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Testing Your Condenser Fan Motor: A Comprehensive Guide

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-05-11      Origin: Site

If you're experiencing issues with your air conditioning unit, one of the first things you should check is the condenser fan motor. This vital component helps to cool the refrigerant that flows through your AC unit, and if it's not functioning correctly, you may be in for some hot and humid days. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about testing your condenser fan motor.

What is a condenser fan motor?

Before we dive into the testing process, let's first understand what a condenser fan motor is. The condenser fan motor is responsible for turning the fan blades that cool the refrigerant as it flows through the condenser coil. Without a properly functioning fan motor, the refrigerant won't cool effectively, and your AC unit won't be able to produce cool air.

Signs of a faulty condenser fan motor

There are several signs that your condenser fan motor may be faulty. These include:

  • Loud or unusual noises coming from the unit

  • The fan blades not turning when the unit is running

  • Warm air blowing from the vents instead of cool air

  • The unit shutting off on its own

  • The unit constantly running

If you're experiencing any of these issues, it's a good idea to check your condenser fan motor.

Tools needed for testing

To test your condenser fan motor, you'll need a few tools:

  • A multimeter

  • Safety gloves

  • Safety glasses

  • Screwdriver

  • Wrench

Testing process

Here are the steps you should take to test your condenser fan motor:

Step 1: Turn off the power to your AC unit

Before you start any work on your AC unit, you'll need to turn off the power. Locate the circuit breaker that controls your AC unit and turn it off. You should also unplug the unit from the power source.

Step 2: Remove the fan access panel

Locate the fan access panel on your AC unit and remove it. You may need to use a screwdriver or wrench to do this.

Step 3: Disconnect the fan motor wires

Using your screwdriver or wrench, disconnect the wires that connect the fan motor to the AC unit.

Step 4: Test the motor windings

Set your multimeter to the ohms setting and touch the probes to the motor windings. You should get a reading of between 0 and infinity. If you get a reading of 0, this indicates a short circuit, and if you get a reading of infinity, this indicates an open circuit. Either of these readings means that the motor windings are faulty.

Step 5: Test the motor capacitor

Next, you'll need to test the motor capacitor. Set your multimeter to the capacitance setting and touch the probes to the capacitor terminals. The reading should be within 10% of the capacitor's rated capacitance. If the reading is significantly lower, this indicates a faulty capacitor.

Step 6: Test the motor bearings

Finally, you'll need to test the motor bearings. Place one hand on the motor shaft and attempt to move it back and forth. There should be very little movement, indicating that the bearings are in good condition. If there is a lot of movement or the shaft feels loose, this indicates that the bearings are faulty.


Testing your condenser fan motor is an essential part of maintaining your air conditioning unit. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can identify any issues with your fan motor and take the necessary steps to get it back up and running.


  1. How often should I test my condenser fan motor?

    It's a good idea to test your condenser fan motor once a year as part of your regular AC maintenance.

  2. Can I replace the fan motor myself?

    If you're comfortable working with electrical components, you can replace the fan motor yourself. However, if you're not experienced with electrical work, it's best to hire a professional.

  3. How much does it cost to replace a condenser fan motor?

    The cost of replacing a condenser fan motor can vary depending on the make and model of your AC unit. On average, you can expect to pay between $200 and $500.

  4. How long does a condenser fan motor last?

    With proper maintenance, a condenser fan motor can last for 10 to 15 years.

  5. What other components should I check if my AC unit isn't cooling properly?

    If your AC unit isn't cooling properly, you should also check the air filter, the evaporator coil, and the refrigerant levels.

Remember to always exercise caution when working with electrical components, and if you're unsure about anything, don't hesitate to contact a professional. By properly maintaining your condenser fan motor, you can ensure that your AC unit continues to provide cool air for years to come.