Yesterday, our outside air conditioner compressor motor got knocked out because of a power problem, and we had to have a new one installed. This is what happened:
At about noon, the electrical power went off for about two seconds, then immediately came back on before I had a chance to turn off the air conditioner thermostat. The compressor motor was running at the time of the power outage. When the power came back on, the compressor motor would not! Bottom line, we now have a new compressor motor (for about $400). No circuit breakers had been thrown, the motor simply died.
I’ve talked to an electrical contractor about having a surge protector installed on the outside unit. He said that he could do it for about $125 and that by doing so, we could avoid such problems in the future.
My question and concern is this:
Since I’m not an electrician, I may be wrong about what I’m thinking, and that’s why I’m asking you pros. To me, a surge protector would protect the motor from a “surge” or “spike” of power, and I would assume that this means an amount of power MORE than normal. But would a surge protector have protected the motor in my case? Or was the motor knocked out simply because it hadn’t had enough time to recycle itself before attempting to come back on?
In other words, does the power going out and immediately coming back on constitute a “surge”?
Do any of you have such surge protectors on your A/C units?