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Old 07-25-2010, 03:01 PM   #1
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


I came home last night from the movies, and the A/C was running, but it seemed much louder than normal. The cycle finally finished, or so I thought, and the temperature in the house last night continually rose (A/C wasn't working after that point).

Today I noticed that the A/C condensor is not running, and the condensor fan is not running. The Capacitor looks a little puffed out on the top cap. I have tested all the current, there is full current from the downstairs furnace, to the relay, to the outside condensor, and to the fan. During a cycle of the A/C the fan will not turn unless I give it a push, it is very loose and is NOT binding-but just won't start rotating on its own.
The condensor is not running, although when the A/C cycle starts I can hear the hummmmm of something trying to get started; either the condensor or the fan.

Is there a way to test that condensor? Is the condensor busted? I only have a multimeter, and don't know if this is the proper tool.

Is the condensor cheap enough to replace to see if it solves the problem?

Can anyone suggest what could be really wrong with this thing?
I have a couple pictures of the unit, it has a sticker showing "Payne Heating and Cooling", house built in 1991. The condensor has been replaced once or twice if the maintenance sticker on the basement duct is accurate.

CAPACITOR IMAGE


SERIAL NUMBER
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


When it is bulged it is shot. They are cheap (under $30). Should have a mfd rating on the side of it. ie 30+5 mfd 370 vac. Graingers may have them.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:21 PM   #3
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Yuri,

Thank you. What do you think my chances of getting my HVAC system working by replacing the Capacitor? Would this bad capacitor prevent the condensor from starting? Could a bad condensor cause a capacitor to blow?

You really have my hope up.

GE CAPACITOR:
97F9895
5UF
45UF.....370 VAC
+06.....-06%.....50/60Hz
PROTECTED.....P968
S10000AFC.....7134GB03
DIELEKTROL.....VI
HC98JA046D

1432

Last edited by tburk; 07-25-2010 at 05:51 PM. Reason: Added Cap markings
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


1) 99.9%
2) Yes
3) Rarely, they are built CHEAP today. Real CHEAP. Thats why they don't cost much. Years ago a cap went for 20 yrs or the life of the unit but was built thicker and better and oil filled. I replace a couple dozen a year and power surges are bad for them. Buy 2 and keep one for spare, you have quite a few years left on that unit.
The outdoor condensor is 1997 not sure about the indoor coil. 1697E is 1997 May. A= January B=Feb etc.
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Last edited by yuri; 07-25-2010 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Here is an update. The following day I bought the recommended cap from sears parts, and the airconditioner worked just fine! Until today. Now the condensor isn't pumping any longer, but the fan on the cooling condensor is working.

Back to Sears tomorrow for another cap. I did notice the new cap was shorter



Does blowing two caps in one summer indicate the condensor is getting ready to blow, or does this just indicate a hot summer?
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:14 AM   #6
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Hard to say. They are cheap and you may be unlucky with them. Power surges are bad for them. Check the voltage supply to the unit. Should be in the 220-240 volt range. Can be as high as 245 w/o a problem.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:43 AM   #7
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tburk View Post
Here is an update. The following day I bought the recommended cap from sears parts, and the airconditioner worked just fine! Until today. Now the condensor isn't pumping any longer, but the fan on the cooling condensor is working.

Back to Sears tomorrow for another cap. I did notice the new cap was shorter



Does blowing two caps in one summer indicate the condensor is getting ready to blow, or does this just indicate a hot summer?
I would replace it with a 440V cap. However something else might be problematic such as the compressor or the contactor.

Why are you buying the cap at Sears? In my experience Sears is a ripoff for parts. I would shop at Grainger or an HVAC distributer such as Johnstone Supply. I would also get an Amrad Turbo Cap. They're much better quality then the generic Chinese caps. However I'm not sure I'd put one in until I knew the system was OK. That would involve checking the current draw from the compressor and inspecting the contactor.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:24 AM   #8
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hennyh View Post
I would replace it with a 440V cap. However something else might be problematic such as the compressor or the contactor.

Why are you buying the cap at Sears? In my experience Sears is a ripoff for parts. I would shop at Grainger or an HVAC distributer such as Johnstone Supply. I would also get an Amrad Turbo Cap. They're much better quality then the generic Chinese caps. However I'm not sure I'd put one in until I knew the system was OK. That would involve checking the current draw from the compressor and inspecting the contactor.
Thanks for the tip, Sears is closed today anyway, and Johnstone is just a trip down 670. Originally I thought Sears was more convenient, and I thought all caps were the same.

Would the 440 V cap perform any differently? Why do you make this suggestion? Is it safe for my compressor and fan?
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


A 440 is a heavier capacitor/more durable. Unlikely it will solve your problem. Check the points/contacts in the contactor. If they look burnt buy a 30 amp type at Johnstone with the cap.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Is there any way to measure the voltage across or the current through the cap to predict the failure of the second cap, assuming it was the run cap that failed? Start cap failures apparently depend on current and time.
The current causes the heating but it should be related to the voltage and capacitance by C = I(2653)/V.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f1...25/HVAC006.jpg
Pass/fail for the supply voltage looks to be 197 vac to 253 vac, so 225 +/- 28 vac [+/- 12%].

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-14-2010 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:55 AM   #11
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
A 440 is a heavier capacitor/more durable. Unlikely it will solve your problem. Check the points/contacts in the contactor. If they look burnt buy a 30 amp type at Johnstone with the cap.
Yuri,

Is the contactor the black box thing in the picture above?

Well I just got back from a trip to Johnstone, they won't sell to me. They only sell wholesale. They could have told me that over the phone, wouldn't you think?

Yoyizit, yes we did have some power surges here recently, I wonder if that took the life out of the cap?
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:15 PM   #12
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Yep. Right beside the capacitor it is.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:28 PM   #13
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


I searched the Grainger site and found these 2 caps, which would best fit my application? The differences between them are the MFD ratings.

thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2MEK6
MFD Rating 60/5,
Voltage 440, 60/50 Hz,
Round, Dia 2 In,
Height 4 3/4 In,
2-blade Quick-connect Insulated Terminals,
Temp Range -40 to 70 C,
Hermetically-sealed Aluminum Case with Terne-plate CoverGrainger
Item # 2MEK6
Price (ea.) $34.05
Brand DAYTON

Mfr. Model # 2MEK6

Ship Qty. 1
Sell Qty. (Will-Call) 1
Ship Weight (lbs.) 0.62
Usually Ships** Today
Catalog Page No. 84
Country of Origin
(Country of Origin is subject to change.) China
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/DAY...EK6?Pid=search
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2MEJ7
Price (ea) $22.13
Item Dual Motor Run Capacitor
MFD Rating 40/5
Voltage 440
Hz 60/50
Shape Round
Dia. (In.) 2
Case Height (In.) 4-3/4
Overall Height (In.) 5-1/4
Terminals 2-blade Quick-connect Insulated
Temp. Range (C) -40 to 70
Construction Hermetically-sealed Aluminum Case with Steel Cover
Standards cULs Recognized (E136401)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Your original specs:GE CAPACITOR:
97F9895
5UF
45UF.....370 VAC
+06.....-06%.....50/60Hz
PROTECTED.....P968
S10000AFC.....7134GB03
DIELEKTROL.....VI
HC98JA046D

You need a 45/5mfd at 440 VAC if you want to use a 440.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:02 AM   #15
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Condensor is not starting, why not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tburk View Post
Yoyizit, yes we did have some power surges here recently, I wonder if that took the life out of the cap?
Without an event recorder of some kind hooked to the cap it'd only be a guess.
Caps inherently resist rapid voltage changes, and inductors resist rapid current changes, so I'd think these components would be much hardier than other stuff.

Higher than normal voltage could puncture the capacitor dielectric or overstress it.
Higher than normal current could overheat the cap but nobody seems to publish max current ratings for these type of caps. "Ripple current ratings" are published for power supply caps but this may not be the same thing.

From what I've read on this forum I should be, right now, measuring voltages and currents for my caps on my working appliances so I will have some hard-to-obtain specs for when these appliances fail.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-15-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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