Thursday, February 28, 2008

Did I just singlehandedly disable my entire HVAC system with one push of a button?

I think that I did. I have a fancy programmable thermostat that was installed with my new heating system, but taking 2 minutes to actually program it hadn't been in my schedule, so I just turned the heat up and down when I left and returned, no biggie.

But the other day I accidentally hit the mysterious "hold" button before I hit the "up" temperature. The compressor (the heat part) never came on. I changed the temp a bunch of times, took out the batteries on the thermostat, but I got nuthin.

So I was like, fine, I'll program the damn thing. I scheduled all four settings (wake, leave, return, sleep) and checked and rechecked them. The scheduled temp always went up or down on cue, but still, the compressor wasn't turning on (and obvs, the real temp wasn't changing). I tried turning the fan from "auto" to "on," and it came on, but still no heat was coming out. Even tried overriding my brand new schedule with the "temporary" and "hold" buttons (now I know what they do). I'm pretty much at a loss now.

A few days ago it wasn't that cold and my house was retaining a decent 63-65 degree temp inside, but today I got home and it was 59. I dragged all the space heaters upstairs, but...? I just flipped the breaker, no dice.

So I checked out the troubleshooting manual. Here we go, "Condenser fan runs, compressor doesn't." Okay! What do I do?

Possible cause / Remedy

Run or start capacitor failed (single phase only) / Replace
Start relay defective (single phase only) / Replace
Loose connection / Check for correct voltage at compressor - check & tighten all connections
Compressor stuck, grounded or open motor winding open internal overload / Wait at least 2 hours for overload to reset, If still open, replace the compressor (!!!)
Low voltage condition / Add start kit components


Well. Okay! My compressor, by the way, is on the roof with access only from a 30 foot ladder, and just to be clear, the compressor is the entire heating system. So, I'll get right on all that. Or I could just call my HVAC contractor, who will come over probably just to tell me I needed to hit up, up, down, up, down on the thermostat, like the manual says. Duh.

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