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Bad compressor/capacitor ?

Posted by gio17vani (My Page) on
Fri, May 25, 07 at 13:16

After sitting unused for 8-9 months my ac units compresser is failing to turn on. I get the fan going and a noise like its trying to start for a few seconds then silence. It could be that the compressor is just tight and/or dirty from sitting so long so I was thinking of trying a cheap solution before having someone replace the capacitor or the compressor.

I have seen some super boosters that advertise 500% more torque when added designed speciufically for a/c units and wondered if anyone has tried these or know someone who had luck in using them?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

A hard-start capacitor is a cheap solution - about $20 at an HVAC store or even over the internet.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

Or it could be the relay contacts or capacitor.

Make sure no bugs are between the relay contacts. Keep in mind of the high voltage there so disconnect the power & discharge the capacitors before cleaning.

If that is not the problem then check the capacitors.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

Funny you should say the thing about bugs I had to remove a ton of em along with spider webs and leaf litter buildup once I pulled off the panels to look at the electrical. I did not check the capacitor connections real close though so I'll do that while I wait for the new hard start capacitor to get here. Ended up being $15 shipped online which wasn't bad at all.

I'd hate to hire an installer and pay for a new compressor. At least the current one is a copeland so the new hard start and cleaning up the contacts will hopefully get the job done.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

If the wiring looks good, replace or check the capacitor first, then test the starting of the compressor and running amps.
A start assist isn't a fix for a system that doesn't require one- it is a patch. If the compressor doesn't start normally as it's suppose to, the start windings are failing or the compressor is begining a lock rotor condition. Adding a start assist will give you some time before the compressor locks or goes to ground.
There are other factors, but this is the common one.
As always- you should have a pro check it over.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

Thanks DADDO. it's about bloody time someone other than myself agrees that a " hard start kit " is a bandaid solution. " If the compressor doesn't start normally as it's supposed to, the start windings are failing or the compressor is begining a lock rotor condition ". Thank you.
As i have said in my posts. If we " think " we should put a
hard start kit on a compressor we think again. Can i afford a claim on my bond for a botched compressor call ?
This customer has $30,000.00 worth of product in his cooler
and it will come out of my bond. i don't need this. I'll
replace the compressor. I now have a warranty and an insurance back up from the compressor supplier. Most of you
guys do residential and haven't a bloody clue what is involved. You just say to your customers " i'll get there A.S.A.P." I do commercial and what i've read on this site most of you would be unemployed if you worked for me. i get one customer complaint and i could get a claim on my bond and lose that customer. you guys have it easy and can milk your customer for every dime. Remember the customer will pay only once. even if you charge $1000.00 to rest the breaker. They will pay. But it bloody well had better NEVER happen again and any related problem for that matter. Seems like i cost my customers a hell of a lot of money but i don't have call backs. Actually i can't have call backs because every call back i have to do for FREE. Mr havac, too many Club beers. I thought i'd just post my thoughts. Please disregard this post if you residential boys feel slighted. Residential A.C. is almost like real refrigeration work. :) That last comment should go over big. i'll have another Club. Have a good weekend boys and girls. we'll rev this up another time.


RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

Glad you got all the evil out of you so you can enjoy the weekend :-)

Call backs happen but like you say, you can't afford them. And to avoid them you must be thorough and knowledgeable. Not always true in Res.

Funny thing is that Lennox had a unit out about 6 or 7 years ago that either came with a hard start capacitor or they needed one not long after the install. Otherwise they were dead in the water so to speak.

In residential in my climate (A/C use a month or two) a HS capacitor buys the customer time or a season. Maybe more to get the 'Model T' up and running a few more times while they consider replacing the inefficient unit. Cheaper? A HS plus the service call is cheaper than shelling out 3 grand. But they will have to replace the system eventually.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

I agree with deweymn, a Super Boost, or whatever particular kind of hard start kit you have is a temporary fix and the customer should be made aware of that. As a matter of fact some of them even state they're a temporary solution right on the package. It gives the customer time to plan. Hey, not everyone has a couple grand laying around theses days waiting to spend it on human comfort! Like kalining I was mainly commercial/industrial in an area where running to the supply house wasn't always practical. Those super boosts breathed temporary life into a dying condenser fan or small compressor on several occasions until a replacement arrived. They have a purpose but should not be considered a permanent repair.

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?


Regarding "I did not check the capacitor connections real close though so I'll do that while I wait for the new hard start capacitor to get here. "

I'm not sure you understood what I was trying to say. I doubt bugs would get between the capacitor terminals & the wire clips. I was referring to the relay contacts. Quite often bugs will get in between the contacts while they are open & then when the unit turns on & the contacts close the bugs gets smashed which keeps the contacts from making a good connection. Clean out between the contacts (without power or capacitor charges being present).

RE: Bad compressor/capacitor ?

how about when your ac system is not working ,you go out to see whats going on and you see your breaker is off,you try to re-set it wont stay on ,them what?

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