For a few years now I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a window air conditioner that I can take apart and play with OR just to have on hand in an emergency. You can get one for around $100 nowadays.
Today I was driving home when just three houses down from me there existed a 8000 BTU air conditioner sitting abandoned at the curb! Sweeeeet! The only thing better than buying an air conditioner is finding a broken one and fixing it. I immediately grabbed my dolly and picked it up and brought it home.
I plugged it in and the fan came on but the compressor didn’t. Not unexpected but better than I had expected. I got out my multi-meter and probed around on the power connections to the compressor. The hot wire read 110V at the overload protector but 0V on the other side! Hmm. That didn’t seem right. (Not knowing it was an overload protector at the time.) It appeared to be some kind of sensor because it was not actually connected to the compressor body. As a diagnostic, I bypassed the whatchamadoodle and connected the power right to the compressor. I plugged it back in and jumped in fear as the compressor sprang to life. Within a few minutes the unit was cooling again! Damn I’m good!
The thing was a proper mess. Full of dust, dirt and covered in foam sealant on the outside where the previous owner tried to make it air-tight to the window. I used my air compressor to blow out as much dust as possible. I scraped off all the foam and took the whole thing out to the yard and cleaned the coils with the garden hose sprayer. Much better!
After letting it dry for a few hours in the sun, I put it back on my workbench to test it again. Yep! Works! Good as new.
I went on Ebay to look for a replacement overload protector where I found one for $3.45 with free shipping. I could probably run it without one but why not make it safe for $3.45.
There’s nothing more fun than taking someone else’s discarded machine and fixing it.