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3 Things That Can Make Odd Noises And Cause A Condenser Fan To Malfunction

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If you hear a scraping metallic sound or other weird noise when your condenser fan kicks on or tries to turn on, there might be a problem in your condenser. If you don't see a twig or something caught in the blade that you can pull out yourself, consider calling an air conditioning contractor to take a look. 

When you call, ask if you should turn your AC off while you wait for service. Running your AC when it's malfunctioning might cause stress to other parts and drive up your repair bill. Here are some things that might be wrong with your condenser fan.

1. The Blade Has Come Loose

The fan blade might work loose due to the vibrations and spinning when the fan kicks on. When this happens the blade can get unbalanced and scrape against the metal cage. The air conditioning contractor can take the grille on top of the condenser off and pull the fan out to examine it.

The blade might just need to be tightened, but if a blade got bent from the scraping, the contractor may need to put a new blade on. The contractor can determine if the blade is loose by trying to wiggle it. If it has movement, then they can tighten the screws to see if the movement stops. If not, it's probably time for a new blade.

Replacing a bad fan blade is a matter of pulling the fan out of the condenser and removing the screw that holds the blade on. The blade can then be pulled off and replaced.

2. The Contactor Is Not Providing Power

A bad contactor makes a chattering noise that you might think is coming from the fan, but if you listen closely, you can tell it's coming from the side of the condenser. Power to the condenser parts flows into the contactor first.

If the contactor is bad, power may not go to the capacitor and fan motor. In that case, you might hear a chattering noise but you won't see the fan start up since the fan won't run without power.

3. The Fan Motor Is Going Bad

If the motor that spins the fan is going bad, the fan might kick on but turn much slower than usual. You'll probably hear an odd noise coming from the motor too, especially if the bearings are bad. If the motor is bad, an air conditioning contractor can replace it. This entails removing the fan blade to get to the motor.

The fan motor is attached to the condenser cover and it has a shaft that the blade attaches to. Once the blade is off, the motor can be unscrewed from the condenser cover. When the wires are disconnected, the motor can be removed from the unit so the new one can be put in following the steps in reverse.

It's important for the air conditioning contractor to get a new motor that has the same ratings as the old one so it will work with your equipment properly.