Come home from work and Oh no the A/C is not working, Its so hot in the house even the dog is sweating, Your A/C company comes out and says It looks to be a capacitor, He changes it and Your off and running. What is a capacitor anyways? Seams to go out quite a bit in the summer after storms, Are they necessary? Lets try to answer
Many people don’t know this but the first mention of a capacitor is in the Book of Exodus The Ark of the Covenant is a Big capacitor, Its built with gold and wood and gold again, It was written that it would shoot sparks and if one touched it, They would die. That sounds right.
Capacitors are sort of the old Flash’s on cameras, For those of us who are old enough to remember, When you are about to take a picture, You would turn that flash on, It would make a high pitch noise and than once it was charged, Slam the flash works for the camera. Well a capacitor does the same thing. It charges and than discharges 60 times a second creating a sin wave that is slightly out of sink with the power company. It does this by a conductive metal, A insulated barrier and metal again many times. This greatly improves the electric motor efficiency , But without it the motor just hums, It sits as it doesn’t know which direction to spin.
Capacitors have a insulated oil built in them that helps cool the capacitor, They are susceptible to voltage variations and Surges that can swell and open the cap. A capacitor can test good one day and be bad the next.
Hard start kits are strong capacitors used to help the unit start, Used on compressors Its in and out of a circuit in a micro second and are used when a compressor is having a hard time starting because of weak power or a tired compressor.
A good tech will test a capacitor during a maintenance as a bad capacitor can destroy the motor it is hooked to.
Any questions please call and I will be glad to help you