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Old 10-02-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Failing Capacitor - Why?


I have owned my home for two years. The Lennox HP26-036-7P is 10+ years old. After being here for a year, I figured I should have the system checked out (routine maintenance). The technician installed a hard-start kit and replaced the dual run capacitor, after explaining the existing capacitor was weak. I can only assume the existing capacitor was the original, but I don't know for sure.

Fast forward several months. I noticed the compressor would start and very shortly thereafter, shut down. When this occurred, the fan was not operating.

I called the same HVAC company and they determined the dual run capacitor had failed. This is the capacitor they installed a few months prior. The system was working fine when they replaced the capacitor. The technician agreed to replace the capacitor under warranty (plus a charge for the service call) but said the new replacement part will not be covered unless I allow them to install a $250 surge protector. I quickly determined the surge protector was available online for less than $50, so I declined.

Last week, about three months from the previous occurrence, the capacitor failed again (same symptoms as the previous failure, so I assumed the problem was the same). I sourced a replacement capacitor locally and replaced it myself. The system is working fine again.

Admittedly, I have not yet installed a surge protector but could this really be what's causing these capacitors to fail? I can only assume the original capacitor survived for 10+ years and now two (Chinese) replacement capacitors have failed within a few months time.

Basically, I'm trying to determine why these capacitors are failing. Could the fan motor be on its way out? Is it really the lack of a surge protector? Could it be inferior Chinese replacement parts?

TIA.

Tipsy

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Failing Capacitor - Why?


You'd need to check the amperage draw of each of the motors (compressor and fan) to determine if they're becoming weak. It very well could be that your home is receiving unintentional electrical surges but how about your neighbors, are they having these issues as well?

When a motor goes out usually it's just the motor, the caps remain in good health although it's good practice to change them at time of motor change out as well.

I'm going to have to believe it's a bad batch of cheap capacitors.

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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Failing Capacitor - Why?


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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
You'd need to check the amperage draw of each of the motors (compressor and fan) to determine if they're becoming weak. It very well could be that your home is receiving unintentional electrical surges but how about your neighbors, are they having these issues as well?

When a motor goes out usually it's just the motor, the caps remain in good health although it's good practice to change them at time of motor change out as well.

I'm going to have to believe it's a bad batch of cheap capacitors.
Thank you for the reply. To my knowledge, my neighbors have not had any recent issues.

The capacitor that failed twice is a GoodParts 50+5 MFD. The capacitor I sourced myself is from Packard Inc. Both are made in China.

Is there any brand of capacitor that is made in America? Or any that are known to be of better quality?

Thanks again.

Tipsy
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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Failing Capacitor - Why?


Gem Tech
http://fierychill.com/components/ele...-50-5-440r-usa
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #5
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Failing Capacitor - Why?


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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
Excellent. Thanks!

Tipsy
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