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Thread: Central AC blower died

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Central AC blower died

    Trying to see if there are any HVAC pro's here. Couple of hours ago it started getting "stuffy" in house. Got up and checked thermostat and by God it was approaching 80! Had it set to 74. Well I changed the thermostat to one of the older ones we kept, no change. Checked all the breakers-fine. Climbed in attic, removed cover to view cage fan. There is a microswitch on left side of cover so when removed-disconnects circuit. When depressed I just hear a low buzzing noise. I'm hoping this is just the capacitor. All was running perfect 2.5 hours ago! Any advice appreciated.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  2. #2
    It's sort of dangerous but if you spin the fan (use a stick not your hand) while the motor is humming, and the fan starts, it is probably a cap.

    Be careful they start pretty fast. Dont lose your trigger finger.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Usually there is one capacitor for the fan and compressor. Sometimes the capacitir is swollen or stinking when bad. There is a fuse for control circuit. The buzzing may be a transformer. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Tried to spin fan and quickly depress microswitch by controller. This is not the outside condenser but by evaporator in attic. Yea, spinning fan don't work. Buzzing noise coming from the controller box left of fan panel. Thanks for input.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Get into the control panel with a tester, I prefer a multi-meter. See if you have power to the fan, If you do you may have blown a speed. If you have power and spinning the fan doesn't work the speed is n/g. Check the wiring diagram & connect another speed to see if it works. If you don't have power trace the power, see if you are getting power out of the control, if yes then check any safety's like the door switch or the float switch on the pan or condensate pump. If your not getting power out of the control panel you may have a bad contact on the board. If this is the case you can usually remove and flip over the board & find where the solder melted off a contact. Re soldering the connection usually fixes this. Also check if you have 24-40V AC on the low voltage side.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    If you do need a motor after the troubleshooting is done look up Genteq motors, highly recommended by my trusted A/C guy.

    https://www.regalbeloit.com/brands/Genteq

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pull the blower assembly out try hooking the blower motor up power out side of the furnace controls. If it still don't run go get a new blower motor they are not that expensive. Some motors come with the mount welded to the motor if so you can buy a belly band to make a universal motor fit. Universal motors are a lot cheaper than brand ones are. While you have the blower out wash the wheel also check if you have a secondary coil that might need cleaning. The coil is right ahead of where the blower mounts in the furnace.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Honestly - it's almost always the capacitor. Just replace it - it probably costs like $15.00

    My AC repair buddy clued me in on American vs Import capacitors... The imports *barely* last 8 months.. Since it's his business and he doesn't want to give away free callbacks - he only uses American made capacitors - and they usually go well over 2-years. They only cost a bit more - like $20 vs $15.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by NyFirefighter357 View Post
    Get into the control panel with a tester, I prefer a multi-meter. See if you have power to the fan, If you do you may have blown a speed. If you have power and spinning the fan doesn't work the speed is n/g. Check the wiring diagram & connect another speed to see if it works. If you don't have power trace the power, see if you are getting power out of the control, if yes then check any safety's like the door switch or the float switch on the pan or condensate pump. If your not getting power out of the control panel you may have a bad contact on the board. If this is the case you can usually remove and flip over the board & find where the solder melted off a contact. Re soldering the connection usually fixes this. Also check if you have 24-40V AC on the low voltage side.


    So I called a well recommended AC company here locally and fellow told me 140.00 to change just capacitor and 300.00 total to change motor and capacitor, includes labor. I think the latter would be more cost efficient.

    UPDATE: just discovered that overflow pan full of water! Float switch was up/closed so duuhh! Drained water manually now everything works now just have to unclog line! Thanks for everyone's suggestions! (I feel like an idiot).
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I was going to suggest the drain pan! I had that happen to our upstairs AC a few years ago. Float systems prevents your upstairs room under the air handler from getting flooded with condensate overflow!!!! You have lots of humidity down there and you should blow the drain line out every spring. Bugs love to make nests in those lines.

    If it had been just a motor cap, your motor would have been EXTREMELY HOT and the thermal kickout switch internally in the motor would have been cycling it off and on to prevent a fire.

    Get out your air compressor and blow 80# or so back up thru the downstairs outside drain vent. that will clear it! My AC guy recommends pouring a cup of Clorox bleach down the line every spring, but getting the attic is too much work, so I use the compressed air thing.

    glad you are not out a few hundred $$!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    I was going to suggest the drain pan! I had that happen to our upstairs AC a few years ago. Float systems prevents your upstairs room under the air handler from getting flooded with condensate overflow!!!! You have lots of humidity down there and you should blow the drain line out every spring. Bugs love to make nests in those lines.

    If it had been just a motor cap, your motor would have been EXTREMELY HOT and the thermal kickout switch internally in the motor would have been cycling it off and on to prevent a fire.

    Get out your air compressor and blow 80# or so back up thru the downstairs outside drain vent. that will clear it! My AC guy recommends pouring a cup of Clorox bleach down the line every spring, but getting the attic is too much work, so I use the compressed air thing.

    glad you are not out a few hundred $$!
    It's a relief yes, but not out the woods yet, have to strategically figure out to clean drain line. Drain exits the coil box then makes a hard right to direction of exterior wall then goes down. A few inches from the unit in attic there's a tee with about 8" of pipe sticking up like a vent. If I blow air in there then it'll just blow back into the coils. Need some sort of "quick disconnect" after that I guess?
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    I just used Clorox and water (50/50) to eat up the algae
    Drilled a hole in the drain PVC in the attic
    and then used a Coleman funnel with the felt
    removed to add the solution,
    then covered the hole up with an EAR plug.

    https://larrythelanternguy.com/2018/...tering-funnel/

    https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/s...waAiBTEALw_wcB

    Mike
    Last edited by skeettx; 05-05-2020 at 04:23 PM.
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    I just used Clorox and water (50/50) to eat up the algae
    Drilled a hole in the drain PVC in the attic
    and then used a Coleman funnel with the felt
    removed to add the solution,
    then covered the hole up with an EAR plug.

    https://larrythelanternguy.com/2018/...tering-funnel/

    https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/s...waAiBTEALw_wcB

    Mike
    Will give that a try! Looks like right after it makes right turn about 5 ft. away from unit there is another "T" with a pipe fitted inside hole of hallway bathroom vent. I guess it's a backup.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NyFirefighter357 View Post
    Get into the control panel with a tester, I prefer a multi-meter. See if you have power to the fan, If you do you may have blown a speed. If you have power and spinning the fan doesn't work the speed is n/g. Check the wiring diagram & connect another speed to see if it works. If you don't have power trace the power, see if you are getting power out of the control, if yes then check any safety's like the door switch or the float switch on the pan or condensate pump. If your not getting power out of the control panel you may have a bad contact on the board. If this is the case you can usually remove and flip over the board & find where the solder melted off a contact. Re soldering the connection usually fixes this. Also check if you have 24-40V AC on the low voltage side.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselhorses View Post
    So I called a well recommended AC company here locally and fellow told me 140.00 to change just capacitor and 300.00 total to change motor and capacitor, includes labor. I think the latter would be more cost efficient.

    UPDATE: just discovered that overflow pan full of water! Float switch was up/closed so duuhh! Drained water manually now everything works now just have to unclog line! Thanks for everyone's suggestions! (I feel like an idiot).


    Ding, Ding. Ding!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by NyFirefighter357 View Post

    Ding, Ding. Ding!
    HAHA, I'm learning. Doesn't intimidate me just cuz it ain't got a ram, handle and a die on it.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Need to clear a condensate drain line without going in the attic to pressurize it or risk blowing a apart an unglued joints in the drain line? Put a shop vac set up to pick up liquid on the outlet end. Use a wet rag to seal the difference in diameter between the drain line outside diameter and the shop vac suction hose ID. Works like a charm, clears the line, and no risk of blowing apart a weak or unglued drain line. Then add a tee in the line right downstream from the evaporator coil and add a touch of bleach once or twice a year to kill stuff growing in the line. Save yourself a service call, damaged ceilings from an overflowing drain pan, etc..

    One more drain line tip: a low spot can collect cold water, condense water on the outside of the drain line, and drip condensate water on the ceiling, making you think there is a leak. Pipe just needa the low spot eliminated to prevent this.

    On the original concern with the blower motor not running, the cap is likely. But don't just assume, measure supply voltage and current draw to make sure you don't have a control board problem. Not much stinks as much as replaing a motor and capacitor to find out you overlooked a bad control board and get to replace it as well.

    Lessons learned by an HVAC tech....

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Bleach is the easiest to use and it always works for algae. Here in se Missouri it’s a two to three times a year thing to do. If you don’t want your Ac peeing on the floor. I Do Ac work for over 35 years u would not believe some of the stuff I have seen.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I haven't tested this but copper or zinc strips are added to roof to prevent moss and algae from growing on a roof. Algae is what grows in the condensate trap and clogs the drain. I think I found a use for a couple of those zinc wheel weights, lay a couple of big ones in your drip pan. The oxidation of the zinc kills the algae. You can also try a handful of old copper pennies or a piece of copper or galvanized flashing. Make sure you put it in the path of the water & it's big enough not to fall into the drain. You might tie 4-5 wheel weights together They also sell tablets you can treat you pan with that work like urinal cakes. I'd bet those wheel weights would be enough though.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master
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    My clogging problems were not algae but wasp and insect nests about an inch up in the end of the ground end of the drain line. Hard s a rock! Here in the desert, we only get condensate for 3-4 months in the summer when the DP goes above 50F. Plenty of time for insects to build nests. Only air pressure will clear them. Some ac guys use a little device that uses a CO2 cart for pressure. One quick blow and the line is clear, and no messy compressors and extension cords needed.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Day 2. Have to once again empty pan. Water appears to be draining through pipe but something tells me the first pan under evap. coils is leaking into bottom pan tripping the float. Have to get to the bottom of this.
    The unexamined life is not worth living....Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body....USMC
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is FINAL!....Wyatt Earp

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