One of the most common problems experienced by air conditioners is a faulty fan. In the event that the fan gets faulty, there are two major possibilities. One possibility could be that the motor is damaged but the most often is that the capacitor has gone bad.
A bad capacitor in your AC can easily be identified. If you're having a capacitor problem, the difficulty then becomes finding the right replacement for your fan.
How to Detect Capacitor Problems in an AC System
Before we even look at where to shop for your capacitors, we first have to determine if what you are dealing with is a capacitor problem. If your AC is not working up to the required standards, there are situations when you can conclude it is a capacitor problem. These situations are:
- The outside fan is making a humming noise but not running
- The fan starts and then stops along the way
- The fan does not start but runs smoothly when started by hand.
These three problems are most likely caused by a faulty capacitor and can only be handled by replacing the capacitor.
How AC Fan Capacitors Work
The first thing you should try to understand is how AC fan capacitors work. In most cases, the fan will have capacitors. Depending on the brand of your AC, some may even have three capacitors.
In some fans, the two capacitors are placed in one casing and may be as popular as one. The two capacitors are made up of the start capacitor and the run capacitor.
The start capacitor is responsible for starting the fan. Without the start capacitor, your fan may never start. The run capacitor, on the other hand, is an auxiliary capacitor that ensures that motion is maintained once it starts.
More often than not, the start capacitor gets spoiled before the run capacitor. If you're experiencing problems such as the fan won't spin but is making a humming noise, chances are that the start capacitor is damaged. In other circumstances, if you realize that the fan won't start but runs well once you start with your hand, you may also be having a start capacitor problem.
On the other hand, if your fan starts but runs out of power and stops, you are having problems with the run capacitor. This means that your fan does not get the required power to keep it running, so it slows down because of the bad capacitor.
What to Look for When Purchasing a New Fan Capacitor
Before you venture out to purchase the capacitor, make sure you know what you are looking for. If you get the wrong capacitor, chances are you'll run into similar problems sooner or later.
One of the factors to consider when purchasing a replacement capacitor is the brand. If possible, you should get the brand of the capacitor like the one you are replacing. Although this can be quite difficult, it is worth a try. If possible, you may want to call the AC manufacturer and enquire about places to buy the same exact capacitor.
The other factor you must consider is the similarities between the capacitor you buy and the one being replaced. If you do not find the same brand, buy something that has the same rating and capacity as the one being replaced.
To avoid buying a capacitor that does not match the work you want it to do, make sure you visit the seller with the spoilt capacitor. This way, you can be sure to get the exact match to the capacitor you want to replace.
Places to Buy AC Capacitors
There are plenty of places where you may want to buy AC capacitors. Online sources preset the easiest options. With sources such as Amazon and Walmart online stores, you can be sure you will find what you are looking for. However, if you are in a hurry and do not have time to order, there are a bunch of local stores you may want to give a try.
Grainger sells all sorts of capacitors at affordable prices. They provide both wholesale and retail products. In some regions, they may only sell for wholesale purposes. If you have a Grainger store near you, just visit and inquire about the possibility of getting your capacitor. Make sure to bring your capacitor along.
MSC supply mainly sells its products wholesale. However, if you are completely out of options, you may want to give them a try. They will provide the much-needed capacitors instantly.
They are also suppliers of capacitors wholesale, but some of their shops allow retail purchases. If they have a store in your locality, check with them, and you will most definitely find what you are looking for.
Motor Repair Shops
In most localities, you will come across regular motor repair shops. You can be sure to find the capacitor in these shops. Some of the shops may not want to sell since they buy to use for their repair services. However, if you get to talk to them, you can be sure you will get the right capacitor.
The other shops that sell capacitors are AC repair shops and well pump repair or supplies. All these entities deal with items that use motor capacitors and are more likely to have a capacitor that meets your specifications.