Call 678-904-2500

Troubleshooting an Outdoor AC Fan That’s No Longer Spinning

If your air conditioning system’s outdoor fan has stopped spinning, you’ll need to investigate it. All central air conditioning systems have an outdoor fan. Also known as the condenser fan, it blows air over the condenser coil to release heat. When it stops spinning, heat may build up inside of the condenser coil while subsequently lowering your air conditioning system’s cooling power.

Slipped Motor Belt

A slipped motor belt may prevent the condenser fan from spinning. Most condenser fans are powered by either a direct-drive motor or a belt-drive motor. Belt-drive motors use a serpentine belt to spin the condenser fan. Belts, of course, can slip out of place. If the belt slips, your condenser fan will no longer be connected to the motor, so it won’t be able to spin.

Corrosion Around Electrical Contacts

Corrosion may prevent the condenser fan from spinning as well. Unlike blowers, condenser fans are installed outdoors. They are packaged inside of the condenser unit, which is installed outdoors. And because condenser fans are installed outdoors, they are regularly exposed to moisture.

As moisture accumulates around the electrical contacts, the condenser fan may stop spinning. Condenser fans require electricity. If corrosion forms around the condenser fan’s electrical contacts, it may not receive a sufficient amount of electricity. Corrosion will interrupt the flow of electricity so that the condenser fan is no longer able to spin.

Blown Capacitor

Your AC system has capacitors. Capacitors are energy-storage devices that help the equipment turn on and run. Condenser fans, for instance, typically use a capacitor for startup operations. With a blown capacitor, the condenser fan may not turn on, nor will it spin.

Stuck Bearings

Another reason condenser fans stop spinning is stuck bearings. Most condenser fans have bearings to reduce friction and, thus, allow the blades to move more freely. Bearings can get stuck, however. With stuck bearings, the condenser fan may spin more slowly, or may not spin at all.

Debris can make its way into the condenser fan. As previously mentioned, the condenser fan is located outdoors. There’s a lot of debris, of course, outdoors. Dirt, grass, leaves and other debris can get stuck inside of the condenser fan where it causes the bearings to seize up.

Troubleshooting a condenser fan that’s no longer spinning isn’t always easy. It can have many different causes, including a slipped motor belt, corrosion around electrical contacts, a blown capacitor and stuck bearings. If your air conditioning system’s condenser fan has stopped spinning, you should contact a professional technician for a proper diagnosis.