What did he say in response to question WHY (why was he suggesting
what he was suggesting). That's what is important. What's his
Capacitors are cheap, really likely worth less than the value of time
that you spent here discussing your question. But this intermittent
situation does not seem like a capacitor problem.
Did you open up your compressor cover, disconnect, etc, did you try
tracing where is electricity with your multimeter etc?
Do you have a schematic of your unit?
Get yourself a multimeter with a clamp ammeter. Try to be systematic,
I do not see evidence of a systematic thought process/investigation yet.
I see some traces of same mentality "let's start replacing stuff" that
we do not like about some paid "servicepersons". I think that your
advantage here could be having time, persistence and a systematic
approach. Try to use this advantage.
Okay...one more time: The professional DID a diagnosis, then gave me a
quote for a new compressor, dryer, and capacitor.
I do not wish to pretend I know what a multi-meter would be telling me.
That is why I had a professional come here. He gave me what seemed
like a really high quote to replace a compressor, etc....($950 mostly
labor)....as I said.
Now I can just shell out lots of money for a new compressor which
doesn't make much sense to me because as I speak the compressor is
cooling my home...Or I can replace a $40 cap first because the prof.
who did the diagnosis said it would need to be replaced if he came to
do the work anyway. Good God what is so hard for "Ma sees me in my
PJ's" to understand about that!
He most likely made a living giving false info to people and ripping
them off becaseu all he seems capable of is redicule to anyone who trys
to tread on his "holy field of expertice"
Thought I answered that...really the only other stuff he said was that
the compressor was pulling 90A and did not kick on so he thought it was
seized.....but then right before he left he was able to get it to kick
on. Can a compressor be shot even though it occationally runs okay? I
thought it would be a go or no go sort of thing.
I wouldn't know what to put where or what it would be telling me....All
I know is the AC will run through about 4 or 5 cycle of on and off and
then it will throw a breaker...Really that is all the HVAC prof.
said...Then he checked to see if my comp was under warranty and said it
would be a couple days before it came in....I since had a thrid party
(prof) order the comp and have them holding off on installing it until
I at least try a new cap.
As far as additional diagnosis and forming hypothesis..well I just
don't know enough about it to do more than I have already done..based
on what the profs have said they were going to replace.
I also think so as far as being "seized" is concerned.
Then, perhaps, some effort needs to be invested in finding a good
I mean, yeah, go ahead and replace the caps and see if it helps, if
you insist. But if it does not help, perhaps hiring someone would make
sense if you find someone somewhat honest.
does it seize at particular time of day? (like midday) and restart in
Maybe one of your caps is bad and if th pressure in the system exceeds
something, the compressor cannot start. And then in the evening, when
the refrigerant cools and pressure drops, that one cap can get the
I mean, there has to be something to explain this intermittency.
The outside unit makes a snap or click noise and then the breaker is
thrown..no humming as if the compressor is tryiing to start at all.
Good of you to mention....but yes I replaced the 30A with a new 30A
Do you know what would make the compressor harder starting than it
should be but still it runs okay when started?
I think I have a pretty good picture of what is happening ..just lack
the technical knowledge to isolate the problem...II'm a mechanical
designer but know little to nothing about electrical..trying to deduce
this from a mechanical standpoint but am kind of backed into an
We'd like to know a few things like the model number. and the tonnage.
If your neighborhood has been having brownouts.
And if you've ever had your AC professionally serviced. Unit cleaned,
freon levels checked, etc.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
I get the feeling several on this site think I tossed a coin to see
what I would start replacing: Here's some history:
A few days ago I cam home to a silent outside unit (no fan no
compressor nothing). Found that the 30A breaker was thrown. Turned
back on and it flipped off after a couple seconds. Later I tried it
again jsut because I was hot hand had nothing else to think about.
This time it worked...the heat pump turned on and ran as if nothing
So I replaced the breaker hoping it was just to weak. Same scenario
with it. The AC will run ..on ...off on...off through several cooling
cycles then one time it will throw the breaker and that's all she
until I go into the crawl space and turn the breaker on again.
Other relavent factors: The unit is only 3 years old, Arco Air made
Carrier. And it has been record heat here since just before this
began......causing the unit to run very frequently
When the unit runs it runs great...just doesn't start every
time....Curious...What leads you to suspect the thermostat...it appears
to be functioning normally as does everything else...when it
starts.....start....capacitor...am I really all that "shooting in the
Actually yes you are.
In a previous post you said that the tech measured 90 amps on the
compressor, and you have a 30 amp breaker....
Whats wrong with this picture??? throwing parts at it because they are cheap
is bullshit... thats what your accusing the folks in the trade of doing, and
then when somebody comes along and says you need an expensive repair, then
you blow them off and continue to screw around with paper clips and bubble
gum. FWIW, $900 for a compressor change is damn cheap..... in fact half the
price of what it is in the real world. A resi compressor that is drawing 90
AMPS is probably toast.... if not, it will be very shortly unless the
problem is corrected.
Maybe you will figure that out once you get over your capacitor fetish.....
and is doesn't matter if you put one in today, and the compressor gets
replace tomorrow... it *STILL* gets a new capacitor and a filter drier so it
hasn't saved you a dime....it actually cost you more money for the capacitor
that you put in.
Heres a news flash for you sport.... the new compressor may or may not even
use the same value of capacitor as the old one.
There is nothing wrong with a motor to draw 3x its rated amperate at
startup. That should not last very long and the breaker should not
trip if such startup current is brief. Most breakers are designed to
handle motor loads.
As motors go, 3x running current at startup is relatively mild.
My homemade phase converter's first idler motor draws 120 amps at
startup, it is rated at 10 HP.
The main problem is that alt.hvac is just a social club for pathetic,
paranoid union types to get their jollies attacking anyone who asks a
question. The fact that their "profession" is heavily infested with the
incompetent, barely competent and outright crooks should be what they're
attacking if they were truly the competent ones, but they're too stupid
to realize that they are their own worst enemy.
no brownouts..had the asshole who installed show up at my house without
first returning my message and say "yup breaker switch is
Soyou can see between that and the $950 estimat I am not real eager to
try a third " professional"
Why are you replacing a capacitor on your heat pump? As a preventative
maintenance measure? Or is the heat pump not working so you thought you'd
take a crap shoot (completely blindly) Start by replacing the thermostat, as
most problems are related to bad thermostats.
To answer your other question, yes, certain capacitors can retain a charge
that can easily be lethal, and/or remove parts of your body upon contact.
Sometimes getting close enough will do the trick.
As far as "What should I do/not do as I remove the capacitor" goes, the key
words are "do not". You do not know what you are doing. You do not know what
to do. And you do not know why you are doing what you are thinking about
So, the best answer based on the information you have provided is "do not".
Call a real tech, and the problem will be solved.
He said that his problem is related to a popping 220V breaker. Is a
popping breaker caused by a bad thermostat?
But would he not be able to obtain good advice? That's why he is
posting here, to understand how to handle capacitors.
It does not take an Einstein to understand what a capacitor is and how
to discharge one that is going to be replaced. An ape can probably be
taught how to discharge capacitors.
"It does not take an Einstein to understand what a capacitor is and how
to discharge one that is going to be replaced. An ape can probably be
taught how to discharge capacitors"
Funny how the same types that would ridicule someone for asking a
question about a device that could hold the potentail to kill...Will
also ridicule anyone who is killed due to ignorance of the device.
Does inhaling to much freon make you grumpy and uncooperative...maybe
someone should conduct a study.
Do not get sidetracked, you need to have your problem solved, not
argue with unfriendly people late at night. Drop the hvac newsgroup
from the list, if you do not get useful responses, and keep digging
deeper and post to alt.home.repair and rec.crafts.metalworking.
You need to call tomorrow and ask the company for a manual, maybe they
will give you one. I am not saying that you can fix any problem, but
you should hope to come across some "troubleshooting checklist" for
your model that you could apply.
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