Central air repair question

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Andrew0855

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My central air unit outside won't run, but the fan inside the condo runs. I'm having an HVAC tech out tomorrow. They charge $105 hour + $69 trip charge. Is this a fair price? Assuming they actually figure out why it's not running and can fix it within the hour?
 

Fireguy5674

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I am unable to know what is normal and customary in your area, but have you checked the circuit breaker? You don't want to pay that fee to have him come reset your breaker. If you have access to your electric panel you should find a breaker labeled AC. It will be two spaces wide and have the handles tied together. Turn it off and back on to make sure it hasn't tripped. If it trips when you turn it on again, you definitely need the HVAC Tech.
 

pjones

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That’s about what our company charges. It may take 1 or 2 hours to diagnose before they either have it fixed if it’s something minor or know what the problem is and can discuss possible solutions if it’s something big. We start billing when we receive the job ticket to start driving over to your house, so if it’s a half hour drive then they will only have half hour to set up tools and troubleshoot before that first hour is completed.

As far as the breaker goes, mentioned above, if it has tripped then there is something wrong. It should never trip under normal operation if everything is working correctly. Let the tech know if you reset the breaker or attempt any repairs before they get there. Don’t be too proud to admit a mistake if you made one. We look for clues when we are diagnosing problems and if you start changing things without telling us then it makes it harder to troubleshoot and can in some instances lead to a miss diagnosis. We are there to fix your problem and appreciate every bit of information you can tell us, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, to help us get the repair done as fast as possible. Let the tech put the pieces of the puzzle together to determine the required repair.
 

DFBonnett

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OP,
Had the same situation at my daughter's condo. Fan ran but not compressor. Breaker not tripped. A low humming sound could be heard from the compressor like it was trying to start but couldn't. Bad capacitor, easily identified by a bulging top. The part wasn't expensive. The service call was the more expensive part.
 

Michael Armstrong

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A new start/run capacitor would run around $15, so if the symptoms are as DFBonnett described, it's well worth trying it. Look at the old one and get an identical part. Google "start/run capacitor" to see what they look like and some videos on how to replace them. If it works, you've saved some money. If it doesn't, call the tech and tell her what you've already done.
 

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