AC Condenser Fan Won't Spin and Overheats But Can Be Kickstarted


Before you begin, make sure to pull out/turn off the serviceman switch, and/or turn off the breaker, to remove power to the unit. Once you open the unit, you'll want to discharge the capacitor(s). A charged capacitor can store enough energy to kill you, so you want to make sure you discharge them.

To check the motor, you're going to want to check the resistance of the coils in the motor. To do this, you'll need a multimeter set to measure resistance in Ohms. You'll also have to identify the wires, which will depend on the unit you're working on. Use the schematic printed inside the unit, or in the manufacturer's documentation, to determine which wires are which. You'll want to determine which wires connect to the Common, Run, and Start motor terminals.

Once you know which wires go where, you'll measure the resistance as follows:

Common -> Start Common -> Run Start -> Run

If you sum the value measured between Common and Run, with the value measured between...

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Last year my home's central air condenser fan motor stopped working. When I noticed the house wasn't cooling down I went outside to investigate and found there was a humming sound coming from the unit, but the fan wasn't turning.

After researching the problem online, I found the capacitor may be bad and causing the problem. The capacitor wasn't blown, but I replaced it anyways. The problem still existed; Fan won't spin and a humming sound is coming from the unit.

So, I inferred that the motor must be bad. Yesterday I unbolted the fan from the unit to try and spin the blades by hand. To my surprise, it spun. It spun 3 to 5 rotations with a medium amount of force (the same force it would take to bounce a basketball 8 feet in the air). I expected the motor to be stuck and not spin at all, so now I'm second guessing myself.

My question is: How freely should it spin? I've read in numerous places that the blade should spin "freely", but I'm not sure what that means....

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I had the same exact problem...loud buzzing noise coming from unit outside but outside fan not spinning. Tried the "stick" test, and to my surprise, the fan started spinning!!!! And we have cold air upstairs!! Woo Hoo!

I wish I had known about the "stick" test last night. The whole family had to crash downstairs for the night (downstairs A/C unit was putting out cold air okay). It was 89 degrees upstairs at 10pm last night, and 77 degree downstairs. Anyways, my Rheem A/C unit was manufactured in Jan 2003. The manual states that the unit has a 5 year warranty starting 6 months after the manufactured date. So that would mean the warranty expires this month, and tomorrow is the last day of the month!!

Do you think I still need to call a service rep to repair the unit?
I just stopped the unit and waited for 5 minutes and turned the unit on again, and the outside fan started up by itself so all appears to be normal now.

My wife thinks I still should call...

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A condensing fan motor should never be too hot to touch and be overheating on any unit whether it be a heat pump, air conditioner, or split system. The easiest and most common way to quickly tell is to place your hand on the top of it and it should be warm but if it is very hot (too hot to touch) then there is a problem. You can also measure the temperature with a thermometer, HVAC technicians often use infrared temperature guns that can read the temperature without ever touching the condensing fan motor, but a standard thermometer will also work.

Every condensing fan motor has a temperature it can safely operate at. This operating temperature is written on the side of the motor name tag which also has all the information about the motor,most motors run around 70 degrees Celsius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes the name tag can be easily seen and sometimes it will have to be lifted out to see. Lifting out a motor is easy as they are usually mounted to...

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Hello -

I have a problem that I can't seem to figure out. I have taken it to BMW and they cannot figure it out either. I have a 1999 540i with 156K mikes on it. The car has been overheating while driving normally. The car had a thermostat replaced in 2008 but I had another one done a few days ago. We also replaced the water pump, water pump, overflow reservoir and bleeder screw. We made sure that the clutch fan is working and always on - check. Bled the coolant as normal and all looks normal.

The car is NOT smoking or leaking fluid from anywhere. No engine vibrations, smoke or anything AND the exhast is clear- no smoke or fumes.

When I start up the car the temperature starts off cold, and moves to a normal position within about 5 minutes (85 degrees F here in Texas). No white smoke from the exhaust. I can rev the engine up and the temp gauge stays normal. I can leave the car to idle for 20 minutes, with the AC running, and the temp is fine. I can rev the car up, and...

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The AC condenser is the component that converts the refrigerant from a gas to liquid so that it can flow through the AC system. As the condenser basically functions as a heat exchanger for the AC system, a great amount of heat is expelled from it during the conversion from gas to liquid. If the condenser becomes too hot, it will not be able to convert the refrigerant into cooled liquid form required to produce cold air. The AC condenser fan is designed to keep the condenser cool so that it can continue to efficiently convert the gas into liquid, and keep the AC system operating correctly. A defective fan can cause problems with the entire AC system. Usually the vehicle will display a few symptoms when the condenser fan has failed.


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1. Lukewarm...

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My AC blows cold air, so I assume my compressor outside works OK. Please correct if that's an incorrect assumption.

The problem is, there is very little cold airflow that comes out of the floor ducts... To the point that closing all the windows and running AC makes a negligible difference in room temperatures, at least as much as the wife desires it to alter.... I.e. if 85 inside and we set it to 70, the 70°F is never reached.

I have the setup where compressor is outside, and fan/evaporator coils are inside as part of the furnace unit.

Can any components be swapped internally to alleviate this low air condition, or is a new system the only option? My dad said the motor and fan can be upgraded, but he knows refrigeration better than AC hence why I'm here asking.

Lastly, my house was built in the 70s, could this also be a problem with an inefficient HVAC duct design more than the poor and old AC system?

PS, filter is brand new so that isnt the...

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It's impossible to tell whether that is the solution. But I can tell you what to check to find out.

You need to check the radiator for flow and even and decent heat dissipation. In a car this old that may be one of your problems.

You need to check the water pump for flow.

You clearly need to check the cooling fan temp sensor and the fan relay. Clearly the fan should be coming on.

Under the circumstances, I'd also perform a cylinder leakdown test to see if I had a breeched headgasket. Or, at least, test the coolant with a lab strip to check for the presence of hydrocarbons.

The rust suggests that you routinely have air voids in the system. Improper purging & filling, allowing the coolant to run low from a leak, or even combustion gasses from a breeched headgasket could all share blame.

I'd go with the possibility of a leak. Perhaps from the water pump. The shaft seal can begin to leak when the pump gets old, and it often won't leak unless...

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AC technician replaced my condenser fan (through a home warranty service). The new fan worked for 5 min and stopped working after that. the fan motor was extremely hot (180F or more) The old fan motor was 1.4 A 240 V and 1/4 hp. the new motor is also of the same configuration. the only thing i missed out is the RPM. i don't remember the RPM of the old motor and the new motor RPM is 1040. The AC technician took away the old motor and recycled it.

What can be the problem here?

I looked in some forums that the RPM mismatch can overheat the motor and damage it. i have no way of knowing the RPM of the original motor. I looked in manufacturer manual and there is no mention of it. is RPM matching that important? [ My unit is maytag DS3BD-036K ]

Very similar to question What could cause a replacement A/C condenser fan motor to only run for 3...

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The fan might need to be replaced. Before spending money on a new one, you can confirm this by jumping 12 volts to it. Do this by getting two wires with thick copper, such as from an old extension cord or good speaker wires, connect a wire to each battery terminal, then plug the other ends into the connector on the unplugged fan to see if it comes on (the car can be off). If the fan spins, you have a more serious electrical problem, I would start in the fuse box with the condenser fan relay. The owner's manual should help you locate this, you could unplug it and take to the auto parts for a free test. But if the fan does not come on, you know a new fan could solve your problem but get the relay checked anyway. I usually buy parts online for the best deals, and RockAuto has good prices. I see they have the best price for your fan. Just google "2004 honda element condenser fan".


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1 Answer

When I turn on my a/c the car starts to everheat

When ever the car overheats,it is always the best thing on your car,to check the cooling fans.When the ac is on,look to see if the cooling fans are running,and running fast,and smoothly.In your case,I am going to go out on a limb,and say they are not.First check for blown cooling fan fuse.Then,if the fuses are alright,check the cooling fan relays,most likely more than one.One prong,or spade coming out of the relay,is ground(where it plugs up).To make the relay energize,ground this terminal with a test light .Just like you are using the test light to check for 12 volts.When you touch the ground spade on the relay it will energize the relay to turn the fans on.Just pull the relay out of it`s spot,just enough to touch the spade.Do this with the ac on,and engine running.The clutch relay on most cars will energize the relay,but the ac compressor is working on your car,so it is either the fan relay,or the high side...

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Disconnect the electricity to the condensing unit at either a disconnect box located near the condensing unit or in the circuit breaker box. Disconnect boxes mount on the house near the condensing unit and use either a removable bus-bar or a switch that looks like a circuit breaker. The label for the correct circuit breaker, in the circuit breaker box, should read either "air conditioner" or "heat pump."

Unscrew the control panel's access cover with the correct-size nut driver, usually 1/4- or 5/16-inch. Following the wire's conduit from the disconnect box, or where it exits the house, will lead to the control panel. Place the screws in a safe place.

Pull down on the access cover to release it from the top lip of the condensing unit's lid.

Place the leads from a voltmeter on the contactor's wire terminals. The thick high-voltage wires that enter the control panel connect to the contactor. The meter must read zero.

Unscrew the...

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I've had this issue on 4 occasions, since having several laptops since 2007. It didn't matter what brand(Toshiba, HP, Dell, ASUS)

Everything you're talking about is plausible.

My situation was resolved in the following way. As much as I have taken on board ALL the comments that OTHER people have also suggested, realistically all the 4 occasions were resolved after finding the one factor in all of them. When I replaced a NEW battery, the overheating issue wasn't a factor anymore. When I returned the OLD battery, YES I had what everybody complained about. In all 3 occasions I did the following; while assuming the battery was OK because I had often kept the AC connection plugged in, of course seeing the FULL BATTERY image made me feel the BATTERY was fine. It was easy to just go on with whatever I was doing. When I came across the issue with the hard drive overheating, I just happened to have a friend that owns a computer store that gave me a NEW or currently working...

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I have had an Acer v3-571G for about a year now. I play a fair bit of games on this thing and it was pretty decent regarding the temps. Right when I got it I tested it by playing nonstop for 2-3 hours and the cpu temps were at 80-85C which seems like alot but from what I've gathered It's pretty standard for a 15.6 media laptop. Recently however I noticed alot of performance drops due to throttling even after 20-30 mins of gaming so I decided to check the temps using core temp and I was pretty shocked to see that it was sitting at 90+ and got to 99C... at one point. The fan however is not even close to spinning at max speed. I can't actually monitor the fan profile or rpm because no software can detect it and it's not in the BIOS either. Just from hearing though I can tell that it's spinning at about it's 3rd fastest setting because earlier I remember this thing sounding like a vacuum cleaner at times, when the temps got really hot. I don't mind the noise, I just want to game...

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In continuing our series of articles on "How Much Does It Cost?" we wanted to address some common questions homeowners ask and are searching online for an answer or giving them some idea on what the costs might be. In today's world, you can just Google your questions. At Sims Heating & Cooling, it's our goal to be the ones to answer the questions the best we can with amount of information we have to work with.(i.e. not being able to look at your HVAC System)

Hey, is it more than $100 or $2000..., there's a big difference.

There's a feeling we've all experienced if you've owned a car or truck long enough when you need something repaired and in your mind you're thinking the repair is probably $200 - $300, but the actual bill ends up to be $1100. Yikes!!

Unless money is no object that causes an increase in stress when personal cash flow is tight today for most people. It can be stressful.

Having transportation to get to work or being cool during hot summer...

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This article describes a common overheating laptop scenario along with a fix that works.

Overheating laptop and related shutdown problems are very common in notebook computers, especially in home use. Common symptoms of laptop overheating include some or all from this list;

Laptop is extremely hot to the touch, especially around the fan exhaust area Laptop fan is constantly running at high speed Laptop shuts down by itself when doing nothing Laptop shuts down when playing games These laptop overheating or shutdown problems become worse over time, rather than getting better.

In around 1 in 10 cases of laptop overheating, there is potentially a phyical fault with the cooling hardware.

By this I mean either a mechanical failure with the fan where it can no longer spin, or it spins too slowly, or a motherboard electrical fault which exhibits itself by not telling the fan to spin fast enough to cool the laptop.

However 9 out of 10 cases of laptop...

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hello CharlotHandyman,

Thanks for your question, and welcome to the community!

We get this issue a lot regarding fan troubles working in my store's lighting department as well as here online.

If the ceiling fan is wired on the same switch as your lights are, and the lights are still working fine as you say, the culprit maybe a defective fan switch. If you have humming between pulls as the previous user stated, it maybe a capacitor that has gone bad too. But first, I would check with replacing the fan speed switch on your ceiling fan. Make sure to turn your power off leading to the fan first, and take off the light kit. This exposes the fan switch which can be swapped out easily and it takes hardly no time to replace.

Below is a picture of one we sell, but make sure to note which wires go to what and how many you have before purchasing a new one...

Try switching out the switch, and hopefully this should be the solution to your fan...

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Window air conditioners are very simple appliances. They operate on the exact same principles as a refrigerator, freezer, or dehumidifier.

Please look for information on how window air conditioners work in these areas:

All residential window air conditioners have a cooling system made up of four primary components, a compressor, an evaporator, a metering device, and a condenser. Air conditioner cooling systems are better understood if you think of them as devices that remove warmth from the air rather than cooling the air.

Blower fan
When the unit is running, the circulating fan and compressor are running simultaneously. The fan motor has two fan blades attached to it on either end. The fan...

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