank you for the replies. Your responses are extremely helpful and I am feeling hopeful this will be resolved. I do want to reply to the questions, so here goes...

    RDP - the thermostats appear to be a newer kind, I think. They have a display similar to my microwave with numbers instead of dials. I popped the cover off and all I could see was a green board with electronic thingies and a battery.

    Climinthewall - I will call my AC man tomorrow and ask about the items you mentioned. As for a box on the wall outside, there is a gray box with a handle by each AC unit outside. Until tomorrow, I will keep an eye on the thermostat and see if the readout changes.

    Beenthere - I am not sure. I know one AC unit is for upstairs and the other AC unit is for downstairs. The upstairs AC works like a charm.

    Thank you,

    B
    Last edited by BrendaTX; 07-06-2008 at 02:15 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,316
    I agree that the problem could be the thermostats, Maple Chase is the cheapest piece of junk on the market; they make the Lux look like quality.

    There are many other things that could cause the problem besides the T'stat. Are the heaters gas fired or electric resistance do you know what brand they are? The problem could be the board or a relay problem. Carrier and Amana have had similar problems as this with their indoor logic circuit boards on Air Handlers. Numerous manufacturers have had similar problems with their control boards on the furnaces.

    We need considerably more information to be of any benefit.

    I would first suggest changing the batteries in the T’stat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    294
    quote " called him again, but it was working when he came by. Well, it stopped blowing cold again that night. I went outside and the outside AC fan was not on "

    Could it be she means that the condenser fan is intermittantly stopping?
    Brenda, if this the case tell it to your tech; iot could be the whole problem

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    25

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by BrendaTX View Post



    As for a box on the wall outside, there is a gray box with a handle by each AC unit outside.


    Thank you,

    B
    Those would be the electrical disconnect boxes. These are not what I was thinking of. Good luck, SE

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