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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    What would you do?


    Background on my home AC:

    8 yr old Carrier AC.
    SEER rating of 10
    Model 38CK048370
    Rated for 22.5 Amps
    House is 2500 sqft

    Well, I had my AC checked up for the first time in a couple years and the tech said that the compressor is running at 19.9 amps - really close to the 22.5 it is rated for. Blower is running fine though (1.4 / .88). Being an AC novice, I was not expecting to get news that my compressor was about to blow. The tech said normally the compressor should be at around 10 amps for the type it is and what its rated for. Now I'm somewhat panicking about my ac being on its last legs.

    What would you do:

    1. nothing, and wait for the compressor to blow (eventually)
    2. replace the compressor now
    3. replace the whole ac now
    4. something else?

    How long do you think it may be before the compressor does blow?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Western PA
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    IMO, your tech was either intentionally lying to you to try to sell you a new unit or he was ignorant of what he was actually observing as far as system operation and was unintentionally blowing smoke up your rear.

    Based on amperage alone, it is rather difficult to diagnose a "failing" compressor.

    Barring other defects that he did not catch or correct, I would suspect that compressor has quite a bit of life left in her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    do nothing and wait for compressor to blow. but I wouldn't worry too much about it based on conditions at the time the amps are within reason of operating specs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    There is nothing useful that can be done with RLA values unless you are comparing them to a known value or previous value. For example: yesterday the RLA on this motor was 5.3A, today the RLA is 7.9A, therefore today there is more load on the motor.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    St. Louis
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    The 38CKC's were a very popular and dependable line. Running at or close to RLA in and of itself means nothing.

    Do nothing...including not having that outfit back. Did he at least check the capacitor to see if it might be the culprit?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Arnold mo
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    Sounds like someone working for a company that pays "spiffs" to their "techs" for making sales.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Mount Holly, NC
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    I would call a true service company to come out, and actually service the equipment, and not just a "checkup" company out to attempt sales of goodies for their profit.
    I would want a full spectrum of stats, including system refrigerant and ductwork static pressures. Indoor dry and wet bulb temps at the actual coil, and dry bulb temp out of the coil, room wet and dry bulb temps, line temps, superheat and sub cool numbers, outdoor temp along with condenser discharge temp.
    This info would tell me if the system is operating well or needing repair.
    Then I'd have the system cleaned.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    SW Wisconsin
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    The compressor’s discharge line temperature should be taken about 1-3 inches away from the compressor on the discharge line. This discharge temperature should never exceed 225°F. If access is difficult U may be able to check it with an infrared thermometer; hopefully accurate enough.

    Causes for high compressor discharge temperatures can be high condensing temperature, low evaporator temperatures, high compression ratios, and high compressor superheat. Internal compressor temps will be much higher & oil will begin to breakdown, etc. It is an important indicator of forthcoming severe compressor problems therefore the causes must be dealt with immediately.

    What others stated including the checks vstech listed...we need to do our maintenance job that we are getting paid for by always doing a good evaluation of how the operating system is functioning. There are 'reasons' compressors fail...we are hired by our customer's to locate/reveal & then eliminate those 'reasons'...

    Here is a link to provide more insight to the importance of discharge line temp readings:
    Last edited by udarrell; 07-21-2014 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Found & added a good informative link

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