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Why do capacitor fail

Many people have asked me “Why do Air Conditioner Capacitors Go Bad?” Capacitors typically have a life as measured in cycles. While the compressor is running, the capacitor is cycling on and off thousands of times a second. So the life expectancy is directly related to the age of the capacitor.

Another cause for early failure can be a spike in voltage and some time a voltage drop this happens  when Voltage delivered to your house increases or decreases during storms or high electric demand,  This can decrease the life of a capacitor. High voltage and low voltage  can cause the internal chemicals to boil and most of the time the capacitor looks like it has been expanded like a balloon. Sometimes they explode or pop.  It is very common to see a large increase in the failure rates of capacitors during the summer heat. and storms. All of the air conditioner capacitors are connected to high voltage. Accidentally touching the terminals on a charged capacitor can release the stored voltage instantaneously and cause serious injury. So if you are wondering if your capacitor has failed, be sure to call an experienced technician to check and replace your capacitor.

Also note that when replacing a capacitor, be sure to use the exact same rating of the capacitor that you are replacing. The capacitor that came with your system was selected for the right match to your motor. Changing the capacitance may cause your motor to stop working altogether. Many company’s sell capacitors on line at a very cheap rate.  But beware, some capacitors are not manufactured to the same standards and can cause damage to your unit.


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We offer 24/7 Emergency Service to all of our customers. You can always count on Torocco’s  Cooling & Heating Experts to get the job done right the first time. We use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to find the source of your heating and air conditioning problems and fix them fast.