A Faulty Condenser Capacitor May Cause The Condenser Fan Motor To Hum Or Overheat

Posted on: 27 September 2022

Replacing a bad capacitor is an air conditioning repair you may need during the life of your AC. Your condenser has at least one capacitor in it. Sometimes there will be two capacitors, and sometimes there with be a dual capacitor in a single package. A capacitor is needed to help a motor operate by providing extra power. There are two motors in the condenser. One is for the condenser fan and the other is for the compressor.

Here's how capacitors work in air conditioning equipment, how to know when one is faulty, and how a capacitor is replaced.

How Capacitors Help Your AC Operate

It takes a lot of power to get a motor started from a full stop. Without a boost of power from a capacitor, the AC motor may just hum and not be able to kick on. A capacitor stores power so it can give the motor the extra power it needs to start turning.

A start capacitor supplies an initial boost of power at startup. A run capacitor continues to help regulate the power as the motor is running so there are no drops or surges.

How To Know When An AC Capacitor Has Failed

You might hear the motor just hum rather than hearing the fan start up when the air conditioner turns on. The motor might also be erratic in how it runs. The best way to tell if a capacitor is bad is to test it with a multimeter. However, it's important to know a capacitor holds stored energy and can give you a bad shock if you don't handle it properly. That's why you may want to leave testing the capacitor to an air conditioning repair technician.

How An AC Capacitor Is Replaced

A capacitor can't be repaired unless the problem is just a loose connection. If that's the case, the only thing that needs to be done is to tighten the wire connection. If the capacitor is dead, then it has to be replaced.

When the air conditioning repair technician removes the panel on the side of the condenser, the capacitor is easy to see. The technician can reach in, discharge the power in the capacitor, pull off the wires, pull the old capacitor out of the bracket, and put a new one in its place.

It's important for the technician to choose the right replacement capacitor so it has the power needed to operate the condenser fan and compressor properly. Otherwise, the motor could burn out. Replacing a capacitor is a quick and easy repair. However, the technician may need to spend time tracking down the AC malfunction to determine a bad capacitor is at fault.

Reach out to a company like Mills Brothers Climate Control for more information.