What Is An Aircon Capacitor And How Is It Repaired?

Air conditioning is an essential part of our lives. We need cool, refreshed air to make sure that our bodies are comfortable all the day long. Therefore, there is need to make sure that air conditioners are maintained properly and regularly. In countries such as Singapore where there is no winter or spring (there is just summer), air conditioners are of great use; they control humidity, temperature, and air speed in an enclosed building. One of the most important parts in an air conditioner is the capacitor. The air conditioner (aircon) capacitor is a very important device that can result in serious problems if it is not working properly. This article gives more insight on aircon capacitors and highlights how they can be repaired.


What is an aircon capacitor?

A capacitor is an electronic device that is used to store charge in an electrostatic field. An aircon capacitor is used to stabilize voltage and give the required jolt to start the motor in an air conditioner.

An aircon capacitor also helps keep the air conditioner running. In Singapore, most air conditioner units come with three motors, and the three motors are powered by use of an aircon capacitor.

Therefore, if the aircon capacitor is not working properly, then your air conditioner will not function optimally and offer satisfactory cooling. In other cases, the motors will not start and the air conditioner will not work. In other words, failure of aircon capacitors will result in breakdown of air conditioners.

What do aircon capacitors do?

Aircon capacitors have three primary functions. As explained above, they start the motors, aid in signal processing and power conditioning.

What causes aircon capacitors failure?

The most common reason for aircon capacitor failure is being overworked, that is, running the air conditioner for extended periods of time. This results in overheating of the AC and so, blowing up of its fuses and capacitors.

This is most common in countries with tropical (hot) climate such as Singapore. A blown up capacitor is easy to notice. An air conditioner with a blown up capacitor produces a humming sound and the fan no longer runs.


Troubles from bad aircon capacitors

Most air conditioners with bad capacitors have difficulties in starting. The compressor of the air conditioner becomes difficult to start, hesitates while trying to turn on, and finally shuts off later. If one of the aircon capacitors have failed, a motor connected to it may still attempt to run.

If this goes on, the motor begins to grow hot and finally burns out. This would call for replacement of the entire motor. It is advisable to stop trying using the air conditioner when you hear the humming sound caused by a bad capacitor. Instead, you should check on repairs right away.

In many cases, a capacitor begins to make a clicking noise before it fails. This acts as an alert before the fans or the compressor stop working.

How to repair aircon capacitors

Now that you have learnt the effects and how to find bad aircon capacitors, let’s look at their repairs.

In almost all the cases, capacitor problems call for the capacitor to be replaced. If you know how to replace aircon capacitors on your own, then you can save a lot of money. The process is easy, however, it needs a lot of attention. You will need a voltage tester, a screw driver, a pencil, a new capacitor, a mounting strap and your protective gear.

Before you set to replace a capacitor, you should be well-acquainted with the safety and health regulations about the maintenance and repair of electric devices; working with electricity is hazardous.


The following are steps that you can follow to replace a bad capacitor

1. Put off the condenser

Condenser is the air conditioner box unit that stands outside.
Have your protective gear on, find the condenser, turn it off and use a tester to make certain that there is no power in it.

2. Open access panel

After ensuring that the condenser has no power in it, go for the access panel. It usually has a label that has an electrical warning on it. Loosen the screws and open it.

3. Get a new capacitor

After you open the access panel, you will find the bad capacitor. You should easily find it as it has a sticker and shaped like a can.Write down the technical data of the bad capacitor. Such data include its load voltage, tolerance, capacitance and such. Use this data to buy a new capacitor with the same characteristics. In doing this, the shape or size of the new capacitor does not matter; the performance properties do. The shape and size will not affect its operation.

4. Check the connections of the old capacitor

Have a look at how the bad capacitor is connected and note down the connection. The new capacitor may need to be connected in the same way.

5. Connecting the new capacitor

When connecting the new aircon capacitor, you should disconnect all wires from the bad capacitor and join them to their respective spots on the new capacitor. To avoid confusion, you can do this one wire at a time. That is, you disconnect a wire from the old capacitor, and then connect it to the new one before proceeding to the next wire. After you have connected all the wires, mount the new device in place and make sure that it is stable. Also make sure that the connections are firmly fixed at their places.

6. Check the condenser

Switch on the thermostat and watch the operation of the condenser. If all is working well, then you may cover the condenser. You can now use the air conditioner once again. The above information will help you discover when an aircon capacitor goes bad before the motor blows out. The information will also help you replace an aircon capacitor without the aid of a professional and thereby, save you money.

However, it is always good to remember that you should protect the aircon capacitor to prolong the life of your air conditioner unit. The hot climate in Singapore and the heat given out by extra-hard working motors makes aircon capacitors to break down. Therefore, it is recommended that you should not run air conditioner for extended time periods.

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