external air conditioner unit

The external air conditioner unit does not start: what should I do?

The split system has many components connected to each other in a single network. Every detail plays an important role in the stable operation of the air conditioner. And if one of them fails, it is highly likely that the device will work unstable or will not turn on at all.

One of the most unpleasant breakdowns that users face is a faulty outdoor air conditioner unit. Many owners of split systems think that if the external unit does not show signs of life, then the device can no longer be saved.

We hasten to reassure you: in most cases, the outdoor unit can be repaired if a full diagnosis is carried out beforehand. During the diagnosis, the true cause of the breakdown is found out, after which it is eliminated.

In this article, we will talk about the main reasons why the outdoor unit does not start. Read to the end to learn about all the nuances of this difficult problem.

Causes of failure

Below we describe in detail the main reasons why the external block does not work. Of course, there are other reasons. But we will list the most common ones.

split system compressor

The compressor is faulty

One of the main reasons why the outdoor unit of the air conditioner does not turn on is a faulty compressor. Optionally, the compressor fails completely. It may temporarily turn off due to overheating, and the outdoor unit will turn off after it.

But why does the compressor overheat? There may be several reasons:

  • The outdoor unit has not been cleaned of dirt, dust and insects for a long time. And we mean a complete cleaning, including from the inside. The situation can be corrected by conducting a comprehensive cleaning. But be careful: if the unit is installed at a high altitude, it is better to entrust this task to the master from the service center;

  • Excessive amount of refrigerating agent. The master measures the pressure in the air conditioner and, if it is increased, pumps out part of the freon. This is usually enough to make the outdoor unit work.

The fan is faulty

The fan may break down or stop working due to the following reasons:

  • Irregular cleaning of the unit and its internal components. We talked about this above. Dirt can stop the operation of the entire split system, so cleaning should be carried out at least twice a year, carefully cleaning all the parts of the unit;

  • The fan is blocked by branches, birds that accidentally flew into the block, etc. In this case, you will also have to disassemble the outdoor unit to find the cause;

  • The service life of the fan and/or its engine has ended. In this case, the masters rarely try to bring the part back to life. Usually it is dismantled and a new fan or its components are put in place.

We have listed only the main reasons for the fan failure. A specialist will be able to determine the exact cause only after a complete diagnosis.

There is no inter-block communication

royal clima air conditioner

The outdoor and indoor units are connected to each other not only by copper tubes (the so-called freon route), but also by cables. If one of them is damaged, the blocks will lose communication with each other. There may also be software failures when everything is fine with the cables, but the connection is still lost. In this case, the breakdown is looked for in the electronic part of the device.

Such repairs cannot be performed at home, so we recommend calling a master. He will diagnose the system and select the optimal solution for your problem.

No power supply

The outdoor unit may not start due to a banal lack of power. Check the integrity of the cable, socket, plug. Make sure that the house has electricity and its voltage is sufficient to power the air conditioner. If you are not familiar with these issues, call an electrician. Or, even better, immediately call the master air conditioner. He will check both the power supply and the device itself.

Improper operation

error codes of the air conditioner artel

One of the most common reasons for turning off the outdoor unit is ignoring the rules for using the air conditioner. The device comes with a detailed instruction in Russian, but many users do not like to read the documentation. Over time, due to improper operation, the air conditioner begins to work worse and worse, and then it turns off altogether.

What user errors can lead to the disconnection of the outdoor unit? Here are some of them:

  • Operation outside of operating temperatures. Each air conditioner has its own operating temperature limits. Most of the devices work normally at a temperature of +5 to +40 degrees Celsius. But if you decide to turn on the heating mode at sub-zero temperature on the window, you risk turning the air conditioner into a pumpkin. The device will simply refuse to work in such difficult conditions for it;

  • Untimely, irregular maintenance. Many users purchase an air conditioner, install it and completely forget about maintenance. But technology is also a kind of organism, and it is quite complex. And this body needs regular care. We have already talked about the importance of regular cleaning of the air conditioner, but do not forget about a full technical check of the device. This service is available in every service center, and it is quite inexpensive.

Other reasons

external unit hums

Let’s list the other reasons for a non-working outdoor unit:

  • You switched the operating mode and less than 15 minutes have passed. Air conditioners take a long time to adjust from one mode to another, they need some time. Budget devices can completely switch from dehumidification to cooling for 30 minutes. Be patient, the outdoor unit will probably continue working in normal mode soon;

  • The four-way valve has failed. Self-repair is almost impossible, and it will also not be possible to determine this reason without experience;

  • The drainage tray and the drainage tube are clogged with insects, dirt, water or other foreign objects. This rarely causes the outdoor unit to be turned off, but experienced craftsmen have had such cases in their practice;

  • There is not enough refrigerating agent in the freon line. This problem only occurs when there is a leak. Or the previous masters did not fill enough freon into the track. The problem is solved by diagnostics and refueling.


Split systems are technologically advanced and modern, but, alas, they are not immune from malfunctions and breakdowns. The air conditioner consists of many components, each of which plays an important role. And if one of them fails, the outdoor unit of the device simply will not start.

In this article, we tried to explain in detail why the outdoor unit does not start. The exact cause can be determined only by an experienced specialist who has diagnostic equipment. We do not recommend doing self-repair, because in most cases this leads to sad consequences.

Entrust this difficult work to a professional from the service center. Thanks to his experience, he will quickly determine why the external unit is not working, and will eliminate the breakdown in a short time.

If you have previously encountered the problem described in the article, tell us about your experience in the comments below. This will be useful for many readers. Share tips and recommendations on how to fix malfunctions and how to prevent breakdowns in the future. Also check out other useful articles on our website. We wish you good luck!

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