HVAC guy changed capacitor - have a question


Old 02-16-19, 09:23 PM
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HVAC guy changed capacitor - have a question

hi everyone,

new to DIY, trying to make sure i am not getting swindled. HVAC guy came out this morning to change our capacitor ($220). Said he will come back mid-week to also change out the blower motor because when one goes (capacitor) the other will go as well. Based on forums, not sure that these two parts have such a correlation. With the new capacitor, the gas furnace is working fine. Symptoms this morning were a burning smell and no heat being blown out of the vents.

Would love thoughts - do I need a new blower motor for $700?!!
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Old 02-16-19, 10:26 PM
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No, a failed capacitor doesn’t automatically mean you need a new blower motor. Although if you smelled something burning maybe the guy saw something that indicates failure is imminent.
I’d ask him what exactly is wrong that requires the motor be replaced.
Old 02-17-19, 06:29 AM
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Thumbs up Welcome to our forums!

First thing I would suggest is you call him right away to let him know your furnace is not working.
It is possible he was correct and needs an opportunity to explain what is causing your current problem.

No one here could possibly know what is wrong with your furnace and you need a hands on diagnosis.
Old 02-17-19, 07:30 AM
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I agree with the above remark, "No, a failed capacitor doesn’t automatically mean you need a new blower motor.

The rule of thumb is to always replace a capacitor when you replace the motor. Not the other way around.

Since your blower is working fine after the tech replaced your capacitor, then there is no urgent need to replace your motor now, or ever. Ask your tech for a specific mechanical cause for his impending failure diagnosis. If your motor is working fine now, and there is no burning odor, then maybe your tech is clairvoyant and can see your future, otherwise your old motor sounds fine.

Having said that, if your furnance is 10 or 20 years old, and you plan to keep it even longer, then maybe the tech is being proactive to keep your unit reliable. If your tech installed a specialized hard start' capacitor, (ask him) instead of the normal factory equipped capacitor, then it is possible your old bearing are shot and you need a new motor. Hard start capacitor can be installed when they are not needed at all, either a bad diagnosis or up sell which complicates your position.

You have to rely on your tech to convince you that your motor is bad and provide a cause to you. Your only option is to decline and call them back if and when your motor fails in the future. A tech will tell you how urgent your needs are, and why. Then you make the decision to save money now or spend and buy peace of mind for later.

To summarize, a failed capacitor doesn’t automatically mean you need a new blower motor.

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