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Air conditioning fan won't start unless I move the blades to give it a "jump start". Is this a capacitor problem?

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This is a very common problem, especially if there was a recent power fluxuation. Your fan Capacitor is bad. the Capacitor gives the fan the needed power "boost" or torque to get it turning. your troubleshooting skills have already determined that the fan will work if given a :boost". The part will be less then $10.00 dollars. Call an a/c/ company and they should not charge you over $75.00
capacitors are rated by "uf" or micro farrads. yours will be 5 or 10.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009

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Yes it is you may want to try to oil the fan motor with WD 40 to see if it will turn without it but it is most likely time to replace the fan motor.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009


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Capacitor Failure Symptoms are sometime harder to identify without the right tools and expertise. Capacitors can be found in several different sizes and shapes. There may be one or multiple capacitors included in your ac with regards to the design. While the most popular capacitors are the types found on circuit boards, the ones most associated with air conditioning will be the bigger capacitors that assist start and run your motors. There are several motors present in an conditioner and heater systems:
  1. Compressor Motor Run Capacitor: Here is the most popular capacitor that fails. Most of the time these are duel capacitors, which means that there are 2 capacitors built into one. A duel capacitor will have three terminals on the top where a single capacitor will simply have two terminals on top.
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  3. Indoor Blower Motor Run Capacitor: Similar to the outdoor fan motor capacitor, it is a small, single (two terminals) capacitor that will help start and run the indoor blower motor.
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If it spins freely when it is not powered then the start capacitor has gone bad and replacing that will fix the problem...
If it does not spin freely and the bearings need oil then check out this tip on how to oil the bearings in the motor...

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To check the capacitor you will need an ohm meter. Unwire the capacitor on the fan and common terminals, marking where the wires go before you pull them off. Take the leads of the ohm meter, turn the meter to its highest ohm setting and touch the two posts with the leads. If the capacitor is good, the needle of the ohm meter will jump up, and then back down. If the ohm meter does nothing the capacitor is open, if the ohm meter needle jumps all the way over and doesn't come back down, it is shorted.

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This problem could be caused by a bad motor run capacitor. Please see our If your motor capacitor is not the problem, then more than likely you need a new motor.

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