A/C Capacitor: What Is It and Why Does It Break?

The basic design of an A/C capacitor is to store up the electrical charge. If it breaks for some reason, your air conditioning system may not work properly. The electrical power transfer may be impeded, and your home may not receive cool air once your A/C kicks in. This can be risky, so it’s best to call the pros for air conditioning repair in Spirit Lake, ID.

Keep reading to learn about an A/C capacitor and the reasons why it breaks.

What is an A/C Capacitor?

The capacitor is used to start airflow. It’s typically found near air filters or vents and has two wires leading from it. One wire is connected to one of your air conditioner’s electrical terminals, while the other is connected to a copper ground wire (the black wire that you’ll find in most homes).

The job of an A/C capacitor is to store up electricity during periods when there isn’t power being passed through your system. When you turn on your air conditioning unit, it immediately draws all the charge out of its capacitors so that they can supply the air conditioning motor with the energy needed for initial operation.

If your air conditioner fails to cool down your home properly after using it for a long time, this usually means there are air conditioning wiring problems in your air conditioner. An air conditioning repair in Spirit Lake, ID will be needed to solve this problem.

Why Do A/C Capacitors Break?

Here are some of the reasons why your air conditioning system’s capacitor breaks:

A/C Capacitor is Overcharged

This results from an empty load being drawn from the A/C compressor for a long time while the ignition switch (key) is in position II and the fuel pump relay is not energized. Consequently, a high voltage appears on the terminals and causes disintegration of the insulation between conductive parts.

A/C Motor Draws Abnormal Current Flow

This is sufficient reason for overcharging the capacitor, resulting in its breakdown. Some causes include a low-pressure switch, damaged compressor stator windings, compressor lock up, short-circuited winding between rotor bars and stator coils.  These causes could be attributed to malfunctioning or damage of inter-connecting wiring harnesses, faulty components on-board, low line voltage, or faulty load control switch.

Inadequate Power Supply

The capacitor is a reactive component, which requires AC voltage to operate. When the power supply delivers DC only, the system’s proper operation will be affected. The capacitor might break or explode as soon as the power supply fails to provide adequate alternating current (AC). Have someone perform quality air conditioning repair in Spirit Lake, ID for this issue.

Old A/C Capacitor

Usually, an A/C capacitor breaks down due to old age, moisture, and dust entering into the capacitors’ PCBs during its service life. Also, if you have ever changed your home electric wiring from 1 phase to 3 phases or from 220 volts to 440 volts, then it will definitely affect the performance of your air conditioner compressor. The system might have some voltage-related issues, especially when your home wiring is connected in parallel with other voltages like solar panels etc. So be sure to check it properly and call the experts for a repair when you notice issues.

Having Trouble with a Failing A/C? Trust the Experts for the Repair!

Air conditioner capacitor failure is a very common problem these days. When you notice something is not right with your unit’s power, then one of the culprits might be a failing capacitor.

Be sure to call Bill’s Heating & A/C to perform top-notch air conditioning repair in Spirit Lake, ID. They fix all kinds of problems and have the tools to restore your system’s function. Call them at 208-777-5528 to set an appointment.