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Sherlock Ohms

These Fuses Melt in Water

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skyefire
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Gold
Re: A Bug between a Relay
skyefire   10/29/2012 1:17:27 PM
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Never had a *bug* in my AC unit, but I did have a relay in the outdoor compressor unit fail several times.  The relay was an unsealed, open type, which was located near the bottom of the unit.  Since the housing of the unit was open at the bottom, the relay was (mostly) protected from rain, but any time we had to mow the grass or weed-whack the growth around the compressor, clippings would be driven with enough force to "hook" up under the lip of the housing and hit the relay, carrying enough moisture to eventually cause corrosion.  Ditto for snow during the winter.  The first time that relay failed, it jammed *closed*, and kept the compressor running constantly for *weeks*.  We didn't notice b/c the compressor was a quiet type, and the central air blower inside the house only activated when the thermostat ordered it (and I was working very long hours).  I first noticed something odd when i had to enter the crawlspace and found the high-pressure coolant line was dripping condensation over its entire length constantly, even when the central air wasn't running.  Ended up tracking down the culprit by killing the thermostat power circuit and realizing that the compressor kept running.  The relay was only $20, and I replaced it myself easily enough, but good grief, the electric bill for that month was ENORMOUS.

That relay became the "first check" item whenever there was an AC problem for the next several years.  It never jammed closed again, but it did fail a few more times. Why anyone would use a relay with mechanical components open to the elements in an installation like that is beyond me.

GuidoBee
User Rank
Iron
Re: A Bug between a Relay
GuidoBee   11/1/2012 7:14:34 PM
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the link at the bottom of mr bandit's post can be inspirational to those folks who don't want to be told what they cannot do.  Adm Grace Murray Hopper is one of my heroes (heroine?).  Just to add a bit to the linked info, Adm Hopper was interviewed on 60 minutes, was a regular on the lecture circuits (no pun intended) and is the namesake of the Computing center building at the Naval Air Station at North Island (San Diego), CA in addition to the (Navy) combatant ship named after her. 

I think she serves as a great example to anyone considering a career in technologies or computers, but especially for young ladies and girls who wonder if they can become leaders in high tech areas (may not be so much doubt about that now), but it was the likes of Amazing Grace who led the way 65  years ago. 

CDR, USN, RET

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