Posted on Leave a comment

10 Reasons Why AC Contactor is Not Pulling In

Bryant Carrier Air Conditioner Contactor

Problem: My air conditioner or heat pump contactor contacts will not pull down. If I press in on the contacts with an insulated screwdriver the unit will run just fine. When I quit pushing down manually with the screwdriver the contacts open and my AC shuts off!  What is causing the contactor to not pull down and start my air conditioner?

Answer: We have this question asked many times during the air conditioning season. There are at least 10 reasons why the contactor on an air conditioner or heat pump will not pull in. Below I listed the 10 reasons. We also have a great YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV that explains these 10 reasons in detail. Many thanks to Word of Advice TV for making this informative, excellent video! If you have any questions please email us anytime support@arnoldservice.com. We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

10 Reasons why the Air Conditioner Contactor is not pulling in: 

  1. The furnace power switch or the air handler breaker might be turned off. The furnace door might be loose and allowing the door safety switch to not be engaged. Make sure the furnace power switch is on and your furnace blower door is on tight.
  2. Make sure that your condensate pump safety switch has not tripped. Make sure that your condensate pump is working. If a condensate pump is not working then sometimes (if connected) the safety switch will go off and cause the entire AC system to shut down so that you do not get water damage in your home.
  3. You could have a bad thermostat or bad, loose thermostat wiring. Make sure that all your thermostat wires are good and tight.
  4. You could have bad wiring. I would recommend that you check all wiring to make sure that the insulation is good and there are no breaks in the wires. I have seen animals and weed eaters damage the thermostat wires and cause the fuse to blow on the control board or cause the low voltage transformer to burn up.
  5. You could have a bad 5-minute delay board. We sell some of these delay timers on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see some of the delay timers we sell. There are different makes and model timers, but they can go bad and cause the air conditioner to no come on.
  6. You could have a bad control board in the furnace or loose wires coming from the furnace control board.
  7. You could have a bad power saver switch that is installed by the electric company to control the time that your air conditioner is on in the summertime. There is a way to temporarily bypass this switch to see if this is the problem.
  8. You could have an open, tripped or bad HPS (High-Pressure Switch) LPS (Low-Pressure Switch).  If your unit is low on refrigerant charge then the low-pressure switch might be open or tripped. If your unit is dirty, over-charged, has a restriction in the system, or has a slow or broken fan motor (might need a new capacitor) then the high-pressure switch might be open or tripped.
  9. You might have a bad contactor. Either the contactor 24-volt coil can go bad, the contacts could be burnt or pitted or insects and dirty might get in between the contacts and cause the contactor to not work. We sell many different contactors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the contactors we sell. 
  10. You could have a bad low voltage transformer. Most of the time when a low voltage transformer is bad or burnt out it is caused by a low voltage short in the low voltage wiring. Most of the time it is in the low voltage thermostat wires where animals, weedeaters, or a break down of the insulation in the wires from being exposed to sunlight over the years. Check the thermostat wires for breaks, worn insulation, and grounding out where the wires travel through the furnace, air handler, or air conditioner’s frame. I have seen many ground out shorts and burnt out transformers caused by animals and worn wire insulation where the wires travel through the frame of the furnace, air handler, air conditioner, or heat pump unit.  We sell many low voltage transformers. Please click here if you would like to see the transformers that we sell. 

Below is an excellent YouTube Video that discusses these 10 reasons in detail. Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV for making this great video!

 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: Why is my Air Conditioner Contactor Going Out So Often?

Bryant Carrier Air Conditioner Contactor

Problem: Why do I have to replace my air conditioner contactor so often? This happens every couple of weeks. Either my contactor’s contacts are welded closed which keeps the air conditioner running continuously without me being able to turn it off without pulling the high voltage disconnect or the contactor quits working altogether?

Answer: Thanks so much for asking this question!  I have seen many contactors go out prematurely in our HVAC business.  Contactors going out prematurely are usually caused by dirt, moisture, or low voltage. I would like to suggest that you test your coil voltage and make sure that you are keeping a minimum of 24 volts AC to the contactor coil. If you are not getting at least 24 volts AC to the contactor coil then contactor contacts will chatter, vibrate, arc, and burn the contactor out prematurely. If you are not getting at least 24 volts to the contactor then you might have a loose low voltage wire connection, a thermostat that needs new batteries or you might need a new transformer or a transformer with a  higher VA rating. Most transformers are 40 VA. You might want to get a transformer that is more than 40 VA. We have a really good YouTube Video made by #ToolboxTuesday below that describes what causes contactors to fail. Thanks #ToolboxTuesday for making this excellent video!   Please click here if you are interested in a good universal low voltage transformerPlease click here if you are interested in a new contactor. Please email us anytime if you have any questions. Our email address is support@arnoldservice.comWe would love to help you out and have your business! We hope that this post helps you find out what is causing your contactor to fail so often.  We hope you all have a great and blessed day! 

 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioner?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioning? We have this question asked quite often during the summer months. The problem is that the blower fan will not come on because the fan relay on the control board has failed. It is on the weekend when getting a control board is impossible or the person does not want to wait on a new control board to be shipped in before they can use their air conditioner.  It is hot and they need air conditioning now.  I wanted to make a post and write about how to bypass the control board to get air conditioning back on while waiting for a new control board.

Answer: This answer is intended to be used on PSC  (Permanent Split Capacitor) motors and not ECM (electronically commutated motors). If you have an ECM motor do not try this. If you have a 220-volt air handler do not try this.  If you are not comfortable working with electricity and working with your hands then do not try this. We here at Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. are not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment that might occur when doing this control board bypass. This answer is intended to help you get your air conditioning working again while you wait to have a new furnace control board installed. I feel so very sorry for people who have to wait on a control board to come in when wanting to run their air conditioner on those hot summer days and nights! I know that I would want to have air conditioning if there was any way possible! I hope this will help you get your air conditioner back on until you can get a new control board installed. We have a really good video below made by Travis Poe and HVAC contractor. Mr. Poe explains how he bypassed a furnace control board to run the blower by tying into the furnace door switch. This is an excellent idea! Thanks so very much to Travis Poe for making this great YouTube video. Below the video, I have another idea where I explain how to bypass the control board and connect the blower motor using an extension cord. You could use either method. Mr. Poe’s explanation seems to be a lot simpler than my explanation. 

You can also bypass the furnace control board with a heavy-duty extension cord as I describe here. This is the email I wrote to one of our potential customers when they asked if there was a way to bypass the furnace control board so the family could get air conditioning while waiting on a new control board. Here is my answer: The control board is used to start and stop the fan motor on your indoor furnace blower motor in both heating and air conditioning mode. There is a fan relay on the board that controls the blower motor. The control board should have nothing to do with the AC coming off and on because on most boards unless you have a high efficiency two speed AC. The only function of the control board for most AC installations is to provide a junction for the two Y wires at the furnace control board and the control board is not used to turn the outdoor unit off and on. The thermostat controls the AC outdoor unit to go off and on through the Y connection. The control board is used to turn the fan blower off and on. If you could by-pass your control board fan relay and run an extension cord to your fan blower motor then this would allow you to run your AC. You should be able to do this by turning the power off to your furnace and disconnecting the wires that go to your blower motor from the control board. Usually, there are 5 wires that come from the blower motor. Black, White, Blue, Yellow, and Red.  The Black, Blue, Yellow and Red wires are the furnace speed wires. The white wire is usually the neutral or common wire. You will only use two of the wires black and white coming from the blower motor to connect to the extension cord. I would suggest using a heavy gauge extension cord with at least 14 gauge wire because some blower motors require on the average 5 to 12 amps of power. You will need a good extension cord so it does not rob the blower motor of electricity. I would suggest using electrical tape to tape over the ends of the blower wires that you do not use so they will not short to ground.  You would hook the hot wire usually black (high speed)  on the blower to the black wire of a stripped extension cord with a wire nut then hook the white (neutral wire) of your blower motor to the white wire of the extension cord and plug the extension cord into a 120-volt outlet. The blower motor should start and run.  Turn your furnace back on so you will get 24 volts to the thermostat. Turn your thermostat to cooling and turn the thermostat down so your outdoor AC comes on. This should provide AC for your home. You will need to of course manually unplug the blower and turn up the AC thermostat when you want the AC to stop. I hope this helps you get air conditioning until your new control board arrives. God Bless you and your family today and always! Steve

 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on Leave a comment

Problem: Please explain the refrigeration cycle that is used in air conditioners and heat pumps?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: Please explain the refrigeration cycle that is used in air conditioners and heat pumps? I do not understand how an air conditioner changes a vapor into a liquid? How can this cool my home?

Answer: Great question! This question and how the refrigeration cycle works in air conditioners and heat pumps is what totally excited me about learning the HVAC business! This is totally amazing how this works!  Can you imagine how excited and jubilant Willis Carrier was in 1902 when he invented the first air conditioning system! The refrigerant cycle amazes me how a high-pressure high-temperature gas vapor can be changed into a liquid in the condenser, then shot through a metering device to produce low pressure, low-temperature vapor in the evaporator to cool our homes!!! We have two really good quick YouTube videos below where AC Service Tech explains the refrigeration cycle. I explain the refrigeration cycle in more detail below the video. This really amazes me how air conditioners and heat pumps work!  If you have any questions please let us know. Our email address is Support@arnoldservice.com

We would love to help you out and earn your business!

 

I explain the refrigeration cycle in more detail below:

  1. The refrigeration system, your air conditioning system is a hermetically sealed system. You do not want any dirt, moisture, or foreign materials inside the refrigeration system or you will have problems over time. This is why HVAC techs evacuate the system with a Vaccum pump and install filters driers to make sure the system is clean and sealed. No leaks are a must.
  2. The compressor is the heart of the refrigeration cycle. The job of the compressor is to take a low-pressure low-temperature gas and make it into a high-temperature high-pressure gas.
  3. The compressor sends this high-temperature high-pressure gas into the air conditioner’s condensing unit where the refrigerant goes through a long series of tubing and coils where the condenser fan cools the refrigerant so that the high-temperature high-pressure vapor is cooled and condensed into a high-pressure medium temperature liquid! My HVAC teacher said to think of the refrigerant being cooled and turning into a liquid as like at night time when the air is cooled by not having the warm sun. The vapor water in the air is cooled and it comes down on the grass like dew. This made it so easy for me to understand. Yes! Water in the air is cooled at night then we have dew on the ground in the morning!
  4. This high-pressure medium temperature liquid is sent to the metering device. This metering device could be a capillary tube, TXV (thermostatic expansion valve), or a restrictor orifice. I have pictures of these three different metering devices below.
Above Cap Tube metering device.
Above TXV Metering Device:
Above Orifice Metering Device:

5. The metering device has a high-pressure liquid refrigerant (R22, R410A) on the front side and as the refrigerant passes through the metering device and is sprayed into the evaporator coil it changes the high-pressure medium temperature liquid into a low pressure, low-temperature vapor. This is where we get cooling in the evaporator coil where the liquid refrigerant is being boiled into a low-temperature low-pressure gas! I have a picture of the evaporator coil below. This is so amazing to me!

Above picture of an evaporator coil:

6. The evaporator coil gets really cold and our furnace or air handler’s blower blows our home’s unconditioned warm air across the evaporator coil where much of the heat and humidity is removed and we get that nice, fresh air-conditioned air! Thanks be to God on a hot, humid summer day!!

7. The cool gas in the evaporator is returned back to the compressor where the compressor takes the cool refrigerant gas and makes the gas into a high-temperature high-pressure gas where the refrigeration cycle starts all over again! This cycle continues on and on until your home is cool enough and the thermostat turns the AC or heat pump unit off. I hope this amazes you as much as it amazes me! If you have any questions please comment below or email us at support@arnoldservice.com

We would love to help you out and try to answer your questions!

 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on

Problem: Please explain how to read air conditioner refrigeration gauges?

Problem: I would like to check the charge on my air conditioner or heat pump unit. I purchased some air conditioner freon refrigerant gauges, but have no idea what all the numbers pressures and temperatures mean. Please explain how to read the HVAC freon air conditioner gauges.  Please explain what all the numbers and temperatures mean?

Answer: I found a great YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that describes how to read manifold air conditioner refrigeration gauges when using either R22 or 410A refrigerant. AC Service Tech explains what things affect the pressures on the low and high side gauges. If you have any questions please email us anytime. Support@arnoldservice.com

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot HVAC Circuits

Problem: In troubleshooting heating and air conditioning problems it is very important to know how to use a multimeter.  I remember when I did not know how to use a multimeter and I would use the trial and error method for testing circuits! If the circuit breaker blew then I had it wired wrong. If the breaker held I was right! This, of course, was very dangerous and I do not want anyone to use this trial and error method! The trial and error method is very scary, to say the least!  It is a wonder that I did not burn the house down or get hurt from electrical shock! Many people do not know how to use a multimeter and I wanted to list this post and video that shows how to use a multimeter! Of course,  as we all know electricity (the flow of electrons in a conductor) can not be seen. We need to know how to use a multimeter and we need a good multimeter to be able to troubleshoot, find, and fix HVAC, automobile, and home electrical problems. 

Solution: Learn how to properly use a multimeter to troubleshoot heating and air conditioning equipment. We have a really good YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV that explains how to use a multimeter in detail. The Word of Advice Video explains what the multimeter is capable of doing and then shows how each of the functions of the multimeter are used in troubleshooting and testing a furnace. The video shows how to check resistance, voltage, continuity, capacitors, batteries micro-amps, and more! Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent educational video!  We sell the same G2 Phoenix Pro multimeter that is used and shown in the video below on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the Phoenix Pro Multimeter that we sell. 

It is unbelievable and awesome how many different tests and functions that you can do with a good multimeter! The most useful thing that I found with multimeters in troubleshooting is the ability to read electricity and amperage through an insulated wire! How can it do that? Just clamp around the outside of the wire and see how many amps are being used and see the flow of electricity! Awesome to say the least!  I hope this video helps you understand how to use a multimeter! If you have any questions please email us anytime or comment below. Our email address is support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business!

 

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on 2 Comments

How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot HVAC Problems.

Problem: We have many people and potential customers ask us to try and help troubleshoot their furnace and air conditioning systems without the use of a multimeter. In many cases, I suggest that people purchase a low-cost multimeter so they can find the problem. As we all know electricity, which is the flow of electrons in a conductor can not be seen so a multimeter is essential for troubleshooting HVAC systems. We sell multimeters on the following pages: the Fieldpiece SC260 Clamp Multimeter , The Ames Pocket-Sized Digital Multimeter Capacitor Tester, and UEi DL389B G2 Phoenix Pro Plus True-RMS AC Clamp Multimeter (With Temperature)

Solution: Purchase a good multimeter and learn how to use it. Below we have two really good YouTube videos on “How to Use a Multimeter”. The first video made by Word of Advice TV is very detailed and shows all the Multimeter functions and how to use the meter to test components on an HVAC System. The video made by AC Service Tech near the bottom shows a shorter version on how to use the Multimeter and test components. We have the G2 Phoenix Series Multimeter like what is used in the YouTube Videos for sale on the following page: UEi DL389B G2 Phoenix Pro Plus True-RMS AC Clamp Multimeter (With Temperature)  We hope these two videos help you to learn how to use a Multimeter. Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV and AC Service Tech for making these two informative videos! I you have any questions please let us know by commenting below or emailing us. Our email is support@arnoldservice.com. We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

Posted on

How to Troubleshoot a Control Board on a Furnace

Problem: How do I know if my control board is good or bad? My furnace and air conditioner will not work at all?

Answer: We have this question asked many times. My furnace and blower will work or come on no matter what I do? How do I check to see if my control board is the problem? We have a really good YouTube Video below made by Word of Advice TV on how to troubleshoot a furnace’s control board. Thanks so much to Word of Advice TV for making this great troubleshooting video! I would like to suggest that you check with a volt-meter set to “Volts AC” and make sure all your safety controls are closed when the draft inducer is running and the thermostat is calling for heat. We sell a really good volt meter on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see a really nice multimeter that we sell. If any of the safety controls like the furnace’s limit, rollout switches or pressure switch are open then the control board will not allow the furnace to start. Here is a picture of two limits and one rollout switch.

limits_three

If the furnace’s draft inducer will not start or if the blower motor will not start then this could very well be a control board problem. I hope the YouTube video below will help you troubleshoot your furnace’s control board. We sell many different brand name control boards on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the control boards that we sell. 

If you have any questions please email us anytime. If you would like for us to find out which part or parts your furnace uses then please send us your furnace’s name brand and model number to our email address: support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

Posted on

How to clean out a 90% high-efficiency furnace’s condensate drain line properly

We have many people who have high-efficiency furnaces that either leak water in the wintertime or the condensate drain line stops up and causes pressure switch problems. If the blink code on your furnace is showing a pressure switch fault then you might have a stopped up furnace condensate line. The blink code is the blink code (number of LED flashes) on the furnace’s control board. The blink code key most of the time is found on the furnace’s blower door or access door. If you have a 90% high-efficiency furnace that produces water in the wintertime then we have an excellent YouTube video below made by AC Service Tech that shows how to properly clean out the condensate drain line. Thanks so much to AC Service Tech for making this excellent video! We have condensate traps and condensate line drain kits on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in seeing the various furnace condensate traps and condensate line repair kits that we sell.

If you have any questions or if you would like for use to look up a part for your furnace or air conditioner then please send us your furnaces brand name and model number to our email address: support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! Steve & Barbara Arnold

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

Posted on

Why is it Important to Know Your HVAC System’s Static Pressure!

Problem: We had a person send us an email this week who had an 8-year-old heat pump compressor burn out. He wanted us to post on our site the importance of having your HVAC company check the static air pressure in your duct system. The company that installed the new heat pump unit said the reason the compressor burned out was that it was due to the lack of return air in the ductwork. Our customer said, “WOW… how many HVAC companies have worked on my unit>>> TOO DARN MANY… and NO ONE even said or checked my return air static pressure. Steve, make sure you tell people about how important is it to have their static pressure checked.”

Solution: If you are having a new HVAC system installed or if you are having airflow problems with your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump system then it is very important to have your HVAC company do a static air pressure test to make sure that your ductwork is sized correctly and you do not have restrictions in your furnace or ductwork that are causing airflow problems. This is why it is important to not have a furnace filter that is too restrictive to airflow. Static Pressure is like the blood pressure in your HVAC system’s duct work. We have two Youtube videos below that explain why it is important to know and test your HVAC system’s static air pressure. Thanks so very much to Eddie L for an excellent drawn-out explanation of what static pressure actually is and to Althoff Industries who explains and shows how to test static pressure! I hope that these videos help you understand the importance of having your HVAC System’s Static pressure tested.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.