Monday, July 9, 2012

Condenser unit repair Hackery.

I was told the campground store's air conditioner had stopped cooling. A quick evaluation showed no cooling at the inside coils. Which meant a ladder trip up onto the roof.  Did I say it was 105 degrees F?

Snipped for out of scope details- the initial diagnosis of bad connections at the multisection run/start caps was an "not totally so "situation.  Oh- I got a restart of both compressor&fan after clean/recrimp all the slip on terminals. I did not get a second restart of the condenser fan.  Which seemed to defy logic as all tested fine for voltages and my 20 year old Elenco capacitor tester indicated both the installed caps as being within spec. As were the two spares I swapped in to eliminate some weird breakdown under load. So all that was left- was the motor. Well- I had a spare in my graveyard of still part donors.. Except it would not fit the brackets.  The motor that was acting intermittent was mounted with a "Belly Band" mount.  The motor RFE proposed as a temp fix/ even permanent if it was safe. came attached to a round grille maybe 24 inches in diameter. Clearly we had a bit of creative engineering to do.

So- we left it attached to it's screen grille and used hose clamps to secure the whole assembly to the old grille that was 26 or so inches diameter. Wired up black to one side of 220, purple to the right terminal of the run cap- and what appeared to be orangey yellow- went to the left side of the cap+ other leg of
the 220. Powered it up and it ran. Stopped it, waited for pressures to equalize and restarted- reasonable level of faith in the repair and for now- it's being called "Operational/ follow up as needed" pending hopefully the end of this year's cooling season. Addendum being that the current fan seems to have better airflow than the old one.

The intermittent motor is now on my workbench where a report on how&why it was wonky will be that "out of scope" referenced above.

Apparently the chain of servicers other than me all left various screws out and panels off. Which weathered the paper circuit diagrams and tags into nearly useless blurs. So On my "To-Do" is grabbing the diagrams etc from the net, using colored markers to highlight the as built and annotated for "AS-IS" status.. and thence laminating the pages. Same applies to using Sharpie Marker for annotating all details not stupidly obvious. Note to self- make schedule to verify oiling of  all HVAC/Cooling motors ASAP.

And to refasten all panels others had left off.


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