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Problem: Outdoor air conditioner condensing fan motor has stopped running.

Happy AC

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 a YouTube video that shows how to replace a fan motor. The YouTube video was made by hak1985org. Thank you so much hak1985org for making this informative video! 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: support@arnoldservice.com  We would love to help you out and have your business! We hope this has helped solve your problem. Steve Arnold

5 thoughts on “Problem: Outdoor air conditioner condensing fan motor has stopped running.

  1. I have York air conditioning and the condenser motor stop. I could not read the model number of the fan motor because it can’t be read. I’m thinking to replaced the fan motor So, I called York customer service and he suggested to replace the capacitor with 5 UF witch I did. I replaced it with 5 Microfarad. The A/C run for the whole night then in the morning stop running again. I need an advice from you what I should I do and what is wrong with the fan motor what else I should do. I need from you as an expert. Thank you very much. Hope you respond.

    1. Hi Joseph! If the capacitor did not fix the fan motor from failing again then I would think that you need a new fan motor. If you can read the unit’s model number then please send it to me at arnoldservice@gmail.com and I will look it up and see which fan motor York recommends. If you have a volt meter I would suggest that you turn off the power to your unit and find the two power wires (220 volt wires) that supply power to the fan motor. Turn the power back on with the thermostat set to cool and see if the motor is getting between 220 to 245 volts between the two power wires that go to the fan motor. If the motor is not getting the voltage then you might have a contactor problem or a broken wire that is not allowing the motor to get the voltage to run. It is very hard on your compressor to run without the condenser fan motor not running. So only run the air conditioner when testing for a very short period of time. If the motor is getting 220 to 245 volts and not running then you will need a new fan motor. If you can not read any information off the motor or unit so I can look up the part then there are some suppliers that can recommend a motor based on the pitch and diameter of the fan blade. You would need to call around and see if there is someone who will do this for you. I hope you can easily find and fix the problem. Steve

  2. i have a model pa10ja036-a model outside ac unit i bought a new motor and put it in and a new dual compacitor after motor runs a while it slows way down but does not get hot how do i fix it

    1. Hi Billy! I do not recognize the model number, but the only things that I think might be wrong are that maybe the dual capacitor is weak, the motor is not getting enough voltage or the motor is wired wrong. I would suggest making sure the capacitor is in good shape and make sure the motor is getting at least 210 volts at all times. I hope you can easily find and fix the problem. Steve

  3. I will be happy to try and answer any questions you have. Thanks so much for your interest and support in our website! Hope you have a blessed day! Steve

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