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  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    AC compressor hard/delayed start

    Hello All:

    I just joined to post a thread for replacing my HVAC system that is going out, but thought I should post a thread to see if there's anything else I can try to actually get my existing AC to work. I have a 24 year old York 3.5 Ton unit, which works fine when the compressor actually starts up. However, I have noticed that many times, especially during the mid/later times of day after it's been running all day, that when the thermostat turns the system on for AC cooling, that the compressor does not run. inspecting the outside unit will show that the fan is running, just not the compressor. The system will continue to run, and the temps/humidity in the house will continue to rise. Eventually, the compressor will kick on and the house will begin to cool off. Once the compressor turns on, it will run however long it needs to reach the set temperature. When I'm actually at home and I notice that the AC is running and the compressor is not, I have had some luck with turning the system completely off, going outside with a hose and running water into the top of the unit for a few minutes, then letting everything sit for 15 minutes or so. Then when I turn the AC back on, often times the compressor starts up immediately.

    We bought the house little over a year ago, so I don't know much history on it. We had a home warranty with the purchase, and we did service for this very issue last summer, but it was not successful. The contractor that the warranty company required to use was horrible. The replaced the capacitor once, but the unit plagued us all last year. A few weeks ago, the system would not turn on at all. I contacted a HVAC company (company who did our gas inspection on the purchase of the home), and they replaced both the contacts on the AC unit as well as the capacitor again. Tech said capacitor was blown, and it was actually not the right size for the unit. So the system does run like it has always before, with the compressor not always starting up when it should.

    Does everything point to the compressor failing, or is there something else that could be at fault?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Unfortunately you’ve fallen for the home warranty scam.
    Report them to you local district attorney

    Find a qualified contractor to advise what can or should be done

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Billington Heights, NY
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    It could be something as simple as a failing capacitor and/or a contactor. Maybe a loose wire.

    I highly doubt you need a new compressor/system.

  4. Likes lions_lair liked this post
  5. #4
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    Thread Starter
    well both the contacts and the capacitor were just replaced a few weeks ago, by a company i think is honorable. seems everything outside has been covered..

  6. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    could be bad out of the box. it happens a lot.

    HWCs dont have your best interests in mind. Has anyone suggested a hard start kit? (i doubt it)

  7. #6
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    Thread Starter
    the first time the capacitor was replaced was last year by the HWC, who definitely were terrible. the last and recent contractor was not the HWC. they replaced the capacitor, and told me that the one that was on it was not correct for the unit. that tech left as when he replaced the capacitor and contacts, the ac started. after a day or two when i noticed the ac compressor was not starting when it should, the same tech said that the compressor may be on its way out, and said he could install a hard start kit, which is a last ditch effort to get it going.

  8. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    I'd do it, plus inspect all the connections. Including those in the disconnect, panel box, and compressor peckerhead.

  9. Likes lions_lair liked this post
  10. #8
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    Thread Starter
    ok thx! i’ll get that installed and see how well it does. i’d prefer to not have to make a quick decision on a new system if this unit continues its issue. very much appreciate the advice.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    St. Louis
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    The compressor is periodically having a hard time starting and opening it's internal limit, cooling the unit with water hastens the limit's cooling process; allowing it to close and start the compressor. It's more apt to happen late in the afternoon when things are cookin'. It's time for a 24 y/o Yorkie to go.

    That said, a real hard start kit, consisting of a start capacitor and potential relay; would likely help matters - but probably only for so long. If it's one of the flat beige Yorks, it's a gamble whether a real hard start will even fit in the electrical compartment.

    It's going to be hot and wet here this weekend...you don't need this. Continue with the replacement process per your other thread. Life's way to short for this sort of weather...it's simply miserable.

    Trane is a cut above Carrier, all else being equal (the installation). Whatever you get will be warrantied fully for a year, parts and labor; nine more years of parts warranty. Compressor and heat exchangers probably have separate parameters. If you are using one of the larger, well known shops; you are far more likely to get screwed via shoddy work.

    In the grand scheme of things,however, it's just not worth the hassle. Any shop you choose will be your b!tch for a year. Pull the trigger on one of 'em and get out of this mess.
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  12. #10
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    Thread Starter
    i hear ya. installing a hard start is not going to stop my search for a new system. i’m just not convinced any of the contractors i’ve met with yet deserve my business, and i don’t want to have to hurry on that decision. i would have gone with my initial Trane contractor by now, but the carrier dealer being SO MUCH cheaper that it has me haulted, and wondering if i should try to find another Trane bid.
    Last edited by jjwelly; 06-13-2018 at 10:46 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #11
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    Why not find a different OEM, like Lennox? or something else. just for comparison.

  14. #12
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    Thread Starter
    Not many Lennox dealers in my area. there is one large company that is a premier dealer. doesn’t hurt to get a bid from them i suppose. i have the luxury of working from home a couple days a week so it’s not difficult for me to meet with various dealers.

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