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MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. Blog

AC Breakdown Diagnosis: The Capacitor

When an air conditioner breaks down, there are several possible reasons for the issue. Typically, an air conditioner shuts down completely because of an electrical issue, unless a long-time problem has finally taken its toll. You might have trouble with the compressor or a motor. Luckily, however, it could be a smaller issue—like trouble with the capacitor.

The capacitor is a small component that’s responsible for giving your air conditioner the jolt of energy it needs to start up. A start capacitor stores enough electricity to get the system up and running since the electricity from your power supply may not be enough. Unfortunately, this part can cause your air conditioning system to break down. Luckily, it’s a quick fix for most technicians.

How to Tell You Have a Problem with Your Capacitor

Once the capacitor blows out, your air conditioning system is likely to shut off completely. You can try listening at the outside condenser unit. If you hear humming, but the fan is not spinning, it’s a good sign that it’s the capacitor. However, you should call a technician to be sure. It might be a bigger issue, and either way, it requires prompt repair.

Diagnosis and Replacement

A technician will use a voltmeter to check whether the capacitor is working. If not, they’ll take the right steps to ensure that it is safely removed and replaced. That means being careful to avoid electric shock (since there is still energy stored in the capacitor).

A problem occurs when the capacitor keeps needing replacement. It’s not too much of a problem for your budget, as a capacitor is not too expensive to replace. But it could be due to improper sizing or problematic electrical connections that are causing wear and tear on the components of the unit.

Call MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. for AC services in Cedar Grove and the surrounding areas.

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