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Run Capacitor caused compressor lockup

573 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dj3
We had a new AC installed in our home 2 years ago and the compressor quit running this week. Called the local company that installed and their tech said that the wires on the compressor run capacitor were reversed (implying that I'd done it....which was not true) and the compressor had locked up and needed to be they could not warranty the unit. Said it would cost me $800 for a new compressor and $1400 labor to install.

1. Is it possible for reversed wires on a run capacitor to cause the compressor to lock up.

2. If they were actually reversed, how did it run OK for 2 years.

I think that this local company is just trying to get out of doing the warranty.
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"Reversed wiring on a capacitor" would not cause a compressor to lock up. Reversed wires on a capacitor isn't even a thing, as they are not polarity sensitive. It could have been wired wrong, but I suspect they were just making something up to avoid taking responsibility.

Compressors usually lock up due to lack of oil. This can be caused by an overcharge and/or improper superheat adjustment allowing liquid refrigerant to return to the compressor to wash the oil out of it, or it could be caused by poor piping practices (long refrigerant runs with dips or "traps" in it, allowing the evaporator coil to freeze up and continuing to let it run that way for a while, short cycling due to it being way oversized for what you need, etc).
usually there's a 10 year warranty on the compressor - find another company.

very unlikely it's locked up, if it is, it's caused by a manufacturer's defect or installation problem causing oil to not return to the compressor.
...and $1400 labor to install.

I'd like to get $1400.00 in labor for a 3-4 hour job.
Yep, that's easy money alright!

Sounds like you need to get the manufacturer involved for a warranty repair authorization. If it was purchased and installed by someone without the proper credentials, you may be up the creek.

I think your repairman high balled the estimate to ditch the responsibility... did you buy this unit on-line and sub out the install? That's not necessarily wrong but it has to be done properly so that you can prove that a professional did the install. Generally the proof will be the install bill that has the name and phone number of the company.

Good luck.
This tech is throwing dirt in your eye.
New A/C units come wired at the factory.
Call another tech who comes recommended to take your case to the MFG, who will honor the warranty.
You will have to pay labor, but around here it's much less than what was estimated.
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