Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The AC is working again.

It went out last summer. I lived with it and never really bothered to fix it. I had more important things to do like gardening. However, a few nights this year have been nearly unbearable trying to sleep when the humidity is in the 80-90% range. So, I did what had to be done.

A little searching online and talking to people who know about these things, I found that it was probably the capacitor in the outdoor unit. The fan would run if I used a screwdriver to start it. Otherwise it would just sit there and hum with no fan running to cool the condenser. I took the back panel off the unit and exposed the guts.

Well, there's only one thing labeled capacitor.

I removed the wires after labeling them with tape. I also took these photos and a few others to remind myself of how it was attached, just in case. I learned this lesson the hard way early in life.

The capacitor was blown. See the bulge on the top at the front near the ring?

Unfortunately, I had to drive all over town to find one. Lowe's doesn't carry them, but a guy I work with recommended a place. I went to the electrical supply company. Nope. Try Goodman's. Well, those people are just a shop window and a warehouse. They offered to come out and fix it for the low, low price of $149, plus parts. The next place only had a 440VAC unit. Mine is a 370VAC. Ok, I'll try another HVAC repair company. Same thing, only 440VAC capacitors. Both told me I could use it, but I wanted the same part, not something else. I've learned those lessons early in life too.

The last place I went gave me the same story, you can use the 440VAC. That's why we only stock those. No one carried the 370VAC capacitors because they aren't as common. So why not just replace it with this one? It'll work. Well after being told this three times, I decided to throw caution to the wind and install it. It only cost $18, plus tax. It works. If only it were warm enough to turn the air on. It's 64 degrees.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Good for you, fixing this yourself. Glad you went ahead and went with the newer capacitor. Sixty-four degrees sounds absolutely wonderful. It is very warm and humid here and our a.c. is on. We turn it off at night, or have been lately, and usually turn it back on in the middle of the day.

It's 85 and feels like it's 92, humidity at 67%.

We're waiting for the sun to get more directly overhead so that we can relax in our jacuzzi. The water is too cool right now.

Have a nice evening and a great day tomorrow.


Unknown said...

it's in the 90's here now and we need our's. we had to buy a whole new unit last year though...$1500..ouch! but our house is cool and we are ready this year.

you are inspiring me to not rely on outside labor though..hehe good job my friend!!!


compost in my shoe said...

Common now, we do not live without the AC in the south. Too much of a burden in life in July and August in Charleston. I know that sticky heat. It is not fun.

Jeff Vandiver said...

You should've emailed me - I've got several dual capacitors (25 microfarad/5 microfarad, 370 vac) and could've sent you one at no charge....In my experience, increasing capacitance is ok, but voltage is not. I hope it works out ok.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

EG, this one is a 45/5 440. Will I be okay?

Kris said...

Hope your new 440 will work for you, Tom. Otherwise it's good to know that EG's got your back... Gotta love the internet!