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Replacement of air conditioner's compacitor

My power went out due to a storm and the air condensor's fan stopped working. I figured I need to replace the compacitor which is approximately a $10.00 part. How do I replace this on my own?

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I am assuming this is a split system with the condensor outside and the air handler inside. What is the model of your unit? Is the capacitor a dual run capacitor? Is the compressor running? If the compressor is running and your condensor fan is not you need to immediately shut power off to the compressor or you will probably ruin your compressor. If the power went off due to a storm and you don't have power to the condensor fan did you check to see if the circuit breaker to the condensor was tripped. I would check that first. Even if the circuit breaker doesn't look like it tripped go ahead and flip it off and back on again. Even you suspect it is the capacitor you need to determine if it is a dual run (controls the compressor and the fan) or does it just run the fan? If it is a dual run capacitor you will have to get the numbers off the capacitor and try and find a match at the local hvac supplier. If you have a Grainger's in your city they probably will have a match. When working on your unit don't forget you are working with high voltage that can KILL you, If you don't know what you are doing call in a professional. If you decide to tackle it yourself make sure you turn off the power to both the inside unit and the condenser. I always pull the disconnects inside and outside, flip the circuit breakers and turn off the thermostat just to be safe. Then I double check by using my digital multi-meter to ensure the power is totally off. The capacitor stores power so you will have to discharge it by using an INSULATED screw driver and touching the blade across the terminals. Discharge the capacitor AFTER THE POWER IS SHUTOFF. Before you pull the wires off the capacitor terminals I suggest you make a drawing of where the wires are connected. You should have markings with a "C", "F" and "Herm". Even better, I like to take several digital pictures from different angles of the connections. After you remove the capacitor, I would suggest you take it with you to your hvac parts supplier so they can match it. Once you get the right replacement capacitor it is just a matter of connecting the wires back to the original configuration. Then restore the power by flipping the breakers, plugging the disconnects back in and turning the thermostat back on. Most units will not start up right away. They have a 5 minute delay built in to protect the compressor. Good luck and post back and let us know how it goes.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009

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Hello Zing77,

I understand that you are having a problem with your Rudd condensor. The fan is turning slowly and the compressor is making a buzzing noise which has a Diversitech hard start conected to the capcitor.

You have already replaced the run capcitory on the unit and have attached the compressor wire to therm and c and the fan to therm and fan. The hard start kit shoudl be attached to the therm and c with your compressor wires attached to the same place. The hard start kit is to give the compressor the extra push (electrical charge) to start.

You need to check your connections and make sure that you purchased the proper run capcitor. If you have purchased the proper compacitor and the connections are right then you have a bad fan and the compressor as gone out on the unit.

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