5 ton,14 seer,Amana, Just turned 11 yrs old, Air handler is 9 yrs old.
The original problem was that when thermostat kicked on, the condenser unit would occasionally start up and run for no more than 5-10 seconds and then quit ( the handler would continue to run though). Then after the expected 3 minute 'delay on break' time, it would try to start again and it sometimes it would repeat this and sometimes it might start up ok. For those 5 – 10 seconds there were no unusual sounds or anything, it would start up normally.. the condenser fan was spinning etc. IF the condenser got past that 5 or 10 second period, then the AC would blow cold and run fine and cool the house.
..Well, I had an HVAC guy com come look at it and he said the pressures were all reading fine so he replaced the dual cap and contactor, but due to the intermittent nature of the problem, I didn’t find out until the next day that the same problem still existed.
j..Due to the failed efforts of the previous guy, I had a new company come out and this one suspected a faulty ‘delay on break’ simply based on his experience even though no tests showed any problem with it , so he ‘disconnected it’ by pulling one of the three wires off the delay and connected it I THINK to the contactor. He couldn’t reproduce the problem at that moment due to the intermittent nature of the problem, so I didn’t find out until the next day that the condenser sounded like it was having a heart attack at start up, very rapidly starting and stopping, etc so I shut it down. The next tech came out and found the unit sparking BADLY from the contactor (note the contactor is only a month old). But he replaced the contactor anyway just in case.. So I’m thinking the previous guy messed up the wires when he disconnected the delay.
..Now I decided to have a yet a different opinion from another company because so far there has been more part replacement than actual testing occuring. After I explained the whole story, he said the pressures were fine too, but he took multimeter readings from the compressor and says its bad and that I’ll need a whole new system. However, he didn’t disconnect the wires from the compressor first when connecting the multimeter (which I would think you should do when checking Ohms but I’m not sure), and seemed to quickly remove the multimeter the moment I approached which made me very suspicious. He didn’t check anything but the pressures and the compressor with the multimeter.
At this point I don’t know who to trust, and now I don’t dare run the unit. I’m not an electric expect, but am knowledgable enough to trace wiring, check/connect/disconnect what I am told electrically speaking, can follow a schematic, and have a multimeter. I have dumped over $500 into these guys so far and simply cannot afford $4,000+ this year on a new system, or even another tech visit at this point. I would think I should reasonably get another 5 years from this system, everything physically looks to be in very good shaped with very little rust or corrosion on anything.
1) There are three terminals on the compressor unit and I would like to know what the readings should be across them to see if the compressor actually is bad. I disconnected the wires from the compressor and checked ohms directly across each of the terminals and received readings of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.5, and I don’t receiving any readings to ground. Do those numbers sound right? I have found conflicting information on the web that basically the numbers should be the same.
2) To make sure the tech didn’t screw up the ‘delay on break’ wires…Where should each of the three 'delay on break' wires be connected to?
Please help. Thank you very much, Brandon