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Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

Posted by Pennstategal (My Page) on
Fri, May 20, 11 at 8:33

I had a power surge, my power in my house and my neighbors flickered. Central ac was on, it went off quickly, then on again making a louder than usual humming noise on the outside part, not the handler.

I shut down the central ac after about 5-10 min, waited 10 min, then turned it on again, the handler was blowing air, the fan outside was turning, but the compressor (black cylinder thing) was not on. A neighbor came over,
checked the house fuse box,
another fuse box outside the house with a flip up door?
All was well, he opened the case outside, the compressor was hot like an oven, to the touch. He used an electical meter? and said the compressor was getting power.

He tapped on the compressor, it started. Now it's working, after just hitting it? What could this be?

3 Ton Rheem, live in South FL, unit only 3 yrs old


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

Sounds like it stalled. Sometimes called 'rotor lock'. Let's let others comment about this.


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RE: Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

May I suggest that you consider having an electrician install at your main electrical panel/entrance a 'whole house surge and lightning protection' box to protect everything connected to your panel from such events? You may also have in addition to your HP & fan coil other sensitive electronically controlled 220V equipment such as clothes dryers, stoves, pool equipment etc. that would benefit from such protection.

SR


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RE: Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

"May I suggest that you consider having an electrician install at your main electrical panel/entrance a 'whole house surge and lightning protection' box to protect everything connected to your panel from such events? "

A surge protection system wil not do anything to protect against quick stops and starts that can lead to locking up of hermetic compressors.


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RE: Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

A lot of compressors have a thermal switch inside the compressor that shuts it down when it gets to hot. Compressor has to cool off before it will come back on. When he tapped on the compressor it might have been about ready to switch back on. My Carrier units both have thermal switches.


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RE: Central AC had power surge, compressor stopped?

I think planewood hit the nail on the head. The compressor was cooling down to the point where the internal thermal overload was just about ready to come on anyhow. It is a device to help save the compressor from damage if it were to overheat. Unless it becomes a problem (which I doubt it will) you shouldn't have anything to worry about.


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