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dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Heat Pump Capacitor

Apparently two companies can't seem to figure why this goes out anywhere from, 3 days to 3 weeks. One finally replaced the connector which had gone bad. Does anyone have any ideas? This heat pump is approximately 6-7 years old, has never had a problem previously, and is a Carrier.

The capacitor has been blown 5 times this summer, once kicking off the circuit.

Previously related topic: »House Surge Protector
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tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Either the wrong size capacitor is being used, you have too much voltage drop on initial start, your contactor is bad, or your switchover circuitboard is fubar'd somehow.

Being a heatpump, it is a more complex system. If your switchover valve isnt opening all the way, it could cause excesive backpressure and overload the compressor motor.

Sounds like you need to find a better company. One with a good warranty.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

1 recommendation

reply to dandelion

Are hey installing the correct capacitor? Are they installing the cheapest capacitor?



SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3

2 recommendations

reply to dandelion

After reading your other thread, I read nothing that really helps to diagnose why this keeps happening. All I can tell you is I've replaced more capacitors the last few years than I had replaced in all my previous years and I've been an HVAC technician for over 28 years. The quality of components have really taken a turn for the worse, especially those manufactured in China.



dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to dandelion

The initial company had a good warranty, they paid for all capacitors but one. Doesn't do me much good when my air keeps going out though. The second company I am using.. waiting for him now, simply came last time to use a diagnostic on the heat pump. I don't know how much this "diagnostic" shows, but he said it looked fine to him. Since I got a surge protector, I had to have a new circuit board, so doubt that is the problem though could be in the heat pump itself.

"Either the wrong size capacitor is being used, you have too much voltage drop on initial start, your contactor is bad, or your switchover circuitboard is fubar'd somehow."

Can this be figured out with a diagnostic tool (the initial company didn't use the wrong size capacitor, but the wrong model three times by the way)?
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tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

No idea what diagnostic tool you speak of, other than a multimeter.

Capacitors should not fail that frequently. Something is causing it to fail. Someone needs to go through your system with a fine toothed comb.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast
reply to dandelion

Is the capacitor being matched from a part's list or being matched to the compressor? Is it possible that the compressor has been replaced previously and requires a different capacitor?
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dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by newview:

Is the capacitor being matched from a part's list or being matched to the compressor? Is it possible that the compressor has been replaced previously and requires a different capacitor?
Sorry, I have no idea of that...I upgraded the heat pump to a larger unit 5-6 years ago and can only assume the original capacitor that worked for 5-6 years was the correct one. As far as this first company that replaced it, apparently they replaced it with a "newer" model one.
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newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by dandelion:

Sorry, I have no idea of that...I upgraded the heat pump to a larger unit 5-6 years ago . . .
OK . . . a little confused here. You replaced the entire outdoor Heat Pump unit 5-6 years ago?

said by dandelion:

. . . and can only assume the original capacitor that worked for 5-6 years was the correct one.
If you replaced the entire outdoor unit then a correct capacitor came with the new unit. It's internal to the new outdoor unit and capacitor that was in the old unit has no bearing on the new unit.

said by dandelion:

As far as this first company that replaced it, apparently they replaced it with a "newer" model one.
You mean they replaced the outdoor UNIT with as newer model?
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dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to dandelion

The heat pump was replaced 5 years ago with a larger model. There has been no problem with the heat pump until this summer. The original repair people said the capacitor was bad on it and replaced that. The second time, they blamed it on electrical surges after the electrician said the wiring was fine leading to the heat pump. The third time I got a house surge protector. The fourth time, the company sent a different man who said the capacitor was not the one that came with the unit, but a new model.... he replaced it with the original and replaced the connection. I had a different company ALSO do a diagnostic, and look at it not wanting to be without air again this summer. This second company is who I called today however after the time past they said would come.. I have NOW called a third company not getting anyone at the company I called this morning. *sighs* The last two companies are supposedly Carrier authorized dealers.
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Digibits
Premium
join:2000-09-02
The Hilltop
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Contact Carrier at the following link:
»www.residential.carrier.com/apps···.jsp?b=c

Having worked with them for many years as an OEM Quality Engineer, I can tell you that they take customer inputs seriously.

They'll get someone out there and follow-up to make sure the problem has been resolved.



dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Thanks for the link! It is bookmarked. So far, it is working, the Carrier rep I originally called had a flub-up with my phone number so just showed up at the house. *crosses fingers*According to him was a thermostat problem this time. I can't help thinking all the problems too much of a coincidence.. yet will just wait and see and hope if it DOES go out again it can wait for weather that is not 100 degree.
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SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3

Thermostat problem? Hmm...did he say exactly what the problem with the thermostat was? Did he have to replace it?



dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5

Yes, he put a totally different thermostat, said the air and fan came on separately but the thermostat wasn't making them come on. This one is only about 3 years old.. he said some only last that long?



SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3

1 recommendation

I suppose it's possible, but a three-year-old thermostat shouldn't have failed that soon. Oh, well...



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Make sure you got that guys cell number, cus I got a feeling it wasnt the tstat.

Some problems like this are a real bitch to find.

good luck to ya

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



zen1

@optonline.net

1 recommendation

reply to dandelion

it's possible some manufacturer(s) are using the stolen capacitor formula again, this time for motor capacitors? that was a real nightmare for the electronics industry. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague try to get one made in USA or japan, which never had that problem.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2

1 edit

1 recommendation

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are quite different from motor start/run capacitors most of which are of the oil paper type.


chuckkk

join:2001-11-10
Warner Robins, GA
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

The capacitor is likely under rated for the actual starting load. The higher temps this year are a contributing factor. The base pressure may be too high, causing an increased starting load. Besides that, the power companies may have jacked up the line voltage a bit to compensate for the increased A/C load on the grid this year.

Really, unless a starting capacitor is poorly made, there are a very limited number of things that usually cause failure.
Too much current(peak or over time), or voltage spikes are the usual causes.
The current may be the result of a longer than normal start before run, and/or a problem in the compressor.

In any event, the compressor needs to be checked for starting current draw and time, followed by a check of the run current.

If aluminum wire is involved, it may need cleaning at each junction/splice/connector, followed with "No-Ox" paste in all the connectors/terminals, even on the line and load sides of the meter block.

Long ago and far away, I spent several years working in one of GE's engineering labs and the QC lab that dealt with motor controls and other industrial devices. Relays, Breakers, Transformers, BIG Un-interruptable Power Supplies, and all sorts of other control devices.



dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
reply to dandelion

I want to thank everyone for replying, it has given me a lot of information. So far things are working yet I will know what tests and ideas to request if they aren't.



SandShark
Long may you run
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-23
Santa Fe, TX
kudos:3
reply to chuckkk

Has it been established that the problems are start capacitor related? My instincts tell me the problems are run capacitor related, but I could be mistaken.



zen1

@optonline.net
reply to TheMG

said by TheMG:

Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are quite different from motor start/run capacitors most of which are of the oil paper type.
yes, i know that!, but, i was just giving an example of how when manufacturers try to skimp on costs, defective capacitors can be unknowingly used by even companies with excellent reputations, and perhaps this is happening with the motor start/run caps now, as i've seen many posts about this happening, perhaps it's the hot weather, new heat records are being set every year, and what would help that is using 2 caps of half the capacitance in parallel, each cap would only have to handle half the current, and would stay cooler. a check can be made to see how hot the caps are getting, and the current they are passing to see where the problem lies.