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Thread: Heat pump compressor not running

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jfryc's Avatar
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    Default Heat pump compressor not running

    I have a 15 year old FHP geothermal heat pump, the compressor won't start. In heat mode there is a slight humming, and every 30 seconds or so louder buzzing noise for a few seconds. The compressor is getting 220V to the contacts, the resistance between the then is in the range of 3 to 7 amps. I tested the start capacitor with a simple DMM using a resistance and volt modes, seems to work as it should. Any ideas? Time for a new heat pump? Should I try a new start capacitor anyway?

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    Retired prof. engr. gator37's Avatar
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    Through disconnect switch shutting off power to the condenser unit. Test the compressor for open circuit and short wih ohm meter (ohms resistance not amps). Disconnects power leads on the compressor. Test acrossed the leads should get some reading verifying continuity (no reading results of an open circuit) and then test each lead to the compressor housing, should not get a reading, if so compressor is shorted to ground. It has been 40 years and that is about all I remember.

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    DIY Junior Member david_griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfryc View Post
    Should I try a new start capacitor anyway?
    You are not able to test start capacitor without the heavy load. It can look good on the table when you use multimeter but it will not work in the real circuit. Buzzzzzzing means likely a capacitor. If you had shorts then this device would blow fuses.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    How do you test in "in circuit"? As far as I know the only way to test a capacitor is to charge it up, disconnect it and put the meter across the terminals. You either need an analog meter ( old needle style ) or a fairly expensive multi with a capacitor test function.

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    DIY Junior Member david_griffin's Avatar
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    It is capacitor for AC circuit. Its role is to shift phase and conduct big current to the second coil. You will not measure it wit small voltage multimeter or by charging it wit DC and then discharging. You need Ampers not miliampers to test it.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Who said anything about charging it with DC?

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    DIY Junior Member david_griffin's Avatar
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    I would like to know the answer what caused the malfunction ?
    It would be interesting.

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