How to wire a home AC thermostat

Many homeowners are handy, but tend to get confused when it comes to their home AC system. In this article I will go over how to wire a home AC thermostat. First you will have to choose a AC thermostat to satisfy your personal needs. Whether you decide on choosing a Programmable or Non Programmable thermostat. They are wired the same way. Some of the newer Smart thermostats have Wifi compatibility so you can control the units with your smartphone or computer while away from the house. These thermostats usually require a Common Wire. So it is smart to look at the existing thermostat wiring if you don’t want to rewire a thermostat wire from the unit to the thermostat. Common wire is usually black, but I have seen different colors used. Common wire is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

Thermostat wiring colors

Red – 24v POWER from transformer
Green – Fan
Yellow – Cooling (compressor/outdoor fan)
White – Heating (Gas Furnace or Electrical Heat Strips, Optional)
Orange – Heating (Heat Pump with a Reversing Valve, Optional)
Blue – Heating (Heating on Rheem and Ruud units)
Black – 24v Common from transformer

Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with AlexaNest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with Alexaecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexaecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexaecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat (2nd Gen), Works with Amazon Alexaecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat (2nd Gen), Works with Amazon AlexaHoneywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat with Geofencing, Requires C Wire, Works with AlexaHoneywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat with Geofencing, Requires C Wire, Works with AlexaHoneywell RTH9585WF1004/W Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat, V. 2.0,Honeywell RTH9585WF1004/W Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat, V. 2.0,Honeywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat, 3.5 x 4.5 Inch, White, 'Requires C WireHoneywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat, 3.5 x 4.5 Inch, White, ‘Requires C WireHoneywell TH6210U2001/U T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat, 2 Heat/1 Cool Heat Pump Or 1 Heat/1 Cool ConventionalHoneywell TH6210U2001/U T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat, 2 Heat/1 Cool Heat Pump Or 1 Heat/1 Cool ConventionalLux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen ThermostatLux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen ThermostatEmerson UP310 Premium 7 Day Programmable ThermostatEmerson UP310 Premium 7 Day Programmable ThermostatHoneywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital ThermostatHoneywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital ThermostatHoneywell RTH221B1021/E1 RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable ThermostatHoneywell RTH221B1021/E1 RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable ThermostatHoneywell CT87K The RoundHeat Only Manual ThermostatHoneywell CT87K The RoundHeat Only Manual Thermostat

When removing the cover of your old home AC thermostat you will see wires coming from the wall. Try to avoid breaking the wires when removing the old thermostat. REMEMBER THAT THE RED WIRE IS HOT!  I recommend disconnecting the power of the unit if you are a novice electrician. You could possibly burn out a small fuse or pop a micro circuit breaker on the transformer.  I tend to replace the thermostats really quickly without disconnecting power, but I have changed hundreds of thermostats and deal with different electrical wires daily. You just have to be careful with where the metal ends of the wire touch. I recommend installing the red wire first to get it out of the way. Going from one thermostat base directly into the other one. Green wire controls the indoor fan. Yellow wire controls the outdoor unit compressor and outdoor fan motor. White wire is usually used for gas furnaces or electrical heating. Orange wire is used for heat pump units, and it activates the reversing valve. Reversing valve changes the flow of the refrigerant. Blue wire is used on some units for heating. Black wire is almost always common. It is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

After attaching the wires and reattaching the face plate. It is important to finish the steps in the instructions that came with the home AC thermostat. The newer Smart thermostats will have a series of questions to answer. It is important to answer the questions to the best of your ability. After you are done with the set up questions. I recommend testing the unit in the different modes to ensure that the wiring is correct. I will always test in cooling and heating to prevent a call back.  If you have any questions about your home AC thermostat. Feel free to send us questions at dollarmech@gmail.com

Get your AC ready for summer!

Air conditioners are the most crucial part of the home or business during the summer months. It is imperative to get ready for the coming summer temperatures. In this article I will go over a few things to look at on your Air Conditioner to get your AC ready for summer.

Excelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFExcelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV FunctionACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV Function

Capacitors are one of the most common things that go bad during the summer temperatures. You can prevent this by testing the capacitor Microfarad level by using a multimeter that is equipped with the feature. I recommend testing the indoor fan capacitor and outdoor fan capacitor. You can test the capacitor by removing one side of the circuit on the capacitor. Put the test leads of the multimeter across the top prongs of the capacitor. It should give you a microfarad reading of what the capacitor is rated for. So for example if you have a 12.5 microfarad capacitor. It would be most likely rated for plus or minus 6%.

12.5 x .06 = .75 So the capacitor shouldn’t be lower then 11.75 microfarads. Let’s say you have a capacitor that tested 11.13 microfarads. Then you would want to replace the capacitor with one that is within the range.

MARS - Motors & Armatures 12905 370V Oval 5 Micro-Farads Motor Run CapacitorMARS – Motors & Armatures 12905 370V Oval 5 Micro-Farads Motor Run CapacitorMotor Run Capacitor, 370 Volt, Oval, 10 Micro-FaradsMotor Run Capacitor, 370 Volt, Oval, 10 Micro-FaradsPowerWell 35 + 5 MFD uf PW-35/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 35/5 micro faradPowerWell 35 + 5 MFD uf PW-35/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 35/5 micro faradPowerWell 40 + 5 MFD uf PW-40/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 40/5 micro faradPowerWell 40 + 5 MFD uf PW-40/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 40/5 micro faradPowerWell 45+5 MFD 45/5 uf 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor PW-45/5/R for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air ConditionerPowerWell 45+5 MFD 45/5 uf 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor PW-45/5/R for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner

Most home AC’s use Dual run capacitors. These are two capacitors that are built in one. One is used to run the Compressor, and the other is used to run the outdoor fan motor. Capacitors are used in a electrical circuit to boost the amperage. So they can hold a charge when removed from the circuit. It is important to discharge the capacitor by putting a piece of metal between the sets of prongs on the top of the capacitor. I like to use a screwdriver.

Fan motors should be working without any excessive vibrations or bearing sounds. It is important to be careful of bending fan blades.  It is hard to repair a fan blade when a fan blade gets damaged. It is easier to just replace the fan blade with the exact same model of blade.

Goodman B1086756S Fan BladeGoodman B1086756S Fan BladeLomanco 003 Power Blade VentLomanco 003 Power Blade VentFAN BLADES FOR EVAPORATOR MOTORS- 8FAN BLADES FOR EVAPORATOR MOTORS- 8A95231 Metal Fan Blade 9A95231 Metal Fan Blade 9

Condenser coils get dirty over the years with dust and other things. You can spray off the coils with a garden hose to help remove the dirt. I recommend using a condenser coil cleaner if the coils are really dirty. Most common spray on cleaners will require water for the condenser coils and no water required for the evaporator coils. Since there is a build of condensation on the evap coils during operation that will rinse the chemical cleaners off.

Drain Dawg Regulator, Blow Gun, and Accessory Fitting KitDrain Dawg Regulator, Blow Gun, and Accessory Fitting KitDiversitech AP-DD Accessory Pack Drain DawgDiversitech AP-DD Accessory Pack Drain DawgDiversitech AP-06 Drain DawgDiversitech AP-06 Drain DawgAC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner - 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air FiltersAC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner – 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air FiltersComStar 90-100 Coil King Professional Grade Concentrated Alkaline External Condenser Coil Cleaner, 1 gal Container, YellowComStar 90-100 Coil King Professional Grade Concentrated Alkaline External Condenser Coil Cleaner, 1 gal Container, YellowAir Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk BrushAir Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk BrushNu-Calgon 4291-08 Nu-Brite, 1-GallonNu-Calgon 4291-08 Nu-Brite, 1-Gallon

Most drains will get clogged over time with dirt, animal hair, and a sludge build up. I recommend checking the drains coming off the evap coils. You should clear the piping with water or compressed nitrogen if there is a clog. I like to use the drain dawg kit that has a long hose attached to a nitrogen regulator and tank.

Steps to winterize

Winter is coming!!! Now is time to get your systems ready for the colder temperatures if you haven’t done so already. In this article I will show you steps to winterize your units.  Many people don’t really think about their AC or evaporative coolers much after the summer months, but if you continue to do necessary maintenance steps. Then you can help prolong the life of your units, and that will help you save a few bucks eventually.

Most units in Arizona that I come across are heat pump units. Meaning that they are built a special way in which they have a reversing valve. That will cause the hot air to blow across your indoor (evap) coils as opposed to usually leaving your outdoor (condenser) coil. Heat pumps usually are enough here in the desert since we only near freezing temperatures in the winter. Some heat pump units will have electrical heater strips as an addition to the heat pump operation. I have attached some examples of reversing valves below.

Brothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonBrothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonGoodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve CoilGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve Coil

There are many other types of heating systems. Another common set up is a gas furnace. They are sometimes built into package units. They are easily identifiable with their need for a gas line hooked up to the unit. You will want to make sure the units engage when you call for heating on your thermostat. If you have a gas system you will want to make sure the gas valve is open. The thermostat should engage the furnace. Which will cause gas to engage and get lit by the igniters. Electrical heat strips should engage if they are equipped. If you have a hydronic system. You will want to make sure the water pump engages and flows the water through your coils.

Watts Dormont 30C-3131KIT-48B Complete Gas Range Install Kit 48-Inch LengthWatts Dormont 30C-3131KIT-48B Complete Gas Range Install Kit 48-Inch LengthMr. Heater One-Stop Universal Gas-Appliance Hook-Up KitMr. Heater One-Stop Universal Gas-Appliance Hook-Up KitHot Max 24201 Extension/Appliance Hose for Propane or Natural Gas, 25 FeetHot Max 24201 Extension/Appliance Hose for Propane or Natural Gas, 25 Feet

Once engaged, your heating system should produce heat out of your vents in your rooms. I recommend checking this before the winter, and it’s a time you really want to use it.

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~1022℉ (-50℃~550℃), Yellow and BlackEtekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~1022℉ (-50℃~550℃), Yellow and BlackNubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS AdjustableNubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS AdjustableFluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +932 Degree F RangeFluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +932 Degree F Range

It is a good time to inspect the life of the other working parts of your evap cooler when winterizing it. I usually will replace the pads and possibly the belt at the end of the season if they have mineral build up on them. When winterizing I recommend shutting off the water supply, and removing the drain stem to remove the water from the pan. You can keep the fan plugged in if you would like to use it to bring in fresh air still. This is a good practice to follow because freezing water can shorten your machine’s life.

Clean Machine 120V PumpClean Machine 120V PumpDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner TreatmentDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner Treatment3434DIAL 51795 In-Line Scale CartridgeDIAL 51795 In-Line Scale Cartridge

I hope this article has helped you prepare for winter. Please comment or email if you need some help answering questions.

dollarmech@gmail.com

 

 

How to make your AC last longer

How to make your AC last longerAbout 12 years ago, I was “Mr Naive” about AC’s. If you would of asked me how they worked. Then I would’ve said something like “PFM” (pure f*cking magic). Since then I have been to several schools that have taught me the ways of how various refrigeration systems run. They have taught me how to best care for pretty much every type of refrigeration machine you can think of. So, I thought I should pass some of that knowledge on to you guys. In this article I will cover some of the most basic things that you can look at to help make your AC last longer.

It is important to remember to safely turn off the power before reaching your hands around the fan blades or handling the electrical wiring.

Things to look at:

      • Filters – Replace your filters regularly with a similar size. I recommend at least looking at your filter monthly. Most filter replacements that I do are scheduled every 2 to 3 months, but it’s all depending on how much your system is running. I always recommend getting the pleated filters. The other ones do not filter the air as well. In my home I run a reusable filter. They are more expensive initially, but can be rinsed off and reused. Saving you money eventually.
      • Coils – A damaged coil will cost a lot to replace. So, I recommend treating your coils well. A few bent fins on you coil won’t really damage anything except the aesthetics of the machine. A loss of air flow across the coils will result if an abundance of the fins getting bent. They have fin combs that you can buy to help straighten the fins, but this is often tedious. It is important that your coils stay clean as well. Various stores sell coil cleaners that you can spray on and rinse off. I have attached some links of some that I approve of using. The reason that most cleaners will state that the outside coils (condenser) will need to be rinsed off is because there is little moisture that runs across the outside coils. The inside coils (evaporator) remove moisture from the air using the condensation method. The moisture that runs across these coils is enough to rinse them from the cleaners. I recommend cleaning your coils every year or two depending on where you live, and how much dust is usually on your coils.

     Goodman 3 Ton Uncased Upflow/Downflow Evaporator Coil 13 AC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner – 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air Filters 4171-75 – Air Conditioner A-Coil Evaporator Condenser Foam Coil Cleaner – No Rinse- 14oz Spray Can Fin Comb Air Conditioner Fin Cleaner By TOFL (1) ABN Condenser Fin Straightener Comb, AC Evaporator Coil Rake

    • Fan Blades – Inspect your fan blades while they are operating for abnormal operation. Condenser fan blades are notorious for vibrating once they get damaged. Vibrating fan blades will usually reduce your condenser fan motors life. I have also experienced indoor blower wheel fan blades getting damaged from various reason. The best way to repair a damaged fan blade is to replace it.

 Fasco D7909 5.6-Inch Condenser Fan Motor, 1/4 HP, 208-230 Volts, 1075 RPM, 1 Speed, 1.8 Amps, Totally Enclosed, Reversible Rotation, Ball Bearing A.O. Smith ORM5458 1/3-1/6 HP, 1075 RPM, 208-230 volts, 2 Amps, 48Y Frame, Sleeve Bearing Condenser Motor Fasco D7908 5.6-Inch Condenser Fan Motor, 1/3 HP, 208-230 Volts, 1075 RPM, 1 Speed, 2.6 Amps, Totally Enclosed, Reversible Rotation, Ball Bearing A.O. Smith FSE1026SV1 1/4 HP, 1075 RPM, 208/230 Volts, 1.3-1.8 Amps, 48 Frame, Sleeve Bearing Condenser Motor B1086756 – Goodman Replacement Condenser Fan Blade -3 x 18 Goodman B1086756S Fan Blade Goodman B1086775SP Condenser Fan Blade 22 Whirlpool W10156818 Fan Blade – Condenser Goodman B1086750SP Condenser Fan Blade 22 Supco FBP100 Fan Blade And Blower Wheel Puller

    • Belts – Most residential units will not have a belt driven fan blades. Most commercial units are belt driven. Always replace your belt with a similar size and style if it is excessively worn or damaged.
    • Condensation drain – You will always see some sort of drain coming from the evaporator coil. The condensation drains are important to pay attention to. If they back up then could potentially ruin drywall and insulation if your air handler is located in your attic. Click here to see my other article about drains.
    • Contactors – Contactors are heavy duty relays. They use a small electrical current to control the larger current that is used to run your compressor and motors. The points that engage to let the electricity to pass through will get burnt over time. Once they become too worn they won’t allow the electricity to pass through. I recommend the replacing the contactor once they start having the burnt arching marks on the contacts.
    • Capacitors – If you have a multimeter that can check microfarads. Then I recommend checking the capacitor. They should be within 6% of the rating. I have attached a link on a recent article I wrote on capacitors.
    • Wiring – Making sure there isn’t any bare wires that could possibly arch or get caught in the fan blades. I recommend using zip ties to secure loose wires.
    • Fuses/Circuit Breakers – Ensure the fuses and circuit breakers are working correctly.

 Buss HAC-R-40 – Edison Replacement Time Delay Fuse – 40 Amp 250V – RK5 Dual Element Bussmann FRN-R-60 60 Amp Fusetron Dual Element Time-Delay Current Limiting Fuse Class RK5, 250V UL Listed ( Box of 10 ) Fusetron FRN-R-40 – Edison Replacement Time Delay Fuse – 40 Amp 250V – RK5 Dual Element Littlefuse FLNR-60 – Box of 10 Edison Replacement Time Delay Fuse – 60 Amp 250V – RK5 Dual Element

  • Gas lines – If your unit is equipped with gas lines. Make sure they are secure and not leaking. Some tend to rust eventually. Ensure the shut off valve operates correctly.

There is a quick way to ensure your AC is working properly during the cooling mode. You can put your hand above the condenser fan. You should be able to feel the heat coming off from the condenser fan while the unit is in cooling mode.

I hope that this article has helped you inspect your air conditioner. Please comment or email me with any questions or concerns, and I will update the article.

dollarmech@gmail.com

Benefits of Evaporative Coolers

Many people favor evaporative coolers during the early and late summer months in Arizona. They are a great way to cool your home when it’s 80-110 degrees outside. The only real drawback is that they don’t work too well on those high humidity days during the monsoon season. I recommend having an AC as a primary way to cool your home, but having a evap cooler is a wonderful way to help alleviate the steep electricity bills that summer can bring.

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The main reason evap coolers are so much cheaper to run than air conditioners is that they only have 1 motor. While most AC’s have 2 motors and a compressor. Most amps are drawn during the startup of the compressor. It is equivalent to stop and go traffic in the city or non stop high way traffic.

Evap coolers use convection to transfer the heat from the outside air to the water that is falling across the pads. They can drop the temperature 25 degrees or more. The higher the humidity in the outside air will cause the cooling efficiency to decrease.

Proper maintenance on swamp coolers is crucial if you expect them to last more than the first season of operation. They are relatively low cost to maintain. If you do it right then you should only have to inspect and maintain your swamp cooler twice a year. Usually done before and after summer. I recommend doing a pre summer inspection during early spring. In Arizona I recommend to start getting your swamp cooler ready in February. I recommend winterizing it before snowfall or if you experience freezing temperatures where you are located.

Several things to take a look at when inspecting your evap cooler.

Why is my AC leaking water?

People always talk about how Arizona has a dry heat. Well during monsoon season the dry heat becomes a wet heat. Most people don’t even realize how well their air conditioner is working to keep out the humidity until they walk outside of their home. Have you recently asked yourself “why is my AC leaking water?”

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Looking for pinholes of leaking refrigerant on a rusty evap coil last year.

Air Conditioners use the condensation method to remove the moisture from the air in your home. The same thing that runs down your cold drink on a warm day. Is also keeping your home at a comfortable humidity range. This is the water you are seeing when you see water pouring from a drain in the side of your home.

If you have a package unit on top of your home. Then you should see a PVC or copper pipe coming from the unit. It should either run off the roof or into some sort of drain. Continuous water should be directed off your roof. It could progress deterioration of your roof over time.

If you have a split unit then you will usually either have an air handler in your attic or a side closet. These kind of units will usually have PVC or copper drains going through a wall to leak the condensation outside or to a separate drain.

20170913_1355012123048839.jpg
Installed 2 new split systems earlier this year. Notice the PVC directing the condensation water to a separate drain.
20170725_153350
New Trane Package Unit on top of a custom curb adapter. Notice the PVC connecting to an existing drain.

It is important to remember that these drains can get clogged over time with dust and it can turn into a sludge. These drains really can cause a problem if they get fully clogged, and if they are located inside your attic. They usually will have a secondary pan underneath the air handler if located in the attic. The pan will mostly always have a PVC or copper drain connected from it to the outside. A lot of people will usually not pay attention to the subtle signs that the condensation is leaking through the emergency drain instead of the primary drain. Once the secondary pan gets clogged as well. They tend to fill up after a few gallons. The water will then ruin your drywall and insulation underneath where unit is located. When looking at the side of your home where the drains are located. The lower drain should be your primary passage for the condensation. If your condensation is leaking through the higher drain. Then you can probably guess that your secondary pan is catching the leaking condensation from your air handler. I immediately suggest you go in the attic to inspect the pan.

If your secondary pan has water in it. Then I suggest you immediately turn off your AC unit to stop adding water to the situation.  I suggest you get a Wet/Dry vacuum to put on the outside drain to try to unclog it. Don’t forget to remove the dust filter inside your wet/dry vac before sucking up water. If you cannot unclog it this way then I suggest going into the attic with your wet/dry vac to remove the obstruction from the drain this way. If you can’t get the drain to clear. Then I suggest you suck the water from the pan before working on the drain lines. It may take you a few trips to safely remove the water without too much damage to your insulation and drywall. Once the pan is clear from water. I recommend you using your wet dry vacuum to make sure the line is clear.

Most the time I will cut the drain line, and I will my pressurized nitrogen bottle to blow about 200 psi though the line. This method is the fastest and will usually take care of the problems for me. I then reconnect the drain line with either a shark bite quick connect fitting if it’s copper line, or I will use PVC coupler and glue. Condensation drain lines are usually 3/4″ but I have seen 1/2″ drain lines before.

I have attached some tools that will help you clear condensation drain lines more efficiently.

RIDGID 32975 Model 103 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, 1/8-inch to 5/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 32975 Model 103 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, 1/8-inch to 5/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 31632 Model 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter, 1/4-inch to 1-7/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 31632 Model 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter, 1/4-inch to 1-7/8-inch Tube CutterK-D Tools 2107 Mini Tubing CutterK-D Tools 2107 Mini Tubing CutterPipe and Tube Cutter, Ratcheting Hose Cutter, One-hand Fast Pipe Cutting Tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-1/4Pipe and Tube Cutter, Ratcheting Hose Cutter, One-hand Fast Pipe Cutting Tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-1/4PVC Pipe Cutters By Haisstronica One-hand Fast pipe cutter tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-5/8in(42mm) O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR PipePVC Pipe Cutters By Haisstronica One-hand Fast pipe cutter tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-5/8in(42mm) O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR PipeStanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 HorsepowerStanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 HorsepowerShop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VacShop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VacVacmaster 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum, VP205Vacmaster 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum, VP205Vacmaster VFB511B 0201 Beast Series Professional Wet/Dry VacuumVacmaster VFB511B 0201 Beast Series Professional Wet/Dry VacuumUniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen TankUniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen TankDiversiTech CB-2 DrainDawg Condensate Line Drain Cleaning KitDiversiTech CB-2 DrainDawg Condensate Line Drain Cleaning KitNew 20 cu ft Steel Nitrogen Cylinder with CGA580 ValveNew 20 cu ft Steel Nitrogen Cylinder with CGA580 ValveFernco 1056-075 Condensate 3/4-Inch plastic or 3/4 and 1-Inch copper Pipe ConnectorFernco 1056-075 Condensate 3/4-Inch plastic or 3/4 and 1-Inch copper Pipe ConnectorPVC Pipe Coupler - Socket / Slip - Schedule 40 - White - 3/4-Inch - Pack of 6PVC Pipe Coupler – Socket / Slip – Schedule 40 – White – 3/4-Inch – Pack of 6SharkBite U016LFA4 Straight Coupling Plumbing Fitting, 3/4 Inch, PEX Fittings, Push-to-Connect, Coupler, Copper, CPVCSharkBite U016LFA4 Straight Coupling Plumbing Fitting, 3/4 Inch, PEX Fittings, Push-to-Connect, Coupler, Copper, CPVCSharkBite U3016LFA 3/4-Inch SharkBite Lead Free Repair Slip CouplingSharkBite U3016LFA 3/4-Inch SharkBite Lead Free Repair Slip Coupling

I hope this article has helped you. Please comment or email me if you have any questions.

dollarmech@gmail.com

How to replace a capacitor on an AC

Did your AC stop blowing cold air? Are you dreading to call the AC guy? Did they charge you both arms and legs last time? Fear not! I will show you how to replace a capacitor on your home AC system, and help you save yourself $100-$300 by following these simple instructions. Capacitors are one of the most common things that could go wrong with an AC.

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You will need to have the required tools that I mentioned in my other post.

ALWAYS DISCONNECT THE ELECTRICAL POWER BEFORE OPENING THE UNIT!!!

Please always be cautious of the fan blade, and try not getting shocked from the electricity.

Capacitors will hold a charge after the unit is turned off. So avoid touching both the terminals together at the same time. Until you can safely discharge the capacitor by putting the metal part of a screwdriver across the terminals after the unit is turned off.

First sign that a capacitor will need to be replaced is usually the outdoor fan or compressor will not be kicking on. If your outdoor fan motor blade is stuck still when unit should be energized. Then that is a sign that the outdoor fan motor will need to be replaced. Whenever a motor is replaced. I recommend replacing the capacitor along with it. Most residential units will have single phase voltage. That means that both the outdoor fan motor and compressor will have a capacitor for them. Most residential units will use Dual Run Capacitors which is both capacitors built into one. Three phase motors don’t use capacitors.

If you don’t have a microfarad tester built into your multimeter. Then I recommend getting a separate tester for capacitors. It would be a cool tool to lend to your friend if his capacitor went bad on his unit. You can test a capacitor by taking the wires off the terminals. Then put the tester on the terminals. Your tester should read what the capacitor is rated for. So if your capacitor was a 40 microfarads, and the capacitor was reading 36.4. Then your capacitor is bad and needs to be replaced. The capacitors microfarad readings will need to be whatever the motor calls for plus or minus 6%.

Motor Run Capacitor Round 30 uf MFD 370 Volt VAC 12717Motor Run Capacitor Round 30 uf MFD 370 Volt VAC 12717PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455GE Genteq Replacement for Capacitor 30/5 uf 370 volt 97F9833, 370V, 30/5 MFD, Dual Run, Round CapacitorGE Genteq Replacement for Capacitor 30/5 uf 370 volt 97F9833, 370V, 30/5 MFD, Dual Run, Round CapacitorTradePro 40+5 uf MFD 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor Bundle TP-CAP-40/5/440R Condenser Straight Cool/Heat Pump Air Conditioner and Zip TieTradePro 40+5 uf MFD 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor Bundle TP-CAP-40/5/440R Condenser Straight Cool/Heat Pump Air Conditioner and Zip Tie40/5 MFD Multi-Purpose 440 or 370 Volt Round Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 40+540/5 MFD Multi-Purpose 440 or 370 Volt Round Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 40+5PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455MARS - Motors & Armatures 12286 40 + 5 uF MFD x 440 VAC Genteq Replacement Dual CapacitorMARS – Motors & Armatures 12286 40 + 5 uF MFD x 440 VAC Genteq Replacement Dual Capacitor10 MFD 440 or 370 Volt Oval Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 10 microfarads10 MFD 440 or 370 Volt Oval Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 10 microfarads

Most compressors run caps range anywhere from 30 microfarads to about 80 microfarads.

Most fan motors run caps range anywhere from 5 microfarads to 15 microfarads.

Both capacitors are either usually 370 VAC (Volts Alternating Current) or 440 VAC

Run capacitors are always silver. They could be separate or together in one dual unit.

Start Capacitors are always black, and are used only for starting older compressors. Kind of like a pace maker.

Five Two One Inc CSR-U1 Compressor Saver Hard Start CapacitorFive Two One Inc CSR-U1 Compressor Saver Hard Start CapacitorSupco SPP6 Hard Start KitSupco SPP6 Hard Start KitRECTORSEAL 96506 Ks1 Kickstart Hard Start KitRECTORSEAL 96506 Ks1 Kickstart Hard Start Kit

Compressors have a built in safety circuit breaker that prevent it from running after it gets too hot. So if the fan capacitor failing caused the outdoor fan motor to stop running. The compressor probably kept on running till it overheated. So then compressor will not turn on again till it has cooled down some so the internal safety has reset. A trick some AC guys use will be to run some water over the compressor while it is off to cool down the compressor quicker.

Pocket Hose Ultra Expandable, 3X Stronger, 75 FeetPocket Hose Ultra Expandable, 3X Stronger, 75 FeetLawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage BagLawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage BagHOAEY 100ft Expanding Hose, Flexible Garden Expandable Water Hose with Pipe Brass Fittings for Car Garden ( 100 Feet )HOAEY 100ft Expanding Hose, Flexible Garden Expandable Water Hose with Pipe Brass Fittings for Car Garden ( 100 Feet )

I know you probably have questions still. So please leave a comment, and I’ll update the article to address them.

How to become a self sufficient AC DIYer

Alot of AC guys will probably get mad at me for sharing information this easily and readily available to the public. I feel that we should all live by the “to give a man a fish, or to teach a man how to fish” philosophy. So I decided to share this information with the masses. This information is meant for people who are pretty “handy” with tools. I don’t recommend doing anything that you feel uncomfortable or unsure about doing. As you may hurt yourself or the machine. I also want you to know that it is illegal to handle refrigerants without your Universal EPA license in the United States. They are fairly easy to obtain. I feel I can give you enough knowledge to safely save yourself a few bucks if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty in the process.

Always becareful when getting on roofs or climbing ladders. You could potentially get really hurt or even die. I am a professional and I fell through a sky light a few months ago while not paying attention to where I was stepping.

After falling through the skylight, and before my seven stitches.

First thing you will need is some of the AC technicians most basic tools. I have attached links to some I approve of getting.

  • Multimeter- these are mainly use to check voltage, continuity, and amps. Getting one with an amp clamp is quick way to check how much amperage motors are drawing. I also recommend getting one that reads microfarads for reading capacitors.
  • Refrigeration gauges- I recommend getting some for R-410A refrigerant. These are the highest pressures you will probably deal with. R-410A is one of the most common refrigerants you will encounter.
  • Screwdrivers-Both flat and phillips various lengths.
  • Channel locks
  • Wire strippers/cutters/terminal crimper
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Power drill or driver with 5/16″ and 1/4″ bits and phillips head bits
  • Tool bag
  • Ladder- to get on top of whatever roof you are trying to access.
  • Rope- to bring parts and tools onto the roof.

I will add some other posts with updates to various simple discrepancies in your system that you may encoutner.

Klein Tools 55421BP-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer BackpackKlein Tools 55421BP-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer BackpackKlein Tools 5541610-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer 10-Inch ToteKlein Tools 5541610-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer 10-Inch ToteFieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSFieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSFieldpiece HS36 Expandable Autoranging True RMS Stick Multimeter w/BacklightFieldpiece HS36 Expandable Autoranging True RMS Stick Multimeter w/BacklightYellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8Yellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8Yellow Jacket 41711 Series 41 Manifold with 2-1/2Yellow Jacket 41711 Series 41 Manifold with 2-1/2Yellow Jacket 19109 Quick Coupler Sealright CouplerYellow Jacket 19109 Quick Coupler Sealright CouplerFieldpiece BG44 Single Strap Bag SystemFieldpiece BG44 Single Strap Bag SystemFIELDPIECE SPK1FIELDPIECE SPK1Fieldpiece ATC1R Pipe-Clamp Thermocouple 1/8-Inch to 3/4-Inch for Refrigeration by FieldpieceFieldpiece ATC1R Pipe-Clamp Thermocouple 1/8-Inch to 3/4-Inch for Refrigeration by FieldpieceKlein Tools J203-7 Journeyman Standard Long-Nose Pliers, 7-InchKlein Tools J203-7 Journeyman Standard Long-Nose Pliers, 7-InchIRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, V-Jaw, 2 Piece, 2078709IRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, V-Jaw, 2 Piece, 2078709Klein Tools 85078 Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (8-Piece)Klein Tools 85078 Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (8-Piece)

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