Capacitor problem?

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  #1  
Old 04-08-05, 09:01 AM
wpierson70
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Capacitor problem?

I live in a new home (2 years old) and I have a dual zone system. I turned my air on 2 weeks ago and it has been working fine up until yesterday when the upper zone would not cool. The outside unit was humming but the fan wasn't turning. I took the advice that was given to another member and turned the fan manually which made it run. I surmise from this little test that I need a new capacitor.
I thought that when the fan started to run that the upstairs area should cool off, but it hasn't after a whole night running. There is air blowing from the vents, but after a full night the temp remained 79 degrees. The thermostat seems to be working ok, (clicks on and clicks off when I adjust the temperatures). I checked the unit in the attic and everything seems pristine. There is no water in the pan or clogged ducts. I have been neurotic about changing filters every month also. The outside unit is pristine also.
Do I have 2 problems going on here? The capacitor and something else? I know little to nothing about air conditioners, but I am handy aroud the house and try to repari thing on my own if I can. Where can I buy a capacitor? I called Lowes and Home Depot & they don't sell them. Also after unplugging the unit, how do I "discharge the capacitor."
My unit is a "Comfortmaker" model # NHP024aka1. Of course the warranty expired 2 months ago!

-Wpierson
 

Last edited by wpierson70; 04-08-05 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Spelling errors
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  #2  
Old 04-08-05, 02:27 PM
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Wink

how do I "discharge the capacitor."
With a very good, dry, insulated, screwdriver. Know what you are doing. Just put the screwdriver across the two terminal is all.
Now you dont say if the compressor runs, sounds like it dont no water in the pan. Big copper line outside should be cold and wet. Lot of AC units have a Dual Capacitor in them that is for both the fan and the compressor could be that is what you have . You have to look inside the unit.Dont forget its 220V in there.

ED
 
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Old 04-08-05, 04:50 PM
wpierson70
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Capacitor

Thanks for the tip with the capacitor. What kind of store can I buy one from? Also, Does a faulty Capacitor affect the temperature?

-WP
 

Last edited by wpierson70; 04-08-05 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
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Old 04-08-05, 05:44 PM
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Does a faulty Capacitor affect the temperature?
Yes if it cant start and run

Any electric shop a hvac shop should have them .call around.

ED
 
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Old 04-08-05, 08:24 PM
wpierson70
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Capacitor

I actually can get it started by hand and the fan funs fine when I do that, but shouldn't the air get cool once the fan is running. Can a bad capacitor affect the cooling of the unit even if the fan is working?
-WP
 
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Old 04-09-05, 06:43 AM
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Sounds like the compressor is not coming on. It may have went south trying to run without the condensor motor. Best to have a tech diagnose it.
 
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Old 04-09-05, 03:15 PM
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The fan is probably running, but how fast? Could be that you still aren't moving air fast enough past the condenser coil. If that's so I would expect that the compressor is starting, running for a while, then tripping out on high head pressure. It's still possible for the only problem to be a bad capacitor on the fan motor. The only way to know is to observe the compressor while running the A/C unit.
 
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Old 04-09-05, 03:55 PM
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Capacitor

If we are dealing with a dual capacitor. It is entirely possibe the common is bad thus shutting down both the fan & compressor. How many sets of terminals are there on the capacitor? If there are 3 sets, it is a dual capacitor, serving both the fan & compressor.
 
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Old 04-09-05, 06:49 PM
wpierson70
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I just checked, There are definitely 3 sets of terminals on the capacitor. If the "common" is bad like you suggest, is there a good chance that replacing the capacitor will "fix" the whole problem?
 
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Old 04-10-05, 08:49 AM
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Dual capacitor

Yes. It is a strong possibility.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 02:47 PM
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Wink

Take it with you so you get the same. Also mark down the wires so you put them back as should be.

ED
 
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Old 04-13-05, 12:10 PM
wpierson70
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New capacitor doesn't work

I finally got a new capacitor matching the old one and hooked it up just like the original. Initially, things started up right away, but after a couple of minutes, I could tell that the fan was running slower that the the fan in the condenser for the lower level. It started to shut off intermitently then after about 10 minutes, it shut off completely. Is there anything else I can do?

-WP
 

Last edited by wpierson70; 04-13-05 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
  #13  
Old 04-13-05, 06:30 PM
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Fan stopped

If you have & know how to use an ammeter, you can check the amp draw on the motor & compare the reading to the data plate on the motor. Otherwise you can gamble on the motor being bad or call someone to do the troubleshooting.
 
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Old 04-16-05, 05:31 PM
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Shake the motor shaft and see if there is excessive play up and down and in and out. The motor may have bad bearings.
 
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