Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oh, brilliant.

The heat and air guy has been and gone.  The problem isn't with the air conditioner.  The problem is electrical.  There's power in the house at the breaker box, but it's not making it out to the compressor.

That means that the relatively simple, inexpensive fix that I was thinking we needed (a refill on the coolant) is going to turn into a much more expensive fix by an electrician. 


  1. That, in my opinion, is an inadequate response. Electricity is simple, a qualified AC tech should have the proper tools, and they should be able to diagnose the problem as:

    - Bad circuit breaker at the main breaker box
    - Open circuit between the breaker and the outside disconnect
    - Bad outside disconnect.

    Narrowing that down tells an electrician much and the repair is

    -Replace the breaker
    -Run a new circuit to the outside disconnect
    -Replace the outside disconnect.

    I know technicians become frustrated with such things, but if they'd wrote it down, you would have an accurate description of the problem and know the right questions to ask an electrician, or a task that can easily be repaired by anyone with some gumption, the internet and some simple hand tools.

    1. He did write it down. That was my summary of the problem.

      'Nother problem was that I didn't know the AC breaker wasn't in the house--it was under the meter. Odysseus reminded me that when we had to have the meter wired back in (it was ripped off the house by half a tree in '09), they found that the people who'd put in the central heat & air wired it straight into the meter, instead of into a breaker, and just added a couple under the meter. Those were flipped, and flipped again, and the breaker on the compressor was flipped and flipped again (both are now on, and everything's got power), but there's still a problem with the compressor. So, we're calling the AC guy back to see if he can figure it out.

      Apparently, the electric guy either thought it wasn't worth charging, or something, because he took off before Odysseus could ask him how much we needed to write the check for.

    2. Usually, code only allows one connection to the bottom of the meter. That's probably why he didn't charge anything. It's an easy fix and his license isn't on the line.

      Hopefully it's something as simple as a bad contactor or capacitor, or the compressor only needs a wire repaired where they connect to the compressor. They're common problems and usually repaired in a short amount of time.

    3. I certainly hope so. We've got a window unit in the utility room (one of two windows in the house that open), and it's keeping things to a tolerable level of low-mid 80's indoors, but...we have to shut the kids' bedroom doors to keep the cats from running over them while they're playing.