A/C Motor Start Capacitors - Where To Buy?

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by SMcK, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. SMcK

    SMcK Guest

    The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    route?

    -Scott
     
    SMcK, Jun 29, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. SMcK

    Ed Guest

    "SMcK" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    > repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    > happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    > again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    > where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    > route?
    >
    > -Scott


    Grainger, McMaster Carr, any good motor supply or repair house.
     
    Ed, Jun 29, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. I get mine, at my local HVAC parts wholesale house. All you
    have to do is get your EPA card, establish a business, get a
    sales tax number, and go into the trade. No problem.

    --
    Christopher A. Young
    Learn more about Jesus
    www.lds.org
    ..


    "SMcK" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the
    neighborhood A/C
    repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start
    capacitor. He
    happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not
    bother him
    again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the
    specs off it,
    where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail
    order
    route?

    -Scott
     
    Stormin Mormon, Jun 29, 2009
    #3
  4. Well, you know how it is with AHR posters. He's already
    replaced the thermostat three times, so it's got to be the
    capacitor?

    --
    Christopher A. Young
    Learn more about Jesus
    www.lds.org
    ..


    "Big Bob" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    I curious on what he's going to do when the start cap
    doesn't fix the
    problem. Here in St. Louis there is a no return policy on
    electrical parts.
    lol

    "Stormin Mormon" <cayoung61**spamblock##@hotmail.com> wrote
    in message
    news:h2bf19$uul$...
    >I get mine, at my local HVAC parts wholesale house. All you
    > have to do is get your EPA card, establish a business, get
    > a
    > sales tax number, and go into the trade. No problem.
    >
    > --
    > Christopher A. Young
    > Learn more about Jesus
    > www.lds.org
    > .
    >
     
    Stormin Mormon, Jun 30, 2009
    #4
  5. SMcK wrote:
    > The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    > repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    > happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    > again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    > where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    > route?
    >
    > -Scott


    That's funny, most AC condensing units don't have
    start capacitors. It is usually an option though.
    You may be referring to the oil filled "run" cap
    that is connected to the start winding. A start
    capacitor is going to be of the electrolytic type
    along with a mechanical or solid state start relay.

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jun 30, 2009
    #5
  6. SMcK

    Guest

    On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:55:19 -0700 (PDT), SMcK <>
    wrote:

    >
    >The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >route?
    >
    >-Scott


    Take the capacitor apart and rebuild it. You will need tinfoil, an
    insulation material and a chemical electrolyte. Then you need to
    carefully roll the materials together tightly so they fit back in the
    container, and will need to seal the base of the capacitor container
    with a rubber material.

    Or, just go to your local (large) hardware store and buy a new one.
     
    , Jun 30, 2009
    #6
  7. Big Bob wrote:
    >> That's funny, most AC condensing units don't have
    >> start capacitors. It is usually an option though.
    >> You may be referring to the oil filled "run" cap
    >> that is connected to the start winding. A start
    >> capacitor is going to be of the electrolytic type
    >> along with a mechanical or solid state start relay.
    >>
    >> TDD

    >
    > No Shit??
    > When did they start doing that?
    >


    Many years ago. Start capacitors are going to be a
    high value electrolytic type in a black Bakelite
    case along with a potential relay. You will see it
    on commercial refrigeration equipment because the
    compressor often has to start under a load. Under
    ideal conditions, a home AC or refrigerator comp
    is going to have time for the pressures to equalize
    after shutdown before the thermostat calls for cold.
    Last summer I had to remove the factory hard start
    PTC thermistor from our office condensing unit after
    it shorted. That particular setup did not use a
    separate start capacitor. I replaced it with a "Kick
    Start" device consisting of a potential relay and a
    large electrolytic capacitor. A start capacitor and
    relay costs the manufacturer a few dollars more per
    unit and you may not think it's much money until you
    realize that manufacturer has to purchase a million
    of them. Here's a page that shows what I'm referring
    to:

    http://www.toad.net/~jsmeenen/boom.html

    The guy has a good site with a lot of information.

    http://www.toad.net/~jsmeenen/

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jun 30, 2009
    #7
  8. wrote:
    > On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:55:19 -0700 (PDT), SMcK <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >> happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >> again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >> route?
    >>
    >> -Scott

    >
    > Take the capacitor apart and rebuild it. You will need tinfoil, an
    > insulation material and a chemical electrolyte. Then you need to
    > carefully roll the materials together tightly so they fit back in the
    > container, and will need to seal the base of the capacitor container
    > with a rubber material.
    >
    > Or, just go to your local (large) hardware store and buy a new one.


    Tin foil is very expensive, I always us aluminum foil.
    It works just as well even though it's cheaper. I have
    a friend who swears that beer is the best electrolyte.

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jun 30, 2009
    #8
  9. SMcK

    Bob Villa Guest

    >I have
    a friend who swears that beer is the best electrolyte.

    Close...its by-product is!
     
    Bob Villa, Jun 30, 2009
    #9
  10. jeff_wisnia wrote:
    > The Daring Dufas wrote:
    >
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 14:55:19 -0700 (PDT), SMcK <>
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >>>> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >>>> happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >>>> again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >>>> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >>>> route?
    >>>>
    >>>> -Scott
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Take the capacitor apart and rebuild it. You will need tinfoil, an
    >>> insulation material and a chemical electrolyte. Then you need to
    >>> carefully roll the materials together tightly so they fit back in the
    >>> container, and will need to seal the base of the capacitor container
    >>> with a rubber material.
    >>>
    >>> Or, just go to your local (large) hardware store and buy a new one.

    >>
    >>
    >> Tin foil is very expensive, I always us aluminum foil.
    >> It works just as well even though it's cheaper. I have
    >> a friend who swears that beer is the best electrolyte.
    >>
    >> TDD

    >
    > I had a doctor friend tell me that beer is an excellent electrolyte
    > replacer for your body when you've been sweating a lot working outside
    > on a hot day. As long as you don't overdo itby drinking more than one
    > every few of hours.
    >
    > Jeff (6 beers before 12 and 12 beers before 6)
    >


    When I worked out on a Pacific island in the 1980's
    I had the first kidney stone that ever put me in the
    hospital. I've never consumed an alcoholic beverage
    in my life but the other guys I worked with consumed
    it by the keg and none of them suffered any kidney
    stones. They may have had them but never felt them.

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jun 30, 2009
    #10
  11. SMcK

    Guest

    On Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:45:45 -0500, The Daring Dufas
    <> wrote:

    >SMcK wrote:
    >> The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >> happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >> again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >> route?
    >>
    >> -Scott

    >
    >That's funny, most AC condensing units don't have
    >start capacitors. It is usually an option though.
    >You may be referring to the oil filled "run" cap
    >that is connected to the start winding. A start
    >capacitor is going to be of the electrolytic type
    >along with a mechanical or solid state start relay.
    >
    >TDD

    Which was very common on older compressor units.
     
    , Jul 1, 2009
    #11
  12. SMcK

    SMcK Guest

    > >SMcK wrote:
    > >> The A/C is not working.  Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    > >> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor.  He
    > >> happened to have one in his truck.  I'd just as soon not bother him
    > >> again.  If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    > >> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    > >> route?

    >
    > >> -Scott


    OK, just to tie up the loose ends on this one:

    1. It turned out the capacitor was fine. I thought it migh be the cap
    because the last time that's what it was and the guy that replaced it
    told me that it's often the problem. The replacement was one he had
    already and I don't know how old it was when we installed it. I
    figured if I could get one and install it myself it would be a cheap
    enough experiment that it was worth it if I could avoid having to pay
    a pro.

    2. I assumed it was a "motor run capacitor" when I went looking for a
    replacement and saw references to them. Maybe it wasn't. It's a
    capacitor with two sides, one labeled "fan" and the other "therm" with
    a common in the center.

    3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again. This guy has
    been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    about 50 years. Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him. He
    determined it was low on freon, and charged it. He also checked for
    leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose. I paid him a little
    more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    of his house with the sunset behind it.

    4. I don't know how old the unit is. It was there when we moved in in
    '98. I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.

    -Scott
     
    SMcK, Jul 1, 2009
    #12
  13. SMcK wrote:
    >>> SMcK wrote:
    >>>> The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >>>> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >>>> happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >>>> again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >>>> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >>>> route?
    >>>> -Scott

    >
    > OK, just to tie up the loose ends on this one:
    >
    > 1. It turned out the capacitor was fine. I thought it migh be the cap
    > because the last time that's what it was and the guy that replaced it
    > told me that it's often the problem. The replacement was one he had
    > already and I don't know how old it was when we installed it. I
    > figured if I could get one and install it myself it would be a cheap
    > enough experiment that it was worth it if I could avoid having to pay
    > a pro.
    >
    > 2. I assumed it was a "motor run capacitor" when I went looking for a
    > replacement and saw references to them. Maybe it wasn't. It's a
    > capacitor with two sides, one labeled "fan" and the other "therm" with
    > a common in the center.
    >
    > 3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again. This guy has
    > been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    > about 50 years. Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him. He
    > determined it was low on freon, and charged it. He also checked for
    > leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose. I paid him a little
    > more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    > of his house with the sunset behind it.
    >
    > 4. I don't know how old the unit is. It was there when we moved in in
    > '98. I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.
    >
    > -Scott
    >


    Just so you know, the terminal marked "herm" means hermetic which
    refers to the hermetically sealed welded can compressor. I bet the
    wire was yellow for the "herm" and brown for the "fan". The common
    terminal could have been just about any color except green.

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jul 1, 2009
    #13
  14. SMcK

    SMcK Guest

    On Jul 1, 6:14 pm, The Daring Dufas <>
    wrote:
    > SMcK wrote:
    > >>> SMcK wrote:
    > >>>> The A/C is not working.  Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    > >>>> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor.  He
    > >>>> happened to have one in his truck.  I'd just as soon not bother him
    > >>>> again.  If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    > >>>> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    > >>>> route?
    > >>>> -Scott

    >
    > > OK, just to tie up the loose ends on this one:

    >
    > > 1. It turned out the capacitor was fine.  I thought it migh be the cap
    > > because the last time that's what it was and the guy that replaced it
    > > told me that it's often the problem.  The replacement was one he had
    > > already and I don't know how old it was when we installed it.  I
    > > figured if I could get one and install it myself it would be a cheap
    > > enough experiment that it was worth it if I could avoid having to pay
    > > a pro.

    >
    > > 2. I assumed it was a "motor run capacitor" when I went looking for a
    > > replacement and saw references to them.  Maybe it wasn't. It's a
    > > capacitor with two sides, one labeled "fan" and the other "therm" with
    > > a common in the center.

    >
    > > 3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again.  This guy has
    > > been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    > > about 50 years.  Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him.  He
    > > determined it was low on freon, and charged it.  He also checked for
    > > leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose.  I paid him a little
    > > more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    > > of his house with the sunset behind it.

    >
    > > 4. I don't know how old the unit is.  It was there when we moved in in
    > > '98.  I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.

    >
    > > -Scott

    >
    > Just so you know, the terminal marked "herm" means hermetic which
    > refers to the hermetically sealed welded can compressor. I bet the
    > wire was yellow for the "herm" and brown for the "fan". The common
    > terminal could have been just about any color except green.
    >
    > TDD- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -


    IIRC it was yellow for common, reddish brown for fan and blue for
    herm. I'm pretty certain about the yellow.

    -Scott
     
    SMcK, Jul 2, 2009
    #14
  15. SMcK wrote:
    > On Jul 1, 6:14 pm, The Daring Dufas <>
    > wrote:
    >> SMcK wrote:
    >>>>> SMcK wrote:
    >>>>>> The A/C is not working. Last time this happened the neighborhood A/C
    >>>>>> repair guy showed me how to replace the motor start capacitor. He
    >>>>>> happened to have one in his truck. I'd just as soon not bother him
    >>>>>> again. If I can pull the suspect capacitor and get the specs off it,
    >>>>>> where would a guy get a replacement without going the mail order
    >>>>>> route?
    >>>>>> -Scott
    >>> OK, just to tie up the loose ends on this one:
    >>> 1. It turned out the capacitor was fine. I thought it migh be the cap
    >>> because the last time that's what it was and the guy that replaced it
    >>> told me that it's often the problem. The replacement was one he had
    >>> already and I don't know how old it was when we installed it. I
    >>> figured if I could get one and install it myself it would be a cheap
    >>> enough experiment that it was worth it if I could avoid having to pay
    >>> a pro.
    >>> 2. I assumed it was a "motor run capacitor" when I went looking for a
    >>> replacement and saw references to them. Maybe it wasn't. It's a
    >>> capacitor with two sides, one labeled "fan" and the other "therm" with
    >>> a common in the center.
    >>> 3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again. This guy has
    >>> been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    >>> about 50 years. Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him. He
    >>> determined it was low on freon, and charged it. He also checked for
    >>> leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose. I paid him a little
    >>> more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    >>> of his house with the sunset behind it.
    >>> 4. I don't know how old the unit is. It was there when we moved in in
    >>> '98. I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.
    >>> -Scott

    >> Just so you know, the terminal marked "herm" means hermetic which
    >> refers to the hermetically sealed welded can compressor. I bet the
    >> wire was yellow for the "herm" and brown for the "fan". The common
    >> terminal could have been just about any color except green.
    >>
    >> TDD- Hide quoted text -
    >>
    >> - Show quoted text -

    >
    > IIRC it was yellow for common, reddish brown for fan and blue for
    > herm. I'm pretty certain about the yellow.
    >
    > -Scott
    >


    You may be right, I've been putting in so many hours
    lately that everything is running together. My hair
    hurts, my toenails itch and my eyeballs are squeaking.
    Last service call was over at 8:00pm.

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jul 3, 2009
    #15
  16. In article <>, Bubba wrote:
    >On Wed, 1 Jul 2009 10:24:45 -0700 (PDT), SMcK < wrote:


    <EDITED FOR SPACE>

    >>3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again. This guy has
    >>been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    >>about 50 years. Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him. He
    >>determined it was low on freon, and charged it. He also checked for
    >>leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose. I paid him a little
    >>more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    >>of his house with the sunset behind it.
    >>
    >>4. I don't know how old the unit is. It was there when we moved in in
    >>'98. I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.

    >
    >What a shame to hear that the guy has been doing this for 50yrs and
    >cant find a simple refrigerant leak.
    >Refrigerant doesnt wear out or go bad. It leaks out. You have a leak.
    >It will continue to leak


    How small a leak is one supposed to find? One that leaks out not quite
    all the refrigerant in 15 years?

    Just a few years ago, I was told (IIRC) that A/C techs are finding and
    repairing leaks of 4 ounces of refrigerant per year, and that ones
    around or less than 2 ounces per year are often too small to find and are
    often tolerated.

    - Don Klipstein ()
     
    Don Klipstein, Jul 6, 2009
    #16
  17. Don Klipstein wrote:
    > In article <>, Bubba wrote:
    >> On Wed, 1 Jul 2009 10:24:45 -0700 (PDT), SMcK < wrote:

    >
    > <EDITED FOR SPACE>
    >
    >>> 3. In the end I ended up calling in my neighbor again. This guy has
    >>> been doing heating, A/C, electric and plumbing in the neighborhood for
    >>> about 50 years. Nice guy and very helpful and I hate bugging him. He
    >>> determined it was low on freon, and charged it. He also checked for
    >>> leaks and cleaned out the grill(?) with a hose. I paid him a little
    >>> more than what he asked (still a bargain) and gave him a framed photo
    >>> of his house with the sunset behind it.
    >>>
    >>> 4. I don't know how old the unit is. It was there when we moved in in
    >>> '98. I'm going to guess it's about 15 years old.

    >> What a shame to hear that the guy has been doing this for 50yrs and
    >> cant find a simple refrigerant leak.
    >> Refrigerant doesnt wear out or go bad. It leaks out. You have a leak.
    >> It will continue to leak

    >
    > How small a leak is one supposed to find? One that leaks out not quite
    > all the refrigerant in 15 years?
    >
    > Just a few years ago, I was told (IIRC) that A/C techs are finding and
    > repairing leaks of 4 ounces of refrigerant per year, and that ones
    > around or less than 2 ounces per year are often too small to find and are
    > often tolerated.
    >
    > - Don Klipstein ()


    I've been using a stop leak made by Cliplight Manufacturing Company
    for several years and have had very good luck with it. The stuff is
    great for those tiny inaccessible leaks in evaporators.

    http://tinyurl.com/lby8fz

    TDD
     
    The Daring Dufas, Jul 6, 2009
    #17
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