Problem: Outdoor condensing fan motor has stopped running. Compressor runs for about a minute then starts making all kinds of racket. Outdoor unit gets really hot!
Answer: This problem could be caused by a bad motor run capacitor or a bad fan motor. Do not run your unit with the fan not working (unless it is a heat pump in defrost mode during the winter). This is very hard on the compressor because without the fan running the air conditioning unit builds up high head pressure many times over 350 PSI. To protect the compressor from blowing up the compressor has an internal pressure relief valve that releases the internal pressure. If the compressor is running with the internal pressure relief valve open the compressor will make all kinds of terrible noise and if the compressor runs long enough it will over-heat and then go off on internal thermal over-load. Many service calls that I made where the fan stopped I would have to turn the power off to the unit and try to cool the compressor down with a cool towel and use a hose with water running over the compressor to cool it down before the internal thermal overload on the compressor would reset. This sometimes takes several hours for the compressor to cool down enough to reset the thermal over-load. Many times I would make another service call then come back, or if it was late in the evening we would have to wait until the next morning for the compressor to cool down enough to start. If you see the capacitor is swollen then you have found the problem and replacing the capacitor should solve the problem. If the capacitor is not swollen then I would suggest that if you do not have a capacitor tester you might want to try and remove the capacitor and take it to a local appliance parts store to see if they would test the capacitor for you. Please see our Run Capacitor Page to purchase a new capacitor. Please click here if you would like to see the over 80 different capacitors that we sell. If your motor capacitor is not the problem, then more than likely you need a new motor. Is the fan blade tight, stiff or hard to turn? You should be able to spin the fan blade and it should continue to turn for 2 or 3 seconds after you release the blade. If the fan blade is hard to turn then you probably need a new motor because the motor bearings are causing the fan blade not to turn easily. Below we have two really good YouTube videos that show How to troubleshoot an Outside Condenser Fan that is not working and How to Replace a Condenser Fan Motor. The YouTube videos were made by Word of Advice TV and hak1985org. Thank you so much Word of Advice TV and hak1985org for making these informative videos! If you do not have a fan blade puller I explain how I remove a fan blade without a puller on the following page: Please click here to go to our tricks on how to remove a stuck condenser fan blade. We sell many different brand fan motors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the many different condenser fan motors that we sell. Please send us your unit’s model number if you would like for us to try and find the OEM condenser fan motor that your unit uses. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to help you out and have your business! We hope this has helped solve your problem. Steve Arnold