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BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 22675
Experience:  Endorsed for unlimited heating, cooling, oil burners, boilers, refrigeration, hydronics
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What does a capacitor do in an outdoor air conditioning un

Resolved Question:

What does a capacitor do in an outdoor air conditioning unit?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 7 years ago.


You can look at the capacitor as a "starter" for the compressor and the fan motor. There "run" capacitors...and "start" capacitors. In a condenser the most common is "start" capacitors. The compressor and fan motor have enough power to run...but need a jump start to get going and that is the job of the start capacitor. Now some units will use a "run" capacitor which adds pulses of power to keep the motor running comfortably. If the top of a capacitor is bulged it is usually a sign of being defective

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