Ways You Can Replace the Capacitor on Your Home’s AC Unit

Most central air conditioner faults are associated with electrical problems. More often, it is down to a blown ac capacitor. Fortunately, a capacitor is something that you can replace on your own.

Furthermore, having a technician replace your capacitor is quite costly. You can replace the capacitor without special tools in a few minutes, saving money.

Below are details on how to replace your home’s capacitor on ac unit.

1. The Function of the Capacitor

While capacitors perform various functions in different electrical devices, they store power in the air conditioner. A capacitor can store enough electrical current to start or keep the compressor, blower motor, and outdoor fan running.

An air conditioner can have a single capacitor operating all the motors. However, an ac unit may have an independent capacitor for each motor.

2. How to Replace AC Capacitor Yourself

You may need help to handle most air conditioner repairs. But as for the replacement of ac capacitor, it is something you can do yourself. It would be best to be cautious of electrical shock since a capacitor stores electric current.

Here are steps on how to replace the ac capacitor yourself.

Turn Off Power

Switch off your air conditioner’s power supply and verify it is off. First, shut off the circuit breaker outside the house near the unit. You may use a circuit alert device to determine whether the power to the unit is off.

Find and Inspect the Capacitor

Remove the mounting screws and open the air conditioner access panel using a screwdriver. Locate the capacitor inside, which is an oval or round-shaped can.

You can tell whether the capacitor is damaged by its shape. A blown capacitor usually will have its top pushed up or swollen. Take note of the specifications on the sticker. You can purchase a new capacitor with similar specifications.

Discharging the Capacitor

Even when you have shut off the air conditioner, the capacitor may have stored electric power. A touch on the two terminals with your hand can cause electrical shock. To discharge the capacitor, place an insulated screwdriver across the capacitor terminals.

Examine where the three wires from the old capacitor are attached and label them. It helps you to know where each wire goes to. Fan, C, and Herm markings represent fan, common, and compressor, respectively.

Using a pair of needle-nosed pliers, you can safely detach the wires from the old capacitor. Then unscrew the mounting strap to remove the capacitor.

Install New Run Capacitor

Mount the new run capacitor in the same space you removed the old capacitor. You may use a mounting strap to secure the capacitor in place. Re-install the new capacitor just as you removed the old capacitor.

Turn Power ON to Test

Switch on the circuit breaker to power the air conditioning unit. Ensure the thermostat is on and turn it to a low setting temperature. The air conditioner should turn on. If it is working properly, the wires on the capacitor may be correctly attached.

Therefore, you can check the wire connections again. Power it off and discharge the capacitor before checking the wire connections.

Concluding Remarks

Capacitors are usually universal and can be easy to replace. So you do not have to call a technician. You only need to discharge the capacitor before removing it. Check wire connections, get a similar new capacitor and replace it.

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