Wed 11 Aug 2010
At AC Repair Virginia Beach it is my goal to keep the public informed about potential pitfalls when it comes to hiring a heating and cooling company… this is one of those warnings…
I get a few calls each summer from folks who tell me they think they have a bad fan motor on the unit that sits outside their house.
They think it is bad because it may not be spinning or is extremely hot when you touch the top of it… certainly indications of a bad fan motor but most of the time it is something else.
Problem is, if you tell a company you think you need a new motor many will be happy to sell you one if you need it or not… believe me, this happens.
And, many companies will flat out lie to you and tell you the motor is bad even if you have not suspected it to be so, but how do you know for sure?
The average price for a new fan motor in Virginia Beach is over $450! So, you need to be careful and question what the technician is telling you.
Most of the time when the outdoor fan is not spinning and it is in the summer time, the culprit is a bad capacitor. Watch carefully when the technician removes the electric panel cover, which he must do to check for a bad fan motor by the way, and look for something that looks like an aluminum can, about half the size of a coke can, with wires coming out of the top of it.
This is called the capacitor. It should be absolutely flat on top, but if it is bad it will have a bit of a bulge to it most of the time. Even if the technician says the cap upon visual inspection is okay, have him temporarily replace it anyway to be sure.
If he says he can’t and that if he puts one on you will have to buy it, tell him to leave immediately!!!!!!!
I carry test capacitors for this very reason and so should everyone else.
Now, if you have a bad capacitor or dirty condenser coil your fan motor can overheat and go out on its internal safety and appear to be bad. It can take quite awhile for the fan motor to reset which gives the technician plenty of time to use his meter to show you that the fan is getting voltage but it is not coming on so it needs to be replaced.
If you just run some cold water from your water hose over the motor, which is sealed from rain by the way, the safety will quickly reset and the motor will come on.
Most guys will want to replace the motor if it is out on safety.. not because there is a problem with that happening but because there is a whole lot more money in replacing a fan motor than there is running cold water over it, so be careful!
You could just call us of course and not have to worry about this sort of thing but if you don’t, please watch what the tech is doing and ask questions and check back to this site for other things to watch out for.
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