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Bad CAPACITOR or

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1 Bad CAPACITOR or on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:13 pm

bethk

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Admin
that thing-a-ma-gig that makes the a/c cool the house.

It seems like every two years, almost like clockwork, our central a/c dies and the man comes, looks it over, bangs around on this and that, and then comes and announces, "it's a bad CAPASITOR, it'll run about $70 to replace. Would you like me to fix it?"

I always want to say, no, I don't want it fixed, I was just curious why there was no cool air coming from the floor vents.... OF COURSE I WANT IT FIXED....that was the whole idea when I called your company to come for a visit....duh.

So, JIMMY.....what is a capacitor? How comes it breaks every couple years? Please give me the simple, "little woman" answer, not the complicated answer for someone who knows about mechanical stuff. And what does it mean that the compressor has a little trouble with higher amperage on start up? The guy was talking but lost me long before he got to the end of his story. I just want the furnace and a/c to end up being the next owner's problem. I am so done with caring about repairs or things in need of replacement in this house.

The man could not even check to see if he should add some refrigerant because it was only 55 degrees outside when he was here and he said they can't check the refrigerant levels unless its over 65. So, IF there was a leak, too bad. If it doesn't cool the house when it gets hot again I can always call for another service call. Sigh.......

2 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:29 pm

Barbara101

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IDK but that is why I rent. Cool 

3 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:20 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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OK... The CAPACITOR is a device that looks like a can and has a metal wound inside like a roll of toilet paper.
Its Job...Is to increase the Voltage to Run The Compressor at a Higher Voltage other than the 230 Volts supplied to the unit.
It's a so called Booster.
It usually supplies 370 to 440 Volts to the Compressor or fan motor. OK enough on what it does....hhahaha

Now WHY? does it keep crapping out??? Is the question.

Some Outdoor Condenser Units are equipped with just a RUN Capacitor which means the compressor motor starts and runs with the capacitor helping it attain the voltage.

NOW... If the Compressor has some wear or is a little tight ( Which is sometimes normal) when there is a call from the t-stat to Start.....It may not right away, and just sit there and Hum and not turn. The Capacitor may overheat and cause the Capacitor to Fail / Short out internally and not turn the motor inside the compressor!

What Can Be Done to Help The situation??

A Hard Start Kit can be added to the Run Capacitor.
It is a Clip on 1 2 3 Job, and what that does, is it adds another start Booster (Capacitor) to the Existing one to Punch the living Crap out of the Motor to say "Come On Charlie".... Move your Butt and Run or else!

One thing that puts a strain on the capacitor, is Higher than normal refrigerant pressure. HOW? and WHY?

The Condenser COIL... Like a car radiator coil...gets blocked with dust and dirt that to look at the coil...it looks ok, but inside the fins...lurks the dust and dirt,
If it has never been cleaned ( Simple to do) in 5 years, it could be dirty. The easy way to check...is to take a toothpick and carefully spread the fins open just a teensy, and look inside the opening with a flashlight.
If you see fuzz or dirt.... It needs a cleaning.

Shut off the Breaker that supplies the power...
Take some spray 409 or spray soap cleaner, and spray the entire coil.....then after 2 or 3 minutes with a hose and a jentle spray.....start at the top of the coil, and work down to the bottom being careful not to bend the fins with too forceful of a spray.
And there ya go.... Nice clean condenser coil, and good for another three to 4 years under normal conditions.

A clean condenser coil puts less of a strain on the condenser unit outside.

Turn on the Breaker to the unit, and stert it up.

4 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:34 pm

bethk

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Man, oh, man...why is it even what you said sounds like a Greek speech to me?

I think I am the most mechanically inept person in the world. Now I'm feeling bad I even asked the question, because I should be able to follow a simplified explanation. Oh well, maybe after I read it another dozen times or so it will start to make sense to me.

But thanks for trying, Jimmy. It's not you.....it's me. Lol

5 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:26 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:Man, oh, man...why is it even what you said sounds like a Greek speech to me?

I think I am the most mechanically inept person in the world.  Now I'm feeling bad I even asked the question, because I should be able to follow a simplified explanation.  Oh well, maybe after I read it another dozen times or so it will start to make sense to me.

But thanks for trying, Jimmy.  It's not you.....it's me.   Lol

That's ok...

Here is a good one for cleaning the coil....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_xR4ScC6I4

Most people neglect this, and shamefully...so do service people / companies.

ONE clue to "Do I Need Freon?"
When the unit is running outside...typical 80 degree day ... the larger pipe should be either cold at the unit, and sometimes sweats. That is GOOD Indication you have enough charge of refrigerant.

ALSO Inside...the leaving air temperature should be 17 to 20 degrees cooler than the air entering the indoor coil furnace blower whatever you have.
With the system running 10 minutes, if you stick a thermometer in the air intake and it reads lets say 75 degrees and then with the same thermometer stick it in the cool air coming out...it should read 17 to 20 degrees colder than the entering air. i.e. 55 degrees would be perfect. Of course that is with a clean filter.

6 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:11 pm

bethk

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Admin
Ok, so the a/c turned on, it got warm enough.

The thermostat says the air temp is 76 degrees.

I stuck an instant read thermometer in the floor vent. The air coming through the vent is at 59 degrees. Does that mean I don't need to call and have them add refrigerant to our a/c system?

And everyone in the house wonders why the chair right next to the floor vent is MY chair....as in, GET OUTTA MY CHAIR !!! LOL

7 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:34 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:Ok, so the a/c turned on, it got warm enough.  

The thermostat says the air temp is 76 degrees.

I stuck an instant read thermometer in the floor vent.  The air coming through the vent is at 59 degrees.  Does that mean I don't need to call and have them add refrigerant to our a/c system?  

And everyone in the house wonders why the chair right next to the floor vent is MY chair....as in, GET OUTTA MY CHAIR !!!  LOL

17 degree temperature difference sounds good to me Beth!

If you were to go outside...and the larger pipe is cold and sweating, then you are in like flint! No Need to add refrigerant.

Well I'll Be Darned... We'll send you back to the Villages as "The A/C Lady"
See... here is what we will do.
You wear a Camera On your forhead like a dashcam.
You Go to your customers and as you look at the unit, you transmit Skype it to me, and I will guide you to the problem as I see it in my monitor. hahahahahahahahahaha.... We'll Call it "Service Cam"... You need not have to know a thing about anything....just hahaha point your head in the problem, and all set to be in business.
Hey! They do surgery with TV Cams...Right?? LOL SOoooo Funny!

8 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:23 pm

bethk

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Admin
OK, so let's move on to the refrigerator thread....next problem up for discussion, oh, repair Guru.....

9 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:28 pm

Crybaby

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Forgive me, but I keep thinking of Christopher Lloyd's "flux capacitor" in the movie Back to the Future.

One of my favorite parts is (when he is trying to ascertain if Michael J. Fox was indeed from the future) when he asks Fox, "Who's the President?" and he responds, "Ronald Reagan," to which Lloyd responds hysterically with "The actor?" I still laugh even when I see it re-run and I've seen it a dozen times!

10 Re: Bad CAPACITOR or on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:31 pm

bethk

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Speaking of Michael J. Fox....I just saw where he's returning to TV. I've always enjoyed him, ever since he was Alex P. Keaton. Loved watching him grow up.

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