Five technician visits.. compressor but no house fan..


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Old 08-03-16, 08:54 AM
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Five technician visits.. compressor but no house fan..

They're really frustrated.. Yet, we typically do not have A/C at night. This is an Oct 2015, Air Temp brand package unit. The general problem: they can get the unit to work during the day (cool, auto turn off, etc) ..but at about 9pm, we lower the thermostat to 74 from 78. The compressor/fan will come on but the circulator/house fan will not.

There have been periods where I could 'trick' the unit by putting the thermostat in Off ..then switching to A/C. There have been times where I had to do that 3-5 times before the house fan began moving cool air. (compressor fan does come on)

Changed thermostat 3X ..original, NEST and the latest one from my business that has worked for 15+yrs.

Changed the 'board'.

Ran a new thermostat cable with no breaks. (tech heard NEST is very sensitive to voltage levels)

They brought some sort of fan motor tester.. They can get the complete process to work before they leave ..but it continues to fail later.

Our day temps. have been in the 90's with 70's at night ..humidity in 60-80%.

The one feature that has never worked is 'Fan'. The thermostat has either Auto or Fan. Selecting Fan does nothing.

The odd thing, the package unit seems either light sensitive (voodoo) or heat sensitive. It was about 75f and the unit did not come on ..but did a while later when my wife ran the clothes dryer she got it to work ..the dryer vent is within 12" of the house fan motor area of the package.

It's a real dilemma.. Maybe one of you has found a ghost like this before. I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.

Jim
 
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Old 08-03-16, 09:02 AM
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The one feature that has never worked is 'Fan'. The thermostat has either Auto or Fan. Selecting Fan does nothing.
That concerns me. If the blower works with the A/C in cool mode then FAN ON should certainly work.

Some packaged units do strange things with the fan wiring. A model number would be very helpful.
 
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Old 08-03-16, 09:48 AM
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Thanks PJ.. I looked over a tech's shoulder and that motor harness has a lot of strands... The mdl. #: CR8VR8GD036K ..ser. #: CRF140863469

This Air Temp unit, distributed locally by R.E. Michael Co., is about the third brand of package unit we have had and from what I can see as a civilian, it's one of the cleanest built with the best finishes. It does not look like it was designed and assembled in some 'Stan. I appreciate your reply.

Jim
 
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Old 08-03-16, 10:21 AM
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Oooops.. Mdl. # was incorrect: VR6GD036K096C

..old people reading each other numbers - make a good pilot to pitch the Comedy Channel.

Jim
 
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Old 08-04-16, 06:00 AM
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Rather than attempting decipher whether it's an E or a V on a rural signal cell phone..



...There's another question: Since selecting 'Fan' at any thermostat has never worked, which color wire (no blue used) controls the fan? ..if Yellow ..there are two yellow attachment points within the unit: #1 and #2. (currently attached to 1) ..and no similar alternative connections for R, W or G.


Jim
 
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Old 08-04-16, 06:11 AM
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The G terminal controls the fan (blower) operation. While the thermostat wire may be green in color, the wire color doesn't really matter. What matters is what terminal the wire is connected to at both the thermostat and the unit. The thermostat wires should be R (unit) to R (stat), G (unit) to G (stat), etc. Can you see the corresponding thermostat wiring terminals on the unit itself?
 
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Old 08-04-16, 07:19 AM
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While G to G is 100% correct for the blower fan, but the thing bothers me is why 5 techs can not get that fan going. I think we are missing something here.
 
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Old 08-04-16, 10:37 AM
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Bob, AirTemp builds a nice, clean board - everything is clearly marked to receive thermostat wires ..50' later color ID must be really helpful. The tricky part (for a civilian looking at it) are the multiple connections for the fan loom. Tricky for my installers also..?!

That 'Fan only' function has never worked - tho' we never bother to use before these difficulties. I see perhaps as it as a base symptom of a larger issue.

AirTemp has a 800# tech line - I just wished my installers had called after the second visit. It's frustrating for them to have it fail hours after they leave..

Jim
 
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Old 08-04-16, 05:40 PM
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Will that fan run if you jump Red to Green at the stat?
 
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Old 08-04-16, 07:37 PM
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In re-reading I read you mentioned thermostats. Is there more than one thermostat controlling this unit ?

I'm trying to find some useful information from Nordyne.
 
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Old 08-05-16, 03:00 PM
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No PJ.. Originally I figured it was the Stat ..replaced it with a NEST ..that became complication needed at this time! I yanked one from my business that I know has worked for 15+yrs..

Single Stat.. new R-Y-G-W wire to board inside box. Old wire had a twisties connection outside the box and you could see green corrosion. On one call the tech cleaned all that up and it re-started. We can get it to run - if a tech visits - but almost never at night ..and only if I go thru a series of Off-to-A/C ..A/C-to-off. Typically only the compressor kicks in and not the house fan. I have done this 4-6 times a few nights ago with no luck. Sometimes it's only twice ..then we leave it run 'till it's about 72f before it either kicks off itself, or I turn the Stat from A/C to Off.

And.. George. I saw the tech do something like that with the box open. I'll pull the panel and bridge it myself tomorrow and report back. (it's Friday 6pm)

Thanks again guys. I contacted Nordyne and gave the installer their # - yesterday. Have not heard back. At least we have a heat pump upstairs my wife can escape to.

Jim
 
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Old 08-05-16, 04:43 PM
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I would jump it at the stat first,if that doesn't work go to the board.
 
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Old 08-06-16, 07:17 AM
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George, I was about to jump it - but should I do this when the circuit it hot, or do it in the Off position then switch to A/C?

Friday/Saturday scenario...

Fri AM: 4 attempts - no start ..6pm: 1 time - start Off position at 9pm (78f at start 73f when shut off)

Sat AM - 5 attempt - start on #5 (76f. inside) ..made sure I had 4deg spread.

(Attempts means Off-to-A/C ..repeat - with 3-5min safety interval.)


Jim
 
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Old 08-06-16, 07:46 AM
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When you jump the wires at the thermostat (or the air handler end), you're effectively bypassing the thermostat, so it doesn't matter what "mode" the thermostat is in. The only thing you might want to turn off is the power to the air handler before jumpering the connections. You don't absolutely need to, however if the jumper slips and touches something it shouldn't, you run the risk of blowing your 24VAC fuse (if you have one) or possibly the 24VAC transformer.
 
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Old 08-06-16, 09:38 AM
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Is there a temperature cutoff switch inside the unit that stops the a/c from operating? This would switch the unit to heating mode. Seems like 60 or 65* would make sense not low 70's.

I tried to find a schematic online no luck usually there is one attached to the cover of the unit.
 
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Old 08-06-16, 05:13 PM
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As mentioned you can turn the power off but not really necessary.
One other question,why did you replace the first Tstat in the beginning?
 
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Old 08-07-16, 07:05 AM
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I'll give the jumpers a try. (so far 7 attempts this morning at Off-to-A/C only gets me the compressor fan)

I replaced the thermostat as it was the quickest/simplest a civilian can do.. the unit seemed to be fine - then one day, a about 10 days ago, not.

Jim
 
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Old 08-07-16, 07:40 AM
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So it sounds like you were having the problem before you switched the Tstat.
 
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Old 08-07-16, 09:24 AM
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http://enora.nordyne.com/literature/7105800.pdf

Does your diagram look like this? I see two relays with high voltage coils that control the low voltage circuits on an ECM X13 blower motor.



I would look for corroded terminals or a corroded wire harness, I would check the voltage to these relays with a cooling and Fan only demand. An Ohm measurement across the closed contacts of these relays may reveal too much resistance. ( If this is actually your setup)
 
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Old 08-07-16, 09:31 AM
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Interesting.... they took a standard PSC circuit and added relays to use the ECM motor... what a waste. I'm guessing the ECM motor is the problem here.
 
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Old 08-07-16, 09:35 AM
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I hope it is one or both of those 6 dollar relays. Those motors are expensive.
 
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Old 08-11-16, 08:58 AM
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Sorry for the lag in my reply.. the installer was to have come Monday, but could not get there 'till Tues. aft. (today is Thursday) It was concluded with the help of a Sr. tech from R.E. Michel, the ECM in the house motor was the likely culprit. (like PJM said)

Both techs came out on Tues. and installed a new motor. There's a couple of interesting results. The R.E.M. rep asked my wife to leave it in 'Fan' for the next full day or longer.* The interesting part is a feature I like; if Fan is 500rpm ..then A/C is like 800rpm.

In the last couple of weeks (when it was working..) we only had the lower RPM - kind of weak cooling compared to winter heating when the large intake filter would whistle at the strong suction.

Outside temp at 1am (took the dog out) was 79f w/80% - inside 75f with the unit cycling nicely with high/low fan. About 4am ..it seemed a little clammy ..the temp was 77f and the compressor was running but no house fan. The old work-around of repeated Off-to-A/C had no effect except to turn on the compressor.

Left word with the installer; then quickly ran to Home Depot and bought a window unit just to fend off the reported upper-90s w/record humidity expected. Got back home to put the window unit in - the package unit had started itself. I still put the window unit in...

We also called the Rural Electric Co to make sure we're getting clean voltage. We have a full house surge protector, but perhaps the line voltage is randomized? They do not do Brown Outs where we are - just request you cut back.

The one constant: the unit would work when there was a 10deg. or better temperature differential in/out ..i.e., during the day. 'May be simple coincidence, but at night it's been upper 70's and we ask for mid-70's ..during the day; is has been upper 80's when we were asking for mid-70s....?!

It has always worked perfectly (<1yr old) in heating mode.

*... assuming to 'run it in' (I was not there) plus the R.E.M. tech suggested we simply leave the Fan running. The cost is reportedly low and the air is constantly being circulated. It was one of the reasons I was interested the NEST because it gets clammy as hell at night on the marsh. In summer the humidity is often 70-80% 'till about 10am. ..thanks for listening.

Jim
 
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Old 08-11-16, 12:37 PM
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Thursday afternoon..

The installer and another tech (who came from a fairly long distance) came out with an inspection sheet.. they went thru the entire system, including heat side ..and only found loose insulation that could/perhaps/maybe have fallen next to the fan allowing it to overheat. (They really were looked for 'something'...) Everything else checked out. The rural electric people checked from pole to house - that was OK.

We'll see in the middle of the night... Wish me luck.

________________

I have one general question: The work-around I did before was: if the compressor fan was working but not the house fan - I would turn the thermostat to Off-then-A/C ..the stat would take it's 4-5min safety break then click on.. If the house fan did not come on with the compressor, I simply turned it off again and back to A/C for the stat to again take it's safety time out..

Would the time interval have made any difference in how much time I took in switching the INOP unit from Off to A/C? (the spread is always a min. of 6min - if the safety time is 5) I assumed the 'safe period' is why the stat has the built-in lag. Is there switch logic that the actual minimum interval between Off/On be longer than the built-in safety period?

The second tech told my wife that I had to wait 5min to switch it back on after turning it off... (have not tested to see if stat will also take its 5min..)

Jim
 
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Old 08-11-16, 03:30 PM
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You didn't let us know what what was there as to type of motor until after the work was done.
I would have recommended replacing the blower motor with a PSC type and removing the extra relays. Still would have been multiple speeds but at less than half the replacement cost.

Houston posted a schematic diagram. If that IS your system... there is a distinct possibility that you have a defective blower relay.
 
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Old 08-11-16, 03:59 PM
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That delay is to protect the compressor from short cylcling and starting under load,you haven't mentioned if jumping R to G worked,you shouldn't have to leave the fan on all the time,something is still not right.
 
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Old 08-12-16, 08:50 AM
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Thursday night - FAIL

The unit worked thru Wednesday .. I took the dog and my prostate out to see the meteor showers about midnight (you young guys will find out - 'better standing up) ..the fan was left on as instructed (low speed is not obnoxious but audible) .. about 12:30am - Silence. Not long after thermostat clicks a request for cooling .. compressor fan comes on ..without the house fan. 20-30min later I simply shut the unit off.

Luckily, I went to Home Depot yesterday morning and installed a little window box (plus, bought a spare) in case the Airtemp does not follow its usual routine: works during the heat of the day. (90's for the next few days)

George.. I have the alligator clips. But I'm afraid they think I am both crazy and a meddler, having run a new thermostat wire, etc. so I have not used them. I'm curious/smart enough to work on a lot of things. I designed all the products we have made for about 40yrs.. but there's a point where you have to keep yourself out of the middle of an issue.

This Airtemp box may make Craigslist. The poor guy who put this in is certainly upside down both financially and emotionally. I like him enough that I won't call him to say; "It's not working." again..

Luckily, I can front the cost of a new unit if need be and put this Airtemp on Craigslist for someone who needs heat in a large shed. (My prior home unit, a 10-15yr old Arcoaire provides A/C reliably at my business. It just tried to kill us in our sleep when the LP flames fractured the heat exchanger..)

PJ.. it's now mid-morning Friday and it kicked in. My wife changed from Fan-to-Auto. If it fails again tonight (seemingly the only constant) I'll see if I can talk to someone about a PSC blower... This is pretty close knit group over here and people may not want to step into someone else's mess. I gather one of the problems is a lot of the older guys have left partially due to these systems, like cars, having become very 'electronic'.

It seems like a market ripe for 'good old basic' ...like the American-Standard HW boiler at my shop ..30+yrs and only a couple zone valves needing to be replaced ..with a turn of the hand. Thanks again. It's nice to have someone to talk to.

Jim
 
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Old 08-13-16, 08:43 AM
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Friday night - FAIL

This time my wife wasn't sleeping well because she had to be up at 4:30 to drive to a conference. A little after midnight she woke me; "It's off...no house fan." We tried one re-set, then left it off. Thank God for the window box. It was 80f/89% humidity at 8am this morning. (I can see the envy in your guys' eyes in San Diego)

If one of you were close enough to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I'd pay you do that motor conversion ..and then video the process so you could sell a CD to save other people the time figuring it out.

If I replace this Airtemp from R.E. Michel Company is there a brand that has a reputation for reliability and is perhaps made more simply?

This house is on the edge of a marsh up on five courses of block because of potential flooding. It's stick-built but small so they used a package unit. There's no extra room for a conventional, indoor system. The crawl space has two sump pumps I plumbed back into the marsh for a reason...

Jim
 
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Old 08-15-16, 06:49 AM
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The A/C unit has become a new type alarm clock.. a silent alarm.

Same-same: Saturday night and Sunday night ..walks off for a long break about 12:30-1am. Comes back to work in he morning.

Jim
 
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Old 08-22-16, 12:53 PM
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More days later... same issues. I sent a letter to the Pres. of R.E. Michel about a week ago: no response...

The unit is listed on area Craigslists .. Ebay next. It's coming out.

Jim
 
 

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