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  1. #1

    Outside unit not fan not spinning! Help!!!


    I am having an issue with my heater in my house. Forgive me if i am using the wrong terminology. Heres the deal. I have a heat pump for my ac and heating. I turned on the heater for the first time the other day, i put it on about 71 degrees, on auto. I heard the unit kick on and i could feel the air coming through the vents. Because its an older unit i went outside and made sure the outside unit (the big metal box with a fan) was functioning. The blades on the fan were not moving so i turned the heater off. About a day or two later i tried it again and the blades were moving. I checked the unit several times that night and every time the heat would kick on, the blades would be moving as well. I thought all was good. Its been a few days now. This morning i decided to check the unit again. Heat was running at the time, i checked the unit outside and the blades werent moving. Also, i could see smoke/steam rising from the unit. I ran back in and turned the heat off (with the thermostat). When i turned it to off, it didnt cut off...i could still hear it going in the house. I went back outside and pulled out the 'fuse' from the wall that keeps the oustide unit on. Can someone tell me what could be wrong? Should the blades always spin when the heat is 'running' inside? Or is it normal for them to not spin sometimes? Also, should i be considered from the smoke/steam i saw?? Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Should have left it alone.

    Steam = defrost = normal.

    Not a bad idea to have a maintenance done on the systems if you haven't had one in a while though.
    Ed J

  3. #3


    Ok so even the smoke was normal? I guess i just freaked when i saw the smoke coming out the top. There was no smell or anything but it still made me nervous so i just turned the whole thing off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Southeastern Pa
    In defrost, the fan stops and the coils get warm, so anything affected by heat on the coils, such as moisture, will cause a vapor to come off the coils.

    I also recommend a maintenance check.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

    AOP Forum Rules:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Middle of the Oregon Coast
    Big difference between smoke and steam. One of them is the product of heating water, and the other is bad news. If it was steam, don't worry too much and have the system checked by a pro. But if it was smoke, well don't worry too much cause you turned the power off, and have the system checked by a pro. Not only will you have someone there you can ask questions of, but you will be comfortable and have peace of mind.

    In short, you did good by pulling the disconnect (to calm yourself down if nothing else), so now do the right thing by calling someone out to check the system.
    The Lord must love stupid people or he wouldn't have made so many.

    Why is it that when I am in a hurry, everyone else on the road goes 15 MPH under the speed limit?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    NC Coast
    Need to have it checked..... Because...... if you had just turned it on to heat the timer for defrost may not have completed its cycle and gone into defrost.... therefore it is entirely possible your capacitor may be bad or going bad. I have seen capacitors at less than 50% of their value still allow the fan to run sometimes. When it doesnt run....(in heat mode) like was mentioned.... moisture will "steam" off the coil because it gets hot. You could cause damage to your compressor from running without the fan motor for extended periods and kill it. You really should have it checked out.
    Silent Service........ Death From Below!

    Somewhere in Kansas, a town found a village idiot!

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