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Why Is My Outdoor AC Unit’s Fan Not Spinning? A Phoenix Tech Explains.

2015 Nov 04
Posted in: Air Conditioning

You noticed that your AC is no longer blowing cold air. So you visited the outside unit and noticed that the fan wasn’t spinning. Does this sound familiar?

If so, you're probably wondering what's going on.

There are two possible scenarios here:

  • Scenario A: You hear the outdoor unit’s compressor working and the fan isn’t spinning.
  • Scenario B: You don’t hear the outdoor unit’s compressor working and the fan isn’t spinning. 

Let’s explore both.

Not interested in being an HVAC sleuth? Just contact us. We'll diagnose your unit and provide a fair quote for the air conditioning repair.

AC outdoor fan not working

 

Scenario A: Compressor works, but the fan does not spin

The problem: You have a bad fan motor and/or bad start capacitor. 

A start capacitor is an electric device that gets the electric motor running at startup by providing a "jolt" of stored electrical energy. The capacitor may have gone bad and therefore the fan won't start. 

Solution: Try pushing the fan with a stick to see if you can get it going. Don’t use your fingers otherwise you’ll injure yourself.

Even if you get the fan spinning this solution is only temporary. You need to contact a technician for help.

Warning: If you can’t get the fan started, turn off your system and wait for help. Otherwise you may damage the compressor by overheating it. And you do NOT want that! Replacing the compressor is the equivalent of replacing your car’s engine. 

Yeah, expensive.

 

Scenario B: Both compressor and fan are not working

Problem: Either no power is getting to the outdoor unit or you have a defective compressor contactor. The contractor's job is to send power to the compressor and fan motor. There could be other issues, but these are the common ones. 

Solution: Check the circuit breaker box. Did your outdoor unit’s breaker trip? If so turn off your AC at the thermostat, then reset the breaker. Turn the AC back on at the thermostat. 

If the AC trips the breaker again, read about the reasons why the AC may trip the breaker

Now, what if the breaker isn’t tripped? The compressor contactor may be defective and needs replacing. 

 

Still have AC problems? Ask our techs in Phoenix, AZ

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