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Old 09-01-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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cause of bad motor?


hey guys - new here and need help. trying to get as much info as I can and FAST. quick version of the story - we're having trouble with our AC. Turns out when we had our AC annual service done in the spring, our guy replaced the dual capacitor with a Motor Mate. On the service call yesterday, the new guy (same company) says motor mate should only be used as a temporary fix, and he installed a totaline p291-4574rs. Well we woke up this morning to a warm house again after it cooled for a while in the evening yesterday. Did the original guy who installed the motor mate somehow put in a part that strained the system and is now causing our trouble? Thoughts or opinions? I'm sure you need a ton more info. But does something smell wrong about the way I just described the short service history? The AC is only 6 years old. Thanks in advance

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Old 09-01-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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cause of bad motor?


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Originally Posted by mlyons View Post
hey guys - new here and need help. trying to get as much info as I can and FAST. quick version of the story - we're having trouble with our AC. Turns out when we had our AC annual service done in the spring, our guy replaced the dual capacitor with a Motor Mate.
Why did he replace the original cap as part of an annual service check? (was their a malfunction at the time or a suspect cap based on visual inspection)

The main reason for techs to temporarily use these configurable caps is because they're expensive. Not because they have a short service life or poor quality. (at least that's the case with Turbo Caps)

If something killed the original cap and has now killed the motor mate cap then the root cause of the problem needs to be diagnosed. It could be the contactor, wiring or possibly the compressor.

The other issues is that sometimes caps get replaced multiple times with close substitutions. If too many "close substituations" have taken place the value can deviate significantly from the manufacturer's specs. Techs. should replace caps based on the manufacturer's specs. vs. what they found in the unit.


Last edited by hennyh; 09-01-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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cause of bad motor?


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Why did he replace the original cap as part of an annual service check?

The main reason for techs to swap out these configurable caps is because they're expensive. Not because they have a short service life. (at least that's the case with Turbo Caps)

If something killed the original cap and has now killed the motor mate cap then the root cause of the problem needs to be diagnosed. It could be the contactor, wiring or possibly the compressor.

The other issues is that sometimes caps get replaced multiple times with close substitutions. If too many "close substituations" have taken place the value can deviate significantly from the manufacturer's specs. Techs. should replace caps based on the manufacturer's specs. vs. what they found in the unit.
thanks for the quick reply - best of my understanding he replaced it because he was getting a weak reading on it, and he said it could lead to problems down the road. I just find it strange that it was running strong for 6 years, then we have a part replaced and all of a sudden we've now potentially gone through a 2nd capacitor in 2 days. service co is there now again with my wife, I just wish I could be there to see what's going on. main concern is if these guys put on a bad/cheap part and it's now done damage to my motor (fan wasn't spinning yesterday, so guess it would be the fan motor - not cheap i'm sure)
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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cause of bad motor?


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thanks for the quick reply - best of my understanding he replaced it because he was getting a weak reading on it, and he said it could lead to problems down the road. I just find it strange that it was running strong for 6 years, then we have a part replaced and all of a sudden we've now potentially gone through a 2nd capacitor in 2 days. service co is there now again with my wife, I just wish I could be there to see what's going on. main concern is if these guys put on a bad/cheap part and it's now done damage to my motor (fan wasn't spinning yesterday, so guess it would be the fan motor - not cheap i'm sure)

Maybe his motor mate cap was bad from a previous system. They are often used in previous repairs to get the homeowner's system working in the event that the tech. doesn't have the correct cap in his truck. Then they're replaced and used again and again in other subsequent calls.

The other possibility is that whatever weakened the first cap and killed the second cap needs further diagnosis/repair. (ex: weak contactor???)

I doubt a failed cap damaged other major components in your system.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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cause of bad motor?


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Originally Posted by hennyh View Post
Maybe his motor mate cap was bad from a previous system. They are often used in previous repairs to get the homeowner's system working in the event that the tech. doesn't have the correct cap in his truck. Then they're replaced and used again and again in other subsequent calls.

The other possibility is that whatever weakened the first cap and killed the second cap needs further diagnosis/repair. (ex: weak contactor???)

I doubt a failed cap damaged other major components in your system.
comforting to hear an opinion that it's possible it wasn't the cap. just got a call from home, fan motor is bad, getting replaced right now. going to cost me $400. I've got a call in to the service manager to talk about doing better given the circumstances on that price, but had no choice but to have him install it, it's HOT! so frustrating....
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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cause of bad motor?


The second tech, jumped the gun.
The motor mate cap is ok to use as a permanent capacitor.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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cause of bad motor?


Thanks everyone for the replies. Whatever the cause may have been, the company acknowledged that they've been having trouble with the capacitor installed back in april and have been pulling them whenever they see them and stopped using them. They also agreed to not charge me for my fan motor, which was way more than I expected (i was just hoping to get it at cost or something), so in the end we have a cool house and they have a customer for life....

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